This week, we’re focusing on New Year’s Eve with some great ideas to spice up your special event.
When planning a cocktail or dinner party, we like to keep things simple and fun to ensure the food and beverage will be a success. We try to find recipes that can be prepared in advance, so that we’re not doing too much right before the party. And we love to serve something at the start as a signature beverage – guests love this and it’s a great way to get the conversation flowing.
When we’re hosting an event, whether it’s a cooking class or dinner party, we always acknowledge our guests with a toast at the start of the evening. A toast is special, a way to thank your guests for coming, to say, we’re so glad you’re here with us. The first thing we do when our guests arrive is greet them with a glass of bubbly Prosecco.
Prosecco is an Italian sparkling white wine from the region of Veneto. Its classic flavor carries notes of citrus, almonds, honey, melon and pear, and you can find a nice variety to choose from in our local liquor stores. Clean and crisp with small bubbles, Prosecco varies from slightly dry to dry, and is always well-received.
Prosecco is a friendly wine – not too big, not too small, it’s just right. Festive, fun and affordable, Prosecco can be enjoyed during any part of a meal. But, we love to serve it at the beginning.
This makes it the perfect choice to serve with our featured food recipe, Blackened Sirloin with Horseradish Cream Sauce.
We love this dish as an appetizer or hors d’oeuvres because it’s guaranteed to be a success with your guests – nearly everyone loves beef. Plus, it’s a great way to add some heartiness to the traditional cocktail fare.
The secret to this recipe is in how you cook, and slice, the meat. Coating the steak with freshly ground pepper and searing it before roasting help create a blackened effect. Cook the sirloin to a perfect medium rare, and then cut the steak as thin as possible – the thinner, the better. The medium-rare temperature preserves the flavor of the sirloin, and the thin slices help ensure that every bite is tender.
This recipe can be made up to two days in advance
We serve our Blackened Sirloin with homemade Horseradish Cream Sauce, which can also be prepared ahead of time. This simple, yet amazingly delicious, condiment is always a crowd-pleaser and Tony often jokes that I serve beef only as an excuse to enjoy the horseradish cream sauce.
To serve, place the sliced sirloin on a platter and garnish with thinly sliced red onions and capers. Serve the horseradish sauce on the side.
We first shared this recipe with our readers in December 2012, many of whom now count this recipe among their top party favorites. It is a perfect way to ring in the new year, and we hope it becomes a favorite for you, too.
Click on the link below for the recipe.
Serves: 12 for hors d’oeuvres
2 10 oz. top sirloin steaks
1 cup fresh coarse ground black pepper (½ cup per steak)
2 tbsp. olive oil, (1 tbsp. per steak)
For serving: 1 red onion and capers
Lightly sprinkle meat with salt and then coat completely with pepper. Spread the pepper onto a plate or baking dish and press the steak into the pepper on all sides until coated.
Heat a sauté pan over high heat until hot, then add olive oil. Let the oil become hot then place the steak in the pan. If your pan allows, you may cook more than one steak at a time. Sear the steak for two minutes on all four sides (two minutes per side), then remove meat from pan, transfer to a baking sheet, and bake in the oven at 350°F.
For medium rare (the ideal temperature for this recipe), keep in the oven for 3-4 minutes. Immediately refrigerate until cool enough to wrap each steak in plastic, and return to the refrigerator for at least 3 hours, or overnight if possible. This recipe can be prepared up to 2 days in advance.
Within two hours prior to serving, carve the meat as thinly as possible and place onto serving platter. Cover the platter with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to serve. Garnish with thinly sliced red onions (cut into rings) and capers, and serve with horseradish cream sauce on the side.
Horseradish Cream Sauce
Serves: 10 – 12
1 pint sour cream
2 heaping tablespoons prepared horseradish
2 -3 teaspoons lemon juice, freshly squeezed
Kosher salt and black pepper to taste
Mix all ingredients together, and add more horseradish, lemon, salt and pepper as desired. Transfer to a serving dish and enjoy with beef tenderloin, prime rib, or a great steak.
Tony’s Tip: Prepare at least 2 hours before serving for best flavor. This sauce is a great accompaniment to beef, and can be made several days in advance. Will keep in refrigerator for up to two weeks.