Author Helen Rosner talks holiday cooking and entertaining with Fox News Radio's Lilian Huang Woo. The national features editor of Eater.com and Saveur contributing editor shares party tips, tricks and recipes from Saveur: The New Classics Cookbook.
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ROSEMARY-RUBBED BEEF TENDERLOIN
Fresh rosemary and garlic form a flavorful crust for this
elegant cut of beef, which emerges from the oven rosy pink
on the inside and shot through with a delicate herbal
flavor. Served with a sharp green salad and roasted
potatoes, it's perfect dinner-party fare.
1 2-lb. beef tenderloin, trimmed of sinew and excess fat, and tied with kitchen twine
1⁄4 cup canola oil
3 tbsp. finely chopped fresh rosemary
3 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 tbsp. unsalted butter
- Place beef tenderloin on a sheet of aluminum foil and
rub all over with 2 tbsp. oil, rosemary, and garlic. Season
tenderloin generously with salt and pepper, then let beef
sit at room temperature for 1 hour, allowing seasonings
to penetrate meat.
- Heat oven to 425°. Heat remaining oil and butter in
a 12″ ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Carefully
place tenderloin in skillet and cook, turning as needed,
until beef is browned on all sides, about 7 minutes.
- Transfer skillet to oven and cook tenderloin until an
instant-read thermometer inserted into center of beef
reads 125° for medium rare, about 20 minutes.
- Remove tenderloin from oven and let rest for an
additional 20 minutes. (During this resting period,
tenderloin will continue to rise in temperature to produce
a perfect medium-rare interior.) To serve, remove twine
and use a carving knife to cut beef into 1⁄2″-thick slices.
Transfer slices to a large serving platter, and pour any
accumulated juices from cutting board over meat to
moisten it. Serve immediately or at room temperature.
FRENCH ONION DIP
Makes about 3 ½ Cups
Our favorite recipe for this classic dip showcases onions three ways: fried, roasted, and fresh.
4 medium yellow onions, 2 quartered lengthwise, 2 finely chopped
1 cup olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 cup mayonnaise
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
1⁄2 cup sour cream
1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
Tabasco sauce, to taste
4 scallions, minced
Cut raw vegetables, such as cucumber, carrot, and cauliflower, for serving
1 Heat oven to 425°. Toss quartered onions with 2 tbsp. oil on a foil-lined baking sheet, and season with salt and pepper. Roast, turning occasionally, until soft and slightly caramelized, about 45 minutes. Set roasted onions aside to cool.
2 Purée roasted onions in a food processor until smooth. Add mayonnaise, cream cheese, sour cream, lemon juice, Worcestershire, hot sauce, salt, and pepper, and purée until smooth. Transfer to a bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until set, at least 4 hours or up to overnight.
3 Heat remaining oil in a 10′′ skillet over medium-high heat. Add finely chopped onions and cook, stirring, until beginning to brown, about 10 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook, stirring occasionally, until deep golden brown, about 16 minutes more. Transfer onions to a sieve set over a bowl to drain; discard oil or reserve for another use. Transfer fried onions to paper towels to drain.
4 To serve, stir two-thirds of the fried onions and the scallions into dip, and transfer to a serving bowl. Top with remaining fried onions and serve with raw vegetables.
ELLA FITZGERALD'S FAVORITE CHEDDAR CHEESE LOG
makes one 8" log
No less than jazz legend Ella Fitzgerald flagged this recipe in her copy of James Beard's American Cookery. This vintage hors d'oeuvre has won over cocktail partygoers for decades with its smooth cheddar cheese texture sharpened with the heat of Tabasco and Dijon mustard.
2 lb. cheddar cheese (mild, medium or sharp), grated
1 tbsp. dijon mustard
1⁄2 tsp. Tabasco sauce
1⁄2 cup finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1⁄4 cup finely chopped pimiento
1⁄4 cup coarsely chopped pecans
1 Put room-temperature cheddar cheese in a large bowl. Add mustard, Tabasco, parsley, and pimientos. Mix until ingredients are evenly distributed.
2 Place a piece of plastic wrap about 9′′ long on a clean surface. Mound cheese mixture along edge nearest you, then roll in plastic, pressing and molding to form a log about 1 ⁄2′′ wide and 8′′ long.
