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Cranberry-Pistachio Pate Serve this country-style pate with apple or pear slices, toasted baguette rounds, and stone-ground mustard.
Mixed Greens with Beets and Garlic Croutons Mesclun, the melange of young, tender greens, was until recently the domain of gourmet markets and high-end restaurants. Today, you'll likely find it in the produce aisle of your supermarket.
Herb-Roasted Capon with Caramelized Onions Roast two capons if you're serving a crowd or want leftovers for sandwiches. If you can't find a capon, substitute a 5- to 7-pound roasting chicken.
Green Beans and Fennel Here, chopped fresh fennel offers the delightful crunch of celery, but with a subtle licorice flavor. To crush fennel seeds, place them on a cutting board, then roll over them with a rolling pin.
Walnut-Sage Potatoes au Gratin Gruyere -- is it Swiss or French? Both countries have argued over the rights to the name, but there's no need to dwell on the issue! Instead, just savor the distinctive nutty, rich flavor the semihard cheese brings to this dish.
Pumpkin Creme Caramel Using a water bath when making these smooth, silky desserts is key in helping the custard cook slowly and evenly.
Use our handy timetable to make the special day a little more manageable.2 days ahead