Beef Wellington

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Beef Wellington is a special Christmas Eve tradition, a delicious treat looked forward to all year. It looks fancy because it is fancy. There are many steps but none of them too complex and I can tell you from experience that it can all be accomplished whilst completely faced.

Beef Wellington

1 3-5 lb. Whole Beef Tenderloin Roast (approx 5-6 inches long)
1 tablespoon Olive Oil
1 tablespoon Butter
1 pint container of whole White Cap or Brown Mushrooms.
2 teaspoon Fresh Thyme Leaves
2 cloves chopped Garlic
Salt & Pepper (to taste)
6-8 slices Prosciutto
2 tablespoons English or Dijon Mustard
1 sheet Puff Pastry (defrosted)
2 Egg Yolks

For the Duxelles:
Place the mushrooms, thyme, garlic, salt and pepper in the bowl of a food processor. Grind the mixture until the mushrooms are finely chopped.
Heat a saute pan over medium-high heat and add the mushroom mixture and saute until most of the moisture is gone leaving a creamy paste. Spread the duxelles out on a plate to cool and set aside.

For the Beef:
In the same saute pan you’ve used for the duxelles, heat the olive oil and butter over medium-high heat and brown the tenderloin on all sides. Set aside.
Also, set aside the pan, with all those lovely brown bits, you’ve browned it in to make pan gravy later.

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Next, on a sheet of cling wrap layer the prosciutto so it is overlapping.
Spread the duxelles onto the prosciutto.
Lay the beef on next.
Spread the mustard over the beef.

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Layer the top with prosciutto and then wrap the cling around the meat encasing it all in a neat package.
Twist the ends of the cling film tight then place it into the fridge to rest for 20 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 400F.

Roll out the puff pastry into a large rectangle (approx 10x 12in) on a floured surface.
Retrieve your beef from the fridge and unwrap it from it cling film.
Lay the beef onto the center of the pastry.
Brush the edges of the pastry with the egg yolk.
Fold the pastry over the beef to encase it.
Turn it over so the folds are underneath and set it onto a parchment lined sheet pan.
Brush the outside of the pastry in the egg yolk and make pretty score marks into the dough.(I go for a swirly pattern)


Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes or until the temp measured with a meat thermometer in the middle of the beef is at 125-130F.
Rest the Wellington for 10-15 minutes before carving into thick slices.

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Serves 4-6 depending on how thick you slice it.

For the Pan Gravy:
Beef drippings from browning your tenderloin.
1 tablespoon Butter
1 tablespoon Flour
1& 1/2 cup Beef Stock
Set the pan on a high burner.
Add butter and whisk with pan drippings.
Add flour and whisk until well combined.
Add beef stock and whisk until smooth and thickened.
Serve over Beef Wellington.

Apple Pie Bread Pudding

Apple Pie Bread Pudding

This can be a cozy dessert or a lovely addition to your brunch table.

Apple Pie Bread Pudding

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

8 cups Baguette torn into rough 2 inch chunks
Butter a 9 x 13 pan. Place the torn bread into the pan and set aside.

For the Custard:
6 large Eggs
6 cups Half & Half
2 tablespoons Sugar
A pinch of Salt

Combine the eggs, half & half, and sugar. Mix well, then slowly pour the mixture over the torn bread in the waiting pan. Set aside while you make the apple pie flavoring.

For the Apple Pie Flavoring:
1/2 cup Water
1/2 cup Sugar
A pinch of Salt
3 tablespoons Dark Rum
1/2 cup Golden Raisins
1 teaspoon Cinnamon
1 teaspoon Nutmeg
2 Apples (peeled, cored and cut into large chunks)

Add all the above ingredients to a sauce pan. Bring to a boil then, turn the heat down to a simmer and cover with a lid.
Simmer for 10 minutes or until the apples are somewhat softened.
Pour the syrup and apples mixture over the bread and cream mixture in the baking pan. Stir gently to combine.

Cover the pan with foil and place in the oven to bake for 40 minutes.
Uncover, and allow to brown on top, about 10 minutes.

Allow to cool for a bit before serving.

Paprika Chicken

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There’s nothing better than a pot of something yummy bubbling away on the stove when it’s rainy out.

Paprika Chicken
6-8 Bone-in Skin-on Chicken Thighs
Salt & Pepper
3 tablespoons Olive Oil
1 large Sweet Onion
1 teaspoon Sugar
3 tablespoons Sweet Paprika
2 tablespoons Tomato Paste
1 cup White Wine
3 cups Chicken Stock
1/2 cup Heavy Cream

Slice onions into thin half moons then set aside.
Heat a large stew pot or brazier with a lid over medium heat and add the olive oil. Season the chicken liberally with salt and pepper and brown skin side down for 7-10 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from the pan and set aside.

Add the onions and sugar and stir to make an even layer. Don’t add anymore salt, as the onions won’t caramelize properly. Saute for 10 minutes stirring occasionally.

