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Saturday, November 26, 2011

Thanksgiving goodness

We celebrated our Thanksgiving on Black Friday this year. My dear husband had to work at the hospital on Thanksgiving. (Appreciate your nurses, doctors, police, fire fighters, military and anyone else who doesn't have holidays off folks!) My wonderful mother in law takes a cooking class once a month in the town we are from and we benefit from her culinary experience because she sends me all the recipes! Every month I get a packet of recipes in the mail from her class. It's usually a soup/salad/appetizer, a main course, sides, and a dessert. All of which are WONDERFUL. I keep trying to take a class with her when I'm home visiting but it just never works out for one reason or another. Anyway this year she sent us the recipe for Beef Wellington knowing that we'd be doing something extra special for Thanksgiving. They were beyond good seriously....anywho here's some recipes and some pictures for your dining pleasure and such!

Grilled Caesar salad
Sounds weird huh? I thought so too, but I saw the Neely's make this on the food network and thought it'd be something different to try. It was pretty darn good and here's the link to the recipe. http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/neelys/grilled-caesar-salad-recipe/index.html

Jamey doesn't like turkey or ham so our main course was Beef Wellingtons with mushrooms and gorgonzola cheese and a side of roasted carrots. Wonderful...melt in your mouth goodness! It has a recipe for a sauce and I didn't make it. They didn't need it either they were so good. Jamey already told me that he wants these again for Christmas when his folks come in and Alyssa ate a massive amount herself. Our 4 year old has really expensive taste. One day she'll be a really expensive date for some poor fellow.

8 -1 1/2 inch thick center cut filets mignons (about 5-6 ounces each)
8 large mushrooms (about half pound total)
2 Tbs unsalted butter
2 Tbs finely chopped shallot
2 Tbs minced garlic
1-2 large eggs, beaten(this will be wash)
2 puff pastry sheets (one package frozen puff pastry), thawed (thaw 45 mins. at room temp. on parchment paper folded, but unfold when it is easy to do so during the thawing process.
8 slices Gorgonzola cheese (about 4 oz.), cut butter pats (2 per bundle)

For sauce:
1 Tbs veal or beef demiglace
2 Tbs Madeira
1 can Campbell's Beef Consomme (reserve 1 Tbs to mix with arrowroot or use water)
1 Tbs arrowroot (or other thickening agent)

Pat filet mignons dry and season with salt and pepper, and ,if , desired Montreal Steak seasoning. In a large saute pan(nonstick), brown the meat 2 mins. on both sides and then do the sides for about 1 min. so that the entire surface is seared. Remove to a platter and cool(filets will be baked again after being wrapped in pastry). Chill filets in refrigerator, covered, until cold, about 1 hour at least.
Thinly slice mushrooms and half them again. In a skillet or saute pan, cook in butter with shallot, garlic, and salt and pepper to taste over moderate, stirring, until mushrooms are lightly browned and softened. Transfer mushroom mixture to a bowl to cool completely.. In a small bowl lightly beat egg to make an egg wash. 1 egg may be enough to coat all the pastry, but 2 may be needed.
On a lightly floured surface roll out puff pastry sheet into a 14 inch square. Trim edges to form at least a 13 inch square and cut square into four equal squares. Lay individually on lightly on lightly floured parchment paper. Repeat with the other sheet if making 8. Save trimmings to roll out if you wish to cut out decorative shapes for garnish, or plan to use another sheet for your cutouts.
Remove beef filets from the refrigerator and lightly pat with paper towels. Prepare a non-stick baking pan by lining with parchment paper, or use a pan with a non-stick rack.
Put 1-2 pats pf gorgonzola in the center of 1 square and top with 1/8 mushroom mixture. Top mushroom mixture with a filet mignon, pressing it down gently, and wrap 2 opposite corners of puff pastry over filet, overlapping them and sealing them with some of the egg wash with your finger. Then wrap remaining 2 corners of pastry over filet and seal in same manner. Seal any gaps with egg wash and press pastry around filet to enclose completely. Arrange Beef Wellington bundles, seam side down on a non-stick baking pan lined with parchment paper and place Beef bundles on rack. Make 7 more bundles.Chill 1 hour up to 1 day.
Chill remaining egg wash for brushing on pastry just before baking. Remove bundles from frig to bake. Preheat oven to 425.
Brush top and sides of each bundle with remaining egg wash and bake 20-22 minutes, pastry should be golden. Remove from oven and allow to sit 3-5 minutes, uncovered
Make sauce while bundles are baking. Bring beef consomme(minus 1 Tbs) to gentle boil. Add the demiglace, whisking to blend and dissolve. When it's dissolved, lower heat to low and the Madeira, whisking 1 minute. Then add arrowroot and whisk. Can thicken with more arrowroot. Keep warm.
Serve bundles with sauce.

I guess since this is my Thanksgiving post I'll tell you what I'm thankful for. I'm so thankful for my wonderful, kind husband (even though he wouldn't press my call bell for me when I was in labor). I'm so grateful that he loves me despite all my whining and complaining. That he loves me just how I am, including the 50 lbs I've packed on since he married me in 2003 (more to love folks, more to love!). I'm so happy to be raising two wonderful, sweet little girls with him. I'm thankful for those little girls who make every single day more exciting (including when I'm dragging them through the grocery store whilst they are kicking and screaming and crying for candy). I'm thankful for their sloppy kisses and super tight hugs and beautiful smiles. I'm thankful for my family. Parents who love me and are always there for me and who helped shape me into the wonderfulness that you see before you today :) and siblings who grew up to be my best friends. A sister who I talk to at least twice a day everyday on the phone and who is truly my very best friend. Brother's who always make me laugh. I'm thankful for all my many friends all over the country and my friends who are "home grown" Thankful for the love and the support they always show our family. I'm thankful for my furry critters who drive me crazy with the cat hair and the yapping but who we adore! I'm just so thankful for all the many, many things in my life!