Updated: 12/13/2017 3:57 PM | Print Story |  Email

Essential Holiday Dinner

Chances are you're either attending a holiday party or hosting one this holiday season. Tonja Engen started her blog, “Tonja’s Table” in 2011 and she later turned that into a cookbook. Today she shared her tips on stress-free entertaining and a holiday dinner that will make your guests come back for seconds.

SMOKED TROUT DIP
Ingredients:
1 boneless smoked trout (about 8 ounces)
1⁄2 cup cream cheese, softened
1⁄2 cup sour cream?
1 tablespoon minced shallot
1 tablespoon minced dill
Juice of 1⁄2 lemon
Salt and pepper, to taste
Crackers or endive leaves

Directions:
Discard the skin, and flake the trout fillets. Purée the cream cheese and sour cream in a food processor. Add the fish and pulse a few times to break it up but not purée it. Transfer to a bowl and stir in the shallot, dill, and lemon juice. Salt and pepper to taste. Refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour. Serve with endive and favorite crackers.

BEEF TENDERLOIN BAR
Servings: 12
Ingredents:
5 pounds beef tenderloin, trimmed
Kosher salt
?Freshly ground black pepper
Montreal steak seasoning
Olive oil
Directions:
Remove the beef from the refrigerator 30 minutes before roasting and let it come to room temperature. Preheat oven to 425°F.
Rub salt, pepper, and Montreal steak seasoning on the tenderloin. Slather it with olive oil.
Put the roast on a rimmed baking sheet or in a shallow roasting pan. Roast until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the center reads 120°F for rare, 125°F to 130°F for medium-rare, or 135°F for medium (25 to 45 minutes for a 5-pound roast or 20 to 30 minutes for a 2 1⁄2-pound roast).
Cover tenderloin loosely with foil, and let it rest for 10 to 15 minutes before carving. The temp will continue to rise 5 to 10 degrees out of the oven, and the juices will have time to accumulate.
Slice thin and serve on a platter with red pepper aioli, horseradish sauce, basil curry mayonnaise, caramelized onions, and your favorite mini rolls or buns.

RED PEPPER AIOLI
Ingredients:
1 1⁄3 cups jarred roasted red bell peppers, drained well and patted dry
1 cup mayonnaise
2 teaspoons sambal oelek chili paste
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Directions:
Blend the bell peppers, mayonnaise, and chili paste in a food processor until smooth and creamy. Season with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate.
HORSERADISH SAUCE
Ingredients:
2 cups sour cream
1⁄4 cup prepared horseradish
1 tablespoon minced chives
1 teaspoon champagne or white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon salt, plus extra for seasoning
Dash hot red pepper sauce
Black pepper, to taste

Directions:
In a bowl, combine all the ingredients and blend well. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate.

BASIL CURRY MAYONNAISE
Ingredients:
1 cup mayonnaise
1⁄4 cup mascarpone cheese, room temperature
1⁄3 cup finely chopped fresh basil leaves
1 tablespoon curry powder
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Directions:
In a small bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, mascarpone cheese, basil, curry powder, and paprika until smooth. Season with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate.

CARAMELIZED ONIONS
Ingredients:
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 medium yellow onions, halved and sliced paper thin (about 4 cups)
Kosher salt?Freshly ground black pepper

Directions:
Melt the butter and oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat until foaming.
Add the onions and let them cook about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Turn down heat to medium-low and continue stirring occasionally until onions are deep golden brown and caramelized, 35 to 45 minutes.
Season well with salt and pepper, remove from the pan, and let cool.

ROASTED FINGERLING POTATOES
20 fingerling potatoes, washed and scrubbed, halved lengthwise
1⁄3 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus 2 tablespoons
2 tablespoons minced fresh thyme
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Directions
Preheat the oven to 450°F.
In a large mixing bowl, toss the potatoes with olive oil, thyme, and a generous seasoning of salt and pepper. Coat a small roasting pan with the remaining olive oil and put the potatoes in the pan, cut side down.
Bake for 30-35 minutes, until the potatoes are tender on the inside and golden on the outside.
Let the potatoes cool slightly and then arrange on a serving platter.

HOLIDAY SALAD WREATH WITH BEETS, CRANBERRY GOAT CHEESE AND SHERRY VINAIGRETTE
For the dressing:
2 medium shallots, minced
4 Tbls. Sherry vinegar
2 Tbls. Fresh lemon juice
2 tsp. Dijon mustard
1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
For the salad:
32 ounces mixed greens?
3 packages pre-cooked beets, chopped
16 ounces cranberry goat cheese, crumbled
1 ½ cups chopped pistachios
2 oranges peeled, segmented, and cut in half
Directions:
For the dressing:
Mix shallot, vinegar, lemon juice, and Dijon in a small bowl.  Gradually whisk in oil.  Season with salt and pepper and store in the refrigerator until ready to use.

To assemble salad:
Arrange mixed greens in a circle on a large platter. Sprinkle beets, goat cheese, pistachios and oranges over the mixed greens.  Season with salt and pepper. 
Re-whisk dressing and transfer to a small serving bowl and place in the center of the salad. 
Serve with tongs and encourage everyone to spoon over their own dressing.

“KNOCK YOUR STOCKINGS OFF” HOLIDAY PUNCH
Ingredients:
1 bottle champagne
2 cups cranberry juice
2 oz. Cointreau
2 oz. lime juice
2 oz. triple sec
2 oz. vodka
mint
cranberries

Directions:
Mix all ingredients in a punch bowl or a pitcher.  Add ice and garnish glasses with mint and cranberries.

You have the chance to meet Tonja this weekend. She'll be at Jerry's foods in Edina on Saturday, December 16th from 12 pm to 2pm signing books and talking about recipes from her essential holiday dinner that was featured on today’s show.