Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Roasted Garlic and Horseradish Crusted Beef Tenderloin

Crust to me means: a crispy topping a la the crust of bread is not soft.
This recipe?
Not crusty.

Not at all.

The recipes DOES make a great and full of flavor (I have stopped using the word flavorfull because it is so overused by Rachel Ray, who I no longer like very much) beef tenderloin.

Here are my thoughts on beef tenderloin. It is my beef of choice because it really needs a sauce, and I am saucy. Also it is not chewy, and you don't have to cut around hunks o' fat. It isn't the most flavorful beef. And filet mignon, grilled, is really kinda icky sometimes. It just ends up tasting like the grill. And I like keeping my bacon with bacon and beef with beef, so adding bacon around the beef so that it tastes like bacon, seems rather idiotic to me. I mean honestly, you are turning a $30 piece of meat (at a restaurant), into a 5 cent slice o' bacon.

So with a sauce, you are getting the tender, melt in your mouth, beef, with a nice addition of bernaise sauce, or red wine reduction, or some gorgonzola cheese. In this case, our dinner last night, it had a roasted garlic and horseradish topping. It was roasted, which is nice because then it doesn't taste like the grill. I served it with roasted garlic mashed potatoes.

The recipe says it serves 12 people. I halved the recipe for the two of us, using less than 1.5 lbs of beef (much less), and the topping was enough. So if you are going to do this with 3 lbs of beef, I recommend doubling the "crust". And if you want a "crust", as I define crust, press some breadcrumbs into the topping...

Here is the recipe, taken from Cooking Light.

Beef Tenderloin with Horseradish-and-Roasted Garlic Crust
1 whole garlic head
Olive oil-flavored cooking spray
1/3 cup prepared horseradish
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 (3-pound) beef tenderloin

Preheat oven to 350°.
Remove white papery skin from garlic head (do not peel or separate the cloves). Coat with cooking spray; wrap in foil. Bake at 350° for 1 hour; cool 10 minutes. Separate cloves; squeeze to extract garlic pulp. Discard skins. Mash garlic pulp, horseradish, salt, basil, thyme, and pepper with a fork until blended.

Preheat oven to 400°.

Trim fat from tenderloin; fold under 3 inches of small end. Rub garlic mixture over roast. Place tenderloin on a broiler pan coated with cooking spray. Insert meat thermometer into thickest portion of tenderloin. Bake at 400° for 40 minutes or until thermometer registers 145° (medium-rare) to 160° (medium).

Place tenderloin on a platter. Cover and let stand 10 minutes before slicing.

Yield: 12 servings (serving size: 3 ounces)

CALORIES 179(38% from fat); FAT 7.5g (sat 3g,mono 2.8g,poly 0.4g); PROTEIN 24g; CHOLESTEROL 70mg; CALCIUM 22mg; SODIUM 117mg; FIBER 0.2g; IRON 3.3mg; CARBOHYDRATE 2.5g

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Pastitsio, but less fat and stuff.

I have been craving the creamy. (I don't like the word creamy, so I will not use it again for the rest of this post.) Because I have been craving the smooth, cheesy, whiteness, I decided to try a ground beef pasta dish with elbow macaroni. TJ said, "Like hamburger helper?" Uh, yes dear. Something like that. (sorrowfully hanging my head that indeed I am craving the hamburger helper) So I decided I would try something a bit higher in class than the trashy box-o'processed, powdered, helper.

My mother-in-law mailed (postage? what is that?) me a recipe for Pastistio last year. I believe I made it for a birthday party. It was AWESOME! But TJ thought there were too many onions, which it did call for two chopped onions. I was amazed at the egg quantity with 6!! So I followed the recipe for the ground beef mixture, and then did my own cheesey white goodness for the elbow macaroni. It was excellent. Here is the recipe, as best as I can remember it. (Remarking snobbily, I really don't use recipes):

elbow macaroni (12 ounces, maybe??)

1.2 lbs ground beef
1/2 t cinnamon
1/3 cup red wine
1/2 cup tomato sauce (I actually blended up canned "chopped tomato with onion and garlic", it was a wee watery, so i did not add the water. If you use canned tomato sauce, perhaps add 1/4 cup water)
1 t tomato paste (if it isn't thickening up for you by simmering)

Brown the beef, add the spices, add the wine and tomato sauce, simmering about 15 minutes to thicken. Add the paste if necessary.

