For New Year's Eve, Craig and I prefer to stay at home. I try to make something a bit on the fancy side, where we can safely drink a bottle of champagne or wine. I'm not ashamed to admit that we're usually asleep by 10:00pm, after watching the East Coast pre-recorded Times Square stroke of midnight. Yeah, we're living "La Vida Loca".
Secrets of a Restaurant Chef. I love her quirky blonde hair, and her zany way of teaching. In one episode, Anne made Cornish Game Hens with Pomegranate Molasses. I taught myself how to make Pomegranate Molasses, last year (and it's super easy, by the way).
I've never made Cornish Game Hens, and I'm not sure why. I saw them at Whole Foods, and that made choosing my New Year's Eve menu pretty simple.
I asked the butcher to remove the spine so that the hens would be butterflied. I'm not gonna lie-- this kinda creeped me out.
I felt a little bit better, once I tied the legs together. I hate to burst anyone else's bubble, but I didn't stop to think about what a Cornish Game Hen really is, until now. It's a chicken, that's no more than five weeks old. Here I thought it was some fancy miniature poultry. Oh well, these were ready to be pan seared and roasted.
First, I poured some of my homemade molasses into a pan, with some smashed garlic, on medium heat.
I was sorely tempted to make Anne's Israeli Couscous with dried apricots and pomegranate arils. However, my husband isn't crazy about couscous, but he loves Brussels Sprouts. I remembered a recipe I had made, last year, for Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Pomegranate Molasses and Vanilla Pecan Butter. I wanted to tie in the Pomegranates, so this seemed the perfect choice. I decided not to make the Vanilla Pecan Butter, though. Instead, I added the zest of lime, lemon and orange-- and it smelled so bright and lovely.
Happy New Year, for the Love of my Life. I presented to him the Cornish Game Hen and his favorite vegetable.
VERDICT: The dinner looked fancy, with a candle lit table and soft music. I have no idea why, but seeing that little bird on my plate was unsettling. I could envision it with the feathers, and I felt like I was killing someone's baby. This is a very strange feeling, considering I am a carnivore-- and occasional "flexitarian". I couldn't eat the little legs! Flavor-wise, the bird was moist and flavorful. Craig ate the whole bird, without any problem. The Brussels Sprouts turned out to be my favorite part of the meal. I'm the one who's a bit underwhelmed by this veggie, but the citrus zest and molasses was perfect. I loved the crunch of the tart pomegranate arils. As far as the work involved, it was no more difficult than a typical work night dinner.
Would I make a Cornish Game Hen again? Probably not. But, they do make a fancy presentation, but they're a bit pricey. I'm posting Anne's recipe at the end of this post, and the recipe for the Brussels Sprouts.
Six years of marriage, and I still feel like we're on our honeymoon.
My husband will probably feel embarrassed, but I wanted to share a couple of photos from today.(Sorry, Sweetie, but I love this photo of you.)
The Famous Lone Cypress Tree, Pebble Beach
It's our sixth wedding anniversary, and we spent the afternoon having lunch at Spanish Bay, in Pebble Beach (California). It was a warm and gorgeous day, so I couldn't resist taking a few photos of one of the most famous places on the planet.
If you've never visited here, I hope you do. If you have, then you know how blessed I feel to call this home.
Craig caught me tweeting photos on Instagram. (I cut my hair even shorter!)
Tomorrow, we are headed to San Francisco, for a few days of sightseeing and good eats!
Happy New Year!