December 17, 2013
A Holiday Dinner Party
This past weekend I hosted a holiday dinner at my home in Bedford. The weather has been so wintry and I wanted to serve something appropriate for the season. Pot au Feu seemed like a fitting choice. This celebrated French stew, consists of root vegetables and various cuts of meat, all braised in a savory broth - a real comfort food!
1 My dining room is decorated so nicely for the holiday season. Kevin Sharkey loaned me this amazing oak leaf and acorn wreath, which he made last season for his apartment. The wreath found a great second home hanging here.
2 Francesca and Sharkey always put on their faux diamond collars and watch the kitchen activity before and during a holiday dinner. They often perch on the tall garbage pails, where they have a really good view.
3 I decided to serve one of my favorite winter feasts, Pot au Feu. These are some of the condiments that accompany the boiled meats - cornichons, assorted mustards, green herb sauce, and red and white horseradish.
4 Chef Pierre came to cook the Pot au Feu. It is one of his specialities. For a first course, we served a salad of winter vegetables with winter greens.
5 We arranged the vegetable salads on on festive china plates. This is a carrot salad and a salad made from celeriac.
6 I keep an assortment of salts on hand by the stoves and many were used to serve with the different meats of the Pot au Feu.
7 These beautiful micro greens and slightly bitter frisee were lightly dressed and served with the root vegetable salads.
8 Golden beets were steamed and dressed with a vinaigrette.
9 As were beautiful tender red beets
10 Pink-fleshed potatoes, eggs, and cornichon composed a delicious potato salad.
11 The main course consisted of slowly cooked vegetables - leeks, celery, celeriac, carrots, parsnips, and turnips. These were all so very delicious.
12 For the meats, there was saucisson from Salumeria Biellese in New York City, very slowly poached marrow bones, slowly braised shin beef, and slowly braised breast of capon.
13 Veal shanks were also slowly braised to cook the meat and melt the marrow. They were sliced to order at the buffet.
14 Although not pretty to look at, marrow bones are considered a delicacy and they're delicious poached, like this, or roasted. The marrow is often spread on toasted bread.
15 And for dessert, we had a very successful 'experiment.' This is black currant and raspberry sorbet encased in delicate meringue pine boughs, and decorated with sparkling sugar and silver dragees. It was served with black currant sauce and whipped cream. Yum and yum!!!