whee!

Beef Tenderloin with a Mushroom Wine Reduction

February 22, 2013 - Written by Diana

 

Beef Tenderloin Over Creamed Kale

Beef Tenderloin Over Creamed Kale

My husband picked up a Dry Aged Beef Tenderloin from Bluescreek Farm Meats this week and I knew it was the beef we could use for a special dinner.  I was looking forward to trying out the tenderloin – which I’ve never cooked before. I love an opportunity to try out something new, but it can be a little scary trying out something new when you know if you mess up. That’s it, we’re eating it anyway because we spent the money already. This one though, this was a big winner.

I researched the best cooking methods, and there was a consensus that high heat quickly was the way to go.  I couldn’t use salt, because my husband is on a low sodium diet and meat carries its own sodium, so I wanted a way to keep it moist and flavorful but without added sodium.  I decided to try out my dehydrated mushroom powder on the tenderloin.  Last year I took mushrooms, dehydrated them, and then pulverized them to make it into a powder.  I think mushrooms in gravy compliment steak. I mixed up some garlic powder, paprika and the mushroom powder, and then smooshed it up with some softened butter.  My steak had been sitting out coming to room temperature, which helps it to become soft and pliable.  I took the butter paste and rubbed it all over the steak.

The biggest hurdle to this perfect meal – was my husband didn’t know exactly what time he would be leaving work since he had to work on a project later than usual.  His task was to call when he was leaving work.  In the mean time, I put my cast iron grill pan into the oven and let it heat up at 450 degrees.  As soon as he called, I put a few pats of butter in the pan and placed the tenderloin on top  and put it into the oven.  I set the timer for 17 minutes because I was going to check the internal temperature at that time to see what the internal temperature was. My creamed kale was ready in a glass dish so that it would be tossed into the oven while the beef was resting.  I sliced shallots,  mushrooms and a couple of green onions and set it aside.

When the timer dinged, I checked the beef tenderloin and it was 135 degrees.  I have seen suggestions for 120, but my husband won’t eat rare meat or medium rare, medium is the lowest he would be happy with.  I took the tenderloin out and stuck it on a separate plate with an aluminum tent over top.  Then I added the chopped mushrooms and shallots and a couple of tablespoons of butter into the pan the beef was cooked in, on top of the stove over a low temp.  The mushrooms and shallots were sauteed until soft, removed from pan and set aside.  A cup of wine was added to the pan and simmered until reduced by half.  When it was reduced by half, the mushrooms and shallots were added back in and sauteed for about a minute.

Place the Creamed Kale on the plate, slice the beef tenderloin on an angle, place on top, and spoon the mushroom wine reduction over top.  My goodness this is good stuff.  The beef was pink, soft, tender and delicious.  Wow, that was good.

Beef Tenderloin with a Mushroom Wine Reduction
 
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Beef Tenderloin cooked uncovered in a cast iron pan in high heat. Pan sauce with mushrooms, shallots and red wine reduction. Serve over creamed kale, creamed spinach, polenta or mashed potatoes.
Author:
Recipe type: Beef
Serves: 3 - 4
Ingredients
  • 2 to 3 lb beef tenderloin
  • butter
  • 2 tsp dehydrated mushroom powder
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • shallots
  • mushrooms
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat oven to 400.
  2. Let Beef tenderloin sit out to come to room temperature.
  3. A couple of softened pats of butter should be mixed in a small bowl with mushroom powder, paprika and garlic powder.
  4. Smoosh and mix the butter with the mushroom powder and spices until it is all mixed in as well as it can be.
  5. Take cast iron pan and melt 1 tsp butter and 1 tsp olive oil in the bottom of the pan.
  6. Rub the smooshed butter all over the tenderloin - massaging it well.
  7. Grind fresh black powder over top.
  8. Place the tenderloin in the cast iron pan and place into the oven uncovered.
  9. Set the timer for 15 minutes and use a meat thermometer to check the temperature. If you like your beef rare - take it out when the internal temperature reaches 125.
  10. My husband likes it medium so, I took it out at 135.
  11. Remove the tenderloin to a plate and tent with foil.
  12. Slice mushrooms and shallots.
  13. Place the cast iron pan back on the stovetop and melt 2 tsp butter in the pan.
  14. Saute the mushrooms and shallots in the pan until soft and remove them from pan and set aside.
  15. Add 1 cup red wine, scrape the bits off the bottom and reduce the wine by half.
  16. Add the mushrooms and shallots to the wine and saute for a minute.
  17. Place the tenderloin over top of the creamed kale (or spinach, or polenta, or mashed potatoes) spoon the mushrooms, shallots and sauce over top.
  18. Grind a little more pepper over top.

 

Swiss Chard, Spaghetti Squash, Chicken and Mushrooms in a Maple Basalmic Vinaigrette

March 14, 2012 - Written by Diana

Yeah, Yeah, I know, the name is too darn long, but what should I leave out?  Look at the photo, the whole thing is pretty and leaving anyone of those things out would make a not so interesting meal – visually and tastefully (flavorfully?).  I still have spaghetti squash in my cold basement, but I fear it won’t last long since it’s been so warm and we need to work it in to our recipes since winter is quickly coming to an end.  Chard has been regularly showing up in our Weekly Market Bag along with mushrooms less frequently.  I thought this meal, stacked  and then drizzled with a maple basalmic vinaigrette would be really delicious, and it was.  The maple sweetness took the bite off the vinaigrette and the vinegar cut the sweetness a little.

