In the weeks ahead, most of us have calendars filled with holiday parties– work parties, friend parties, church parties, and family parties. Some will be held at restaurants, some may be fancy catered events, a few might be potlucks, and others might just have a super cool hostess that loves to spend hours slaving away in her own cramped kitchen. Hmmm, do you know someone like that?
The annual party I throw for my girlfriends after Christmas is one of my favorite events of the entire year, so I spend a few weeks working through ideas, making lists, and testing recipes to ensure the perfect menu. I’ve been to one too many parties myself where the table was a sea of beige. Boring. My ultimate goal is to have a buffet that includes a variety of colors, textures and flavors as well as a balance of proteins, starches and vegetables. It’s a challenge, but it’s fun!
Some crowd pleasers from past parties may make an encore appearance, but for the most part, the table is filled with new bite sized creations every year. This year’s menu is starting to take shape right now, and at the top of the list are these Beef and Gorgonzola Toasts. They are absolutely, positively scrumptious! That all of the major components can be made well in advance is also a big plus for me, as spreading out the work load is essential for my sanity on the day of the party.
When creating my test batch, I made both the steak and the herb garlic cream a day before and kept them refrigerated, then all I had to do day of was toast my baguette slices and assemble. (If you really want to shave off more prep time, you could even buy pre-toasted baguette slices in the deli section of the grocery.)
The herb garlic cream is soooo good, and this recipe makes enough that you’ll have a little left over that would be a great topping for a baked potato or grilled chicken. Mmmm.
Beef and Gorgonzola Toasts with Herb Garlic Cream
30 appetizers (serving size: 1 toast). Adapted from Cooking Light.
1 (1 1/4-lb) beef tenderloin, trimmed
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
30 (1/4-inch-thick) slices diagonally cut French bread baguette, toasted*
10 Tbsp Herb-Garlic Cream
30 baby spinach leaves
6-8 Tbsp crumbled Gorgonzola cheese
Herb Garlic Cream:
2/3 cup light sour cream
2 Tbsp minced fresh chives
2 Tbsp low-fat mayonnaise
1 1/2 Tbsp chopped fresh thyme
1 1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 garlic clove, minced
Mix up all ingredients for Herb Garlic Cream in a small bowl; cover and chill.
Place steak in an 11 x 7 baking dish. Sprinkle sides evenly with half of Worcestershire sauce, salt, and pepper; rub into steak. Cover and refrigerate at least 20 minutes. Preheat oven to 475°.
Place tenderloin on a broiler pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 475° for 10 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 425° (do not remove tenderloin from oven); bake an additional 20 minutes or until thermometer registers 145° (medium-rare) to 160° (medium) or until desired degree of doneness. Remove from oven. Cover tenderloin with foil; let stand 10 minutes. Cut tenderloin across grain into very thin slices.
Spread each baguette slice with 1 teaspoon Herb-Garlic Cream; top each with 1 spinach leaf. Divide beef evenly among bread slices; sprinkle each with gorgonzola.
*Optional: brush baguette slices with melted butter and sprinkle with garlic salt and dried parsley before toasting.