Recipes for an Intimate Dinner Party from Roy Goslin

Indulge in the richness of life with a dinner party set to celebrate the food.

Autumn is the perfect time to gather loved ones and break bread together, but there’s a big difference between filling the family trough and savoring rare indulgences. When it comes to feeding a crowd, a pan of pre-cooked lasagna is easiest; carefully prepared gourmet meals might sadly amount to so many pearls before swine. Imagine a cozy, intimate dinner with extraordinary food and great wines to match: a rarified feast for the discerning palate. Sound enchanting? We thought so, too.

We turned to 17-year Plymouth resident Roy Goslin, proprietor of Z Wines USA, chef extraordinaire and faithful reader, who came up with a gorgeous seasonal menu to share with a small group before the annual onslaught of revelers that the holidays bring. Indeed, this is more a celebration of food than of holiday, and good company makes it even more savory, even more sweet. Goslin also recommends the perfect wines for this meal; pay attention to the way each one interacts with the food, because each match was deliberate. It’s not a hard dinner to prepare, and it won’t feel like work—it will feel like an act of love for both yourself and your dinner companions. The cookies and turkeys will be upon us soon enough; this meal is a fortifying sacrament.

The menu begins with shrimp in a curried butternut cream sauce, because where there’s shrimp, there’s a special occasion. Give yourself some leeway when shopping for these ingredients: skip the huge tray of pre-cooked shrimp, and buy something fresh from your local fish counter. It will make a difference. The size of each crustacean is up to you. This course marries sophisticated spices—read: curry—with rustic, sweet butternut squash, and the result is, well, surprisingly complex and exciting. Picky eaters might not appreciate this marvel of flavors, but it’s exactly what you want to moan over with your foodie friends. You can make it as spicy as you desire with the addition of cayenne pepper, though we suggest a restrained hand so as not to scorch your taste buds right out of the gate. It’s the prettiest plate of orange and pink, too; let us not neglect the aesthetics of the meal.

Now for the main course: roast pork. All hail the mighty pig, provider of succulent meat, subject of many a foodie’s rhapsodies and, of course important to our Midwest sensibilities, the place where bacon comes from. Goslin presents a double-pork dish to die for: roasted pork tenderloin wrapped in bacon. The meat needs to marinate overnight, but it’s a simple pop-in-the-oven masterpiece. It looks (and smells) impressive.

Dessert is not to be skipped, though after the shrimp and the pork you’re probably reeling (in a good way) with richness. Still, the last thing you want is a gloppy sugar-and-butter bomb. And so a marinated apricot with yogurt cobbler it is—sophisticated, not too sweet and served in your most chic glasses, like an updated parfait. There is a dessert wine to match it, of course.

Sip and linger; feel the glow in your tummy and in your soul. If this were the 19th century, you would now retire to the parlor for cognac and cigars. This being 21st century Minnesota, a good cup of coffee is nice, too.


Shrimp in Curried Butternut Cream Sauce
Roasted Bacon-wrapped Pork Tenderloin
Roasted Seasonal Vegetables
Marinated Apricot and Yogurt Cobbler
Note: All recipes serve six adults

Shrimp in Curried Butternut Cream Sauce

30 medium raw shrimp (+/-1½ lb.)
2 cups diced butternut squash
½ cup vegetable stock
1½ cups heavy cream
2 tsp. yellow curry powder
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
½ tsp. smoked paprika
¼ cup olive oil
Cayenne pepper
Fresh cilantro

  • Marinate the shrimp with the garlic, smoked paprika, cayenne pepper and olive oil for two to three hours in a sealed plastic bag.
  • Cook the butternut squash in the vegetable stock until tender. Add the curry powder, and simmer for 5 minutes.
  • Add the cream, and purée the mixture with a hand blender. Heat the purée over gentle heat.
  • Brush a heavy skillet with olive oil, and heat until the olive oil begins to smoke. Sear the shrimp in the skillet until they turn pink.
  • Divide the curried butternut purée between six soup bowls, and place five shrimp in the center of each bowl.
  • Garnish with fresh cilantro.

Roasted Bacon-wrapped Pork Tenderloin
1–2 lb. pork tenderloin
8 slices of bacon
Freshly ground black pepper
1 dessert spoon of flour
2 cups vegetable broth
1 cup dry white wine

  • Rub the tenderloin with freshly ground black pepper, and wrap with bacon. Allow the tenderloin to rest in the refrigerator uncovered for 12 hours.
  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Rub a little olive oil in the bottom of a roasting pan, and place the tenderloin in the roasting pan.
  • Roast the racks for 15 minutes, and test with an instant-read thermometer. Remove the tenderloin from the oven once the thermometer registers an internal temperature of 145 degrees F for medium to medium-rare meat. Place the tenderloin on a serving dish, and allow to rest for about 8 to 10 minutes.
  • Brown the flour in the roasting pan; add the white wine and vegetable broth, and reduce over high heat.
  • Slice the tenderloin into half-inch slices, and serve with roasted seasonal vegetables and potatoes.

Roasted Seasonal Vegetables

Use a mix of root vegetables from the list below, providing sufficient amounts to serve six as a side dish.


Slice and prepare the vegetables as preferred. Brush with olive oil; roast at 400 degrees F 30–40 minutes.

Marinated Apricot and Yogurt Cobbler

 ½ cup rolled oats
1½ cups dry white wine
1 Tbsp. honey
¼ lb. dried apricots
2 cups plain whole-milk yogurt
1 cup heavy cream

  • Lightly toast the oatmeal in a dry skillet over medium heat until lightly golden. Tip it onto a plate, and allow it to cool.
  • Warm the white wine over medium heat, and dissolve the honey in the wine.
  • Chop the apricots coarsely, and steep them in the wine and honey mixture for at least 1 hour. Take ⅔ of the apricots, and purée with a hand blender.
  • Mix the yogurt and the cream, and fold in 2 Tbsp. of the apricot steeping liquid.
  • Set aside 1 to 2 Tbsp. of the oatmeal for garnishing. Fold the remaining oatmeal into the cream and yogurt mixture.
  • Spoon 1 Tbsp. of the apricot purée into each of six serving glasses. Add the remainder of the apricot purée into the yogurt and oatmeal mixture, and incorporate lightly.
  • Top the serving glasses with the yogurt and oatmeal mixture. Garnish with chopped apricots and oatmeal.

Where's the Wine?

Check out our roundup of white wines that will pair perfectly with this menu, courtesy of none other than Roy Goslin.