Northwest NEWS

December 9, 2002


Dining In
Holiday Open House Easy & Elegant  

This holiday season entertain your family and friends with an extra special open house.
Beef Tenderloin Sandwiches
Total preparation and cooking time: 1 hour and 5 minutes
1 center-cut beef tenderloin roast (2 to 3 pounds), not tied
1/3 c. sun-dried tomato spread
2 Tbsp. finely chopped parsley
Assorted breads and rolls
Nutty Herb-Cheese Spread (recipe follows)
Caramelized Onion Relish (recipe follows)
Heat oven to 425°F. Make horizontal cut through center of beef roast, parallel to surface of meat. Cut to, but not through, opposite side. Open meat so it lies flat.
Combine sun-dried tomato spread and parsley. Spread lengthwise on 1/2 of meat. Fold other 1/2 of meat over to form original shape of roast. Tie at 1-1/2 to 2-inch intervals with kitchen twine; trim off excess twine. Place roast on rack in shallow roasting pan. Insert ovenproof meat thermometer so tip is centered in thickest part of beef, not resting in sun-dried tomato filling. Roast in 425°F oven 35 to 40 minutes for medium rare.
Remove roast when meat thermometer registers 135°F. Transfer roast to carving board; tent loosely with aluminum foil. Let stand 10 minutes. (Temperature will continue to rise about 10°F to reach 145°F for medium rare.)
Refrigerate roast for several hours or until chilled. If desired, roast can be wrapped tightly in aluminum foil and refrigerated up to 2 days. Carve roast into 1/4-inch thick slices. Assemble sandwiches as desired with breads, spread and relish. Makes 30 to 35 appetizer servings.

Nutty Herb-Cheese Spread

1/2 c. salted shelled pistachios or slivered blanched almonds
1 container (6-1/2 ounces) garlic & herb cheese spread
Heat oven to 350°F. Spread nuts in single layer in baking pan. Bake in 350°F oven about 5 minutes for pistachios or 8 minutes for almonds or until lightly toasted; cool slightly. Coarsely chop.
Combine cheese spread and nuts. Stir in enough half-and-half to thin to spreading consistency. Makes 1 cup.

Caramelized Onion Relish
2 Tbsp. olive oil
4 c. (about 3 medium) thinly sliced onions (1/8 inch thick)
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 Tbsp. packed brown sugar
1 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
Heat oil in large nonstick skillet over medium heat until hot. Add onions, garlic, salt and pepper; cook 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in brown sugar and vinegar; cook and stir until liquid has evaporated. Makes 3/4 cup.

Chocolate-Covered Cherries
Total preparation time: 55 minutes
2 (10-ounce) jars maraschino cherries with stems
1 (12-ounce) package semisweet or white chocolate chips
Drain cherries well.
Melt chocolate according to package directions; keep warm.
Holding by the stem, dip cherries into melted chocolate; swirl to coat completely. Place on waxed paper-lined baking sheet. Let stand at room temperature (or refrigerate) about 30 minutes to set chocolate. Store in refrigerator up to 2 days. Makes 4-1/2 dozen cherries.

Cherry Brie Appetizer
Total preparation time: 30 minutes
1 (5-inch) wheel Brie cheese (15 to 16 ounces)
1/4 c. cherry jelly, preserves or spread
1/2 c. coarsely chopped dried tart cherries
1/4 c. coarsely chopped pecans
1/2 tsp. grated orange peel
Water crackers or French bread slices
Refrigerate Brie until chilled and firm (or freeze 30 minutes). Cut Brie in half horizontally.
Place jelly in a small microwave-safe container. Microwave on High (100 percent) power 25 to 30 seconds or until melted. Combine melted jelly, cherries, pecans and orange peel; mix well. Reserve 1/4 c..
Spread remaining cherry mixture evenly on cut side of one piece of Brie. Top with the other piece, cut-side down. Lightly press together. Microwave on High (100 percent) power 40 to 50 seconds or until cheese is soft, but not runny. Lightly press top section into cherry mixture.
Top Brie with reserved cherry mixture and garnish as desired. Serve with crackers or bread. Makes about 20 appetizer servings..
Recipes provided by Family Features