I love hearing from friends and family about what they’re thinking will be on the menu for the big Holiday Supper. Getting some new tips and sharing others – I can’t talk about sports so yeah that’s pretty much all I’m bringing to the table. With the brutal weather bitch-slapping our country currently, it sounds like frying the turkey outside isn’t sounding so promising (FYI – snow flakes and rain don’t mix well with screaming hot oil!). I like this time of year because people are trying new recipes and eager to discuss victories and train-wrecks. I went out on a limb this year – I baked…I fukn hate baking far too scientific, but I was give a recipe I’ve chased for nearly a decade. (Nailed it!)
Speaking of train-wrecks – PLEASE PLEASE take it easy while driving over the course of the next couple of weeks. Seriously gang, chill out when driving and watch-out for the jackasses that aren’t. It rained today in Phoenix and the traffic would have made you think there was some kind of hurricane evacuation going on. Really, really people, 80% of you aren’t even from here so you should understand that incremental weather does not invoke a new set of traffic laws and it sure as shit should not be incentive to drive like more of an asshole. Sorry, I just needed to remind some folks apparently.
Here’s your Weekly Dish on this Christmas week. Goat Cheese – Mushroom Duxelle Stuffed Beef Tenderloin with Truffled Mascarpone Whippers and Balsamic Braised Brussel Sprouts.
For the mushroom mix you’re going to need – what ever shrooms your market has other than the bastard white button ones (they truly bring nothing to the table as far as flavor is concern ). I like to use the Cremini’s(baby bella’s), Chantrelles, Oyster, Morels, portabellas etc. – the more different the better. Get a total of 2#s of shrooms, 2 large shallots, 3 cloves of fresh garlic and 4-6oz of Cherve Goat Cheese. You want to mince the shrooms, garlic, & shallots all separately. Get a large fry pan over high heat. Add 2 tablespoons of grape-seed oil along with the shallots. Cook for 3 minutes stirring regularly and then toss in the garlic. Cook for an additional 2 minutes and toss in the shrooms – continue cooking over high heat for 10 minutes. Add in 3 tablespoons of butter (because butter makes EVERYTHING taste better), season lightly with Slavo Salt while the remaining mixture cooks off and continue stirring. There should be minimal moisture left in the mixture and the volume will have condensed significantly – this is the game plan for duxelle. Allow the shrooms to cool a bit – then stir in 8oz of Cherve goat cheese and mix really well. Place into your pastry bag and keep at room temperature. get one of the good canvas ones you can get one at a store like Sur a Table or William Sonoma or a restaurant/bakery supply would be the best place (screw those over priced joints).
Okay so unless you’ve got some solid butchery experience – you’re going to want to have the butcher clean up the “head” (thickest end(insert crass comments here)) of the tenderloin. Next you want to take your steel (the long metal spike in your knife block that you’re never quite sure how to use properly). Essentially, you want to impale the tenderloin lengthwise with the steel rod – right down the middle. (Warning there are going to be a plethora of comments to be made in the coming lines – so go ahead and insert your own. I’m actually going to refrain.) Now work the rod around – you are looking to expand the diameter of the hole. Try to make it as stretched out as you can so you cram it full with more of the Duxelle.
To fill the tenderloin you are going to need a pastry bag. If you use a pastry tip make sure it has a tip big enough to stick your finger through – other wise go without and just cram it in there…(told you unlimited possibilities for the Peanut Gallery). To use a pastry bag you want to fill it up and twist off the open end – squeeze it from the back until it starts coming out of the tip. Insert and squeeze. Fill the cavity in the tenderloin you created with the steel reaming with your mixture of mushroom & goat cheese. If it seems too difficult to pass through the bag, put the pastry bag/mixture into the microwave for 15-20 seconds to loosen up the mixture. Massage the mixture through the piece of meat so you fill it with as much of the mix as possible. Wipe the tenderloin clean when you finish filling the cavity.
Get your biggest frying pan hot as hell on the stove-top. Season the tenderloin EXCESSIVELY with Slavo Salt and some extra cracked pepper. Once your fry pan is rippin’ hot add a few tablespoons of grape-seed oil to it to coat the pan’s bottom. Gently lay the tenderloin into the pan going in the direction away from you (as to avoid splashing hot oil on yourself). Sear the crap out of the tenderloin over HIGH HEAT on all sides. Searing isn’t gray – searing is a dark carmel brown by the way!!! Once the tenderloin is seared, in the same pan into a preheated 500° oven. This is the tricky part – HOW LONG DO YOU COOK IT??? First of all, you can eat beef tenderloin raw (unless you’re pregnant, have some crazy medical condition or have a weak immune system (BTW cooking it doesn’t remove any of the chemicals, antibiotics, or genetic modification that animal may have been subjected to…)). I would err on the side of under-cooking the meat as opposed to over cooking it – aka 10 minutes in the oven MAXIMUM in my humble opinion and that is a hell of a stretch. After the decided time frame remove the tenderloin from the oven and let it rest on the counter-top 10 minutes before cutting into it.
For the taters – I like to use Yukon gold potatoes for my mashed taters. They don’t have the gritty texture that Russet(the big brown ones) do. Peel 5 taters, you can cut them up or leave whole, but if you cut them try to make all the pieces relatively the same size so they cook evenly. Start w/ cold water. Never drop taters into boiling water. And there’s no need to salt the water either. To see if the taters are done cooking, take a sharp knife and stab one of the chunks, lift it vertically straight up and if the chuck slips off the end they’re done. Now drain the water out, toss in 1 stick of butter (this is a little excessive if you’re a health freak – you could go w/ ½ a stick but I wouldn’t) and toss in about 1 cup of Mascarpone, 2-3tablespoons of truffle oil (white or black – doesn’t matter) and add about ¼ cup of milk. Now personally I prefer to use a hand mixer, you know the one you plug in w/ the 2 beaters… Whip the potatoes until just smooth, but don’t overwork them b/c they’ll become gummy and gummy potatoes are mediocre at best! Now taste them. What do they need in your opinion: salt, pepper, Slavo Salt, truffle oil, or more milk to loosen them up???
On to the Brussels! First thing you want to do is cut the base off of each sprout because this part is generally more fibrous and tough. Next, you’re going to rough chop the raw sprouts – along with 1 yellow onion small diced and set aside. Now you need to small dice 1/2# of bacon and toss it into a fry pan over medium heat and render the fat. Once the bacon starts to crisp up you want to throw in the onions and cook for another 5-7 minutes. Now add the chopped sprouts and 1/2 cup of butter. Cook on the stove for another few minutes until the leaves are wilted. Add in 1 cup of chicken broth and simmer until the liquid is reduced by 75%. Season with Slavo Salt and taste. Now stir in about 3-4 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar and 1 cup of shredded Parmesan cheese. Ready to serve!
To accompany this I say bring out a big gun – Earthquake Petite Syrah.
Oh and this is actually what my family’s having on Christmas Eve. Along with a Blackberry Swirl Cheesecake that I promised the very very talented chef that gave the recipe to me after several years of shameless pleading that I wouldn’t ever publish or give it out.