Thanks for the tips.
Cooking the tenderloin in the salt crust was pretty neat. It was not too much extra work, and well worth it.
The only issues I had was I had to do so much of it while everyone was there. I am usually inclined to pull everything out of the oven and not let anyone see the process -- particularly because I am not the neatest cook and have several friends and family members that ask hundreds of questions about what I am doing and why.
Sometimes they don't even wait to see - For instance: I pull out a knife and they say, "Now what are you going to do with that? You're going to cut it which way? And do you do that because blah blah blah...???" And then there's the others, "What can I do? You look so busy. Give me a job. Are you sure I can't help? Would you like me to do something?" I try to let them know I would love for them just to enjoy their drinks and food, and I will go about my cooking business with finishing the last details so their dinner is freshly cooked. It doesn't feel like work at all. It is my pleasure.
I kept them pretty busy with lots of appetizers and drinks going (not to mention they were making uncountable trips to their cars for gifts!) so I was able to do my part with relatively little interrogation of what the heck I was up to!
And everyone loved it so. It was a little overcooked for me but only I noticed (Most of them are medium well lovers). I let it set longer than I should have because everyone was just busying around and socializing. It was nothing less than tender and flavorful. Sure beats ham.
I ended up making a garlic peppercorn butter to accompany the beef. Not original, but yummy. I also made mushrooms sauteed in butter, but forgot to bring that out. I don't think I have ever had a party where I didn't forget I had some appetizer or side or dessert made up because I usually make so many things.
Anyway. It was a very Merry Christmas for all of us and the food was only a small part of that. We are so blessed. I wish the same for all of you!