3 Carefully remove plastic wrap and roll log in chopped pecans, pressing nuts into log as you roll. Rewrap log with fresh plastic wrap and chill for at least 1 hour. Serve with crackers.
PARSLEY & ONION SALAD
Chef Jeremiah Tower rose to fame in the 1980s thanks to his San Francisco restaurant Stars, a pulpit from which he evangelized for the bright, lucid flavors of Californian produce. This salad--a mélange of mint, red onions, parsley, capers, and lemon juice, served atop grilled bread--epitomizes his culinary philosophy.
2 tbsp. finely chopped mint
1 large red onion, halved and thinly sliced lengthwise Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 cups loosely packed fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
¼ cup salt-packed capers, rinsed and drained
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice tbsp. lemon zest
4 slices grilled country white bread, cut into quarters, to serve
In a medium bowl, toss together mint, onion, salt, and pepper; let sit until onion softens, about 10 minutes. Add parsley, capers, oil, lemon juice, and lime zest and toss until evenly combined. Serve immediately piled on top of grilled bread.
makes about 21⁄2 dozen
These feather light, tender pastry puffs are flavored with Gruyère cheese and baked until golden brown. They're best eaten right out of the oven, when the warm cheese is at its most aromatic.
1⁄2 cup milk
8 tbsp. unsalted butter, cubed
1⁄2 tsp. kosher salt
1 cup flour
4 eggs, at room temperature
6 oz. Gruyère cheese, grated
1 Heat oven to 425°. Bring milk, butter, salt, and ⁄2 cup water to a boil in a 4-qt. saucepan over high heat. Add flour and stir until dough forms. Reduce heat to medium and cook, stirring dough constantly with a wooden spoon, until slightly dried, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a bowl. Using a hand mixer, beat in one egg until smooth. Repeat with remaining eggs, beating them in one at a time, until dough is smooth. Stir in cheese.
2 Using a large tablespoon, drop balls of dough onto parchment paper-lined baking sheets. Reduce oven temperature to 375° and bake until golden brown, about 30 minutes.
FLOURLESS CHOCOLATE SOUFFLÉ
serves 3-4 (see photo, page 429) We prefer this delicate but intensely chocolate flourless soufflé to the more traditional flour-stabilized version.
3 tbsp. milk
5 ½ tbsp. granulated sugar plus more for dusting
4 oz. semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
2 egg yolks
3 egg whites
confections' sugar, for garnish
1 Heat oven to 375°. Place milk and 4 tbsp. granulated sugar in a small saucepan and stir over medium-low heat until sugar dissolves, about 45 seconds. Stir in chocolate and cook until melted, 1-2 minutes. Transfer to a nonreactive bowl, cool for 5 minutes, then beat in egg yolks.
2 Beat egg whites in a bowl until foamy, then sprinkle in remaining 1 ½ tbsp.. sugar, beating until stiff peaks form.
3 Butter a small soufflé dish (2 ⁄2′′ deep, 6′′ diameter; soufflé will not rise in a larger dish), then lightly dust with granulated sugar. Gently mix one-third of the egg whites into chocolate mixture, then fold in remaining whites, one-third at a time. Do not overmix. Spoon batter into dish.
4 Make sure oven rack is low enough to allow soufflé room to rise as much as 2′′ above the dish. Bake until puffed, about 25 minutes. Dust with confectioners' sugar and serve immediately. (Soufflé will begin to deflate after about 2 minutes.)
makes 1 cocktail
Joe Gilmore, head barman at the Savoy Hotel's American Bar, invented this cocktail in 1969 to commemorate the first moon landing. The drink--a combination of grapefruit, orange liqueur, and a hint of rose water, topped with champagne--was the first thing Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin sipped upon returning to earth.
1 oz. fresh grapefruit juice
1 oz. orange liqueur, such as Grand Marnier
2-3 drops rose water
Combine grapefruit juice, Grand Marnier, and rose water in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake vigorously and strain into a champagne flute; top with champagne.
Reprinted with permission from Saveur New Classics by the Editors of Saveur magazine
Follow Lilian Woo on Twitter: @LilianNY