Hey guys! It’s finally time to share with you my early NYE experience with Carrefour, and I’m so excited. It was an amazing and exciting collaboration, and even though it was a lot of work, it was definitely worth it.
Let’s start by the beginning:
Over a month ago I was invited to celebrate an early New Year’s Eve party with Carrefour in Brussels at Les Filles. We were asked to dress up and to be ready to celebrate 2016 like we should!
I went not really knowing what to expect but I have to say I spent a super fun night with other food bloggers. The food was trully amazing, and set up and decoration as well, and all in all it made a great rehearsal for NYE 2016.
Here are a few pictures taken that night
After that night, Carrefour asked me if I was up to take a challenge: organise my own NYE dinner party with a budget of 200€. It sounded all too exciting to me I had to take the challenge!
First I needed to get organised: when? Every single weekend I had left until the end of the year was fully booked… until a saturday night opened up a few days before, and magically all my friends were free. It took place on saturday 12 december.
Now, WHERE? Because yes of course you’re “supposed” to do it at home, but my home is not really NYE ready knowing that I have a really small kitchen (and no oven – yet!), and we can hardly sit 6 people around my dining table. I had to find another option… And I did! I was able to have my dinner party in a restaurant that will be open soon, which allowed me to use the beautiful, professional kitchen, but also the restaurant! I have to say it added a lot to the experience and the challenge to be able to cook there. (I also had the chance to have a wonderful sous-chef, known as @leptitjunior). Here some sneak peek of the making off
When all that was fixed, I needed to figure out my menu, NOT AN EASY TASK! I wanted to try all sorts of things, of dishes, of drinks… I barely never have to occasion to have such an amazing amount of money to organize a dinner party for my friends.
Here is the final menu
I wanted to have a regularity and a menu that made sense, where all my different dishes would be related somehow. I choose spices and herbs as the common theme.
The amuse-bouche: (see all the recipes below)
- Chips & Roasted red pepper hummus
- Red beet Carpaccio with goat cheese cream
- Salmon tartare with avocado mousse
- Thai meatballs
- Butternut soup with goat cheese cream and bacon chips
- Scallops Carpaccio with hazelnut oil (that was finally taken out of the dinner with various reasons, one of them being that we had already a lot of food to eat!)
- Honey roasted quail with a mushrooms sauce, roasted potatoes and onion rings
- Pumpkin Pie
- Apple Crumble
Cocktails (since I don’t drink wine or champagne):
- Sexy Fig and Lemon Fizz
- The Red Dark & Stormy
Chips & Roasted Red Pepper Hummus
½ cup (71 grams) tahini
¼ cup (56 grams) extra-virgin olive oil
2 (14-ounce) cans (794 grams) chickpeas, rinsed well and drained
1 cup roasted red peppers, rinsed and patted dry (I used 2 red peppers)
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon salt
Pinch of cayenne pepper
3 tablespoons (15mL) lemon juice
Minced parsley, to garnish
Whisk the tahini and olive oil together in a small bowl or measuring cup; set aside.
Process the chickpeas, red peppers (previously cooked in the oven), garlic, salt and cayenne in a food processor until almost completely ground, about 15 seconds, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. With the machine running, add the lemon juice and process for 1 minute. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, then begin processing again and with the machine running, add the tahini mixture and continue processing until the hummus is smooth and creamy, scraping the bowl as necessary, about 15 seconds.
The hummus can be stored in an airtight container (or in a bowl covered with plastic wrap) in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Garnish with parsley before serving.
Red Beet Carpaccio with Goat Cheese Cream
About 4 or 5 cooked red beets
2 cloves garlic
1/2 cup goat cheese (ex: Chavrou)
1/2 cup cream
Salt and Pepper
Cut your red beets in very thin slices (I used a mandolin), and place them on a plate. Place them randomly, and once you’ve covered the plate completely had the next ones on top to create more levels.
Cut the garlic in very small pieces and place them on top of the red beets with some olive oil, salt and pepper.
Let everything marinate for a few hours in the fridge.
A few minutes before taking out the plate from the fridge, mix the goat cheese and the cream together. It will have almost like a mouss texture (add you cream little by little to the goat cheese to make sure to have the perfect texture).
Take the plate out and cute out little round shape pieces of the different level of the red beet carpaccio with a punch (or cookie cutter).
Place it on a small round shaped plate and add the cream on top with a with leaves of parsly.
