Holiday Dinner - 12/22/2019

Once a year when Kevin comes home for the Holidays I usually invite a few of his childhood friends and our friends for dinner.

This year is quite special dinner as we have Luong Hien and Khiem from Dallas, they reshuffled their calendar to be here tonight, we also have Larry (Kevin's friend) flying all the way from New York, and Cheryl driving all the way from Southern California.  With all the traveling, all I can say is I better deliver a good meal tonight.

Tonight we have 18 people and I had to set up the main table for the adults (10) and a secondary table (8) for the young adults as I could not fit everyone into one table.

Festive centerpieces for the dinning table.


This year I decided to use very little decorations as my two floral centerpieces are pretty much taken over most of the table.


Once I year I get to bring out my Christmas China.  I really like these plates as they are so festive and it is setting the right vibe for the holidays.


To make it festive, gold chargers are brought out to give a touch of elegance.




I designed a few colorful and festive menus for the special occasion.
Starting the evening with 2 hors d'oeuvres, and then all the guests will sit down for an 8 course dinner followed by 3 desserts.
Tonight is not the night for counting calories!


Table for the young adult.

Jenna, Spencer, Larry, Kristie, Andrew, Kevin, and Nicky.


Starting the evening with two appetizers.


Root Vegetable chips served with a mixture of cured salmon/smoked salmon dip.


Hamachi shooters-Hamachi, radish, been sprout, Ikura in a ginger honey ponzu sauce.


Mark and Alice brought a huge bottle of sake (in the background) and they are great with the Hamachi shooter.


The 1st course is served and wine are poured..


On the left: Mark, Alice, Maily, Tuan - Me in the center

On the right: Khiem, Luong Hien, Cheryl, and Phuc.


Course #1-Crab meat salad on endive.

Click on Link to see preparation


Course #2 -Escargot de Bourgogne, garlic, parsley, butter

Click on Link to see preparation


Course #3: Chestnut soup, savory flan, sautéed mushrooms, croutons

This dish was inspired by our dinning experience at the Plumed horse in Saratoga

Click on LINK to see the dish at the Plumed horse (scroll down a bit)


This soup is rich and very flavorful.  I added the croutons for a bit of crunch, the mushrooms are a nice addition to the dish and the savory flan gave the soup a nice and rich flavor.


Course #3- Soufflé Suissesse is an iconic dish created by the Roux Brothers (Albert & Michel) at their flag ship restaurant the Le Gavroche.

Le Gavroche opened in 1967 and is a British culinary institution like no other. At that time, there was really nothing in Britain so Le Gavroche went on to win Britain’s first Michelin star in 1974. In 1977, it became the first two-star restaurant in the UK, and finally, in 1982, it completed the full circle and became the first restaurant with a three Michelin stars.

Soufflé Suissesse is an ultimate version of an extremely rich dish but it feels light as an air soufflé served in a creamy Swiss-cheese sauce makes. 


Course #5: Thinly layer of homemade cured salmon drizzled with olive oil, lemon juice, chives, and Ikura over toasted bread and foie gras.

This dish is from Le Bernardin, the 3 Michelin stars in New York.  I had this dish when I had a chance to eat there and I like it so I am re-creating the dish tonight.

You can see this dish when we went to Le Bernadin-click here.

After the rich Soufflé Suissesse serving a much lighter dish was a good move.

Underneath the salmon is a toasted piece of bread, smeared with some delicious canned foie gras.   I cannot get Foie Gras anymore in California as it is banned by law.


Course #6: Duck confit charlotte with confit duck gizzard and mushrooms

This dish is rich and decadent and perfect for the holidays.  The duck and gizzards are confit meaning cooked slowly in duck fat and then the meat was shredded.  The mushrooms are pan seared and the all the ingredients are mixed with a reduced port sauce. The bread is brushed with duck fat and then baked until golden brown.


Course #7:Coulibiac with wild caught salmon and wild caught cod filled with saffron rice, creamy onions, mushrooms duxelles and then wrapped in a puff pastry.

Originally from Russia but made popular by August Escoffier, the famed French chef who brough it to France. Coulibiac is considered a grand classic featuring several fillings.  Here it is filled with salmon and Cod with a laywers rice, onions, and mushrooms.

The dish is served with a tomato sauce vierge

Course #8: Roasted guinea fowl with a creamy taragon sauce, spaghetti with garlic, and sautéed Brussels sprouts.



Panna cotta with strawberries jam and cherries.


French Cheese tart-Very light, very airy, and not too sweet.

Click on LINK to see preparation


Beignets with cinnamon sugar

Kevin does not desserts but he likes beignets so this is just for him.


Dessert table.


The wine we drank-forgot to take a picture of the sake bottle.


Hoa, Luong hien, Maily, Annie , Alice, Phuc, Mark, Cheryl, Khiem, and Tuan.

Merry Christmas and happy holidays!


Filed under: BBQ/Thanksgiving/Holidays parties



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