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March 16, 2018

Spring Dinner Party | Beef & Porcini Mushroom & Potato Gratin


We hosted Mike’s parents last night for dinner.  We’ve been on spring break this week, spending some time at home and some at the beach.  When we’re home and have the luxury of piddling around the house, there is nothing I’d rather do than plan a dinner.  


Extra Wide & Extra Long Spa Gingham Table Runner


The Menu

I’ve had the itch to recreate this dinner since December when my friend served it at a dinner party.  Everything was so delicious and complimentary, indulgent without being to heavy.

Roasted Asparagus

Spa Gingham Napkins




The weather here is finally turning spring-ish in the last couple of days, but the evenings and mornings are still cool.  This menu would be perfect during the holidays, but the roasted asparagus and rainbow carrots also make it feel springy, too.  While the Beef Tenderloin, always a treat, the real star of this menu is the Porcini & Potato Au Gratin.  The potatoes are sliced then and layered with sautéed porcini mushrooms and a mascarpone cheese and parmesan mixture.  The mascarpone melts into a creamy sauce that compliments the beef perfectly.  This is definitely a special occasion recipe.  I also think the mushrooms make the menu feel more spring-ish, too.

I bought dried porcini mushrooms at our local "fancy" grocery store, but I think you can also find them at Whole Foods.


This is a 2 pound beef tenderloin.  I had the butcher cut it to this size, which is nice for a small dinner of 4-5 guests.






Essential for entertaining, every item can be prepared in advance.  The day before, the Potatoes can be assembled and baked before the party, and the carrots, asparagus and beef can be prepped and ready to go on the sheet pans.  You can see, I have everything spread out before the guests arrive.  Everything is ready!

Here is a timeline : 

The Day Before or Day Of : 

-Porcini & Potatoes Gratin : Assemble Completely 
-Asparagus : Wash & Trim, put in plastic bag
-Carrots : Peel & Chop, put in plastic bag
-Beef : Trim (if not already), wrap in plastic




The Potatoes before baking.  You can make them up to a day in advance to this point.


Two Hours Before : 

-Preheat Oven to 350
-Asparagus & Carrots : On sheet pan, drizzle with olive oil & sea salt
-Beef : On Sheet Pan, coat in sea salt & pepper

1:30 Before Dinner : 

-Bake Potatoes, 1:20 minutes

1:00 Before Dinner : 

-Put Beef in the Oven


:20 Before Dinner

-Check on Beef (125-130 degrees F on meat thermometer), pull out and cover with foil when done.  The 2 pound beef took about 40-50 minutes.  
-Put Asparagus & Carrots in the Oven
-Check Potatoes, remove from oven if tender and bubbly, cover with foil

:00 Dinner Time

-Pull out Asparagus & Carrots
-Slice Beef
-Remove Foil from Potatoes

Serving : 

On a large Platter, place sliced beef down the center.  Place asparagus on one side of the beef, and carrots on the other.  Serve potatoes from baking dish.








Muscari & Spa Table Setting Details

Extra Wide & Extra Long Spa Gingham Table Runner

Spa Gingham Napkins

3 x Blooming Muscari Bulbs in Rustic Pots topped with Preserved Moss

Tall Beeswax Taper Candles, $10.50

I used mix and match silverware and low, heavy French tumblers for water.  I don't often put wine glasses directly at the table because we typically serve wine before dinner.  It saves me from having double glasses.


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