When you're entertaining for the holidays, it is so, so important to make it easy. Yes, it must, of course, be amazing and special, but make sure it is something that is simple! Sound like a challenge? This menu is both. This was THE most popular menu I prepared as a caterer - which I loved because it was soooo easy.
Holiday Dinner Party
Petite Crab Cakes with Red Pepper Remoulade
Baked Brie with Caramelized Pecans & Crackers
Beef Tenderloin with Warm Blue Cheese Cream Sauce
Roasted Truffled Potatoes
Brussels Sprouts with Pancetta
Poached Pears in Wine & Spices
Coffee with Whipped Cream
Beef Tenderloin may sound intimidating, but it is really the easiest thing you can make for a crowd at a dinner party. Top it with a blue cheese cream sauce to make it even more special. Both of the sides, Roasted Truffled Potatoes and Brussels Sprouts with Pancetta, are roasted in the oven on baking sheets at the same temperature just before dinner, making them so simple to prepare.
All of the menu items in this menu can be prepped ahead of time, then put in the oven during cocktail hour. All you'll have to do before dinner is slice the beef and put everything onto platters or plates. Below I've included the timeline I would use for this party. It always helped me to have it written out for me ahead of time, so everything would be on auto pilot during the party.
6:50 pm : Preheat oven to 500 degrees
7:00 pm : Guests Arrive! Cocktails & Light Hors D'oeuvres
7:15 pm : Beef Tenderloin - goes into 500 degree oven for 20-25 minutes
7:35 pm : Check/Remove Beef Tenderloin
7:35 pm : Lower Oven heat to 425 degrees
7:40 pm : Truffled Potatoes go into 425 degree oven for 15-20 minutes
7:45 pm : Brussels Sprouts go into 425 degree oven for 10-15 minutes
7:50 pm : Slice Beef Tenderloin
7:55 pm : Remove Potatoes & Brussels from oven
8:00 pm : Plate & Serve!