3T unsalted butter
1/4 cup plus 2 T flour
2 cups milk (I used 1% and it worked fine)
1/2 cup grated parmesan
After you cook the noodles, drain, rinse, and let cool while cooking the sauce. For sauce, melt butter, and add salt. Whisk in the flour until combined. Whisk in the milk. Simmer and whisk until thick, add cheese and black pepper to taste. Toss in noodles, stirring it all up.

Preheat 375.
In a round casserole/baking dish, put ground beef and then put sauced up noodle on top. Dust the top with nutmeg. Bake for 30 minutes. Let sit about 5 minutes, so that it sets up nicely.

When I made this last night, I ended up with a bit more noodle than necessary for the top layer, so just eyeball it.

I figure it is less fat than the original recipe because:
A. I did not use butter to cook the beef or onions in, nor did I add oil to the pan.
B. I did not add eggs to the noodles, as is customary.
C. I did not add eggs to the sauce mixture.

I think there were 4 good sized servings in this. The original recipe, served more like 8-12 (imagine 1 chopped onion and 3 eggs in this smaller one).

You know how I know that this recipe was a hit?? TJ wanted to take leftovers for lunch. SCORE!

Monday, March 05, 2007

Hunan House Review

Once upon a time, in a Kohls with poor cell reception, I made a reservation for the Hunan House. It was a Valentine's Day afternoon. We adamently oppose such manmade love days, but decided we still wanted to EAT that night.

Upon arriving at Hunan House, it was, of course, very crowded. And the stern faced host proclaimed that he had no reservation in the book. So we waited. And waited. And left. Angered. I wrote up a long letter, which was never sent. And for the next three years we boycotted the HH. Hunan Hell. Horrible House. Hunan Heinous. Hwasted Htime.

Now three years later, and a whole relationship makeover under our belts, we decided to give it a second try.

We ate:
Sesame Noodles
Beef Satay
Won Ton Soup
Spicy Triple, featuring shrimp, beef, and chicken.

The sesame noodles were spicy! Loved them. They were not listed as "for two", but the server promptly separated them into two large servings. We then split four skewers of satay. I am interested to do these at home, but perhaps just going back to HH for them is easier. The won ton soup could be the best in town! It had at least 3 large shrimps, strips of white meat chicken, 2 or more full fledged dumplings with substantial filling, and cabbage! It is listed as "For Two" and it was so filling! We subsequently had little room for a dinner. So we split the Triple. It too was actually spicy. I seldom have an asian, szechuan, meal that actually feels spicy to me. But HH totally came through here.

In the future, I really want Coconut Ice Cream as dessert, but we'd have to cut back on the food. The food is too good to cut back!

And there is booze on site. They have the funny boat drink menu, with the big flaming drinks, and a Zombie drink. The Zombie drink says, "limit 1". The hubby thinks it is a joke. I believed the menu. So if you would, go and see if they only let you have one. I am really curious!

Location: 161, west of Cleveland Avenue. Definitely go.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

I have been LINKED!

I was surfing around other food blogs today, and looky looky! My blog was on their list of websites for other food blogs! ME! So, now I feel bad for not linking them, which I will do now fo-sho! And one of the blogs I had never seen before! Okay, can you sense my excitement by the number of exclamation points I have used?

Last night I made Mushroom Risotto for the dear husband. It was his homemade birthday dinner, kinda. A day late, but the Subway and then stuffed jalapenos the night before wasn't that great of a "birthday dinner". Although we did revisit the stuffed jalapenos for dinner with the risotto.

Here is my risotto recipe...pretty standard.

8 ounces sliced baby portabella mushrooms
6 cups chicken broth (I used 5 chicken and 1 beef last night)
1/4 cup wine red or white works great!
1 cup arborio rice (makes 3 cups of risotto)
2 large garlic cloves chopped
2 T finely chopped onions (TJ don't read that)
1/2 cup grated parmesan
olive oil

Pour chicken broth into a sauce pan and heat over medium heat. Turn to low if it boils.

Heat olive oil (about 2 T) in a large saute pan. For me, I use my Calphalon omelete pan (large not the small). Saute mushrooms until they release their liquids and brown. Add wine and cook down. Add garlic and onion and the arborio rice. Add another T of olive oil. Saute until the rice looks pearly with a white dot of sorts in the middle. Then start the ladling. My ladle is 1/2 cups. I ladle one scoop at a time, stirring until the broth is soaked up. The rice will release its starches, and you can tell when the broth has thickened with that starch. Keep adding until it is the consistency of risotto. Honestly, sometimes it is more and sometimes less broth in order to "get there". Sprinkle in cheese, stirring to make it creamy.

The End.

I wish I had a camera to take is broken. Remember?