Indulgent Recipes for an Intimate Holiday Feast

The festive menu includes acorn squash agrodolce, beef tenderloin, white chocolate panna cotta and an espresso martini.

Beef Tenderloin with Scalloped Potatoes


Photography by Angel Tucker; styling by Nik Delfino of Easy Entertaining; place settings from Party Rental Ltd.

Beef Tenderloin
2 Tbsp kosher salt
1 Tbsp coarse ground black pepper
1 Tbsp coffee, fine grind
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
4–5 lbs beef tenderloin, whole, trimmed
and tied
Mix dry ingredients together. Dry exterior of tenderloin and rub spice blend generously on the tenderloin. Leave in fridge for 6 hours or overnight.
Preheat oven to 500 F.
Remove beef from refrigerator for 30 minutes.
Place tenderloin on a baking sheet and put in oven for 25 minutes or until thermometer reads 125–130 degrees.
Remove from the oven and gently cover with aluminum foil. Rest for 20 minutes before removing strings, slicing and serving.

Scalloped Potatoes
3 Tbsp melted butter
½ cup finely diced onion
2 Tbsp finely diced garlic
¼ cup flour; for gluten-free,
sub in ¼ cup cornstarch
1 cup vegetable stock
2 cups whole milk
1 ½ tsp salt
½ tsp black pepper
2 tsp thyme
4 lb potatoes, sliced V-inch thick,
skin on
2 cups cheddar
½ cup grated parmesan

Preheat oven to 350 F.
Saute garlic and onions in melted butter until soft.
Dust with flour and stir, cook on low heat for 5–8 minutes.
Add stock, milk, salt, pepper and thyme; simmer until thickened.
Spread ¼ cup sauce on bottom of baking dish.
Layer 1/3 of prepared potatoes in dish, top with 1/3 sauce and 1/3 cheese.
Repeat two more times.
Bake 1 hour until fork tender.


Entertaining tip: “If you’re serving immediate family, platters are sufficient. But if it’s a small group, plate each item seperately, then serve,” says Roberts.