2011 New Year’s Eve Dinner Party

January 06th, 2011  | Category: Friends, Memoir/Meme/Misc.

2011 New Year's Eve Dinner Party

New Year’s Eve Dinner Party at The Mansion (my friends’ place) has been a tradition for over ten years now. I have had the pleasure of sharing this feast with my dearest friends for quite some time and have been sharing photos from the dinner table for the last three years.

After all these years, I can’t even imagine being somewhere else on New Year’s Eve. A huge, succulent bird cooked to perfection, stuffing, gravy, carrots sweetened with honey, always a huge piece of meat for those who don’t prefer turkey, two humongous green salads, stuffed vine and cabbage leaves, artichokes in olive oil, rice pilaf with roasted almonds, and a dessert table that can feed an army. Now, I also can’t imagine eating anything else, but I have to admit, the photos get boring after three years. So this year, I decided to document our dinner table in black & white. Hope you like the photos.

Below is the photo gallery with notes and then a recipe for Gougères Stuffed with Crème Fraiche and Gorgonzola Cream. Enjoy!


Picture 1 of 31

This was actually the second new year's eve without Ralph. Hard to accept, but life goes on. Meet the new member of the mansion: Koko.

If you’d like to take a look at photos from previous years:



For 50 gougères (Pâte à choux):

  • 1 cup water
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1+1/4 cups (175 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 6 ounces aged Gouda (or Gruyère) cheese, grated finely

For Crème fraiche and Gorgonzola cream:

  • 3,5 ounces Gorgonzola cheese
  • 1+3/4 cups crème fraiche (or heavy cream)


  1. To prepare the gougères, preheat your oven to 375 F.
  2. Bring water, butter and salt to a boil in a heavy bottomed medium saucepan over high heat.
  3. Add the flour all at once, lower the heat to medium low and stir with a wooden spoon until a light crust forms (in order to spot this crust, a non-stick pan is not recommended as a crust will never form) on the bottom of the pan. Keep stirring for 5 more minutes to dry the dough. Take off heat.
  4. Add the eggs, one by one, while beating the dough until it is shiny and thick after each addition (this step requires quite a bit of elbow grease, so switching to a stand mixer with the paddle attachment is highly recommended). Once all the eggs have been incorporated, add the grated cheese and beat until completely incorporated. The still-warm dough should be used immediately.
  5. Spoon the dough into a pastry bag fitted with a plain 3/4-inch tip and pipe out 1 tablespoon-sized balls on two baking sheets lined with parchment paper, making sure to leave about 2 inches of puff space between them. Smooth the tops with a wet finger as necessary.
  6. Bake for 12 minutes, rotate pans front to back and top to bottom and continue baking for another 13 minutes (total baking time is 25 minutes) until the gougères are golden, firm and puffed. Transfer the gougères to a rack and let cool. Repeat with remaining dough.
  7. To prepare the crème fraiche and Gorgonzola cream, crumble the Gorgonzola into the mixing bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, spoon the crème fraiche on top and whip until almost doubled in volume and thickened. Spoon the cream into a pastry bag fitted with the smallest star tip (so it can easily pierce the dough ball) you can find and fill each gougère with a teaspoon of cream.
  8. Serve immediately.
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  1. 1 - A Plum By Any Other Name on January 6th, 2011

    It sounds like you had another Thanksgiving to usher in the new year. (How bad could that be?!) What a great idea to combine creme fraiche and gorgonzola to pipe in! Looking forward to more culinary fun in 2011!

  2. 2 - KeLLy Ann on January 6th, 2011

    What a lovely dinner!
    I really like the black and white photos, too.
    Happy New Years!

  3. 3 - Artemis on January 7th, 2011

    It seems you had a great time this year as well! I wish you have such nice moments with friends and beloved ones all next years to come!
    Have a healthy and creative 2011!

  4. 4 - Karen on January 7th, 2011

    What a lovely party. I was so sad to learn that Ralph died. I was just admiring him a few weeks ago. What a beautiful soul. Coco is adorable as well.

    Happy New Year and I hope all of you enjoy many more to come at the mansion with Coco.

  5. 5 - Shaun on January 9th, 2011

    Happy New Year, Cenk!

    Lovely photos – yes, even still in black and white. I am not a gorgonzola fan but do so how it is a foil to the airy, buttery gougeres.

    Sorry to hear about Ralph; he looked like a sweet dog.

    All the best for 2011,

  6. 6 - Kruzon on January 21st, 2011

    What a wonderful way to spend New Years Eve!

  7. 7 - Tina on January 22nd, 2011

    The best thing really about parties is the foods and including wine. It is already a tradition for us to get together to welcome New Year and it will never be complete with this kind of delicious foods. Great celebration.

  8. 8 - Suzanne on January 28th, 2011

    What a feast! Yumm!

  9. 9 - Ned's Mom on June 9th, 2011

    Cenk-Do you know/are you a friend of Ansel Mullins
    (Istanbul Eats)?

  10. 10 - Cenk on June 13th, 2011

    Ned’s Mom – I haven’t met him, but I’m familiar with his blog.

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