We've got a few more weeks of December to go, but the year-end roundups have already begun -- and why not, right? Of course there's more eating to do, but there's plenty of previous eating to choose from. Like I did last year, I'm going to split things up into a few different lists. Without further ado, my 10 favorite bites of the year, made here at home:
- Spicy calamari with bacon and scallions. Simple to make, super-delicious, what's not to love? Well, unless you keep kosher.
- Dulce de leche ice cream. Rich and rich and rich.
- Blueberry boy bait. Buttery and moist, one of the best cakes I've ever had, and simply perfect for sharing. The highest and best use of blueberries, in my humble opinion.
- Cheddar shortbread. (The only repeat from last year, but just too glorious to skip.)
- Portuguese green beans. More delicious than you'd ever think green beans plus garlic plus cilantro could be. Bonus points: easy do-ahead for parties.
- Scallops with cauliflower puree. I love a good scallop, and my favorite way to serve them is browned just right, sauced lightly with vermouth and butter, and served over this rich-tasting-but-good-for-you cauliflower puree, which only has a little butter and no cream at all. Practically health food!
- Fig crostini. Sometimes, all it takes to make a delicious bite is a) good shopping and b) good assembly. I toasted thin slices of walnut bread from Bouchon Bakery, spread them with peppered goat cheese, and lay superthin slices of Brown Turkey figs over the top. Done and done. And then scarfed.
- Celery salad with dates, walnuts, and pecorino. Summer salads are easy. Winter salads are more of a challenge. But this one is good any time of year, not to mention just plain good. Kicked it up a notch with a vinaigrette of sherry vinegar and walnut oil from Garces Trading Company.
- Homemade duck prosciutto. Self-explanatory.
- Fingerling potatoes browned in duck fat. Hm, looks like I never posted about this one... no time like the present! No trick to it, really: you halve the potatoes, put them in the pan with the duck fat, turn on the heat, grab your tongs, and wait patiently for the perfect shade of toasty brown to appear.
Stay tuned this week for my favorite restaurant dishes of the year, as well as some miscellaneous bites that didn't fit either of the other lists. (Pies-N-Thighs chicken biscuit, anyone?)