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“Three be the things I shall never attain:
Envy, content, and sufficient champagne.”

~ Dorothy Parker, ‘Inventory’


New Year's Eve Bash

New Year's Champagne Collection

As stated in 'The Silver Palate Good Times Cookbook'
(Julee Rosso, Sheila Lukins with Sarah Leah Chase,
1985, Workman Publishing),

“ New Year’s Eve is a last chance to be decadent and outrageous
before the moral resolves of the New Year hold sway.”

Amen. In that spirit, we have assembled an appropriately decadent,
totally outrageous menu for your New Year’s Eve bash. It seems only
fitting to begin with an offering from the aforementioned cookbook.


Broiled Oysters with Arugula Purée
and Champagne Sabayon 

Potted Shrimp 

Blanc de Foie Gras aux Huitres 

Potted Ham with Spices and Port 
Filet, Filet, Filet 
François Payard's Opera Cake 
Gigi's Profiteroles au Chocolat (Cream Puffs) 


Broiled Oysters with Arugula Purée
and Champagne Sabayon

The Silver Palate
Good Times Cookbook
by Julee Rosso & Sheila Lukins with Sarah Leah Chase,
1985, Workman Publishing Co., Inc.


“Three elegant flavors with three favorite ingredients – oysters, arugula,
and Champagne. When placed under the broiler with a sabayon, the
oysters resemble miniature soufflés. They are absolutely elegant.”

4 cups arugula leaves (2 bunches), well rinsed, dried
3/4 cup crème fraîche, or heavy or whipping cream
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
4 shallots, finely chopped
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons Champagne
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 egg yolks
24 fresh oysters on the half shell

1. To make the arugula purée, cook the arugula in a large pan of boiling
salted water until tender, 5 to 7 minutes. Drain the leaves in a colander
and refresh under cold running water. Squeeze as much water as possible from the leaves by wringing them with your hands or pressing them
against the side of the colander with a rubber spatula. Place the arugula
and 1/2 cup of the crème fraîche in a food processor fitted with a steel
blade. Process until puréed. Add the lemon juice and salt and pepper to
taste. Process until mixed.
2. To make the Champagne sabayon, heat the shallots and 1 cup Cham-
pagne in a small [nonreactive] saucepan to boiling. Reduce heat and
simmer until all but 1 tablespoon of the Champagne evaporates. Whisk
in the butter, 1 tablespoon at a time, over the lowest possible heat.
(You want the butter to emulsify with the mixture rather than to melt.)
When all the butter has been added, whisk in the remaining 1/4 cup
crème fraîche. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Whisk the egg
yolks and 2 tablespoons Champagne in the top of a double boiler until blended. Then whisk over simmering water until foamy and almost
doubled in volume, 3 to 4 minutes. Gently fold into the butter mixture.
3. Preheat broiler.
4. Loosen the oysters from their shells, check for sand or grit, and return
to the shells. Cover each oyster with 2 to 3 teaspoons of the arugula
purée and then about 1 tablespoon of the Champagne sabayon.
5. Arrange the oysters in a shallow baking dish. Broil 6 inches from the
heat until puffed and lightly browned, 4 to 5 minutes. Serve immediately
with small cocktail forks. As a first course, arrange 3 to 4 oysters per
person on a plate.


Potted Shrimp
Food and Wine Holiday Cookbook
Food & Wine Books, Editorial Director: Judith Hill,
1996, American Express Publishing Corp.


Wine Recommendation:  A rich (but not overly oaky) California
Chardonnay, with its butter and citrus flavors, will do nicely with
the rich taste and texture of the shrimp pâté.

Serves 8

1 1/4 pounds medium shrimp, in the shell
2/3 cup dry white wine
1 clove garlic, bruised
1 bay leaf
4 drops hot-pepper sauce
2 tablespoons minced onion
2 tablespoons minced scallion
2 teaspoons chopped fresh parsley
1/2 teaspoon celery seed
1/2 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon dried thyme
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 egg, beaten to mix
1/2 cup fresh bread crumbs
4 tablespoons butter, melted

1. Cook the unpeeled shrimp in boiling salted water for 1 minute. Then,
when the shrimp are cool enough to handle, peel and devein them.
2. Heat the oven to 350 degrees [F.] and butter a 1 1/2-quart baking
dish. Coarsely chop the shrimp in a food processor or with a knife.
3. In a small saucepan, combine the wine, garlic, bay leaf, and hot
pepper sauce. Bring to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes. Let the
mixture cool and then discard the garlic and bay leaf.
4. In a large bowl, combine the shrimp, onion, scallion, parsley, celery
seed, pepper, salt, thyme, and lemon juice. Stir in the wine mixture,
egg and bread crumbs. Add the melted butter and mix to combine.
5. Spoon the shrimp mixture into the prepared baking dish. Bake until
set, about 30 minutes. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

- Lee Bailey


Blanc de Foie Gras aux Huitres
(Custard of Foie Gras and Oysters)
Bon Appetit Archives

