Mixed Faith Holiday Menu

Christmas, Holidays, Recipes, Special Occasions
on December 1, 2006
Garlic and Herb Beef Tenderloin
Mark Boughton Photography / styling: Teresa Blackburn

My husband’s Christmas food traditions included a special roast as the centerpiece of the meal. As the star of the table, this was often an indulgence for his family: rack of lamb, standing rib roast or beef tenderloin were not cuts of meat his family could afford to eat very often.

For me, Hanukkah is practically synonymous with latkes, the fried potato pancakes served by many Jews to commemorate the miracle of the oil in the Temple burning for eight days. We’d eat the pancakes with applesauce and sour cream, or sometimes straight from the frying pan before my mother could even get them to the platter.

For this year’s holiday gathering, we’re serving Prosecco Sunrise Punch as a starter cocktail. Prosecco is an Italian bubbly with all the frolicking ambiance of Champagne, but less pretentious and more affordable.

Then comes beef tenderloin with a garlic and herb crust. An easy, do-ahead dish, it takes about 10 minutes to put together and gets rave reviews every time. We’re pairing the beef with traditional latkes, and as a nod to the applesauce I ate as a child, we’re including Apple Onion Relish, which is great with both the beef and the latkes. Everyone at the table—regardless of their faith—agrees: it’s heavenly.

By Marge Perry and David Bonom, writers in Tenafly, N.J.