Beef Tenderloin with Arugula and Horseradish Sauce, Baked Brie with Mushrooms and Thyme, Rockin’ Celery, and Chocolate Chunks with Cherries and Pistachios

by Kelly on December 18, 2009

We’re planning to have a few friends over for New Year’s Eve. Instead of coordinating a full sit‐down dinner, I’m planning a spread of bite‐size delicacies. A plate of hors d’oeuvres balanced in one hand with a glass of champagne in the other is my idea of a party — even when it’s just me and Reuben. I make this beef tenderloin recipe often for parties. It’s easy, can be made in advance, and everyone seems to love it. As a word of warning, I’ve never made the other recipes listed but how could molten brie or dark chocolate be bad?

Kristin and I are taking some time off from Dinner du Jour due to the hectic nature of the month. We’ll be back in January with more recipes and photos. We hope you all have a wonderful holiday season and happy new year!

Roast Tenderloin of Beef
adapted from Gourmet

Serves 8

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
4 1/2 lb (2 kg) trimmed beef tenderloin, tied, at room temperature
2 teaspoons cracked black pepper, or to taste
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, or to taste

Preheat oven to 525°F (275°C).

In a large skillet, heat the oil over high heat until smoking. Pat meat dry. Rub with pepper and salt. Sear the tenderloin on all sides until dark brown. Transfer the meat to a rack in a roasting pan. Roast meat for 10 to 20 minutes, or until a meat thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the meat registers 130°F to 140°F (55°C to 60°C) for medium‐rare. Transfer meat to a cutting board and let rest, loosely covered, for 10 minutes. Carve into thin slices for serving. Serve with horseradish sauce, arugula, and rolls for making sandwiches, if desired.

Horseradish Sauce
adapted from Emeril’s New New Orleans Cooking by Emeril Lagasse

2 cups (475 ml) sour cream
1/4 cup prepared horseradish, drained
1 tablespoon minced chives
1 teaspoon Champagne or white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon salt
dash hot red pepper sauce

In a bowl, combine all the ingredients and blend well. Adjust the seasoning, to taste. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

***

Rockin’ Celery
adapted from Pilar Sanchez, Food Network

10 servings

12 celery stalks, peeled
1/2 cup (50 g) pecans
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon melted butter
pinch cayenne pepper
pinch sea salt
8 oz (225 g) cream cheese, softened

Cut the celery into 4‐inch‐long pieces, then slice off a thin edge at the rounded part of the stalk to help them lie flat while stuffing. Place them in a bowl of ice water and refrigerate until ready to stuff.

In a bowl, toss the pecans with the honey, butter, cayenne and salt, making sure the nuts are well coated. Spread on a baking sheet and bake until nuts are toasted, about 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow them to cool completely.

Chop pecans coarsely in a food processor. Add the cream cheese and process until smooth. Remove celery from the refrigerator, drain and dry well. Scrape cream cheese/nut mixture out of the food processor into a pastry bag fitted with a large star tip. Fill each celery boat with a generous amount of the mixture.

***

Baked Brie with Mushrooms and Thyme
adapted from Bon Appétit, March 2009

Makes 6 to 8 servings

1/2 oz (15 g) dried porcini mushrooms
2/3 cup (160 ml) dry red wine
2 tablespoons butter
6 oz (170 g) crimini (baby bella) mushrooms, halved or quartered if large
6 oz (170 g) shiitake mushrooms, stemmed, sliced
2 tablespoons minced shallot (about 1 large shallot)
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
1 x 14‐oz (400‐g) Brie (preferably in wooden box)
1 baguette, cut into 1/4‐inch‐thick slices

Rinse the dried porcini to remove any grit. Place the porcini and wine in a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer over low heat; remove from the heat. Let the porcini soak until soft, about 20 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the porcini to a work surface and coarsely chop. Line a strainer with damp paper towel; strain the wine into a small bowl and reserve.

Melt the butter in a heavy large skillet over medium‐high heat. Add the crimini and shiitakes. Sprinkle the mushrooms with salt and pepper and cook until brown, stirring occasionally, about 8 minutes. Add the shallot and stir until soft, about 1 minute. Add the chopped porcini and strained wine. Boil until almost dry, about 1 minute. Stir in the thyme. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cool.

Remove the Brie from its box, discarding the lid and paper. Using a sharp knife, cut the top rind from the Brie; discard. Return the Brie to its box. (Alternatively, stack two 12‐inch rounds of foil and fold up around bottom and sides of the Brie, crimping foil at edges, leaving top exposed.) Mound the mushroom mixture atop the Brie. DO AHEAD: Can be made 8 hours ahead. Cover and chill. Bring to room temperature before continuing.

Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Place the Brie with the mushrooms on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake until the cheese begins to melt and the mushrooms are warmed through, about 15 minutes. Transfer the Brie in box to a plate. Serve hot with baguette slices.

***

Chocolate Chunks with Cherries and Pistachios
adapted from Katie Brown Celebrates: Simple and Spectacular Parties All Year Round by Katie Brown

6 servings

12 oz (340 g) bittersweet Baker’s chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup (120 ml) whole milk
3 tablespoons of unsalted butter
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup (130 g) shelled pistachios
1 cup (150 g) dried tart cherries

In a large microwaveable bowl, combine the chocolate, milk, butter, and salt. Place the bowl in a microwave and heat on high for 3 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds. Remove and whisk until combined and smooth. (If the chocolate is not completely melted after whisking, return to the microwave for 1 minute and repeat step.)

Stir in the pistachios and cherries. Line the bottom and sides of a 9 x 9‐inch pan with plastic wrap. Pour the chocolate mixture into the pan, scraping bowl, and smooth out evenly. Refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour.

Remove the pan from refrigerator and invert chocolate mixture onto a cutting board. Remove the plastic and cut chocolate with a knife into desired shape and size. Serve at room temperature.

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