Elegant Dinner Party Menu
From ultratender beef tenderloin with an indulgent cognac butter to a silky carrot mash, this meal can be the centerpiece for some brilliant holiday entertaining.
- Crisp Autumn Serenade
- Oysters with Bacon Mignonette
- Roast Beef Tenderloin with Cognac Butter
- Carrot Mash with Crème Fraîche
- Shredded Brussels Sprouts with Slow-Fried Shallots
- Triple-Chocolate Cheesecake
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Crisp Autumn Serenade
This cocktail brings together the seasonal flavors of apples, pears, ginger, and maple. Bourbon gives it a bit of bite and backbone. (For a sweeter, richer version, you could use a dark rum, like Plantation Grande Reserve or El Dorado 5-year.) You'll make more of the tangy ginger-maple syrup than you need for the recipe; save the remaining syrup for other cocktails or to sweeten and spice up tea or mulled wine.
Oysters with Bacon Mignonette
This indulgent appetizer was a staff favorite at tasting. Made with champagne vinegar and seasoned with fresh dill and crushed peppercorns, these oysters pack a flavorful punch.
Roast Beef Tenderloin With Cognac Butter
Using tenderloin, a leaner cut of steak, allows you to indulge in a flavored butter topper. You'll only use half of the cognac butter, but make all of it—cutting the amount in half doesn't work as well. Use the leftover butter within the week, on pasta or over fish, or freeze up to one month; bring to room temperature before serving.
Carrot Mash with Crème Fraîche
Simmered carrots are lightly buttered, but a bit of tart cream adds an extra-silky richness. We like the smooth texture you get from pureeing in a food processor; if you prefer a chunkier texture, use a potato masher. Garnish with green onions for added color.
Shredded Brussels Sprouts with Slow-Fried Shallots
This recipe takes richness to a new level with the crunchy fried topping. Slow-frying allows the shallots to brown and crisp evenly without any burned pieces.
Triple Chocolate Cheesecake
This dessert gets well-rounded chocolate richness from three sources: chocolate graham crackers in the crust, plus intense cocoa powder and luscious milk chocolate in the filling.