Add the paprika and tomato paste, stir to combine with the onions.
Add the wine and stir, allow to reduce for 5 minutes.
Add the chicken stock and stir well.
Add back in the chicken and bring to a boil.
Reduce the heat, cover, and simmer for 30-40 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through. (Temp 165 internal)

When the chicken is cooked remove it from the pot and set aside. Turn the heat up and boil the sauce to reduce and thicken. About 5-7 minutes.
Whisk in the heavy cream.
Add back the chicken and garnish with fresh herbs and a final sprinkling of paprika.
Serve with a crusty loaf of bread for dunking.

Homemade Crème Fraîche

Crème fraîche

Wanna know what I learned to do? I made my own crème fraîche!

I’ve been getting my supply at the specialty market, sometimes they have it at the grocery, but not often. Sour creme is a good substitute, but, I’ve always found it has just too much tang for my taste. Crème fraîche has a… creamier, sweeter, flavor along with just a bit of tang. This discovery has made me so happy! Not only is it going to save me loads of time and money, I always have half a carton of heavy creme sitting around.

Homemade Crème Fraîche
1 cup Heavy Cream
2 tablespoons Buttermilk

Pour the cream and buttermilk into a clean bowl or jar.
Cover with a paper towel and secure with a rubber band.
Set it undisturbed in a warm place for 12-16 hours. (Don’t worry the acids in the buttermilk with keep any bad bacteria at bay during the curing process)
At the end of it’s time on the counter it should be thick but still pourable.
Cover and refrigerate. Good for up to 1 week.

Zucchini Noodles with Pesto

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I can’t get over what a hit this recipe was! My meat loving family really enjoyed this. Well, I did serve it as a side to grilled chicken. But they confessed that they would have eaten the dish as an entree!

Zucchini Noodles with Pesto

1 medium Zucchini
1 medium Summer Squash
2 tablespoons Garlic Olive Oil
3 tablespoons prepared Pesto
3 tablespoons Crème fraîche
2 medium size Tomatoes

Using a mandoline or one of these julienne your squash into long thin strands and set aside.
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De-seed the tomatoes by cutting them in half around the “waist” and scooping out the seeds with a teaspoon or, your finger.
Chop into a large dice.
Heat the olive oil in a saute pan over medium high heat. Add the tomatoes and cook briefly.
Add the zucchini and toss with the olive oil and tomato.
Mix the pesto and crème fraîche add it into the pan with the zucchini and toss around until everything is well coated and just warmed through.
Top with parmesan cheese.
Makes two dinner size portions or 4 side servings.

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Scallops and Herbed Risotto

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If you’re celebrating something this is the dish for you! Yet it’s so easy to make you could go for it on a weekday as well.

Scallops and Herbed Risotto
For the Herbed Risotto:
1 1/2 cups Risotto/Arborio rice
6 cups Chicken or Vegetable stock
3 tablespoons Olive Oil
1 Small Onion (finely chopped)
1 cup White Wine
2 tablespoons Fresh Herbs (Thyme, Rosemary, Parsley, Tarragon, etc.)
1 cup grated Parmesan Cheese
Salt & Pepper

Heat up the chicken stock in a large sauce pan and set aside.
In a large heavy bottomed saute pan heat the olive oil on medium high heat. Add the diced onion, cook until translucent and tender, about 5 minutes. Add the salt and pepper and half the fresh herbs.

Add the rice and stir to ensure it gets coated thoroughly in the oil. Toast the rice for about 3 minutes.
Add the wine. When the wine is all absorbed you can start to add the stock one ladle full at a time.

Ladle the hot stock into the rice by half cup increments, stir and wait until all the stock is absorbed until you add more. Continue with this process until the rice is fully cooked and tender. About 20-30 minutes.
You might not need all the stock, I always give the rice a taste every 10 or so minutes to test for doneness.

Right before you add the last couple of ladles full of stock add the rest of the fresh herbs. Lastly, stir in the parmesan cheese.

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For the Scallops:
1 lb. large Scallops (about 10-15)
4 tablespoons Compound Butter (divided) or, Plain Unsalted Butter if you’d rather.
2 tablespoons Olive Oil (divided)
1/4 cup Heavy Cream
Chopped Fresh Chives
Salt & Pepper

In a heavy bottomed sauté pan turned to medium high, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter and add 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Pat the scallops dry with a tea towel or paper towel and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place 5-7 of the scallops into the butter and fry for about 2 minutes or until golden brown on one side. Flip and then fry for another 2 mins. Remove and place on a warm plate and cover with foil while working on the next batch.
Correctly cooked scallops are rare in the middle.
Repeat procedure for the remaining scallops.
Remove the scallops and place on the plate. Whisk in the heavy cream and reduce for 2-5 minutes, or until it is thickened.

Serve with the Risotto, the cream sauce poured over. Garnish with chives.

Dinner Tonight for iBooks

Guess who’s cookbook is being published for iBooks by Apple? Yep, that’s right!
It should be available Sept 6th! And here’s the best part, it’s only $1.99.
You can get it now as eBook from Blurb if you don’t have iBooks

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While we’re on the subject, my first book The Family Table is already available!
Simply open the iBooks app on your iPad and search Kathleen Rear.

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Handy format, easy, delicious recipes! That my friends is a win, win, win!