Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Roast Fillet of Beef Dinner

This fairly easy dinner served six of us last Saturday night. The only thing that took longer than an hour to prepare was the dessert which needs a day for the tart to chill to the right consistency (this I found out the hard way). Two of the recipes are from other food bloggers, both of which turned out very well. The risotto I made to accompany the beef, I omitted the spicy pangrattato called for in the recipe whose flavor I thought would not compliment the beef. The tart was excellent... the next day. Unfortunately, I served the tart too soon and the consistency and flavor was unable to develop properly. I strongly suggest making the tart a day before you are to serve it, it's well worth it.

My dinner guests were a mix of people half of whom did not know each other beforehand. Ages ranged from 25 to 40 and genders were mixed. It turned out pretty well. Although, the night ended with a set of different guests who came for drinks long after dinner ended.

I served George Duboeuf Beaujolais "Brouilly" to go with this meal. One of my favorite wines.

Sherried Mushroom Soup

Cauliflower Risotto
(from blog The Traveler's Lunchbox)

Roast Fillet of Beef with Blue Cheese Sauce

White Chocolate Tart with Strawberry Jam
(adapted from blog The Flying Apple)

Sherried Wild Mushroom Soup

150 grams butter
2 onions, chopped finely
approximately 300 grams fresh shitake mushrooms, remove stems and roughly chop
approximately 400 grams white mushrooms, remove stems and roughly chop
8 cups chicken stock
salt & pepper
4 oz Sherry

Saute the onions in butter. Add the mushrooms and saute a further 2-3 minutes. Add the stock and simmer until mushrooms are softened. Puree in a blender. Pour back into pan, add Sherry, season to taste, and reheat.

Roast Filet of Beef with Blue Cheese Sauce

2 kilos beef fillet, ends cut (reserve for another recipe) and beef tied
salt & pepper
extra-virgin olive oil

For the sauce:
about 300 grams Danish Blue Cheese
250 ml all-purpose cream

Pat meat dry. Sprinkle beef generously with salt & pepper. Cover lightly with olive oil, spreading evenly.

I used a turbo-broiler to roast the beef... Turn broiler temperature to highest its setting, preheating for 10 minutes. Place beef on rack at the bottom of the broiler and roast for 35 minutes for medium. Let meat rest for at least 10 minutes before cutting.

If using a conventional oven: Preheat oven to 525 degrees F. Arrange meat on a rack in a roasting pan. Roast meat for 45 to 50 minutes, or until a meat thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the meat registers 130 to 140 F. for medium-rare. Transfer meat to a cutting board and let rest, loosely covered, for 10 minutes before cutting.

To make the sauce: Place both ingredients in a saucepan and simmer until cheese has melted and sauce is smooth.

White Chocolate Tart with Strawberry Jam

For the shortcrust pastry:
1 cup flour
1 stick (1/2 cup) butter
1/4 cup confectioner's sugar
1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon or more ice cold water

For the filling:
300 g plain (but good quality) white chocolate
3 tbsp of caster sugar
250 g mascarpone
480 - 500 g cottage cheese
approx. 4-5 tbsp of strawberry jam
approx. 750 g ripe strawberries, cut into segments (optional)

In a bain marie gently melt the white chocolate, the mascarpone and the sugar, stirring to prevent any sticking to the bottom of the pan. As soon as the mixture is smooth remove from the heat and pour into a bowl. Add the cottage cheese and puree in a blender until smooth. Pour filling into a bowl and refrigerate for at least one hour to chill and thicken slightly. Spread the pastry case with jam and cover with the white chocolate filling. If using strawberries, arrange the strawberry segments on top and sprinkle with icing sugar. Chill the cake for a day/overnight.

For the shortcrust pastry put all ingredients into the food processor and pulse for some seconds until a dough ball has formed, take it out, dust with flour, cover with cling foil and leave to rest in the fridge for half an hour.

Using your fingers, press the dough into a tart pan with a removable bottom, spreading it evenly at the bottom and sides of the pan. Bake in a preheated 350 F oven for 45 minutes or until golden brown.