This year for Valentine's Day we decided to stay in, and we both agreed that I should make Beef Wellington - a very special occasion dish of filet mignon and mushrooms wrapped in puff pastry. You can find many recipes out there for this dish, but mine has some secret weapons to keep the puff pastry from getting soggy, the beef from getting overcooked (look at how nice and pink it is, even after 20 minutes in the oven), and to add extra flavor. It is not difficult, but it is time consuming with many steps - which is why it is a special occasion dish (plus it's soooooooo rich). So read on!
First up, sear the filet. (I made 4 servings because it would use a whole package of puff pasty - I have never had good luck with refreezing it.) You want to get a nice sear on all sides, including around the edges, but don't cook the steak all the way. Remove the filets to a plate and allow to cool a bit, then cover and transfer to the refrigerator to chill for at least 30 minutes. This step is what will keep the beef from overcooking in the oven.
Ugh - sorry folks, I've been bad about posting this last week! And this post is going to be pretty short, too. We are finally on our way into Fall, but the transition has been slow and there is still some stone fruit to be had. I am still really into tartines at the moment, so I paired sliced nectarine with goat cheese, prosciutto, and basil for a quick lunch.
Then the store finally had some burrata in (this is a seriously random occurrence, you never know), so I paired that with some ripe peach, basil, EVOO, balsamic, and sea salt.
A couple of weeks ago, I posted about some gorgeous beet and goat cheese raviolis that I made. Jasper enjoyed those, but what he really wanted was meaty ravioli - so of course I made some for him!
The process is exactly the same, just with a different filling. And let me say, I REALLY like this filling. My favorite mixture of beef, pork, and veal (sold as "meatloaf mix" in most stores) is browned with butter, olive oil, onion, and garlic. Then prosciutto, Parmesan, nutmeg, and an egg are added, along with salt and pepper. The filling is completely cooked (except for the egg) before it goes into the ravioli because fresh ravioli only cook for a minute or two.
I served them with a creamy tomato sauce, yum!
So this little beauty came about due to inspiration from Bev Cooks and the need to get rid of a lot of leftover ingredients from other meals. Sort of a clean-out-the-fridge-in-the-most-delicious-way-possible sort of thing.
I had leftover ricotta from this recipe, with you may recall from last week. Well, not really leftover since I purposefully made double the amount I needed.
And I had little nubs of radish left over from this Spring salad I made inspired by this Martha Stewart recipe. I didn't post about it but it had butter lettuce, shaved radish and fennel, blanched peas and asparagus, and fresh mozzarella in a lemon juice and sour cream dressing.
I've stated before how obsessed I am with figs. I snatch them up whenever I see them at the store. Jasper does not share my love of these little jewels, which means more for me! Bwahahahaha! ...Okay I'm fine now, sorry about that.
Mostly I like to eat my figs with cheese - this makes me ridiculously happy. Coincidentally (or not), I also like to eat my cheese with fig jam. Anyway, one of the most popular pairings for figs is blue cheese, so I wanted to play around with that a bit.
I broiled the figs with blue cheese so that they were hot and melty, but I didn't stop there...
I topped them off with crispy prosciutto and honey.
It's okay if you drool a little, I understand.
Going in a sweeter direction - I also made some balsamic glazed figs with mascarpone.
Adapted from this recipe - I tossed the figs with a glaze made from balsamic vinegar, sugar, orange juice, and orange zest and broiled them. Then I served them on top of mascarpone whipped with cream and sugar.
The cream melting into the hot figs with the sweet and tangy glaze... yeah - this was pretty much heaven.
I am so obsessed with figs right now. I buy a pint (or two) every week. And while they are amazing on their own or simply drizzled with honey, I like to give them the fancy treatment from time to time.
Like with this gorgeous pasta dish with figs, toasted walnuts, goat cheese, spinach, and lemon zest.
Or done up in a super classic pairing with prosciutto and mozzarella.
I cut some Black Mission figs in half, sandwiched a piece of mozzarella between them, wrapped them in the prosciutto and skewered them.
Then I broiled them until the ham was nice and crispy and the cheese was melty and drizzled the whole thing with honey. Ridiculously yummy - and the house smelled fantastic!
I am nowhere near done with my fig phase, still - more to come!
Fig and Walnut Pasta
adapted from Green Kitchen Stories
whole wheat spaghetti, enough for 2 people
1 tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic
1 cup white wine
1 small lemon, juice and zest
1 big bunch of fresh spinach
4.5 oz goat cheese
3.5 oz walnut halves, toasted in a dry pan
5 fresh ripe figs, cut into quarters
Boil the spaghetti to al dente, according to the instructions on the package, and set aside when done.
Add olive oil to a large frying pan on medium heat. Add garlic and let it sweat for about 30 seconds before adding the wine and lemon juice. Stir around, add spinach and goat cheese while stirring (save a small piece of the goat cheese for later). Let it simmer for three minutes before adding the spaghetti and the roasted walnuts. Stir for 30 seconds, taste it and add salt if needed, make sure that the spaghetti is covered in the goat cheese/wine/lemon cream then turn off the heat.
Add the figs and gently fold them into the pasta. Serve on a big plate or in a bowl with the rest of the goat cheese and lemon peel sprinkled over it.
In my ever-continuing quest for salmon recipes, I came across this one for salmon topped with goat cheese and baked inside phyllo dough - yum! Who wouldn't want to eat that? I wanted something pretty light to balance out the dish, so I decided on a fresh pea, feta, and prosciutto salad that was great as a side, but also good enough to eat on its own.