Help - tired of holiday cooking but still have one dinner to make!
I am tired of cooking from the past 10 days - but have old friends coming for dinner tomorrow night. I am not feeling the least bit creative, and don't want to spend hours in the kitchen. I would love some easy ideas. I know they like steak, so I was thinking of getting a beef tenderloin. Any suggestions on how to add some flavor to it? Or other options - really looking for something that I can just throw in the oven or do ahead of time - but still make it seem special....(oh, and they have eaten turkey and ham for the past week, so I really want to go beef or seafood). Thanks!
Jenny, if I were going to do a tenderloin in these circumstances, I might go with something basic. My reasoning is that, as sick as some of us are of cooking right now, I think our diners may equally need a break from exotic, rich foods. So I think I think I might go for something fundamental and proven with the tenderloin, such as throwing some onions in the pan, along with a nice bay leaf or two and some Cab or Pinot Noir.
Or, not seafood exactly, but it's easy enough to broil a salmon filet and that would also be something less heavy and generally seems special. Find some nice fresh dill, some new potatoes, maybe some red jackets for color, and an easy veggie such as sauteed fennel or wilted spinach.
I really would go for perhaps-not-so-imaginative, but high quality, simply and well prepared food in the middle of this heavy-food week.
Not something you can really make ahead, but...quick and can still feel special enough...I've had good luck with Ina Garten's recipe for Scampi, to which someone here introduced me. Yes, it does have to be made a la minute, but OTOH, it doesn't take a lot of prep, especially if your market or fishmonger sells cleaned shrimp. A nice salad and a good crusty artisanal loaf of bread picked up at the bakery to soak up the sauce, and there you go.
Simple yet elegant
Baked (you fill in the mild white fish), then top it with a citrus pesto, buy pre-made pesto and in some orange and lemon juice + zest.
Serve it on top of spaghetti squash (steam squash in oven, remove stands, season with S&P and some olive oil, toss in tomatoes and garlic if you want.
To set up ahead of time cook squash and season, place in bottom of pan (spray or coat with oil to prevent sticking and easy cleanup) place raw fish on top. Add just a touch of water, cover. When ready place in 350 oven, depending upon thickness of fish it should be ready in about 30 minutes. Once done top with pesto.
For starch buy some nice artisan bread and serve it with olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
For starters I would do a salad (pre-bagged Caesar would work great)
Dessert pick something up at TJ’s.
If you par boil some Manicotti (about 5 - 6 minutes) let it cool and fill them with a mixture of chopped or shredded meat (chicken, shrimp, etc.) blended in a bechamel sauce (or other favorite sauce) with appropriate herbs and/or spices to compliment your choice of meat, then bake it covered in sauce 'till the pasta is cooked you'll have something that can look elegant on the plate without a lot of work.