Salmon Tartare with Avocado Mousse
1 big piece (or 2 smaller pieces) of salmon
2 spring onions
Salt and Pepper
Cut the salmon in very small pieces and do the same with the spring onions, then place everything in a plate. Add the juice of 1/2 lime, a little bit of olive oil and mix everything together. Put the plate in the fridge for 1 hour or so.
During that time you can make your mousse.
In the mixer, put your avocado, the juice of 1,5 lime, the tablespoon of Olive Oil, 2 tablespoon of water, a pinch of Piment d’espelette, salt and pepper, and the cilantro (I like to put quite a lot of cilantro because I love the taste of it, but you can judge yourself how much you want to put in it). Mix it all up.
You can serve this in different ways but I liked to do it in a little verine.
1 Pound Ground Chicken
1 Tablespoon Sesame Oil
1 C. Panko bread crumbs
2 Tablespoon Fresh Ginger, minced
1 Tablespoon Garlic, minced
3 Scallions, minced (white and green parts)
2 Jalapenos, minced
1 teaspoon Salt
1 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
1 Tablespoon Chili Garlic Sauce
1 Tablespoon Lemongrass, finely minced
In a large bowl add all of the above ingredients and mix with your hands until incorporated. Form one inch balls and place onto a cookie sheet. Drizzle a bit of olive oil over the meatballs and cook for about 15 to 20 minutes at 350 degrees or until fully cooked (or use a pan like we did).
Butternut Soup with Goat Cheese Cream and Bacon Chips
1 butternut squash (about 3 pounds), peeled, seeded and cut in 1-inch chunks
1 onion, diced
1 red bell pepper, chopped
8 slices bacon, diced
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
4 slices bacon, diced
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
2 1/2 cups chicken stock, or more, to taste
1/4 cup crumbled goat cheese
2 tablespoons chopped chives
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly oil a baking sheet or coat with nonstick spray.
Place butternut squash, onion, bell pepper and bacon in a single layer onto the prepared baking sheet. Add olive oil and garlic; season with salt and pepper, to taste. Gently toss to combine.
Place into oven and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until butternut squash is tender, stirring at halftime.
Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add bacon and cook until brown and crispy, about 6-8 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate.
Heat a large stockpot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add butternut squash mixture and thyme, and cook, stirring occasionally, until fragrant, about 1-2 minutes; season with salt and pepper, to taste. Stir in chicken stock and puree with an immersion blender.
Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer until slightly thickened, about 5-10 minutes. If the soup is too thick, add more chicken stock as needed until desired consistency is reached.
Serve immediately, garnished with bacon, goat cheese and chives, if desired.
Scallops Carpaccio (canceled)
Honey Roasted Quail
1 quail per person
1/2 olive oil
Salt & Pepper
Mix the honey, the olive oil, sald and pepper together. Then brush all the quail with the honey/oil mixture. Once they’re completely covered, cook them in the oven for 25minutes at 180 C°. And voilà!
Wild Mushrooms sauce
400 gr de champignons sauvages mélangés
200 ml of cream
Salt and pepper
Clean the mushrooms and cut them in similar size. Cook them in butter and season with salt and pepper. Let it cook and add some cream. If the consistency is too liquid, add some corn starch. Season again with salt and pepper if needed, and add some parsly as the final touch.
1kg of potatoes (I choose the ones special for oven bake)
3 tablespoon olive oil
2-3 teaspoons of paprika
1-2 teaspoons garlic salt
Pepper & salt
Rosemary (4 branches)
It’s up to you to leave to skin on or not (I didn’t). Cut the potatoes in little pieces (not too little). Toss the paprika, the garlic salt, the salt&pepper and the olive oil. Mix it all together in the plate with the potatoes (use your fingers). Add two branches of rosemary on top and put it in the oven at 220°C for 30 minutes. Pull it out, mix it all together (rosemary also) and put it back in the oven for another 15 to 20 minutes.
2 cups all-purpose flour, divided
2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon garlic powder
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 1/2 cups (12 ounces) pale ale beer
2 large yellow or Vidalia onions
Vegetable oil, for frying (I used corn oil)
In a large bowl, whisk together 1 1/2 cups of flour with the paprika, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Whisk in the beer until the mixture is well combined. Let the batter rest at room temperature for 10 minutes.
