INDIVIDUAL BEEF WELLINGTONS
2 Tablespoons butter
3 medium shallots, chopped small
1/2 pound button mushrooms and stems, cleaned and finely chopped or processed
4 sprigs fresh thyme, finely chopped (about 1 Tablespoon) or 1 teaspoon dried thyme
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 Tablespoon dry sherry (2 splashes)
4 (4 ounce each) cuts tenderloin
8 ounces mousse pâté (available in specialty cheese and appetizer cases – I made my own using chicken livers)
2 sheets frozen prepared puff pastry, 11x17 inches, thawed
1 egg, beaten with a splash of water
Preheat oven to 425°F.
To make the duxelle, heat a small skillet over medium heat. Add butter, shallots, chopped mushrooms and thyme. Season with salt and pepper to taste and sauté for about 5 minutes. Add sherry and let the liquid evaporate. Remove mushrooms from heat. This can be made a day ahead and refrigerated until ready to use.
In a nonstick skillet over high heat, sear meat 2 minutes on each side in a drizzle of oil or using cooking spray. Remove skillet from the heat and season meat with salt and pepper. Can be done a day ahead. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use
Cut pâté into 4 pieces, 2 ounces each. Spread the puff pastry sheet out onto a cookie sheet covered with parchment paper. Quarter the dough with a sharp knife. On each rectangle of dough, place 1/4 of the cooked mushrooms. Top mushrooms with 2 ounces pâté (*) and 1 piece of the beef. Wrap dough up and over the meat, trim excess dough, and seal the dough with egg wash, using a pastry brush.
Leftover dough bits may be used to decorate the tops of your Wellingtons. Turn the wrapped Wellingtons over and cover with egg wash. Bake 25 minutes or until golden. Let stand 5 minutes, then serve.
Meat should be medium rare when you cut through the puff pastry.
(*) Instead of placing the pate inside the puff pastry wrap, I made them into individual little loaf servings and placed them on the plates next to the Beef Wellingtons
Giuliano’s Green Beans
Many years ago, I took some cooking classes from Giuliano Bugialli. One of my favorite recipes from his cooking classes was this green bean salad. Can be served hot of cold, but we prefer it cold.
Fresh green beans
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
Toasted chopped hazelnuts (I use macadamias)
Freshly ground pepper
Bring a large pan of salted water to boil. Add the green beans and cook at a rolling boil for about 8 to 10 minutes. They should be done but still firm and crispy and bright green. Plunge in cold water to stop the cooking. Place in a serving dish and pour the lemon juice over them. Pour heavy cream on top. It will immediately curdle and get creamy thick. Sprinkle with the toasted nuts and freshly ground pepper. Quantities depend on amount of servings needed.
Miniature Roasted Butternut Squash
I cut them in half and cleaned them. Placed in a small roasting pan with a touch of butter and grated fresh ginger.After they were done I filled the small cavities with homemade cranberry sauce
Homemade Cranberry Sauce
A bag of cranberries
2 Tablespoons water
2 cups sugar
Bring to a boil and cook down until the berries all pop and the mixture turns dark red and glossy. Can be made a day or two ahead.