New Year’s Chinese Banquet and The Best of 2011

Brian wishes you a totally awesome 2012!

Did you all have a good New Year’s Eve and subsequent New Year’s Day? I hope so, although it was weird having NFL games on the 1st and not the Rose Bowl, am I right? But the Steelers won so all is right with the world.

The exit of 2011 was a good time here at Dinner is Served! Central because there was lots of food and sake and champagne on hand.

My Pap Pap never went out for New Year’s Eve because “that’s when all the amateurs are out.” And I think those are sage words for professional drinkers such as myself.

Cleve was terribly disturbed by the drink drinking dead drink (a Zombie, perhaps?) in my holiday banner.

Therefore, for the 6th or 7th(?) year I chose to forgo parties and ball drops and fireworks and instead stay home and cook an inordinate amount of Chinese food. Don’t ask me exactly why I started this particular tradition but it stuck. Every year I do 8 courses–some are old standbys but I always try to do 1 or 2 new dishes to keep it interesting. Hence, not every dish is Chinese in origin.

I’m not listing the recipes but all of these recipes came from the following cookbooks: The Thousand Recipe Chinese Cookbook by Gloria Bley Miller (this was a christmas gift from my mum this year!), Yan Kit’s Classic Chinese Cookbook, Quick and Easy Korean Cooking for Everyone, and The Asian Grandmothers Cookbook by Patricia Tanumihardja. If there is a recipe that you’re just dying to try,  email me at or ask in the comments section.

I now give you my New Year’s Eve Chinese Banquet…

Steamed and salted edemame (soy bean pods) with marbled tea eggs
Mushroom Soup (reconstituted Shitake mushrooms in homemade stock)
“Seaweed” Deep fried, shredded Napa cabbage leaves tossed with salt, sugar, and almonds
1-2-3-4-5 Sticky Pork Spareribs
Scallion Pancakes with soy-vinegar dipping sauce
Spiced-Salt Prawns: shrimp fried shell-on and tossed with salt, pepper, and five-spice
Deep-fried shrimp-crab spring rolls (frozen). That’s a HoJo’s saucer, btw.
Korean barbecued beef short ribs with kim chee, shredded scallions, and homemade bean sprout salad

Everything was great. In hindsight I would have modified some of the dishes a little bit but as a whole this was an excellent evening and all the food was quite good. I impressed myself with the Korean BBQ dish to be honest.

So 2011 ended on a high note. I received some awfully lovely gifts for the holiday this year. In addition to a set of Global kitchen knives (seriously, I didn’t know how bad my knives were until I got my hands on some proper ones) from my parents, they also bought me a KitchenAid stand mixer. For realsies. A brand new one. It is beautiful and I can’t wait to get it out of the box, which I haven’t done because I don’t have the room for it now. But that brings me to the absolute best gift I got this year: Cleve is going to get rid of the ‘command center’ desk in the space that would be an eat-in kitchen and buy me a DINETTE SET!!!!  When he told me I cried. In a few weeks I will have a proper kitchen. I am so blessed.

Also, my brother got me and Cleve and XBOX 360 which is so rad. Nic, we love you. Although I know that there will be countless hours spent playing Deadly Premonition. 

An epilogue to 2011:

Since the inaugural year of Dinner is Served! is done,  I asked Cleve to reflect on all of the dishes, dinners, delights, and disasters that I’ve force-fed him this past year. I’ll let him take it from here…

The best thing about Emily starting this blog and cooking the various Dinner is Served recipe cards has been that I have gotten to eat a ton of delicious 70s fare, most of which has been really, really good (the less said about tuna cheese macaroni loaf, the better). At Emily’s request, here are my top 5 favorite recipes (so far).

 5. #86 – Meat Balls in Cold Sauce – Everything about this meal was great. The meat balls were excellent, the corn casserole was delicious, and it was our first DiS! field trip. Normally a guy would have mixed feelings about his special lady meeting up with men she meets on the internet, but Bob and Keith were wonderful hosts.

 4.#110 – Filled Omelets – Eggs? Good. Ham? Good. Champagne? Good. We enjoyed this meal with our good friends Dan and Jon and, as a Democrat, it is my solemn duty to thoroughly enjoy brunching with gay couples.

 3. #16 – Pennsylvania Baked Spareribs –  How can you possibly go wrong stuffing fruit into meat? You can’t. You just can’t.

