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Thread: My Holiday Dinner Menu for 12/10/05 (Opinions)

  1. #1
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    My Holiday Dinner Menu for 12/10/05 (Opinions)

    I'm having my holiday dinner this Saturday for DH's family. There will be 12 of us. Here is my menu:

    Caesar Salad
    Sausage, fennel Soup (similar to Olive Garden's House Soup)
    Roasted Tenderloin with Merlot Shallot Sauce (Made this last year and loved it)
    Twice Baked Potatoes
    Barefoot Contessa's Spinach Gratin (making for the first time)

    Dessert:

    Double Chocolate Kahlua Cake (Cake Mix Doctor)
    White Chocolate Charlotte Rousse (Easy Entertaining, Southern Living)


    *** I'm planning on serving the soup and salad together. I'm thinking if I serve the salad right before the dinner will the caesar dressing clash with the gruyere cheese in the gratin or am I thinking too much about this???

    **** Can I sear the tenderloin well before finishing in the oven??? I also can't remember what I cooked the tenderloins in. Last year I cooked 2 4 pounds tenderloins. I'm thinking I did them on a rimmed sheet pan because I didn't cut them.

    I'm stressed! Also, I lost my cousin, age 53 tragically in a house fire this week so I'm really in a fog. Any opinions would be appreciated.

  2. #2
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    29 views and no opinions????

  3. #3
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    I am so sorry to hear about your cousin. That is such a tragedy near the holidays.

    I will tell you what I think after you post that yummy-sounding tenderloin recipe

    It does sound very good. I love Olive Garden's soup and I don't think your salad will clash with your main dish. It sounds wonderful!
    Michelle

  4. #4
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    So sorry about your cousin. How tragic especially at this time of year.

    Your menu sounds wonderful. I'm think about trying the spinach gratin also this year.
    Sue

    Women are Angels
    And when someone breaks our wings, our spirit, or our hearts...
    We simply continue to fly.........
    on a broomstick...
    We are flexible like that ....

  5. #5
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    Hi, Leonard! I am really sorry to hear about your cousin. My sympathy to you and your family. It must be pretty hard to focus on your dinner with an event like that in your life. I am sure your dinner will be fine, though. Your menu sounds delicious!

    I am the last person to give advice about roasting meat , but I think your soup and salad would be fine as a first course if you want to serve it that way or as separate courses. I can't really imagine the dressing and the gratin clashing, especially since the spinach is being served with other dishes and you are planning to serve the salad separately. It sounds like a lovely meal.

    Hope you have a wonderful time with DH's family!
    kathyb


    Less rhetoric, more cowbell!

  6. #6

    Thumbs up Sounds good to me!

    Your menu sounds good to me. I usually cook tenderloin in my oven broiler pan - this is a beef tenderloin, right? By all means, sear the tenderloin before baking. That caramelization adds so much to the flavor. All of these dishes can be prepared, at least partially, ahead of time so you can enjoy your guests.

    Sorry about the loss of your cousin.
    Dorothy aka Martha

    Somewhere over the rainbow...

  7. #7
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    My thoughts and prayers go out to your family on the loss of your cousin.

    I think your menu sounds outstanding! Good luck with your dinner!
    Write your hurts in sand, carve your blessings in stone.

  8. #8
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    Leonard, I think your menu sounds yummy. I'd be honored to come to your house for dinner anytime! If you feel up to it, please post the tenderloin recipe; it looks intriguing.

    Please accept my condolences on the loss of your cousin. I can only imagine what a difficult time this must be for you right now.

  9. #9
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    Leonard, I think that menu sounds great, nice compliment of flavors! I agree about searing the meat, and I would love to see a recipe for the Merlot sauce!

    My sympathies over the loss of your cousin. Getting together with DH's family is a good idea right now, hope they provide support.
    "If you aren't living on the edge, you're taking up too much space."

  10. #10
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    Sorry to hear about the loss of your cousin.

    You menu sounds wonderful. Does the tendorloin recipe happen to be from the RSVP section of Gourmet from last year. It sounds similar to one that I make. You've covered all your bases . .. hope it turns out yummy!

  11. #11
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    Leonard, I'm very sorry to hear of the loss of your cousin.

    As for your menu, I think it sounds fabulous. I wouldn't worry at all about the gruyere clashing with the Caesar salad. I'm sure everything will be delicious.
    Kristal


    Saving just one dog won't change the world, but it surely will change the world for that one dog.

  12. #12

    Cool

    My condolences on your loss.

    Insofar as the menu is concerned, I wouldn't worry about the clashing of salad and veggie. What DOES bother me a bit is that you've got a lot of rich food together-- the Caesar dressing, the potatoes, the gratin-- all of which are lovely and I certainly wouldn't change, but you might want to break it up by adding something very simple-- another veggie which is simply sauted or steamed, allowing its natural flavor to shine through-- to sort of counter all the richness.

