I received a wonderful birthday present this year...three cooking lessons with a private Chef. Her name is Rebecca Clark and she comes from the Northeast so it was a great match. Check out her website. http://www.beckycooks.com/
-Romaine hearts with sliced pear, maytag bleu cheese and toasted pumpkin seeds, finished with a cider vinaigrette
-Pan Seared Halibut Steak with a shallot and port wine reduction
-Roasted asparagus with shallots
-Molten Chocolate Cake with Vanilla ice cream
Raw pumpkin seeds
Roast in at 350 degress F in a baking dish until toasted.
Use a 1:3 or 1:4 ratio of vinegar to oil (according to your taste). Combine vinegar, mustard, salt and pepper and then slowly pour in oil to emulsify.
Put olive oil and butter in a heavy( not non-stick) skillet that has been heated. Season the fish and then pan sear until crusted on both sides. Don't move fish in the pan during this process. Finish in a roasting pan in the oven.
Port wine reduction sauce
1 small shallot or half of a large one
2 cups Port
1 Table Spoon Champagne vinegar
2 Table Spoon Brown sugar
Pinch of salt
Fresh ground pepper
Using the same pan that you pan-seared the fish, saute the shallot, deglaze the pan with the port, whisk in vinegar, brown sugar and salt and pepper and reduce until syrupy.