While the batter rests, cut the tip off of the stem side of the onions then remove the peel. Slice the onions horizontally into 1/2-inch-thick rings and toss them with the remaining 1/2 cup of flour.
Add the vegetable oil to a large, heavy-bottomed pot (Dutch oven) to a depth of 2 inches and heat it over medium-high heat until a deep-fry thermometer reaches 375°F. (I did not have a thermometer so I just tried with a little bit of batter to see of the oil was hot enough)
Working in batches, dip the onion rings into the prepared batter, shaking off any excess, then immediately drop them into the hot oil. Be careful not to overcrowd the pot. Allow the onions to cook in the oil, flipping them once to guarantee even browning, for a total of about 3 minutes. Remove the onions with a slotted spoon and transfer them to a paper towel-lined plate. Immediately season them with salt. Repeat the coating and frying process, returning the oil to 375°F between batches, with the remaining onions.
(I completely forgot to take pictures of my desserts so these are photos I found online… It’s cheating I know! But I promise it was almost as pretty!)
500 gr of mashed pumpkin (steam cook your pumpkin and then put it through a sieve to make sure it’s really thin)
420 gr evaporated unsweetened milk
50 – 80 gr of sugar (depending on how sweet you want it)
1 teaspoon of cinnamon powder
1/2 teaspoon of ginger powder
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1 tablespoon of flour
1 puff pastry
In a big bowl, put the mashed pumpkin, the flour, the spices, the sugar, the evaporated milk, the salt and the eggs. Mix everything with a whip.
Grease (with butter) and put flour on a pie pan (relatively high) then place the puff pastry (previously preheated in the oven for 10 to 20 minutes).
Pour the pumkin mix in the pie pan and put it in the oven (preheated at 200 C°). Leave it at 200 C° for 10 minutes then lower the temperature at 160-180 C° for the next 25 minutes. But it can be different depending on the hover you use, the best is to check the cooking: with a knife, put it in, and if it comes out clean, it’s cooked!
Let the pie cool down for a while (in the pie pan). Serve with whip cream (yummy!)
6-7 apples (depends on their size)
3 teaspoons of cinnamon
Peel and cut the apple in little pieces (1-2 cm long and large) put them in the plate. Over that I toss a little bit of sugar and the cinnamon, and mix everything together to make sure the cinnamon is spreaded in the entire plate. In a bowl, put the flour the sugar and the butter (my advice is to let the butter out of the fridge about 30 min before so it’s not too hard. And also cut it in small pieces). Mix them together to create something that looks like sand (kinda thick, but not a paste). Put it on top of the apples and then in the oven for 30 minutes at 210°C.
(I usually put it back in the oven for a little bit before serving it. It’s warm and the apple melted a little more, DELICIOUS!)
Sexy Fig and Lemon Fizz
1/2 Cup Honey
1 Cup Water
1 -2 Sprigs of Fresh Rosemary
4 Tbsp of Fresh Fig Puree (1 Cup Fresh Figs, 2 Tbsp Water and blend until smooth)
5 ml Vodka
2 ml Lime Juice
5 ml Rosemary Honey Simple Syrup (or more if you like a sweeter drink)
Bring honey, water, and rosemary to a boil and then turn off heat. Chill completely. This mixture will keep in the fridge for a month, so feel free to make extra.
In a cocktail shaker combine your fig puree, lemon juice, vodka, and simple syrup and shake well.
Fill two glasses with ice and strain mixture over ice cubes.
Garnish with lemon peel, rosemary sprigs, and a fresh fig (I just used the rosemary)
The Red Dark & Stormy
5 ml Negrita Rum
2 ml Lime Juice
2 ml Cane Sugar Syrup
Muddle raspberries in a cocktail shaker. Add ice, rum, lemon juice, and simple syrup. Shake vigorously and strain into a glass filled with ice. Top with ginger beer.
It was an amazing dinner! Yes it was very hard to move afterwards but I did do the dishes until 3AM…
It was super exciting to be able to organize and cook such an amazing dinner for my friends. To be completely honest I’ve always been more of a “Delhaize” type of girl, but while shopping that day at the Carrefour Hypermarché (the biggest size of Carrefour supermarket – I went to the one in Drogenbos) I was blown away by the choice available. I litteraly found everything I needed, either it was spices, fruits, the meat or the fish,…. I used the self scan to make sure that I wouldn’t spend too much. Perfect organization!
Many Thanks Carrefour, and already Happy New Year everyone!