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Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Frank About... Valentine's Dinner with Carol Parker!

Tuesday afternoon, I had the pleasure of appearing on the Cooking With Carol segment of Living Well on KSN 16, again. We talked Valentine's Day dinner ideas, and I demonstrated and shared individual Beef Wellingtons and Prosciutto-Wrapped Asparagus. I had a great time, and have received very positive feedback. You can view the video of the segment:

And here are the recipes:

Individual Beef Wellingtons

2 - 6-8oz beef tenderloin filets (or filet mignon w/o the bacon wrap)
1 batch of duxelles (recipe follows)
1 pkg frozen puff pastry
1 batch of Shallot and Thyme Brown Sauce (recipe below)
Egg wash (1 egg + ~2 Tblsp water)

2-4 Tblsp butter (unsalted)
2 shallots, finely minced
1 clove garlic, minced
8 oz mushrooms, sliced
2 Tblsp Sherry wine (better to use real Sherry, not "Cooking" Sherry)
salt & pepper

1.  Pulse the mushroom slices in a food processor until finely minced. 
2.  Heat butter in a smaller saute pan over medium-high heat. 
3.  Add the shallots and garlic pan, and cook about 3-5 minutes. 
4.  Add the mushrooms and cook until the liquid is all absorbed & evaporated, and the mixture 
     becomes almost a paste. 
5.  Add the Sherry and cook until absorbed. 
6.  Season to taste with salt & pepper. 
7.  Allow to cool. 
8.  Remove approximately 2 Tblsp of duxelles, and reserve for sauce. 

Wellington Preparation
1.  Thaw the two sheets of puff pastry on the counter, flat, or in the refrigerator overnight.
2.  Sear the tenderloin filets in a heavy pan over high heat, careful not to burn. 
3.  Remove the filets to a plate and allow to cool. 
4.  Take one sheet of puff pastry and remove equally-sized squares from each corner.  
     Reserve this pastry material for decorations on top of Wellingtons. 
5.  Place 4 Tblsp of duxelles in center of puff pastry. 
6.  Place filet directly on top of duxelles.
7.  Fold the flaps toward the center, and pinch to seal seams.
8.  Repeat for remaining filet.
9.  Place pastry-wrapped filets, seam side down, on a baking sheet. At this point, you may cut   
     a decorative shape from leftover pastry dough and place atop the Wellington. Make 4 small 
     slits in top of each. Then, brush with the egg wash. 
10. Bake in a preheated 400°F oven for 25-30 minutes, until the pastry is golden brown, and 
       internal temperature at the center reaches between 145° and 160°. 
11. Serve with Shallot and Thyme Brown Sauce. 

Shallot and Thyme Brown Sauce:
4 Tblsp butter, unsalted
1/4 C shallots, thinly sliced or minced
2 Tblsp duxelles, that were reserved from the Wellington Preparation
2 tsp fresh thyme leaves, minced
3 Tblsp Sherry wine
4 Tblsp flour
2 C beef stock
2 Tblsp heavy cream

1.  Heat the butter in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. 
2.  Add the shallots, and cook until translucent. 
3.  Add the duxelles and fresh thyme. Cook until heated through. 
4.  Add the Sherry, and cook until all absorbed. 
5.  Whisk in the flour. Cook slightly until bubbly. 
6.  Raise the heat to high, and while continually whisking, pour in the beef stock. 
7.  Bring to a boil, careful not to scorch or boil over, until thickened.
8.  Whisk in the heavy cream, and remove from heat. 
9.  Serve with the Beef Wellingtons, as a pool under them, beside them, or drizzle atop.

Prosciutto-Wrapped Asparagus

1 bundle of asparagus (approximately 1 lb.)
1 pkg sliced prosciutto
olive oil
salt & pepper

1.  Set oven to Broil. Place an oven rack approximately 5-6 inches below heating element.
2.  Drizzle some olive oil over a baking sheet. Sprinkle on salt & pepper. 
3.  Trim the woody ends from the asparagus spears. Toss the spears to coat, on the baking 
4.  Take about four spears, and make a little bundle. 
5.  Using one slice of prosciutto, wrap the bundle from just below the tip of the spear, in a 
     downward spiral.
6.  Place on baking sheet, and repeat with remaining asparagus and prosciutto.
7.  Place the baking sheet under the broiler for 3 minutes. Remove the sheet and flip the 
     bundles over, and repeat another 3 minutes on the second side.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Meatless Monday: Eggplant Rollatini

This week's delicious Meatless Monday recipe comes to us from my great friend Andy Teixiera, Executive Chef at the Walpole Country Club, southwest of Boston.

Andy points out that there are a couple ways to finish this dish, so be creative and make it your own!

Eggplant Rollatini

2 eggplant, peeled and sliced into 1/4" planks
4 Tblsp extra virgin olive oil
sea salt & black pepper
1 shallot, minced
4 cloves garlic, slivered
1 bunch broccolini, chopped
1/4 C white wine
2 Tblsp basil, chiffonade
1 C chopped oven-cured tomatoes
2 C cooked red quinoa
1 C grated Parmesan cheese

1.  Lightly oil and salt & pepper eggplant planks. Grill on both sides until eggplant is pliable.

2.  Add remaining oil to a large skillet and sweat the shallots and garlic, just until tan in color. Add the broccolini and sauté until bright green.

3.  Deglaze the pan with the white wine, and reduce. Add the basil, tomatoes, quinoa, and Parmesan cheese. Season to taste.

4.  Place filling onto the end of an eggplant plank and roll up. If necessary, secure with a toothpick.

5.  At this point, there are a few finishing options. Decide your preference from the following:

A. Top with cheese and bake.
B. Bread by dipping into beaten eggs, then Italian style breadcrumbs, and bake.
C. Place in casserole dish with tomato sauce and cheese, and bake until bubbly.

Chef Andy prefers topping the rollatinis with fresh mozzarella, and baking g until golden. Then, he serves over a rustic tomato sauce and garlicky zucchini noodles.