These recipes from Steve Poses' new book "At Home: A Caterer's Guide to Cooking & Entertaining" (

» READ MORE: www.athomeby

steveposes.com) lead to dinner party success for Cara Schneider.

WHITE BEAN

& CARAMELIZED

FENNEL DIP

1 cup dried white beans, rinsed, drained and soaked overnight

1 onion, peeled and

roughly chopped

1 celery rib, roughly chopped

2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme

8 garlic cloves, peeled

2 bay leaves

4 quarts water

1 medium fennel bulb

1/4 cup olive oil, plus 2 tablespoons for roasting

2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided

1 teaspoon pepper, divided

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Drain and rinse soaked beans and combine, in a stockpot, with onion, celery, bay leaves and water. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and continue cooking until beans are soft, about 1 hour. Strain, reserving cooking liquid, and allow beans to cool. Discard bay leaves.

Trim the root end and top stalks from the fennel bulb. Standing bulb on the root end, cut thick slices vertically, about 1/2-inch thick. Cut these slices into 1/2- to 1-inch pieces. Toss with 2 tablespoons olive oil, garlic, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2teaspoon pepper. Spread in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Roast until golden, about 75 minutes. Let cool.

Add beans, celery, thyme, 1/4cup olive oil, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2teaspoon pepper to the work bowl of a food processor and pulse, adding some reserved liquid as needed, until dip is pasty but still chunky. Add fennel and garlic and pulse until fennel is chopped but still in recognizable chunks. Transfer to a bowl. Adjust seasoning as necessary and serve. Makes 4-6 servings.

CROSTINI

1 baguette or ficelle, fresh or 1 day old

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

Salt, preferably sea salt (optional)

Cut bread into 1/2-inch-thick slices. A bias cut will give you a larger and more elongated slice, and a good serrated knife is helpful here. If there's time, let slices air-dry overnight. Alternatively, dry bread in a 200-degree oven for an hour or so. Once bread is dry, brush or rub with olive oil and garlic. Place oiled bread on a parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Bake for 7-8 minutes. Remove sheet from oven, turn the slices and bake until golden, about 3-4 minutes. Makes 4-6 servings.

GINGERED BUTTERNUT SQUASH SOUP

2 medium butternut squash, halved and seeded

1 1/2 tablespoons finely chopped

ginger, divided

2 cups finely chopped onion

1/2 cup finely chopped celery

3/4 cup finely chopped carrot

1/4 cup olive oil, divided

2 tablespoons five-spice powder

1 1/2 quarts vegetable broth

1/2 teaspoon white pepper

1/2 cup heavy cream

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Place squash on a baking sheet. In a small bowl, combine 1 tablespoon ginger, 2 tablespoons oil and five-spice powder. Rub squash with spice mixture. Roast squash in oven until tender, about 30-45 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool.

In a large skillet, heat remaining oil. Add onion, celery, carrot and remaining ginger and cook until vegetables are soft, about 10-12 minutes.

Scrape squash from skin and transfer flesh to blender jar. Working in batches, combine with cooked vegetables and vegetable broth and blend until smooth. Transfer blended mixture to a large soup pot.

Season mixture with salt and white pepper. Over a moderate flame, bring soup to a simmer, then stir in cream. Serve in warmed bowls. Makes 4-6 servings.

Quinoa is a small, gluten-free, pearlescent grain that retains a pleasing bite after cooking. Some believe that quinoa needs to be rinsed before cooking to remove a slightly "soapy" taste. We fall into the rinsing camp. If you choose not to rinse, reduce the toasting time below. The walnut oil here also adds to the distinctively nutty quality of the salad; other oils, however, are perfectly fine to use.

Do ahead: Quinoa salad is best served right away but it will hold up to two days when stored in the refrigerator. Re-toss before serving.

NUTTED QUINOA SALAD

2 tablespoons finely chopped garlic

1 cup chopped scallions, white and green parts

1/2 cup finely chopped red pepper

1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley

1 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped and toasted

1/4 cup lemon juice

1 cup quinoa

1 1/2 cups water

2 tablespoons honey

2 tablespoons walnut oil (preferred) or other oil

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/8 teaspoon pepper

Rinse quinoa in a generous amount of water and strain it through a fine mesh strainer.

