Saturday, January 3, 2015

Meating Of The Minds

January 1st is a great time to thoroughly examine the contents of your refrigerator and pantry and play the culinary version of Tetris.  This ingredient fits into that slot, you flip this item on its side and wedge it between two other pieces...

...okay, really, the Tetris thing is not quite the right metaphor in this case, but my brain seems stuck on it right now, so...

In my freezer, I discovered some fairly well-wrapped beef tenderloins...and the date on the package? March 28, 2014.  Yep, these guys were nine months old.  Thank goodness they smelled fine, albeit their color was a little darker than I'm used to seeing, but we'll call that aging, okay?

Also in my freezer was a random, lone sheet of Pepperidge Farm puff pastry.  Probably left over from some cream puff-type project earlier in the year.  Puff pastry is like a little fussy old lady, very particular and must be handled carefully.  Frankly, I don't like messing with it very often.

Beef tenderloin + puff pastry?  Are you thinking what I'm thinking?

Beef Wellington!  Or Filet de boeuf en croute, as they would say in France.  It looks fairly complicated, but using the premade puff pastry makes it pretty easy really.  I did a quick saute of mushrooms, spinach, salt, pepper, thyme and rosemary until mushrooms were soft (then pulsed quickly in the processor and cooled).  In a hot skillet with a little oil, I seared the tenderloin steaks on both sides (to get that yummy brown crust), then I let them cool.  I rolled out my thawed pastry (on a well-floured surface, mind) and just before I wrapped the meat in the pastry, I spread a layer of the mushroom mixture on the bottom.  Then, washed with egg wash and banged into the oven at 425 until golden brown.

You know, I'd always been nervous about Wellingtons, but actually are quite simple, yet impressive, entrees.  Corking good!

The grand Beef Wellington armada without its sauce

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