I invited my friends Colleen and Adam (AKA my Foodie Consultants) and Bethann and Dan. We found out we all met because of friends of friends, and even though we rarely get to see the friends who introduced us we all remained friends with each other.
Three bottles of wine, three apps, two main course components, dessert, and great conversation. If there is a better way to spend an evening I don't want to know about it.
The apps were: pate with truffles; brie and cherry jam; and Colleen and Adam brought absolutely divine goat-cheese stuffed little red peppers - spicy and marinated in heavenly juice (I need to find out the name of the peppers). Two baguettes, a bottle of prosecco, one of white Bordeaux (from the area of Entre deux Mers, in honor of Bethann's heritage) and we were well on our way to a food coma before the main course. With the meal we had a Cab from California (via Wegmans).
For the main course I made two standbys: marinated tenderloin and mashed potatoes - Paula Deen's mashed potatoes, no less.
The marinated tenderloins could not be easier. I got the recipe from a book my friend Jody gave to me (and quite the cook she is, too). Here it is:
Curry Glazed Beef Tenderloins
It makes 16-18 servings which clearly I did not need or want. Adjust accordingly. I bought 6 cuts of beef which were about half a pound each (worked out to about 3.5 lbs of beef) and with that I halved the below recipe.
1.25 cups of mushroom soy sauce or tamari sauce (I got the tamari sauce - it is basically a more intense soy sauce)
.33 cups honey
.25 cup curry powder
Two 4-lb tenderloin slabs (I got half pound slices)
Whisk the tamari sauce, honey and curry powder. Score the meat. Put the meat in two gallon ziplocs and pour the marinade in each. Mix well and then throw in the fridge overnight.
To cook: Heat oven to 500. Tenderloins, with all marinade sauce, should go into a baking dish large enough to hold it all - I used a 13x9 cake pan. Pour olive oil on top. Roast the meat in the top third of the oven. Every ten minutes, baste the juices on top of the meat. 30 minutes should be enough, I had them in there for almost 40 (last ten the gas was turned off) and they were moist and tender although not rare. The last ten minutes probably weren't necessary.
Paula Deen's Mashed Potatoes
As it turned out, I used the 10 potatoes it called for but didn't pay attention to the MEDIUM in the book, and bought large ones. Oops. I doubled up on the butter and sour cream because it was clear there were a lot of potatoes. It turned out magnificently and in fact more butter wouldn't have hurt.
8-10 medium potatoes (it calls for red, I used regular ones)
1/2 cup hot milk (I used heavy cream)
1 stick of butter (I used two)
.5 cup of sour cream - I used a full one.
Slice potatoes about 1/4 inch thick. Boil about 15 minutes. Any old potato masher will work fine. I threw in the two sticks of butter and put a lid on the potatoes (off heat) for about 10 minutes to get it nice and creamy. Mash mash mash, then add the heavy cream and sour cream. Mash mash mash.
This stuff is SO EASY. I really should do this more often.
Bethann brought Rum Cake, which recipe will be put here later. It was also quite good but we were all pretty full by then. Oh yes, let's not forget the Twinings Tea I brought home from London.
Time to take my tummy for a nap. A run would be better, but, it's 35 degrees out and dark. Maybe a nice walk tomorrow...
I didn't take photos (of course, what is wrong with me??) so here is a photo taken in France earlier this year:
2 days ago