Add quinoa to a dry sauté pan over low-moderate heat and toast, tossing and mixing frequently, until the quinoa crackles, lightly tans and releases a nutty fragrance, about 7-9 minutes.

Combine quinoa with water in a 2-quart pot. Bring to a boil, reduce to slow simmer, cover and cook until quinoa is tender but retains a little crunch, about 10-12 minutes from the time you reduce the heat. Remove from heat and cool for 10 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and fluff with a fork. Cool completely.

Stir in garlic, scallion, red pepper, parsley and walnuts. Toss well.

In a separate bowl, whisk together lemon juice, honey and oil. Add to quinoa-vegetable mix and toss well. Season with salt and pepper. Makes 4-6 servings.

ROASTED BRUSSELS SPROUTS

1 pound brussels sprouts

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 cloves garlic, minced

Salt

Freshly ground pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Trim a bit of the root end of brussels sprouts. Cut large sprouts in half.

Spread in a single layer on a sheet pan, tossing with olive oil and garlic. Cook until sprouts are well browned. Don't worry if some loose leaves get slightly charred. Cook for 30 to 45 minutes. Finish with salt and fresh-ground black pepper. Makes 4-6 servings.

ROAST LOIN OF PORK WITH POMEGRANATES

Brine:

2 cups boiling water

3/4 cup kosher salt

1/4 cup sugar

2 bay leaves

4 star anise pods

1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds

2 teaspoons coriander seeds

1 teaspoon crushed black

peppercorns

2 fresh rosemary sprigs

3 fresh thyme sprigs

3 quarts plus 2 cups cold water

Roast:

Kosher salt and pepper

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 whole pomegranate, cut into

quarters and seeded*

2 cups pomegranate juice

3-3 1/2 pounds pork loin

Make the brine: In a large bowl, combine boiling water with salt and sugar. Stir until dissolved. Add bay leaves, star anise, mustard, coriander, peppercorns, rosemary and thyme. Steep for a few minutes. Add cold water and refrigerate until cold. To speed process, you may add ice to the brine; the total volume should be no more than 4 quarts. Place pork loin in chilled brine and cover with a plate to make sure it stays covered. Brine for at least 12 hours or up to 2 days.

Make a glaze to baste the loin by reducing the pomegranate juice in a small pot over high heat until you have about 1/3cup left. If you reduce too far, just add back some water.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Remove loin from brine and dry well. Season with salt and pepper. In a roasting pan on top of the stove, heat oil and brown pork all over, about 3-5 minutes per side.

Roast for 18 minutes per pound, until a meat thermometer reads 140 degrees. After 15 minutes, begin to baste the pork with the pomegranate glaze using a basting brush. Baste every 10 minutes until the roast is fully cooked. Once the roast is cooked, remove from roasting pan and place on a platter to rest. Save any juices and residual glaze in roasting pan. The roast should rest for 20-30 minutes. If the roast has shed any juice on the platter it's resting on, pour those juices back into the roasting pan, swirl around a little and pour back over the loin after it is sliced. Use the pomegranate seeds generously as a garnish. Makes 6 servings.

*Remove the seeds over a bowl by pulling and poking. Discard the membrane. Some of the membrane will stick to the seeds so you will have to pick through to remove.

ASIAN PEAR CRISPS WITH GORGONZOLA MOUSSE

1 tablespoon toasted pine nuts

1 Asian pear

1 tablespoon Gorgonzola cheese

1 tablespoon cream cheese

1 tablespoon half and half

Place Gorgonzola, cream cheese and half and half in a bowl and with the back of a spoon, mash until smooth.

Assemble the crisps: Slice pear into 12 wedges. Pipe or spoon 1 heaping tablespoon mousse onto each slice and top with a sprinkling of pine nuts. Serve within 1 hour. Makes 4 to 6 servings.