Well Dined

16Feb/161

Valentine’s Day Beef Wellington

Well Dined | Beef Wellington

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!

Well Dined | Beef Wellington

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.

5May/142

Pea and Ricotta Tart

Well Dined | Pea and Ricotta Tart

 

Hello, Spring!  I am so glad that you have finally come to stay!  I'd like to welcome you with this lovely little tart made with fresh peas, creamy homemade ricotta, scallions, herbs, and lemon.  Please stick around for a bit.

Well Dined | Pea and Ricotta Tart

Well, Spring, I know that fresh English peas are kind of your thing, so I used them two ways just for you!  I pureed some peas and ricotta together with lemon juice, mint, and basil to make a creamy spread.  Then I mixed some whole peas with scallions, more mint and basil, and lemon zest.

Well Dined | Pea and Ricotta Tart

I baked some puff pastry until golden, puffed, and crispy; then I spread the creamy ricotta mixture over the top; and sprinkled the whole pea mixture over that.  Look at all that green!

18Jun/130

Asparagus Custard Tart

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We are coming to the end of asparagus season, but you may be able to get one more use in - and I recommend this one.  An asparagus flavored custard with goat cheese and Gruyere, tucked inside a flaky puff pastry shell?  Yes, please!

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This Martha Stewart recipe uses the stalks and tips separately.  The stalks get pureed into the custard, and the tips decorate the top of the tart.

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The custard is made with asparagus, eggs, cream, and flour (I altered the recipe based on comments - adding more flour to help it set up).

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The custard goes into a pre-baked shell, then the cheeses are sprinkled on top, followed by the asparagus tips.

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The texture is gorgeous and the asparagus is definitely the star of the show.  Yum, yum, yum - get out there and grab the last of the asparagus!

28Jan/130

Broccolini and Feta Tart

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My friend Melissa (at Smells Like Brownies) and I are trying to make our lunch date a weekly thing, so hopefully these posts will become more frequent.  The last two times we made quinoa dishes, so we wanted to stay away from that this time.  I saw this recipe for a broccolini and feta galette that looked yummy, but thought it might be even better on puff pastry like this broccoli rabe tart.  I suggested this to Melissa, who agreed it sounded delish, and she decided to attempt making the puff pastry herself!

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I was super impressed that she was willing to take that on - brave woman!  But she said that it wasn't as difficult as she thought it was going to be, so I may have to try it myself.  I mean, it was pretty freaking delicious.  I believe she used this recipe, and I will add a link to her blog when she posts about it.

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So, we pressed the beautiful dough into a pan (through we probably should have used a bigger one, as the crust ended up being pretty thick), and layered it with blanched broccolini, feta, garlic, scallions, and pine nuts.  Then we baked it at 350 until the crust was golden, adding some Parmesan towards the end.  This took a while because the dough was a bit thick, but it was so worth it!

31Dec/120

Christmas 2012

I wanted to do a big Christmas dinner, but I didn't want to be in the kitchen all Christmas Day. I also wanted to try something different than the usual rib roast and Yorkshire pudding. So I decided to do dinner on Christmas Eve and to do some easy, low-prep dishes for Brunch on Christmas Day.

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I ordered a half fresh ham through Whole Foods to try cooking a Christmas ham for the first time, but I made a few mistakes.  I wanted to cook it in the slow cooker with brown sugar and cider to make a glaze, but I didn't realize that "fresh ham" is not really what we consider ham - without the curing or smoke, it is more like a pork roast - so I didn't really get the flavor that I wanted.  I also couldn't get the whole thing to fit in my (very large) slow cooker insert, so I had to chop a chunk off - which actually ended up being a good thing because I roasted that piece and it came out better.

20Aug/120

Light and Fresh – Summer Food

The last time I posted a recipe for you was over a month ago!  Oh my goodness!  You have my deepest apologies, dear readers, and to make it up to you I will post not 1, not 2, but 3 delicious summer recipes for you!

Let's start with this gorgeous zucchini tart from Closet Cooking (which is a blog that I highly recommend). Puff pastry is topped with a mixture of ricotta, feta, lemon, fresh herbs, and an egg along with thinly sliced zucchini and baked to puffy, golden perfection.  Served on its own or with a side salad, this is the perfect summer lunch.

Next up, take advantage of those juicy summer tomatoes in a slightly different take on a fresh tomato pasta with a Roasted Tomato Sauce.

4Jul/120

Zucchini, Pea, Mint, and Feta Tart

I am so excited about zucchini season it isn't even funny.  I have literally been dreaming about zucchini!  The very first thing that I wanted to make was this gorgeous vegetable tart.  Flaky, buttery puff pastry is topped with thinly shaved zucchini, bright peas, tangy feta, and fresh mint.  Yum, oh yum.