I think going out to dinner on Valentine’s Day is dumb, ditto New Year’s Eve. You pay twice as much for a mediocre meal and free “all you can down”, cheap champagne or a headache in a flute! No thanks.
Traditionally, my husband, Eric, puts on a tux, the girls get all dressed up and we have a “fancy” dinner at home, usually, at a table in the living room to make it feel different.
The following is a recipe for Beef Wellington that serves two, you can also make it with chicken as well.
2 – 6 oz tournedos (fillets) of beef
1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp dried thyme leaves
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 Tbs unsalted butter
1/4 cup Potted Mushrooms (recipe follows)
1 sheet frozen puff pastry 10” X 8”, thawed
1 tsp milk
Preheat the oven to 425°.
Toss the salt, pepper and dried thyme in a small bowl. Rub the tournedos on all sides with the mustard, then sprinkle the spice mixture over them.
Melt the butter in a small skillet, and sear the tournedos on all sides, about 5 minutes. Cool to room temperature. This is to ensure a rosy-red medium rare center
Arrange the tournedos on a small baking sheet, and cover them with mushrooms.
Cut out two 4 – 5 inch circles of pastry. Drape each over one of the tournedos, and pinch the edges in four or five places to enclose the tournedos. Blend the egg and milk, and brush this glaze over the pastry. Decorate the tops with pastry trimmings.
Bake 15 minutes for medium-rare. Serve immediately.
5 Tbs unsalted butter
1/3 cup minced shallots
1/3 cup minced leeks (white part only)
2 cloves garlic, minced
18 oz. cultivated mushrooms, finely chopped
1 Tbs finely snipped chives
1 1/2 Tbs fortified wine; medium dry sherry, port or madiera
1/2 tsp salt
freshly ground pepper to taste
Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in a 10 inch skillet. Stir in shallots, leeks and garlic. Cook over low heat until translucent, about 5 minutes.
Add mushrooms and the thyme. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the mushroom liquid has evaporated and the mixture is just moist, 10 minutes. Add wine cook just 1 – 2 minutes more. Transfer mixture to a bowl.
Add chives, salt and pepper and stir well. Serve at room temperature.
(These mushrooms are best the day they are made. Serve the remaining mushrooms alongside the smoked salmon with toasts)