Thursday, December 30, 2010

A Luxurious Holiday

So in my previous post I just so mentioned that I would dedicate the next couple posts to foods that amp up the indulgence factor before we all take our new year's vow of calorie celibacy.  So I will make good on my promise and send you another fat-tastic recipe, in memorial to this holiday season which seems to have ended in a heartbeat. 

Now this recipe I actually made on Christmas Eve, completely violating the rule of no red meat on that particular devout Roman Catholic Italian grandmother would kill me if she knew.  My excuse for this violation is very simple.  We always have dinner at my mother's on Christmas Day, so I always feel compelled to make something very nice for my hubby and little one on Christmas Eve, since I don't get to cook on Christmas Day.  So for the past few years I have been playing with what I want to traditionally serve on Christmas Eve and this year I decided to go with a little bit of an ignored dish in our family's repertoire (this is more economical that anything), beef tenderloin.  I chose beef tenderloin for really one main reason.....ease, and since beef tenderloin typically has a very short cooking time I knew I would therefore have plenty of time to actually relax and watch "It's A Wonderful Life" on my Christmas Eve.  Unfortunately I made the grave mistake last year to do a turkey, while trying to wrap all my Christmas presents, finish the dessert to take to my mother's the next day, and "help" Santa set up all the goodies for my little girl.  Needless to say I was able to watch midnight mass from the Vatican in total and finish it off with a little "National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation."............three hours of sleep later.
So this year I wanted to spare myself this agony and wanted something easy, and surprisingly this dish was just that,  however I still found myself up till three o'clock in the morning wrapping Christmas presents.....I really need to do something about that.  Anyway, I decided to serve it with yummy horseradish cream, au gratin potatoes (a future blog recipe I think) and a nice salad, and I have to say it was worth the enormous price tag I paid for it.  It got me thinking that if next year I have conscience and decide to go with fish for Christmas Eve, this would make a great New Year's Eve dish, finished off with a yummy Champagne cocktail!

On a side note I would like to thank all my readers (the few of you there are) and wish you all a very happy and safe New Year!  I hope all of you continue with me on this blogging journey in the new year!  Buon appetito to you all, and happy cooking!

Mushroom And Herb Stuffed Beef Tenderloin

Cook Time: 1-1/2 hours

8oz Crimini mushrooms
2 cloves garlic
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
1/2 cup crushed crostini (you could substitute with fresh bread crumbs)
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

1 2-1/2-3lb beef tenderloin butterflied (the butcher can do this for you)
kitchen twine
1/4 cup chopped peppercorns ( I do this in an old coffee grinder)
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic paste (to do this simply take one clove of garlic
and sprinkle with a little salt and smash with a knife blade or you can you a mortar and pestle)
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup melted butter

Horseradish Cream:
1/4 cup sour cream
4 tablespoons horseradish
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
3 tablespoons fresh chives chopped

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  For the filling place the mushrooms and garlic in a food processor.  Process until minced.  Meanwhile melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat.  Add the mushroom and garlic mixture and cook until tender, about 5 minutes.  Remove from heat.  Place breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese, and herbs in a small bowl, toss to combine.  Add the mushrooms to the breadcrumb mixture and mix well, set aside as you prepare the beef. 

To prepare beef in a small bowl combine the peppercorns and salt.  Lay beef flat on work surface, and spoon stuffing down the center of the tenderloin, leaving about a 1/2 inch gap at each end.  Roll the tenderloin up and with the seal facing down secure the tenderloin with the kitchen twine, trussing the tenderloin in six spots to evenly secure the meat so the filling doesn't spill out. 

Once the meat is trussed rub the roast with the garlic paste then press the peppercorn/salt mixture all over the beef, forming a bit of a crust.  Heat the olive oil in a medium roasting pan or large cast iron skillet over medium high heat.  When the olive oil starts to smoke place the roast in the pan and sear on a sides, trying to evenly brown the meat.  Drizzle the melted butter over the meat.

Place the roast in the oven and cook until it reaches an inner temperature of about 135-140 degrees, which is medium rare.  If you prefer rare cook until you reach an inner temperature of 125-130 degrees.  Remove the roast from the oven and place on your cutting surface.  Allow the meat to rest for about 10 minutes before you slice it.  To slice the beef, remove the kitchen twine and slice the roast in 2-inch thick slices.  Serve with the horseradish cream.

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