 2. #17 – Beef Lindstrom – This was one of the first DiS! cards Emily did and one of the best. The meat had a strange sausage-y taste, which leads me to suspect this would make a great breakfast.

 1. #41 – Fruit Stuffed Pork Loin – The very first DiS! meal, so there is some sentimental attachment to this one. As for the taste, see #3 above.

So there you have it. Cleve’s picks. And as a note, the Beef Lindstrom did make a good breakfast. I did a brunch with some of the leftover patties that I froze.

And since I asked him to pick his favorites, I’m giving you my top 5 of the set so far as well (in no particular order):

#16 Pennsylvania Baked Spareribs So good. So, so, so good. Fruit + Pork = love.

#43 New England Boiled Dinner This was tasty. I am a fan of corned beef. Plus I used Clamato juice and talked conspiracy theory.

#6 Deviled Rock Lobster Tails Not only were these delicious but they were so pretty. I really upped the presentation skills on this one. And Nic Cage is involved.

#80 Tuna on Toasted English Muffins This dinner had to be included because #80 made canned tuna edible. I ate tuna and I liked it. Magic!

#13 Marinated Lamb Roast   The reasons I included #13 are as follows: I love lamb. I crafted frickin’ pea cups from hollowed out oranges. It was X-Files themed and it gave me a reason to post the infamous David Duchovny tea cup photos. And by mentioning said photos I have an excuse to post them yet again.

Oh, Mulder. Bless your heart.

So on that note, Happy New Year, darlings! I wish you nothing but the best. And I hope that you keep reading DiS! in 2012 because there are a lot of weird and wonderful dinners left to serve.

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14 Responses to New Year’s Chinese Banquet and The Best of 2011

  1. Elly says:

    This looks wonderful! I went to a house party for NY – a tapas-themed potluck. So much fun, so much chorizo! Happy New Year to you and I look forward to seeing what you cook in 2012.

  2. Dillon says:

    He’s taking down the command center AND you got a KitchenAide Mixer! Hot damn. That is fantastic! Merry Christmas, my sweet!
    (PS maybe next year I will have to come to B’more and have Chinese on new years. Everything looked DELICIOUS)

    • Dillon says:

      PS Tell me they got you the Avocado Green KitchenAide. If I was getting you a mixer, it’d totally be the throwback Avocado…

    • Yinzerella says:

      Consider yourself and the mister invited.

      • Dillon says:

        I have used that very table for a show. It is both sturdy, and easy to clean, and the chairs really do nest under it as completely as they claim. You would have like that show… Did they get you the 650w 6qt bowl lift pro series or the tried and true 5qt tilt head mixer. Can you tell I have been researching this? I will have to send you a pic of some of the gems my mama passed along to me.

        • Yinzerella says:

          Since I don’t have a place to put the mixer yet I haven’t even opened the box. I don’t know what kind. I just know that it came with the bowl and 3 attachments.
          Good to know about the IKEA dinette set. I will take your review into consideration.

  3. Godzilaw says:

    Thanks for the David Duchovny picture — always makes me giggle! And Happy New Year! Your feast looks AMAZING — would you please share the recipes for the sticky pork spareribs and 5 spice shrimp? And thanks for writing your blog — discovering DiS has been a highlight of my 2011!

  4. Stephanie B says:

    Congrats on your new kitchen space! 2012 is looking up! And Santa also brought me a KitchenAid stand mixer, in addition to a brand new set of Calphalon pots and pans and a chef jacket that says “Stephanie, Executive Chef, Kosak Kitchen”. I think they’re trying to send us a message: “Get back in the kitchen”.

    • Yinzerella says:

      Did you seriously get a chef’s jacket? That’s a riot.
      I now expect you to be turning out professional quality food. And you should host a playoff party so you can show off all of your new stuff 🙂

  5. Looks AWESOME! The food that is. If you’re taking requests, I’d love to see the recipes for the sticky spareribs and the tea eggs….

  6. The food looks dee-licious! Happy New Year! Sounds like you had a great Christmas haul, too. I literally laughed out loud when I read “…as a Democrat, it is my solemn duty to thoroughly enjoy brunching with gay couples.” That’s our policy, too! I don’t play video games, but I’m always so proud of my husband when he dresses down some twelve-year-old for using homophobic or racist slurs when he plays online. I love my bleeding-heart liberal!

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