I love eating, cooking and especially reading about all different types of food. Every month I'll try recipes from some of my favorite culinary magazines and cook books, review restaurants and even share some of my own creations. I'll post pictures and let you know what works, how they taste and tips to make them better. I'll also enlist some friends around the country to tell you about some great food finds where they live.

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Monday, February 22, 2010

Beef Tenderloin Medallions with Potato "Risotto", Frisee-Apple Salad, Devil's Food Cake with Sour Cream Frosting

Hey folks!  Sorry about going dark last week.  I was traveling and my plans to cook in Las Vegas at my Uncle's for his friends didn't work out.

This week, I decided to make the meal I planned for Vegas, which also happens to be Mr. Steele's favorite, meat and potatoes.  And of course, chocolate cake.

So I went back to my Bon Appétit from February 2010 and planned for:

Beef Tenderloin Medallions with Potato "Risotto"
Frisée-Apple Salad
Devil's Food Cake with Sour Cream Frosting

Let's talk about beef tenderloin.  I thought that I would be able to find a small piece of beef tenderloin at my local supermarket and get moving on this meal.  Nope, not that easy.  What I did find is pre-packaged beef tenderloin in seasonings like cracked pepper and full of preservatives.  Not what I needed.  So, off I go to Whole Foods.  I head to the butcher who thankfully, has a tenderloin in the back that he can cut for me.  Pefect, right?!  After he cuts the meat, packaged and rang it up at the scale, he handed me...2lbs of beef tenderloin...that cost...$66.27!!  I almost lost it in the store.
 I couldn't believe how much money this thing cost.  I composed myself and decided that I need to suck it up and just learn from this mistake.

So I started with the Devil's Food Cake with Sour Cream Frosting since it took the longest to prepare.  Now the recipe says "Top Tier", which is in reference to the size of the top tier of a wedding cake.  The recipe calls for two 5" cake pans, to bake the cake.  Not necessary at all.  If you want to keep the same "top tier" look and feel, double the recipe for the cake, use a basic 9" round and simply cut the cake in half and then cut into a small square or circle.  I also doubled the frosting as well, and it turned out to be the perfect amount.  This thing is YUMMY, and I'm not a big milk chocolate fan!  Really easy folks, try this one!

Next up is the Potato "Risotto" from the Beef Tenderloin recipe.  Now Mr. Steele can't eat cheese, so I cooked this up until I needed to add the cream and the cheese and set that aside for him.  I continued the recipe for my portion.  It was good, not mind blowing.  I probably could have concocted this one myself.  It's pretty easy, so for all my followers who've been asking for easy recipes, this is one.

My very expensive Beef Tenderloin Medallions were delicious.  The simplicity of the seasoning, fresh thyme, salt and pepper, was perfect for such a delicate piece of beef.

I seared the tenderloins in a pan with very hot olive oil.  The apartment got a bit smoky but it was worth it to get that wonderful crust on each side.  Just open a window and light a candle.  Once you take a bite, you won't care about how smokey your kitchen was.  It was delicious!!  The medallions are best served medium rare.  It only takes about 5 minutes on each side to cook these perfectly.  If you aren't confident about the timing, use a meat thermometer to test when the internal temperature is 130–140°F.

The last piece of the puzzle was the Frisée Apple Salad.  Frisée is really hard to find people!!  I went to three shops, nothing.  So I used a mixed musclen salad that had frisée in it.  This is a very easy, refreshing salad that went really well with the creaminess of the potatoes and the wonderfully tender beef.

I really recommend trying these recipes from this week.  If you can find beef tenderloin that's less than $22 per lb, go for it.  Or, if you're feeling like a treat, go for the full monty!

See you next week!  Please send comments, let me know if you've tried any of the recipes or if you have any suggestions!

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