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Any Night’s All Right

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Who needs a reason to celebrate good friends and great food? The secret to entertaining any night of the week is a menu of mostly make-ahead dishes.

The secret to entertaining any night of the week? A menu of mostly make-ahead dishes.

Menu Timeline

One day ahead:

  • Bake and ice the buttermilk cake; wrap it in plastic and refrigerate overnight.
  • Make the white bean and herb dip.
  • Make the black olive dressing for the broccolini; cover and refrigerate overnight.
  • Marinate the skirt steak and make the radish and red onion pickle.

One hour ahead:

  • Preheat oven to 400°F (for roasting the potatoes and mushrooms).
  • Remove white bean and herb dip from the refrigerator and set aside at room temperature, if you like. Arrange crackers or bread in a basket to accompany the dip.
  • Set the buttermilk cake aside at room temperature until ready to serve.

Just before guests arrive:

  • Put a large pot of well-salted water on to boil for the broccolini.
  • Put potatoes into the oven to roast; make the mascarpone dressing.

When guests have arrived and are snacking on the bean dip:

  • Cook skirt steak and gently re-warm the radish and red onion pickle.
  • Cook and toss the broccolini with prepared black olive dressing.
  • Finish roasting the potatoes and mushrooms and toss with mascarpone dressing.

Shopping List

Fresh Produce

  • 2 lb. Yukon gold potatoes (about 6 medium)
  • 2 lb. broccolini, trimmed (4 bunches)
  • 3/4 lb. small to medium cremini or white mushrooms
  • 1 small butternut squash
  • 1 bunch red radishes (8 or 9)
  • 3-4 lemons
  • 1 large orange
  • 1 medium carrot
  • 1 small yellow onion
  • 1 small red onion
  • 7 medium cloves garlic
  • 1 small jalapeño
  • 1 bunch fresh parsley
  • 1 small bunch fresh chives
  • 1 small bunch fresh marjoram or oregano
  • 4 small scallions
  • Assorted crudités, for serving

Meat, Dairy & Eggs

  • 2 lb. skirt steak
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 4 oz. (1/2 cup) cream cheese
  • 4 oz. (1/2 cup) unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup mascarpone
  • 2 large eggs

Other Groceries

  • 2 15-oz. cans cannellini beans
  • 9 oz. (2-1/4 cups) confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/3 cup pitted Kalamata olives
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped crystallized ginger
  • 1 Tbs. sherry vinegar
  • 1 anchovy fillet (optional)
  • Crusty sourdough bread, or crackers, for serving

Pantry Staples

  • 3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1-1/2 cups extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1-1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 3 Tbs. apple cider vinegar
  • 2 Tbs. honey
  • 2 Tbs. Dijon mustard
  • 1 Tbs. distilled white vinegar
  • 3 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1-1/2 tsp. red wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
  • Whole nutmeg, for grating
  • Kosher salt
  • Black peppercorns
  • Table salt

The Menu

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