NEW YEAR’S EVE CELEBRATION EXTRAORDINAIRE
One of the main reasons I wanted to start this blog was to share different experiences I’ve had with food…here’s one from my food journal (one of those analog paper binder things that you write in? remember those?) from a winter holiday trip we took to Iceland in 2007.
This was a really special meal and a daunting one too (we arrived to over 20 wine glasses on our table for two) and was the perfect ending to a long day stuck on frozen roads, a wonderful trip to the frozen waterfalls, a choral evensong in Icelandic at Hallsgrimskirkja and the most insane and dangerous free for all of fireworks on the planet (those people are scary addicted to fireworks).
The amuse bouche consisted of a smoked reindeer with herbed cream and french pastry served on a sterling bent amuse-bouche spoon along with a very small demi-tasse of spiced carrot soup foam and a glass of champagne.
The first course was a lightly cooked shellfish tartare of shrimp, scallops and lobster with buttermilk and vendage roe infused with shallots, dill and Danish balsamic apple vinegar. It was served in an open organic looking tear shaped metal bowl on top of a large charger. Glass of Bründlemayer Steinmassel Riesling 2003
The second course was perfectly marinated pickled herring with hot spring rye bread and beetroot three ways with fresh herbs. It was served in a small pickled herring jar with lid and a tiny sterling fork on a wooden tray. Small glass of Danish “Öl” beer and a cordial glass of Icelandic Brennevin “Snafs” with fresh dill.
The third course was a refreshing light course of locally caught rainbow trout served with home made feta cheese on Icelandic blinis with crème fraîche. Glass of Pouilly Fuissé Bouchard Aîne 2006
The fourth course was a very nice small cup of creamy celery soup infused with Swedish truffles, and topped with chives and a crouton. Another glass of the Pouilly Fuissé Bouchard Aîne 2006 (ok people…getting drunk here).
The fifth course was a pine wrapped langoustine fried in Icelandic butter and served with a shellfish gel cauliflower, broccoli and almond herb salad…with a large pour of Cloudy Bay Chardonnay 2005.
The sixth course (was…something with more alcohol….ok…stop drinking every drop Mark and you’ll make it) was Reindeer was served two ways; slowly cooked and lightly fried, served with root vegetables, mushrooms and fondant potatoes with a small pitcher of gravy and a small glass of Inkara Shiraz 2004
The seventh course was a small selection of warm local goat cheese served with apple glaze and purée and a sip of Sancerre Frank Millet 2005.
Our lovely meal was rounded off with two dessert courses; the petit dessert of almond praliné with mandarin served with rosemary ice cream with orange peel was the best thing that has ever entered my mouth…EVER! Followed by a trio of chocolate foam, chocolate mousse and dark chocolate shavings served on a bent spoon. The final glass for the night was an excellent Torres Muscatel Oro.
I’m embarassed to disclose how much this meal was (except to say it was equal to my mortgage payment)…and although I realize that money can’t buy happiness…sometimes it comes close.