I had plenty of spaghetti squash leftover, as well as chicken and chard (that I hadn’t covered in vinaigrette).  My second meal of the week I added pasta and pesto  and my third meal of the week I took the pasta dish and placed a cheese sauce over top and baked it – plus added a few more veggies like tomatoes and peppers.  No photos of those, but I have to say it was a applewood cheese sauce and it was terrific.  When there are only three of you, leftovers can go a long way.

I roasted the spaghetti squash with a little olive oil, sauteed the chard with onions and a little garlic – chop the stems and throw them in also, it’s all good.  I sauteed the mushrooms and (leftover) roasted chicken in a little butter to soften and then topped the whole thing with a Maple Basalmic Vinaigrette.  The sauce was soooooo good.

Swiss Chard, Spaghetti Squash, Chicken and Mushrooms in a Maple Basalmic Vinaigrette
 
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A really great tasting dish with spaghetti squash, swiss chard, chicken and mushrooms. Topped with a Maple Basalmic Vinaigrette.
Author:
Recipe type: Main
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • Spaghetti Squash
  • Olive Oil
  • small handful of Swiss Chard
  • ½ onion
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 3 tbs butter
  • Crimini Mushrooms
  • Roasted chicken
  • ½ cup Basalmic vinegar
  • Maple Syrup
Instructions
  1. Split spaghetti squash, and scoop out, drizzle half with olive oil and roast in oven until squash comes off easily with a fork in spaghetti like strands.
  2. Chop chard, onions, galic and chard stems and saute in two tbs of olive oil until onions are translucent.
  3. In a separate pan, melt butter, then saute mushrooms and chicken until mushrooms soften.
  4. For vinaigrette:
  5. Melt 2 tbs butter in small pot or pan, add vinegar and stir, then slowly drizzle in maple syrup just until the vinegar bite is mellowed.
  6. Stack the chard mixture, the spaghetti squash and the mushrooms and Chicken on plate and drizzle with vinaigrette.
Notes
Takes an hour because the squash takes a while for the squash to soften. Otherwise, it's a quick dish.

 

Chicken, Kale and Potatoes

February 25, 2012 - Written by Diana

Cooking from what you have on hand can sometimes feel like a chore because we can’t always make what we have a taste for and instead have to make our tastes fit our refridgerator and pantry. Lots of greens in the fridge right now – which means I need to make sure to get them into our dinners and lunches.  We receive a bag of groceries each week that have local, and non-local seasonal produce and artisan goods that are also mostly organic.  I wondered if I would be able to keep up with the produce – and the greens have started to pile up because my husband and son don’t throw it in as often as I do.  So while I was on a trip to Vermont, the greens weren’t used – except for arugula, my son loves that on his sandwiches.  Today I used my dutch oven to use some of the produce I received in my Weekly Fresh Market Bag.

Kale, shallot and potatoes along with chicken and some white beans are not only delicious, but packed full of good stuff; just what I need to counteract the sugar laden beginning of the week.  I sauteed the shallots with some garlic in olive oil, then added some wine and chicken broth, threw in the chicken, kale, potatoes and some spices all in my dutch oven.   When the chicken was cooked, I pulled everything out, then made a light gravy with the juices and a little more broth and wine. Mostly a one pot – or rather dutch oven meal.

I told my son that he could easily make this with his pals and it would be a great substitute for the pizza they often eat together and pay less for this meal.  (He agreed -but I’m not dumb, he’ll still grab the pizza).  The recipe makes about 4 delicious servings and didn’t take long to put together.  If you don’t have a dutch oven, you can cook it stove top or in a clay baker or small roaster.

Chicken, Kale and Potatoes
 
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Chicken, Kale and Potatoes - a hearty, fast dinner.
Author:
Recipe type: Main
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 2 whole chicken breasts -
  • 1 large shallot or medium onion
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • olive oil
  • 1 large handful Kale
  • 3 potatoes
  • 1 can of white beans drained
  • ¼ tsp cumin
  • ¼ tsp celery seed
  • thyme
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 2 tbs butter
  • 2 tbs flour
  • 2 cups white wine
  • 2 cups chicken broth
Instructions
  1. Dice shallots, and garlic, saute in olive oil in dutch oven.
  2. Place chicken breasts skin side down on top of shallots and garlic to brown.
  3. Remove chicken, garlic and shallots from dutch oven, add 1 cup white wine and deglaze.
  4. Slice potatoes about ¼ in thick slices.
  5. Place chicken mixture back in dutch oven, along with kale, potatoes, beans and spices.
  6. Add 1 cup chicken stock cover and bake in oven at 350 for 30 to 40 min.
  7. Remove from heat and place ingredients in a serving bowl, and the liquids into a separate smaller bowl.
  8. With the dutch oven over the stove top, melt butter in the bottom.
  9. Add in two tablespoons of flour and whisk.
  10. Pour in 1 cup of white wine and deglaze again, then add 1 cup chicken broth, whisking while it thickens.
  11. Pour gravy over serving bowl and serve.
Notes
I pull the skin off right before serving, but if you like the skin keep it on. I prefer white beans but used garbanzos this time. Feel free to substitute beans and even cook your own dry beans up beforehand.

