Four years ago, I would have been in full catering mode - sometimes I miss spending nights at really festive, warm homes, but I don't miss schlepping food around town and my car always smelling a bit like crab cakes and blue cheese : )
At this point, I would have roasted 20 Beef Tenderloins, and formed 200 Crab Cakes and served a hundred Chocolate Molten Cakes. I found that I always recommended pretty much the same menu for every holiday party I catered - it always got such rave reviews, and many of my clients requested the same menu year after year because they loved it so much. The good part for me was that I could prepare this menu in my sleep. I did it so often that I came up with great shortcuts, and methods for making almost everything in advance... because that's what I had to do when I had back to back holiday parties for 3 weeks straight.
While I like to serve the Crab Cakes passed, warm from the oven, I like to have something that everyone can graze on and gather around - isn't that what the Holidays are all about?! Then, whenever I bring the crab cakes around everyone oohs and ahhs.
A soup course isn't necessary, but really makes the meal so special. It is so creamy and luxurious - your family will love it and feel so treated! It is easy to make ahead of time and you can use a combination of shrimp and lobster, to stretch it.
I talk at length about how much I love slow roasting beef tenderloin. Do not be scared by it - it is sooo easy to do. It can seem expensive, but you don't have too splurge on too much else for this dinner so it can be the star.
You can serve it with this Blue Cheese Cream Sauce or a classic Horseradish.
Slow-Simmered Cabernet & Thyme Mushrooms
This is a new dish to my repertoire, but I would've loved serving this to my clients. I would've made a huge batch, then used them all week long for each party.
Carrots are my favorite way to add brightness to a meal. They are easy and roast right along with the beef.
Truffled Mashed Potatoes
I have a little something special in store for these Chocolate Molten Cakes. I'll be using the same recipe, but have found some great individual paper souffle cups to make them in. I'm experimenting with them tomorrow morning, so I'll let you know how it goes!