Company dinner

We had friends over for dinner last night.  We had been meaning to get together and finally got it on the books as a result of a Words with Friends word.  I scored the word Coquilles and got a ton of points.  Martha responded that she hadn’t had Coquilles St. Jacques for ages.  That cinched it – we scheduled dinner and I made Coquilles St. Jacques as the first course.  For the entree – slow roasted beef tenderloin with oven roasted asparagus.  For dessert, strawberries with balsamic vinegar.  If it sounds weird, go ahead and try it anyway – they were out of this world!  Here are the recipes:

Coquilles St. Jacques (serves 4 as appetizer)

  • 3 TB butter
  • olive oil
  • 1TB flour
  • 1/3 cup of seafood stock
  • 1/2 cup of half and half
  • 1/4 tsp curry powder
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 4 – 6 oz mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/4 cup Cognac
  • 1/3 cup panko
  • 2 TB minced parsley
  • 1/3 cup grated Gruyere cheese
  • 6 scallops, rinsed, dried and cut in quarters

Preheat oven to 400.

Melt 1 TB butter over medium heat and whisk in flour, stirring constantly.  Slowly add seafood stock, whisking as you go.  Then add half and half and curry powder.  Stir over low heat.  Cream sauce should be thick but if it gets too thick, add more liquid (either seafood stock or half and half.)

(You can either do the next step concurrently with the first step if you are pressed for time like I was or do them separately.)  Melt remaining TB of butter and about 1 TB olive oil in another pan.  Saute shallots over medium heat until soft – about 3 minutes.  Add sliced mushrooms and cook  for about 8 – 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Add Cognac and increase heat so the alcohol cooks off.  Reduce heat and combine with cream sauce.  Add scallops to mixture, stir well to combine and divide among gratin dishes.

Mix panko, parsley and cheese in a small bowl and pour in about 1 TB of olive oil.  Sprinkle mixture evenly on top of gratins and bake for 20 minutes until bubbly.  Serve hot.

Beef Tenderloin 

We always used to cook tenderloin at high heat until we discovered this slow-roasted technique.  Meat is moist and tender.

  • 1 beef tenderloin, trimmed and tied
  • 3 TB olive oil
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • coarsely ground pepper.

Preheat oven to 275.  Brush filet with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Roast for 1 hour and 15 minutes.  Check temperature – when a thermometer registers 125, your meat is rare.  If you want medium rare, cook to 135.  Remove from oven and cover with aluminum foil.  Let rest for about 20 minutes and then carve and serve with sauce of your choice.  Our friends wanted to know how the beef had been cooked – it is so consistently rare throughout, they thought we had cooked it sous vide.

Mustard Horseradish sauce

  • 1 1/2 cups mayonnaise
  • 3 TB Dijon mustard
  • 1 1/2 TB whole-grain mustard
  • 1 TB horseradish
  • 1/4 cup sour cream

Whisk together to combine.  Refrigerate until ready to serve.


  • Asparagus (tough ends broken off)
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • fresh grated parmesan cheese

While salmon rests, turn oven up to 450.  Spread asparagus on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Cook about 5 minutes until tender.  Remove from oven and sprinkle with parmesan cheese.

Balsamic strawberries

  • 1 cup sliced strawberries
  • 5 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • sprinkle fresh ground pepper

Combine all ingredients.  Let sit in a glass bowl covered.  Serve with vanilla ice cream.


About emenuplan
I love to cook and love to eat. I work full time and have a family so managing good meals during the week requires organization. I'm hoping to share my weekly menu plans and recipes to make things a little easier for those who want to follow along.

One Response to Company dinner

  1. Peter Klein says:

    It was an unbelievable dinner – so many flavors and the Coquilles was a blast from the past! Thanks for a truly great dinner (and the company)!

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