 

Grilled Mozzarella and Kale Pesto Sandwich

February 12, 2012 - Written by Diana

Have you ever been thinking about how to make a dish, or an ingredient you want to use and someone posts a dish that you say – Yes, I can make my dish this way and use her idea to do it.  I had some fresh mozzarella that I wanted to use, plus I had Kale.  I knew I wanted a grilled cheese, but I didn’t know how to do it, until I saw @erikakerekes – tweet.  She said “{In Erika’s Kitchen} My ongoing love affair with kale: Kale pesto http://t.co/bqsFCuD0 #recipe #Superfoods”.  That was my trigger.  I could make my grilled mozz sandwiches with kale pesto, and dip the sandwiches in pasta sauce.

Tonight for dinner we made a Kale pesto – not to exact recipe – I used kale and chard and forgot the lemon because I was making a small amount – though I think it would be good to add.  I broke open a jar of homemade spaghetti sauce and we dined.  My husband thought it was wonderful and suggested it would be a great grilled cheese to go along with our home made tomato soup.


Grilled Mozzarella and Kale Pesto Sandwich
 
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Grilled Mozzarella and Kale Pesto Sandwich - great for dipping in tomato soup or pasta sauce. My husband says it's an upscale grilled cheese.
Author:
Recipe type: Sandwich
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • Kale Pesto - adapted from In Erika's Kitchen.
  • 1 large Swiss Chard Leaf
  • 2 Kale leaves
  • handful of walnuts
  • Olive oil
  • parmesan cheese
  • Clove of garlic
  • salt
  • Sandwich
  • Mozzarella
  • Bread
  • Olive Oil
Instructions
  1. Grind the Kale pesto ingredients in the food processor.
  2. Spread pesto on one slice of bread.
  3. Slice mozzarella and place on the other slice.
  4. Place both slices together brushing the outside lightly with olive oil.
  5. Grill in pan lightly coated with olive oil.
  6. Serve with a bowl of pasta sauce for dipping.
Notes
There are 4 servings, but we each ate two sandwiches they were so good. I make grilled cheese like a panini, but I don't own a press. I place the sandwich in one hot pan, and then I sit another hot pan on top. It helps to press down the bread and melt the cheese through. Suggested change - If you like goat cheese instead of mozzarella, just combine the pesto and the goat cheese together and spread it on the bread before grilling.

 

Sweet Potatoes and Kale

February 8, 2012 - Written by Diana

 

I love sweet potatoes and kale, such a great healthy combination.  How are your winter stores holding up?  The sweet potatoes were in our basement cold storage and holding up really well.  These were potatoes we grew from slips in our garden, so I’m thrilled to have them in such good shape in February.

We have been picking up a market bag from a grocer.  Each week is a surprise, but usually contains greens, fruit (apples, pears, oranges) some sort of grain,  and usually bread and veggies.  Most of it is organic, and as much as possible local – not easy to do this time of year.  Last week we received some dinosaur kale.  Lovely bright and green dinosaur kale.

Recently I saw an episode of The Chew where Michael Symon attempted a 5 in 5 – which he failed to complete on time, but it had the ingredients I love together – sweet potatoes and swiss chard.  I took his idea of grilling the sweet potatoes and sauteeing the chard, but substituted kale.  Instead of a vinaigrette, I squeezed an orange over top and grated orange zest over top.  While the sweet potato was grilling I sprinkled cinnamon over top.  Toasting crimini mushrooms and pine nuts to sprinkle over top for the finish.  My son and I enjoyed this meal a lot, and it was very filling.

 

Sweet Potatoes and Dinosaur Kale
 
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Cinnamony Grilled Sweet Potatoes over Dinosaur Kale that has orange over top with pine nuts and crimini mushrooms for the finish.
Author:
Recipe type: Vegan Main
Serves: 3
Ingredients
  • 2 large or 3 medium sweet potatoes sliced into planks
  • Cinnamon
  • 1 shallot sliced
  • bunch of dinosaur kale
  • 1 orange (zest and juice)
  • ⅛ cup pine nuts
  • ½ cup crimini mushrooms chopped
  • Olive oil
  • salt
  • pepper
Instructions
  1. Lay sweet potato planks on oiled grill pan and sprinkle with cinnamon.
  2. In a saute pan, melt 2 tbs butter and toast mushrooms and pine nuts.
  3. Take the mushrooms and pine nuts out of the pan and place on a dish.
  4. Add olive oil to the saute pan.
  5. Saute shallots until soft.
  6. Slice the dinosaur kale across the width and add to the shallots.
  7. Flip the sweet potato planks when one side is soft and has grill marks.
  8. Grate orange zest and squeeze orange juice over top of the dinosaur kale.