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.

Romantic Films That Aren’t

Some like to stay in for St. Valentine’s Day. Stay in and watch movies that at first glance aren’t really in keeping with the spirit of that particular holiday but trust me when I say that these are really some of the most romantic films I’ve seen in a long time. Not feel good rom-coms but complex studies in love that are morally intricate.

Happy Valentines Day!

Happy New Year!

Hey there Wishers!
I hope the holidays were joyus and your New Year’s hangover wasn’t too bad!
I’d like to take this opportunity before we start in on our annual re-cap to thank you all for the continued support in 2015.
So many new subscribers and lovely comments and emails, you’re a wonderful bunch!
Thank you!

In January we discovered Chateau de Guandes and followed it’s ambitious owners as they patiently nursed the old Dame back to her former glory.
Chateau+Gudanes+Carla+Coulson-66

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By September the Waters Family welcomed their first guests when a wedding was held on the grounds.
They are proceeding by leaps and bounds and I intend on checking in on them through 2016.

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This spring we branched out a bit and experimented with a few recipes with delicious results.
Pork Lion Piccata
fruit compote

We also met Slinkachu and Kirra Jamison our in the feature Art is Everywhere.
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Last summer we met the wonderful illustrator Maori Sakai,
tumblr_noe6ftV1O11u3eaqvo1_500Grilled veggies, Grilled Veg and made our own shower scrub.lavender 2

lav scrub 1

We thought Fall would never come, but when temps finally dipped into baking weather we jumped right in with Banana Crunch Muffins.IMG_2173
And had fun with Fall fashion, c600x441
And finally in December we made some delicious make ahead dishes to share at holiday gatherings!
Pear & Pom salad

Shrooms & rice

In the year ahead we’ll make more lovely things to eat, explore new ideas in art and fashion and meet inspiring people doing incredible things from all over the world.
Happy New Year friends, may 2016 be a remarkable one!

Peppermint Bark Cups

peppermint choc cups

Don’t let tempering chocolate scare you! My method is super easy and fast.
I switched up my recipe so I could put it in mini muffin cups. Makes for a sweet treat to hand around at the end of a meal or as a parting gift for party guests.

Peppermint Bark Cups
1 12oz package Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
1 12oz. package White Chocolate Chips
3 tablespoons crushed Peppermint Candy

Crush your peppermint candy and measure out 3 tablespoons. Set aside.
Line a mini muffin pan with mini muffin liners and set to wait for the chocolate.
Line a cup or mug with a piping bag (or sandwich bag) and fold the top over the sides of the cup.
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Note: Shown above, I’ve used rice to illustrate how to fill and then use the sandwich/piping bag. I forgot to take a picture of it with the chocolate in it. Sorry.

When you’re all set up, now you can melt your chocolate!
Place half the bag of semi-sweet chocolate into a microwave safe bowl and microwave on high for 30 seconds, stir and place it back in for 30 more seconds, stir.
Repeat the process until the chocolate is JUST melted. Add the rest of the chocolate chips to the melted portion of chocolate and stir until all the chocolate is melt and homogenous.
It takes a bit of patience but don’t put it back into the microwave or you’ll lose your temper.
That is to say your chocolate will be too hot and won’t firm back up at room temperature. Then you’ll really lose your temper. Heh.

Spoon the melted chocolate into your piping bag and snip a tiny bit off the corner.
Pipe about a teaspoon of the chocolate into the bottom of each mini muffin cup.

Repeat the melting/tempering process for the white chocolate (see above).
Note!: White chocolate melts much quicker than regular chocolate. So after the initial 30 sec in the micro, melt at 10 second increments until JUST melted.

Pipe a teaspoon of the white chocolate to cover the semi-sweet.
Sprinkle the peppermint candy over the top.
Set aside to firm up for about 2 hours. No need to refrigerate them if we’ve tempered our chocolate correctly.
Keep in a covered container or zip top bag until ready to serve.