An Al Fresco Affair

An Al Fresco Affair

By Nancy Lynch

INGREDIENTS

4–5 pound beef tenderloin, trimmed and tied as roast
Olive oil
Kosher salt
Coarsely ground pepper
Baguette, sliced (optional)
Creamy horseradish sauce (see recipe below)

DIRECTIONS

Coat beef tenderloin with olive oil and sprinkle generously with kosher salt and pepper. Let stand at room temperature for 20 minutes. For oven roasting: Preheat oven to 500 degrees. Roast tenderloin for 5 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 400 degrees. Roast an additional 40 minutes or to desired doneness. Or for grilling: Grill for 20 minutes over medium heat and check internal temperature (for rare, 135–140 degrees; for medium, 155–160 degrees; for well done, 165–170 degrees). After it is cooked, let the tenderloin rest on a cutting board for 15 minutes before cutting it into slices. Transport to picnic and serve with creamy horseradish sauce and sliced baguette.

TIP: The roasted tenderloin can be served chilled or at room temperature and transports best if carved at home. 

Makes 8–12 servings. 

 

(to accompany the tenderloin)

INGREDIENTS

6 ounces white horseradish, drained
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup heavy cream

In a small bowl, combine drained white horseradish, mayonnaise, sugar and salt. Separately, whip the heavy cream into soft peaks; fold into horseradish mixture.

Makes about 1 2/3 cups.

 

 

INGREDIENTS

12 ounces orzo (rice-shaped pasta)
2 tbsp plus 1/2 cup olive oil
1 1/2 cups crumbled seasoned feta cheese (such as basil and tomato)
1 cup chopped red bell pepper
1 cup chopped yellow bell pepper
3/4 cup pitted kalamata olives
4 green onions, chopped
2 tbsp drained capers
3 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
1 tbsp minced garlic
1 1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp Dijon mustard
3 tbsp pine nuts, toasted
Salt and pepper

DIRECTIONS

Cook orzo in large pot of boiling salted water until tender but still firm to bite. Drain. Rinse with cold water; drain well. Transfer to large bowl. Toss with 2 tablespoons olive oil. Add crumbled feta cheese, chopped bell peppers, kalamata olives, green onions and capers. Combine lemon juice, vinegar, garlic, oregano and mustard in a small bowl. Gradually whisk in remaining 1/2 cup olive oil. Season dressing to taste with salt and pepper. Add dressing to orzo mixture and toss to blend. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate. Garnish salad with pine nuts.

TIP: Garnish the orzo salad with pine nuts just before leaving home.

Makes 8–10 servings.
Adapted from Epicurious.com 

 

INGREDIENTS

1/2 pound whole green beans, trimmed (about 2 cups)
1 1/2 cups packaged, peeled baby carrots (about 8 ounces)
1/2 cup cider vinegar
1/4 cup water
1 tbsp chopped, seeded fresh red chili peppers
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 to 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
1/4 cup snipped fresh dill or 1 tbsp dried dill weed
2 pickling cucumbers (each about 4 inches long), cut into spears

DIRECTIONS?

In a large saucepan, cook green beans, covered, in a small amount of boiling water for 2 minutes. Add carrots and continue cooking, covered, for 2 minutes more. Transfer to a large bowl of ice water. In the same saucepan, combine vinegar, water, chili peppers, garlic, salt and crushed red pepper. Heat just to boiling. Remove from heat and stir in dill or dill weed. Drain green beans and carrots and put the green beans, carrots and cucumber spears in the large bowl. Pour hot vinegar mixture over vegetables and let stand at room temperature for 10 minutes. Cover and refrigerate for 4 hours or up to 3 days, turning occasionally. Serve vegetables in a glass.

Makes 8–10 servings.
Adapted recipe courtesy of
Better Homes and Gardens

 

INGREDIENTS

4 ounces unsweetened chocolate
2 sticks butter
4 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
2 cups sugar
1 cup flour

DIRECTIONS

Heat oven to 325 degrees. Butter 9×13-inch pan. Melt unsweetened chocolate and butter together, stirring frequently. Add eggs, vanilla, sugar and flour and mix. Spread batter in pan. Bake for 25 minutes. Insert a toothpick into the brownies; if it comes out clean, brownies are done baking. Dust with confectioners sugar and cut into squares.

TIP: Don’t forget to cut the brownies into squares before you go!

Makes 8–10 servings.
Adapted from Epicurious.com

Nancy Lynch is a longtime contributor to Madison Magazine

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