GFF editor Erika Lenkert breaks in her new abode with a holiday feast for GFF West Coast contributors.
When I downsized and moved from Marin County to San Francisco, I thought the best way to christen my new, significantly cozier space was to host a feast for my people. So, my culinary right hand and good friend Eric Lundy and I brainstormed a menu, got into the kitchen, and created an easy, elegant holiday extravaganza for some of our core West Coast GFF contributors. When guests arrived, the sparkling-wine cork popped, and we gathered around the eat-in kitchen table, I was reminded that good food and even better company are what make a house a home. I’ll eat and drink to that, and I hope these recipes inspire you to do the same, this season and beyond. —Erika Lenkert
(Click recipe images below to go to the recipes)
Holiday -Spiced Olives and Roasted Almonds with Thyme
Butter Lettuce Salad With Asian Pears, Buttermilk-Blue Cheese Dressing, and Candied Walnuts
Slow-Roasted Beef Tenderloin
Yukon Gold, Sweet Potato, and Caramelized-Fennel Gratin
Porcini Mushroom Risotto
Maple-Baked Pears with Bourbon Sauce and Toasted Pecans
Make room to relax and enjoy when guests arrive, with a little advance planning:
– Roast the almonds for the appetizer and toast the pecans for the dessert.
– Salt and refrigerate the tenderloin.
– Make and refrigerate the dressing and candied walnuts for the salad.
– Make the soufflé; refrigerate, covered.
– Make the gratin; refrigerate, covered.
– Par-cook the risotto; refrigerate, covered.
– Make the pear dessert, reserving the pears and sauce separately.
Three hours before dinner:
– Cook the tenderloin.
– Finish the almond and olive recipe.
1 hour before dinner:
– Bring the gratin, soufflé, and risotto to room temperature
– Put out the almonds and olives, and the beverages on ice, for self-service when guests arrive.
After the tenderloin is out of the oven:
– Rewarm the soufflé and gratin in a 350°F oven.
– Reheat the risotto on the stovetop, stirring frequently.
– Plate and finish the salad.
– Whip the cream, warm the pears and sauce, and build and serve dessert.
– Say “yes” if guests offer to help clean up!