Cheesecake with Citrus

This was the third and final course to my Friendmas dinner of 2017.

I originally wanted to make a new chocolate dessert but I do that too often. Then I thought about cheesecake. I had planned this to go with blood orange because it’s perfect for winter but none of the Whole Foods Markets in NYC had blood oranges the weekend of Christmas (I looked and I called) so I had to resort to Cara Cara navel oranges instead. Then, the Whole Foods that I did the majority of my Christmas shopping at was out POM pomegranate juice!!! Because I wanted to dye the juice with pomegranate juice. Argh, the struggles of shopping in NYC…

THEN, when I was making the honeycomb, I accidentally measured the glucose in milliliters instead of grams and that basically fucked up everything. I didn’t want to make it again because I was tired so boo hoo, no honeycomb. The cheesecake by itself was still delicious. The base had enough texture to balance out the creaminess and softness of the cheesecake so all was well.

Here is Cheesecake made of Mascarpone, Cream Cheese, Crème Fraîche, Orange Zest, Lemon Zest, and Grand Marnier, with Streusel on the bottom, and Orange Jelly on top, served with Citrus Sorbet.

Plans for Friendmas 2017

This is actually my first Friendmas dinner party! I haven’t had a Christmas Eve off in six years!!! It’s been a weird year and it’s weird to have both eves on a Sunday.

But since I usually go all out during my Friendsgiving dinner parties, I am going light with this dinner. I came up with this menu in one evening.

Ocean Trout Tartare
Meyer Lemon, Jalapeño, Rice Krispies
(1st course)

Duck with 5 Spice
Celeriac Purée, Pommes Fondant, Shanghai Bok Choy
(2nd course)

Cheesecake with Citrus
Mascarpone Mousse,
Streusel, Citrus Sorbet
(3rd course)

Excited!!

Beet Salad with Citrus

Over the course of my professional culinary career, I’ve made many interpretations of this salad but I feel like this one has been the best photographed.

This Beet Salad is composed of Roasted Red Beets, Beet Purée, Orange Suprêmes, Arugula and Snow Pea Shoots dressed in a Citrus Vinaigrette, Candied Orange Zest, and White Sesame Seeds.

Soft Shell Crab with an Orange Emulsion

Soft shell crab season is almost over. It only tastes good fried. I haven’t found any other way to cook it. Please tell me, if you find a healthier alternative.

This deep fried Soft Shell Crab is served over sautéed Pea Leaves with an Orange Emulsion and Sesame Seeds.

*Side note: whenever I prepare soft shell crab, i.e. cutting off its face and removing its lungs/filters, I will immediately start singing “Les Poissons” from The Little Mermaid.