This simple and fast dish is perfect for a light meal or side dish. I had some mushrooms and onions leftover from diner the other night and wanted to use them. I had a taste for a pasta dish and came up with this.
You will need:
Mushrooms – approximately one cup/serving
Sweet Onion – approximately one cup/serving
Olive Oil – approximately two tsp/serving
Tomato Paste – approximately one tsp/serving
Oregano Pesto or Fresh Oregano chopped with olive oil to form a paste – approximately 1 tsp/serving
Garlic – approximately one clove/serving
Prepare pasta according to package directions. In the mean time medium dice mushrooms and onion and puree garlic. In a sauté pan large enough to hold mixture heat olive oil until hot, add mushroom, onion and garlic and sauté until onions become translucent. Make a small clear area in the pan and add the tomato paste and pesto/oregano and sauté a few minutes then combine all elements. Salt and pepper to taste. When pasta is cooked drain well and return to pot add mushroom mixture and heat through.
Making the classic Beef Wellington could be intimidating but it is a relatively easy dish to prepare and is well worth the effort. I have taken liberties with my version, actually two versions, by adding onion to one and spinach to the other. The version here uses onion but by simply replacing the onion in the recipe/technique below with spinach you get a completely different experience.
You will need:
Filet of beef approximately 1 1/2″ – 2″ thick 6 – 8 oz./serving.
Puff pastry – 12″ square piece 1/serving.
Sweet Onion such as Walla Walla or Vidalia – 1/4″ slice 1/person (be careful here as you want to keep the slabs of onion intact – you can pierce each with a toothpick to insure the rings stay together).
Shallot – diced fine approximately 1 TBS/serving.
White button or crimini mushrooms – approximately 3 oz./serving.
White wine, Sherry or Vermouth – approximately 1TBS/serving.
Shallot – approximately 1 TBS/serving.
Garlic approximately one small clove/serving.
Egg wash (combine egg with a little water and whip until combined).
Olive Oil/Butter – approximately 1TBS each/serving
Prepare the filets – Tie each filet, with a piece of twine placed at half the thickness of the beef, tight enough to give the filet some height and uniformity in circumference. In a sauté pan large enough to hold filets without crowding place approximately 1 TBS each of oil and butter. When oil/butter began to bubble sauté filets on both sides until a rich crust is formed. Remove from pan, set aside to cool completely. All you are doing with this step is searing the meat, it will cook through when baking the Wellingtons.
Prepare the mushrooms – (Mushroom Duxelles) – Place mushrooms, shallot and garlic in a food processor and chop until the mixture has a paste consistency. Using the same pan for the beef add more oil/butter if the pan is too dry bring up to temperature and add the mushroom mixture. Sauté mixture until it starts to dry out then add the White wine/sherry/vermouth. Continue to cook until the mixture is completely dry. Remove from pan, set aside to cool completely.
Prepare the Onion – in the same pan used for the beef and mushroom add a little oil/butter if the pan is too dry. Season both sides of onion with salt and pepper then place in heated pan. Sauté onions on both sides until golden brown. Carefully remove onion slabs from pan, set aside to cool completely.
Prepare the dough – It is not a difficult task to do this step. It is easier to give you a visual so I have included this visual aid.
Assembly and cooking – Separate all of the above items into portions equal to the amount of tenderloins used. Place a portion of the mushroom mixture in the center of the dough square spread until it matches the circumference of the steak, remove twine from tenderloin and place on top of the mushrooms, place one onion plank on top of beef, follow the instructions provided to fold dough over beef to form a package. Roast individual Beef Wellington(s) until the internal temperature reaches 130° for rare, 140° for medium. Serve with a vegetable and mashed potatoes.
If you decide to add cooked spinach instead of the onion simply replace it at the step indicated above.
NB You must make sure that all items are completely dry otherwise the dough will become gooey and you will not get a good crisp crust.
This side dish works well with chicken,turkey, pork or ham the slight touch of ginger enhances the flavor of each product.
You will need:
Sweet Potato approximately 3 oz./person
Carrot approximately 3 oz./person
Pearl Onion approximately 3 oz./person
Butter approximately 1 TBS/serving
Brown sugar (either light or dark) approximately 1 TBS/serving
Ginger Powder approximately 1 tsp./serving
Cut sweet potato and carrot into large dice (about the same size as onions used) steam vegetables until just under fork tender. I used frozen pearl onions for this recipe if you use fresh you will need to blanch them until tender remove husks before proceeding. In a skillet large enough to hold all the vegetables place one TBS butter/serving and heat until butter foams, add pearl onions and sauté until just golden, add brown sugar and ginger along with steamed potato and carrot. If you need to add more butter do so at this stage to allow sugar to coat vegetables. Cook until potato and carrot are fork tender, serve.