    I'm also thinking I'd make a dessert with fruit (pie, tart, cake, what-have-you) instead of two rich chocolate desserts.

    Am not familiar with the tenderloin recipe offhand, but searing the meat first usually seems to enrich the sauce, crust the meat a bit and improve overall results. I'd think it'd be a good thing, but again, I'm not familiar with the recipe...

  13. #13
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    Leonard, your menu sounds incredible. Christmas is one of the times that special, indulgent meals are so worth it. I would love to be a guest at this meal!

    So sorry for your loss. God bless.

    Denise
    "If you're lucky enough to live in the mountains, you're lucky enough."

  14. #14
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    your menu sounds fine. like the other posts, I don't think you need to worry about clashing tastes.

    Sorry to hear about your loss. The best advice I ever received in a time of trouble was "Be kind to yourself". I'll pass that on to you. It helped me a great deal.

    I know cooking can be therapy for people, but if the meal is really stressing you out, perhaps simplify or enlist help to take some of the pressure off. Again, "Be kind to yourself".

  15. #15
    Yum, your menu sounds like a winner to me . I do agree with Gail that you might be just a teensey bit heavy on the rich dishes. When I plan a menu I look not only for balance of heavy/light but also with an eye for color. With that in mind I would sub sweet potatos with five-spice butter that I just saw in the Jan Bon Appetit instead of the twice baked potatos. They would be colorful and sweet/spicy with a bonus of being easier to prepare than the twice baked. You just "roast sweet potatoes at 425 until soft, about 50 minutes. Split in half lengthwise then dot with salted butter. Sprinkle with Chinese five-spice powder and freshly grated orange peel - the real secret ingredient here. (IMHO)
    I would also try to add something tart and/or tangy as Gail suggested. Some good ones might be cranberry relish. or my personal favorite orange segments marinated in Captain Morgan spiced rum. You can make this ahead of time...it gets better the longer it sits. You peel and chop oranges then pour rum over cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. Stir or shake once in awhile. You might want to reserve some w/o rum for those who don't imbibe. Most people would probably serve this as a dessert dish but I like something like this with my meal as a side dish.
    Finally, how sad about your cousin. Would you feel comfortable starting the meal with a toast to him or her?
    "When you are in love with someone you want to be near him all the time, except when you are out buying things and charging them to him." Miss Piggy

  16. #16
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    I'm sorry to hear about your cousin.

    I just wanted to say that you are really going to like the spinach gratin. We made that one year for Christmas and it was GREAT!

    Enjoy the time with family.

  17. #17
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    Looks like a festive holiday menu to me! Not sure if this is what you were looking for, but I would probably serve a different soup: maybe something lighter and that wouldn't result in two meat courses.
    I'm quite sure I've read that you can sear a tenderloin earlier in the day and finish in the oven later, though I've never prepared one myself. I think that came from Sara Moulton?
    Good luck - it sounds like a lovely meal, and certainly harder to pull off when your heart's in another place. So sorry about your cousin!

  18. #18
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    Thanks to all of you for your condolences. It means so much!!! I already made my soup today. DH is insisting on the stuffed potatoes!! His family are huge eaters and love the meat and potatoes!!!!!!! I am going ahead with the spinach gratin but also decided on steamed carrots. I hope they all enjoy the dinner because I've put so much effort into it. The night of my dinner is the same night of my cousin's service which I won't be able to attend. We don't fly home till Monday. My thoughts and heart will be with her. I think I will toast her. I will post a review on Sunday.

    Thanks again for all your support!!!!!!!!!

  19. #19
    Leonard, I'm so sorry to hear about the loss of your cousin.

    On the menu, you know best what you're family likes, so if you can get away with the heavier stuff, go for it. It certainly is the season for indulging. Instead of steamed carrots, how about trying Roasted Carrots? Delicious and very simple to make.

    Have a great time!
    Visit my website (mostly cooking, with life thrown in for good measure):
    http://www.sweetnicks.com

  20. #20
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    My dinner was a huge success!!!!!! Everyone arrived one time and we started with some appetizers. We had a tray of assorted cheeses, pepperoni & crackers. Also a huge tray of shrimp cocktail. My soup was fabulous!! This year I went to Costco and couldn't find the size whole tenderloins that I wanted so we settled on 2 tenderloin butts. The butcher assured me they were just as tender as the whole tenderloin, in fact the best part of the tenderloin. They were $10.49 a pound! Well, we were slightly disappointed. We didn't think they were as tender as the whole piece. I won't buy them again??? The spinach gratin was heaven. Dessert was also awesome!!

    Overall, everyone had a fabulous time and said they look forward to next years holiday dinner!!!

    Tomorrow we fly home to Atlantic City and Philly for our holiday visit. See you all in a week!!

  21. #21
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    Hooray! Glad it was a success. What a great way to start your holiday season!
    kathyb


    Less rhetoric, more cowbell!

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