When it comes to special-occasion dinners, it’s reassuring to rely on a versatile trio of recipes that are proven winners. No need to reinvent a menu every time.
These do-ahead dishes can be served warm or at room temperature. Serve them buffet-style, if you’d like. The tenderloin recipe is an old standby; I’ve yet to find a better version. The tenderloin is marinated in a fresh-herb mixture and grilled (or broiled) until medium rare. Paired with a red pepper and onion marmalade, which is a substantial vegetable garnish, it’s perfect for serving on a plate or a buttered warm roll (with Dijon mustard). The baked orzo makes an ideal companion.
The rest of the menu is yours. I always add a salad--a bowl of romaine lettuce and tender greens or haricots verts, arugula and pine nuts, both with simple vinaigrette. Typically, a selection of cheeses with baguette slices follows. For dessert, choose a festive cake from your favorite bakery and pass a bowl of strawberries.