A Recipe for Success

Hosting a Small Dinner Party to Celebrate a Special Occasion Should Be Easy, Creative, and Fun

Article by Christina Murray

Photography by Christina Murray & Provided

Originally published in Boise Lifestyle

Chef Christina Murray of Season + Taste shares a recipe that is both elegant and impressive, and the perfect dish to make for a special occasion. Serve with a roasted beet salad, pour your favorite Zinfandel, and throw on some music. Finish with a light dessert and brandy or coffee.

Steak au Poivre with Creamy Truffled Risotto

Serves 4

Risotto Ingredients:

·      2 TBSP Butter, plus 3 TBSP for finishing

·      1 Cup Shallots, minced

·      1 TBSP Garlic, minced

·      1.5 Cup Arborio Rice

·      3 1/3 Cups Chicken Broth

·      ¼ Cups White Wine

·      1 ½ tsp. Salt

·      ¼ tsp. Pepper

·      ½ Cup Shredded Parmesan

·      1 tsp Truffle Oil


Set Instant Pot to sauté. Melt 2 TBSP of butter, add shallots, and cook 3-4 minutes. Add garlic and rice until golden brown and toasted. Season with salt and pepper. Add wine and broth. Select manual high setting; set time for 6 minutes. When finished, quick-release the pressure. Finish with butter and shredded Parmesan until melted. Drizzle with truffle oil.

Steak Ingredients:

• 4 Beef Tenderloin Filets

• Salt and Pepper

•1 TBSP Vegetable Oil 

Sauce Ingredients:

• 2 TBSP Butter

• ¼ Cup Green Peppercorns in brine, drained

• 3 TBSP Shallots, minced

• ¼ Cup White Wine

• 1 Cup Beef Stock

• 1 Cup Whipping Cream

• Salt

• Pepper


Preheat oven to 425F. Pat beef dry. On a plate, sprinkle a heavy layer of salt and pepper. Press steaks into mixture, coat evenly on all sides. Set aside. Heat sauté pan to medium-high heat. Add  oil. Heat until shimmering. Place steaks in pan evenly spaced.  Sear steaks, about 3 to 4 minutes per side. Remove from pan, set aside. In same pan, melt butter, add shallots, sauté until translucent. Add green peppercorns. Season with salt and pepper. Cook for a minute, then deglaze pan with white wine. Add beef stock and cream, bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer, cook until sauce thickens to desired consistency about 10 minutes. Season.

Finish steak. Place steaks into 425F oven for 5-7 minutes or 130F for medium rare. Remove pan from oven, allow meat to rest and finish sauce.

To plate:

Slice steaks. Create a mound of risotto and arrange steak neatly on top, spooning sauce onto steak. Add edible flowers for garnish. 


+Pre-batch a signature cocktail instead of playing mixologist when guests arrive.

+Easy does it on the hors d’oeuvres.  Buy a light pre-made or serve marcona almonds in a beautiful bowl.

+Choose music wisely.  The tunes should flow into one another and last 4 hours.

+Limit yourself to one impressive plate and fill in the rest with simple, make-ahead dishes. 

+-Don’t feel pressured to make dessert when there are professional bakers in town.

+If something doesn’t go according to plan, laugh it off.

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