Albeit, a bit belated, but still just as heartfelt. As usual, we hosted Christmas dinner at our house for our family. This year, we tried out several new recipes, to our great success.
First, the Appetizers:
Mixed with Old Bay, Italian herbs, celery, celery seed, red bell peppers, scallions, lemon juice, black pepper and mayonnaise, this dish was an explosion of flavor when we first tried it. It was almost too much, and so we were glad the crab salad would be contrasted by the bitterness of the endives. However, we realized that after this dish had a few hours to rest, the flavors calmed down and became a delectable and refreshing h’ours d’oeuvres.
For some more seafood, we also served shrimp cocktail.
Simple, but still classy and tasty.
Our final appetizer was dates stuffed with blue cheese and wrapped in prosciutto.
At the last minute, I stuck these beauties under the broiler for three minutes just to let the cheese melt. Not only was the cheese bubbling, but the prosciutto also became slightly crisp, which added an excellent textural complexity to each bite. Sweet, salty, creamy – this dish had it all!
The Main Course: Beef Tenderloin
To prep the meat, we rubbed butter all over the beef then followed it with freshly ground black pepper and Kosher salt. AND we stuffed sliced garlic into slits in the meat. Surprisingly, the recipe we used (compliments of Ina Garten) called for us to cook the beef at 500 degrees the whole time. Any fears we may have had about overcooking the main event evaporated when we cut into the meat (after letting it rest of course) and saw the perfectly pink center of each cut. Let’s just say, I almost never have seconds of meat, but I could not say no to this perfectly cooked tenderloin.
Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Carrots
Salad: Butter Lettuce with Asian Pear, Pomegranate, and Parmesan
This salad was light and refreshing with an excellent mix of textures as well as sweet and savory elements. We liked it so much, we made it again for tea the following weekend!
I may have been in a bit of a rush and forgotten to take more pictures of the desserts. Nevertheless, here they are:
Pecan Pie (everyone’s favorite, the only non-homemade item), Alexander Brandy Pie (a family tradition), and Rum Cake (my grandfather’s favorite)
And there you have it, another successful holiday family dinner!