Holiday dinner party with dear friends

Your dinner guests will love this juicy, tender pork loin with fresh rosemary.

Whether you are hosting a dinner party with a few friends that you see every day or with friends you only see during the holidays, it doesn’t matter what you serve. Just keep it simple and fresh. Add some steamed broccoli, sautéed green beans, or a tossed salad to this foolproof menu, a meal that will earn rave reviews from guests.

Rosemary Pork Tenderloin with Cranberry Glaze

• 2 ½ lb. boneless pork tenderloin

Rub:

• ½ tsp. salt

• ½ tsp. coarse ground black pepper

• 1 TBSP. stone ground Dijon mustard (I use Inglehoffer)

• 2 TBSP. extra virgin olive oil

• 2 TBSP. salted butter, melted

• 1 ¼ tsp. finely chopped fresh rosemary

Glaze:

• 1 cup fresh cranberries

• ¼ cup dark brown sugar, packed

• ½ cup orange juice

Garnish: Fresh rosemary

Place all of the rub ingredients together in a bowl; mix together and rub all over the pork. Put the pork tenderloin in a lightly greased roasting pan. Bake for 40 minutes in a preheated 350-degree oven; spoon some of the juices from the pan over the loin at the halfway mark. In a saucepan, whisk together the cranberries, brown sugar, and orange juice. Bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar, and cook until the cranberries have burst. Use a whisk to break up the cranberries and continue to cook for 15 minutes, until the sauce has thickened. For a smoother consistency, pulse the sauce in a food processor for a few minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and spread the glaze evenly over the top. Bake for another 20-25 minute, or until the pork is cooked through. Garnish with fresh rosemary. (You may need to cover the roasting pan lightly with foil during the first 25 minutes of cooking.) Let the pork loin rest for 10 minutes in the pan before slicing.

Slow Cooker Garlic Parmesan Potatoes

• 3 lbs. baby Dutch yellow potatoes, halved

• 2-3 TBSP. extra virgin olive oil

• 3 ½ TBSP. salted butter, cut into small pieces

• 4 garlic cloves, minced

• ½ tsp. dried basil

• ½ tsp. dried oregano

• ¼ tsp. dried dill

• Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

• 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

• 2 TBSP. chopped parsley

Place potatoes in a lightly greased crock pot. Stir in the olive oil, butter, minced garlic, basil, oregano, and dill, and gently toss to coat. Season the potatoes with the salt and pepper. Cook on low for 4-5 hours. Remove the lid and sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese and chopped parsley; allow the cheese to melt and stir before serving.

Creamy Red Pepper Shrimp

• ¼ cup salted butter

• 2 TBSP. olive oil

• 4 garlic cloves, minced

• 1/3 cup chopped onion

• 1 ½ lbs. (680 grams) large shrimp

• ½ tsp. crushed red pepper flakes

• 12 oz. roasted red peppers, drained and chopped

• ½ cup white wine (or sherry cooking wine)

• ½ cup heavy whipping cream

• 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Garnish: Fresh basil or chopped parsley

In a deep skillet, heat the butter and olive oil together over medium heat. Add the garlic and chopped onion and cook, stirring until the onions are softened. Add the shrimp and red pepper flakes; cook and stir for 2-3 minutes. Add the chopped roasted red peppers and cooking wine. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 3 minutes, or until heated through and shrimp turn opaque. Stir in the heavy cream and Parmesan cheese and simmer for 2 minutes. Serve with roasted potatoes or mashed potatoes.

Maple Butter White Chocolate Blondies

• 1/3 cup salted butter, melted

• 1 large egg, beaten

• 1 cup light brown sugar, packed

• 1 TBSP. pure vanilla extract

• ½ tsp. baking powder

• 1/8 tsp. baking soda

• 1/8 tsp. salt

• 1 cup all-purpose flour

• 2/3 cup white chocolate chips

• 1/3 cup walnuts, chopped (can use pecans)

Maple Butter Sauce:

• ¾ cup pure maple syrup

• ½ cup salted butter

• ¾ cup light brown sugar, packed

• 1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese, softened

• ¼ cup walnuts, finely chopped (can use pecans)

• Vanilla ice cream

In a large mixing bowl, stir together the butter, egg, light brown sugar, and vanilla extract. Stir in the baking powder, baking soda, salt, and flour until fully incorporated. Fold in the white chocolate chips and chopped walnuts. Pour the batter into a greased 9x9 inch pan. Cook in a preheated oven at 350 degrees for 20 -25 minutes. In a saucepan, cook the maple syrup and butter over low heat until the butter is melted. Add the brown sugar and softened cream cheese, stirring constantly until the cream cheese has completely melted. Cut the brownies into squares and arrange on a flat wooden board or other flat bottomed serving platter. Top each square with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and drizzle the maple butter sauce over the top of each one. Top with the additional chopped nuts. Use large serving spoons to pick up individual servings. Note: You can use a combination of white chocolate and butterscotch chips.

— Amy Fischer lives in Fort Payne, Alabama, and is a Southern food enthusiast who loves to spend time in the kitchen creating tasty recipes. You can contact her at facebook.com/MySouthernTable.

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