Thursday, December 31, 2009

New Year's Eve Dinner for 2

Cranberry-Orange Glazed Pork Chops
Sauteed Green Beans with Pears

Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Warm Chocolate Melting Cake

Dusty and I have a tradition of staying in on New Year's Eve and cooking a yummy dinner to eat with a fire crackling in the fireplace. I thought I would share this year's menu and recipes with you so that you can enjoy them too! All of the recipes have steps that can be done hours before dinner to minimize dish washing and last minute prep work. I made most of the dishes beforehand to eliminate the stress of timing everything perfectly.

Cranberry-Orange Glazed Pork Chops
(2 servings, but the glaze is enough for 4-6 servings)

1 can cranberry sauce that I'm sure you have laying around from Christmas
1/4 cup Orange Juice
About 1/4 cup dried cranberries (optional)
1/4 cup chopped pecans
2 pork chops
Lemon Chicken Seasoning (or 1/2 tsp dried oregano)

Combine first four ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a simmer (you can add more or less OJ to achieve desired thickness). Season glaze with salt and pepper (about 1/4 tsp. of each). Dry pork chops thoroughly with a paper towel. Season them well with salt and pepper and lemon chicken seasoning if you have it, if not, oregano will do the trick. Sautee in EVOO until both sides are nicely browned and transfer to a pan lined with aluminum foil (to eliminate mess). Pour about 1/2 of the glaze over chops, reserving the rest for plating. At this point you could stop and put the chops and remaining glaze in the fridge to bake later. Bake at 350 until pork chops are cooked thoroughly. Plate and pour remaining glaze over chops. The remaining pan drippings make perfect gravy for mashed potatoes.

Sauteed Green Beans with Pears
(2 servings)

1 Pound of Fresh Green Beans

1 Medium Pear

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp sugar

I know this recipe sounds really strange, but trust me, it's DELISH! Wash green beans and trim the stems off, leaving them whole. Blanch them in boiling water for about 2-3 minutes or until they reach a bright green color. If you don't know what blanching is, all you have to do is boil them and then immediately drop them in a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking process. Slice pear and sprinkle with lemon juice to keep from browning. You can stop at this point and refridgerate to cook later if desired. Sautee beans and pear seasoned with salt, pepper, cinnamon and sugar in EVOO until crisp-tender.

Warm Chocolate Melting Cake, or as we like to say, WCMC
(2 servings)

1/2 cup unsalted butter

4 ounces semisweet chocolate (I used a Hersheys Special Dark Bar)


1/4 cup sugar

Pinch of salt

2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
Powdered Sugar

Melt butter and chocolate in a double boiler and remove from heat. Beat eggs, sugar and salt with a hand mixer in a medium bowl until sugar dissolves. Beat chocolate into egg mixture until smooth. Beat in flour until just combined. (Batter can be made a day ahead; return to room temperature an hour or so before baking.) Heat oven to 450 degrees. Spray a soufle dish with nonstick spray and pour batter into dish. Bake until batter puffs but center is not set, 8 to 10 minutes. Top with powdered sugar and serve it while it's hot! (not that you would be able to wait) Compeletely forgot to photograph this, it was too YUM!

I also made the mashed potatoes ahead of time adn reheated them at dinner time. The grapes are a tradition that Dusty passed on to me from his family. You have to eat 12 grapes and make a wish for the new year with each one.

Hope you all had a wonderful New Year's Eve. May God bless you and your families in 2010!

Lots of Love,



Its So Very Cheri said...

It sounds delish and congrats on the new camera