Bon Appetit - One Year Subscription 

1 1/2 pounds chicken livers
(as light-colored as possible)
1 1/2 tablespoons Cognac
1 cup plus 1 tablespoon milk
2 tablespoons Port
5 eggs
Salt and freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 large shallots, chopped
1/3 cup Champagne
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon oyster liquor
1/2 teaspoon minced fresh parsley
3 tablespoons whipping cream
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
Salt and freshly ground pepper
24 oysters, drained and poached in court bouillon
2 large leeks (with small portion of green, well
washed, cut julienne and steamed (garnish)

Combine livers in a medium bowl with enough milk to cover. Gently
stir in Cognac. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Generously butter six 3/4-cup soufflé
dishes. Bring milk to boil in a small saucepan over medium high heat
and reduce to 3/4 cup; let cool.
Meanwhile, warm Port briefly in a small cup over low heat. Remove
from heat and ignite shaking cup gently until the flame subsides.
Drain livers well and pat dry. Transfer to processor. Add milk and Port.
With machine running, add eggs through the feed tube one at a time,
mixing until smooth. Season with salt and pepper. Strain mixture through sieve into bowl. Divide evenly among prepared molds. Transfer molds to
a shallow baking pan. Add enough boiling water to pan to come half-way
up sides of molds. Bake until knife inserted in center comes out clean,
about 40 minutes. Let custard cool 3-4 minutes before unmolding.
Meanwhile, prepare sauce. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a small sauce-
pan over medium-low heat. Add shallot and sauté until tender. Do not
brown. Stir in Champagne, vinegar, oyster liquor and parsley. Increase
heat and cook until the mixture is reduced to 1 1/2 tablespoons. Blend in cream and cook 1 minute. Remove from heat and whisk in butter 1 piece
at a time, making sure each piece is incorporated before adding the next. Season with salt and pepper.
To serve, spoon some of the sauce onto individual plates. Invert molds
over sauce and top with additional sauce. Arrange warm oysters around molds. Garnish with leek julienne. Serve immediately. Serves 6.


Potted Ham with Spices and Port
The Priory Hotel, Bath, England
Gourmet Archives

1 onion, sliced
1 stalk celery, chopped,
2 mushrooms, sliced
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 3/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons
unsalted butter, softened
2 cups minced cooked ham
3/4 cup Tawny Port
1/4 cup lemon juice
3/4 teaspoon grated lemon rind [zest]
3/4 teaspoon grated orange rind [zest]
1/8 teaspoon ground mace
[can substitute nutmeg,
if mace is unavailable]
1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/8 teaspoon ground coriander seed
1/8 teaspoon crumbled dried rosemary
1/8 teaspoon crumbled dried thyme
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
4 ounces Stilton cheese, softened

In a skillet cook the onion, celery, and mushrooms in 2 tablespoons
unsalted butter over moderate heat for 5 minutes, or until the vege-
tables are soft.
In a large bowl combine the vegetables, 1 3/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons softened butter, minced ham, Port, lemon juice, lemon and orange
zests, mace, cardamom, coriander, rosemary, thyme and pepper.
In a food processor [fitted with the steel blade] blend the mixture until
it is smooth.
In a bowl cream together the softened cream cheese and Stilton.
Line a 6-cup oblong mold with foil, spoon in one-third of the ham
mixture, smoothing the top and spread it with half of the cheese
mixture, smoothing the top. Continue to layer the ham and cheese
mixtures in the same manner, smoothing the top of each layer
and ending with a layer of the ham mixture.
Chill the mold, covered, for at least 6 hours. Invert the potted ham
onto a serving plate and discard the foil. [Serve with melba toast,
cocktail rye, assorted crackers or baguette slices.]
Serves 12 as
an hors d’oeuvre.


Filet, Filet, Filet
Standing Room Only –
A Cookbook for Entertaining
1983, New Stage Theatre, Jackson, MS,
Barbara Austin, General Editor


2 pounds filet of beef
1 large onion, chopped finely
1/4 cup celery, including a few leaves, minced
3 cloves garlic, chopped [or more, to taste]
1/4 cup olive oil
1 1/2 cups dry red wine
1 1/2 cups strong beef stock
1 tablespoon parsley, chopped
1 bay leaf

Freeze the beef filet, then slice it thinly. Sauté onion, celery and garlic
in oil until soft and golden. Add wine and stock and simmer slowly until reduced by 1/3. Add parsley and bay leaf. In a deep dish place a layer
of filet. Spoon hot liquid over raw beef. Repeat the layers. Cover and refrigerate for 24 hours or up to 6 days. Serve cold with lots of fresh
parsley. Slices may be cut in half, rolled and fastened with a toothpick
before sprinkling with parsley.

New Year's Eve Bash continued...

More New Year's Eve indulgences:

Beef Tenderloin and Artichoke
Purée on Rye Toasts

Bleu Cheese and Pecan Crackers
Country Pâté
Crabmeat Cheesecakes with Crab Sauce
Crabmeat Mousse
Mushroom Pâté
New Orleans Oyster Shooters
Shrimp and Basil Beignets
Union Square Cafe Bar Nuts
Wild Mushroom and Crab Cheesecake

For more yummy Holiday treats, visit

Holiday Central!
New Year's Celebration
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