A Taster's Journey is a newsletter on food, wine and travel. After 15 years of studying, tasting, teaching, and selling wine, I created this newsletter to not only share my passion about wine, but of food and travel as well. Each month I hope to share wines that I am drinking, food that is in season, restaurants that I have enjoyed, and places I have traveled. Enjoy!"

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A Feast for New Year’s

December 24th, 2003

If you’re not heading to Times Square to watch the ball drop, then you may want to stay at home with friends and celebrate in style. One way is to serve a grand entrée such as lobster or a rack of lamb. But another way is to serve platters of great hors d’oeuvres and pair them with champagne or your favorite wine. This makes for a relaxed atmosphere, yet you truly feel like royalty.

For those who do not want to cook all day, caterers can do all the work. Another more economical solution is to order excellent frozen hors d’oeuvres online. A few of the better suppliers are:

  • www.neimanmarcus.com,
  • www.deananddeluca.com, and
  • www.appetizerstogo.com.

However, I prefer to make my own. Below are a few simple appetizers that you can add to your repertoire.

Scallop wrapped in Bacon

  • 20 large sea scallops
  • 20 slices of smoked bacon
  • 40 wooden toothpicks

Cut scallop in half lengthwise. Wrap with half slice of bacon. Secure with a wooden toothpick. Broil on high for 5-7 minutes or until bacon is cooked.

Filet Mignon w/ Horseradish

  • 2 lbs. of filet mignon
  • 2 fresh baguettes
  • Jar of prepared horseradish sauce, Boars Head for example

Grill filet over high heat until rare. Slice filet ¼ inch thick (can be served hot or warm). Slice baguette into ¼ slices and top with a thin coat of horseradish, filet, then add salt & pepper to taste

Salmon w/ Crème Fraiche

  • 1/2 lb. sliced smoked salmon
  • 30 Dufour pastry cups
  • 8 oz. crème fraiche
  • Bunch of fresh dill

Toast pastry cups. Cut salmon into 1 x 1 1/2 in. pieces. Add 1 tsp. crème fraiche to each cup. Curl salmon and place atop the crème fraiche. Season with dill.

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