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Beef Tenderloin Medallions w/ Savory Sauce, Baked Potatoes with Blue Cheese Dressing & Green Beans with Garlic & Almonds Guest Chef Patricia Mendez
Beef Tenderloin Medallions with Savory Sauce Makes 4 servings
2 to 2 1/2 pounds beef tenderloin, trimmed and cut into eight 1/2-inch-thick steaks Olive oil Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro, for garnish
To prepare the steaks, brush the steaks with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Cover and let rest at room temperature. When ready to cook, preheat a large frying pan over medium heat. Add the steaks and pan-fry for 2 to 3 minutes. Turn and cook for another 1 or 2 minutes. To serve, place 2 steaks on each plate, spoon some of the sauce over them, and sprinkle the chopped cilantro on top. Tip: The biggest mistake you can make is to overcook the tenderloin. You really want it cooked no more than medium (pink in the center) for optimum flavor and tenderness.
Savory Sauce 1 tablespoon olive oil 1 clove garlic, finely chopped 2 tablespoons finely chopped shallots 1 tablespoon stone-ground mustard 1 cup beef broth (soup aisle) 1 tablespoon tomato paste (not sauce) 2 tablespoons real maple syrup 2 tablespoons cider vinegar 1 bay leaf 1 teaspoon salt Freshly ground black pepper to taste
To make the sauce, heat the olive oil in a small sauté pan over medium heat. Add the garlic and onion and sauté for 1 or 2 minutes. Add the mustard, beef broth, tomato paste, maple syrup, cider vinegar, bay leaf, salt, and pepper. Simmer for 8 to 10 minutes over low heat, until the sauce thickens slightly. Turn off the heat, and cover until ready to use.
Baked Potatoes with Blue Cheese Dressing Makes 4 servings
4 medium baking potatoes (Idaho or russet)
Blue Cheese Dressing 1/2 cup mayonnaise 1/2 cup light sour cream 1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese 1 teaspoon cider vinegar Dash of bottled hot sauce, such as Cholula or Tapatio 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce 1 teaspoon finely chopped shallot 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped 2 teaspoons chopped flat-leaf (Italian) parsley Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste Wash and dry the potatoes, and stab each one several times with a fork. Wrap in aluminum foil. Refrigerate until ready to bake.
To make the dressing, combine the mayonnaise and sour cream in a medium bowl. Fold in the blue cheese, vinegar, hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce, shallot, garlic, parsley, and salt and pepper to taste. Refrigerate until ready to serve. To bake the potatoes, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Bake the potatoes for 60 to 75 minutes, or until a potato is soft when you squeeze it (with an oven mitt). Serve with the blue cheese dressing alongside. Tips: The reason you stab the potato with a fork is to allow steam to escape so it will not explode in your oven. Shallots are members of the onion family and are found in the produce section of your grocery store, by the onions and garlic.
Green Beans with Garlic and Almonds Makes 4 servings
1 pound fresh green beans 3/4 cup water 2 tablespoons olive oil 2 or 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste 1/4 cup sliced almonds Wash the beans. Cut off the stem on the end of each bean. Put the beans in a large sauté pan with the water. Bring to a boil, cover, and simmer on low heat for 4 to 5 minutes. Check the water level once, and add a little more if needed. Stick a fork in a bean. When done, it should be crispy tender-not too hard and not too mushy. If you use regular green beans, you will have to increase the cooking time by 2 or 3 minutes. Empty the beans into a colander and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking. Drain well, cover, and put in the refrigerator until ready to stir-fry at the last minute.
To stir-fry the beans, heat the olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat and add the garlic. Cook, stirring constantly, for 1 or 2 minutes. Do not let the garlic get brown; it should only become fragrant and flavor the oil. Add the reserved green beans and stir to coat with the oil and garlic. Continue stirring for 3 to 4 minutes, or until heated through. Season with salt and pepper, sprinkle with the almonds, and serve.