New Year’s Eve Hors d’oeuvres and Morning-After Brunch

This final post in our holiday recipe series features two delicious hors d’oeuvres and wine pairings perfect for New Years Eve entertaining, and a Monte Cristo Sandwich that’s sure to be a hit on your New Year’s Day brunch menu.

The first recipe was provided by Winemaker Richard Sorensen of Sorensen Cellars.

Apricot-Almond Chevre Spread

This recipe is a collaboration between myself, my wife Rita and Dacia Morrisonbuck of Cuisine Med in Port Townsend.

We introduced my Sorensen 2007 Viognier during Passport Weekend this year, and wanted a bite of something to go with the wine.  I feel that there are nuances of apricot, almond and peach in the wine and I wanted to pull these together with a light appetizer. This is what we came up with.

Ingredients

1 Small log, approx. 3-4oz, goat cheese
1 Small, 3oz pkg cream cheese

1/2 cup toasted,  skin on, almonds, chopped medium
1/2 cup dried apricots, chopped medium

Drizzle of honey to taste

In a food processor blend cheeses until smooth, then drizzle in honey (approx. 1 teaspoon or to taste).  Fold in almonds, (reserving 1 Tablespoon for garnish), and apricots.  Mold into a mound-press or small attractive bowl.  Sliver a few apricots on top along with the Tbs. of almonds.  Spread on hearty crackers or firm bread.
The next recipe comes from Edgar Burks, wine specialist at Harbinger Winery.

Shrimp St. Charles

This recipe comes from my friend and cooking mentor, Chef Giuseppe Brucia. It is modified slightly from the original.

Serves 6 as appetizers or 4 as main course. Pair with Harbinger Dynamo White, Chardonnay, or Viognier.

Ingredients
24 jumbo shrimp, peeled, and deveined
12 green onions
1 Tbsp. olive oil
2 Tbsp Butter
4 large mushrooms, sliced in eighths
2 Tbsp. red bell pepper, finely sliced
½ tsp. garlic, finely chopped
2 Tbsp. Cognac
½ cup Harbinger Dynamo White
*½ cup shrimp stock
½ cup heavy cream (36% preferred)
4 drops Worcestershire Sauce
4 drops Tabasco Chipotle Sauce
1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
1 tsp. chopped parsley
Salt and black pepper to taste.

*Prepare simple shrimp stock by simmering shrimp shells in ¾ cup of water until reduced to ½ cup. Pour through strainer and discard shells.

1. Prepare the green onions by removing the top 1/3 of the green tops. Discard or save for other use. Cut the remaining onion in half so that there is a white portion and a green portion.

2. Dry the shrimp with paper towels. In a large skillet over high heat, add 1 Tbsp. of butter with olive oil. When hot add the shrimp and brown each side for 40 seconds.

3. Add bell pepper, garlic, both green onion halves and mushrooms. Cook, stirring constantly, for 45 seconds.

4. Add Cognac and flame (use caution).

5. Add Harbinger Dynamo White and shrimp stock. Bring to boil over high heat.

6. Add the heavy cream, stir and let the sauce thicken.

7. Remove shrimp, placing 4 shrimp on each hot plate.

8. Return sauce to heat to further thicken for a few seconds.

9. Add Worcestershire Sauce, Tabasco and lemon juice.

10. Turn off the heat and white stirring add last 1 Tbsp. of butter, salt and pepper to taste.

11. Pour sauce over shrimp. Sprinkle with parsley.

Variations: Make sauce alone and serve over halibut or ling cod.
The last recipe is from Sharon Adams of Black Diamond Winery. Enjoy!

One of my favorite parings is Cranberry Wine and a Monte Cristo Sandwich. It’s great for brunch!

Yield: One Serving.  Serve with chilled Black Diamond Cranberry Wine.

1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon cream or half and half.
2 slices day old white bread
Thinly sliced turkey breast (enough to cover on slice of the bread)
1 slice Swiss cheese
Powdered sugar, sifted.

Heat pan over medium hi heat. Oil pan with favorite oil. Dip one side of bread in egg mixture place in pan. Place slice of turkey and cheese on bread, and cover with second piece of bread dipped in egg mixture (only dip one side). Cook as you would French Toast, turning when first side is golden brown. Cook second side until golden brown and cheese is melted. Put on warmed plate and sprinkle with powdered sugar. Optional – put your favorite jam or cranberry sauce on top.

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

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