Special Holiday Recipe – Beef Wellington

Special Holiday Recipe – Beef Wellington

This classic British show-stopping beef fillet is typically coated with pate and duxelles (finely chopped mushrooms). Our version skips the pate, coats the fillet with duxelles in red wine, and wraps everything up in puff pastry. Simply slice for serving.
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon unsalted butter, softened and divided
2 tablespoons, grape seed or other unflavored oil, divided
1/4 cup finely chopped shallots
1-1/2 cups finely chopped portobello mushrooms; remove the stems and gills before chopping
1/2 cup red wine
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
3 lb. center-cut beef tenderloin, trimmed
1 lb. puff pastry, store-bought, thawed overnight in the refrigerator
1 large egg, lightly beaten
Heat the 2 tablespoon butter and 1 tablespoon oil in a 10-inch saute pan over low heat. Add the shallots and cook, stirring often, until translucent, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add the finely chopped mushrooms, stir well, and raise the heat to medium. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms have cooked down to a thick mixture. Add the wine, cook until evaporated. Season with a pinch of salt and fresh ground pepper. Remove from the heat, stir in the parsley; and cool to room temperature.

Remove the beef from the refrigerator and bring to room temperature. Pat the beef dry and season well with salt and pepper. Heat the remaining oil in a 12-inch saute pan over high heat until very hot. Sear the beef until it is evenly browned on all sides. Remove from the saute pan and place the beef on a baking sheet to bring it to room temperature.

On a lightly floured surface, lay the sheets of puff pasty side-by -side, slightly over lapping, roll together to form a 13×16-inch rectangle. Dot the mushroom mixture over the puff pastry, then use a spatula to spread the mushrooms evenly over the puff pastry, leaving a 2″ border.

Place the tenderloin in the center  and carefully wrap the pastry around the filet, pressing and molding it in place. Smooth out any air pockets. Brush some of the beaten egg along the bottom edge of the seam and then press gently to seal; trim off any excess. Seal the pastry similarly at the ends.Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 475°F. Lightly grease a large baking sheet with remaining the butter. Lift the Wellington onto the sheet, seam side down. Refrigerate for at least 15 minutes.

Brush the surface of the puff pastry with the remaining beaten egg. Using a sharp knife, score just the surface of the pastry – be care to not to cut all the way through the pastry. Put the Wellington in the oven and reduce the temperature to 425°F. Roast for 10 minutes, then reduce the heat again to 400°F and roast until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of the Wellington registers 135°F for medium rare – about 20 or 25 minutes.
Transfer to a carving board and rest for 10 minutes prior to carving.
Chocolate Liquor Truffles

Chocolate Liquor Truffles

Chocolate truffles are expensive to purchase, but are relatively easy and inexpensive to make at home. Truffles make a great gift; plus with homemade truffles you can decide which flavors to fill your candy gift boxes!  Some of our favorite liquor/topping combinations are:

– Dumante with finely chopped pistachios
– Frangelico with finely chopped hazel nuts
– Chambord and Baileys rolled in powdered chocolate
– Amaretto rolled in finely chopped almonds
Be creative this holiday and have some fun making your own special treats for yourself or gift-giving.
1 cup heavy cream
18 oz. premium semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons liqueur of your choice – Dumante, Frangelico, Chambord, Bailey’s, or Amaretto
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
Dutch-processed cocoa powder
finely chopped nuts
Bring the cream to a boil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Place the chocolate in a large bowl and pour the cream over the chocolate. Stir with a wooden spoon until smooth and all the chocolate is melted. Add the liquor and melted butter; stir in.
Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, at least 2 hours or overnight.
Place the cocoa powder or nuts in a flat dish. Using 2 teaspoons, or a very small ice cream scoop, drop rounded, heaping teaspoonfuls of truffle mixture onto a large, parchment-lined baking sheet. When all of the truffles are scooped, dip them in the cocoa and use your palms to roll the truffles into smooth 1-inch balls.
Roll in chopped nuts or roll again in cocoa powder. Place in individual candy cups. Refrigerate, covered tightly, until time to pack as gifts or serve.


Orange Cardamom Cookies

Orange Cardamom Cookies

The sweet combination of orange and cardamom is what makes these cookies so special. The icing can be applied and decorated over or if you want to make things simple, drizzle the icing over the cookies with a fork and decorate with a few French Dragees.
2½ cups of White Lily flour
1 1/4 teaspoons of ground cardamom
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 sticks of unsalted butter (1 1/2 cups)
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
1 extra large egg – room temperature
1 1/2 teaspoons finely grated fresh orange peel
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup of powdered sugar
1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh orange juice
Whisk the flour, cardamom, and salt together. Using an electric mixer, beat the butter until creamy; about 2 minutes. Gradually add the sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Add the egg, the grated orange peel and vanilla; beat to blend completely. Reduce the mixer to low and work in all the flour slowly. Separate the dough into two balls, place in a zip top bag and shape each one into a disk. Refrigerate for 24 to 36 hours. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Working with one disk of dough at a time, remove from the refrigerator and let the dough stand for 15 minutes. Roll the dough out into a 1/8 inch thickness and cut out shapes. Gather dough scraps together into a ball and refrigerate for several minutes until cold. Re-roll and re-cut shapes. Repeat with the other disk of dough. Keep the shapes cold until time to bake. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet, 3 inches apart, and bake for 14 to 16 minutes or until golden brown. Cool for a few minutes on the sheet and remove to racks to cool completely.

When the cookies have completely cooled, mix the powdered sugar with the orange juice to form a thick icing. Ice your cookies and decorate as desired.