For my big holiday dinner this year I wanted to do something a little different than the more traditional ham or turkey. So, I created my own version of Beouf en Croute Madeira, or Beef Wellington. Wrapping puff pasty around a beef tenderloin makes an impressive presentation. And, the complex flavors in the mushroom filling and madeira sauce truly make this a special main course. Other dishes that complete my holiday dinner include a curried butternut squash soup, brussels sprouts with turkey bacon and pearl onions, a carrot and potato puree, and an apple peach cobbler. You can find all of the recipes are below.
Curried Butternut Squash Soup with Roasted Shrimp
makes 4 servings, double the recipe for a larger dinner
collaborative recipe with friends Sara McGhie and Diane Goodman
3 tbl Butter
2 tbl Olive Oil
1 Leek, mostly white, split, washed well and sliced
1 med Onion, roughly chopped
3 cloves Garlic, smashed and chopped
1 tsp Salt
1 tbl Curry Powder
1 tsp Coriander
1/2 tsp Pepper
1/4 tsp Cumin
1/4 tsp Ground Red Pepper
1 1/2 lb Butternut Squash, peeled, seeded and cut into small cubes
3/4 lb Cauliflower, roughly chopped
zest of one Orange
1 1/2 cu Fresh Orange Juice
2 1/2 cu Vegetable Stock
3/4 lb med shrimp, peeled leave tails on 8
1 1/2 tbl Olive Oil
1/2 tsp Chili Powder
1/2 tsp Curry Powder
1/4 tsp Tumeric
2 tbl Fresh Chives, chopped
4 Thin Lemon Slices
Heat butter and olive oil in a stockpot over medium heat. Add leeks, onions, garlic and salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are tender, translucent, but not browning, about 10 minutes. Add curry powder, coriander, pepper, cumin and red pepper. Stir mixture for about a minute. Add squash, cauliflower, orange zest, orange juice, and vegetable stock. Increase heat and bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cover and simmer for 40 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Remove pot from heat and use either an immersion blender or countertop blender to blend until smooth. If you're using a countertop blender, BE VERY CAREFUL WITH THE HOT MIXTURE. Blend in small batches. If your blender top has an insert, remove the insert and cover the opening in the top with a towel to allow steam to release but avoid splattering hot soup on you or your kitchen. Put soup back in stockpot. Check the consistency and flavor of the soup. If it is too thick, add a little water or vegetable stock. Add additional seasoning if necessary.
To prepare shrimp, preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Place a rimmed baking sheet in the oven for 10 minutes until it is hot.
Separately, rinse shrimp in cold water and dry them really well with paper towels. Mix together olive oil, chili powder, curry, cumin, turmeric, salt and pepper. Toss shrimp in the mixture to coat well.
Open oven and slide out rack with the hot baking sheet. Put shrimp on the baking sheet and roast for 8-10 minutes, turning them once to get color on both sides. Remove from oven and let cool slightly. Set aside the shrimp that have tails and roughly chop the remainder.
Slice the baguette at an extreme angle to create long slices. Toast the slices under the broiler in your oven.
To serve, divide chopped shrimp among 4 serving bowls. Pour soup over shrimp pieces. Top soup with one of the toasted baguette slices. Place the tail-on shrimp on top and sprinkle chives over it. Then garnish the bowl with lemon wedges. You can also put a pinch of curry in the center of the soup (optional). Encourage your guests to squeeze the lemon into the soup before eating.
Beouf en Croute Madeira
beef tenderloin wrapped puff pastry
2 lb Beef Tenderloin
1 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Black Pepper
1 lb Baby Portobello Mushrooms, finely chopped
2 tbl Butter
3 tbl Olive Oil
1/2 cu Shallots, minced
2 Garlic Cloves, minced
1 Leek, mostly white portion, split, rinsed and finely chopped
1 1/2 tsp Fresh Thyme, finely minced
1 1/2 tsp Fresh Rosemary, finely minced
2 tsp Dry Mustard
1/4 cu Bourbon
1/4 cu Whipping Cream
1/4 lb Prosciutto, thinly sliced
2 sheets Phyllo Dough
1 sheet Puff Pastry
1 Egg, beaten
Using the butchers twine, tie a loop around the tenderloin in 4 places to help it keep its shape while searing. Season tenderloin with salt and pepper. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil over high heat in a large saucepan. Once hot, sear the tenderloin on all sides, about 1 minute per side. Remove from heat and allow to fully cool.
Meanwhile, heat remaining olive oil and butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add mushroom and sauté for about 4 minutes. Add shallots, garlic and leeks and continue to stir for an additional 5-6 minutes as mushrooms release all of their moisture. Add thyme, rosemary and dry mustard and continue to stir for an additional 3 minutes. Adjust heat so that mixture doesn’t burn. Once most of the moisture has cook out, add bourbon and madeira. Stir for an additional 3 minutes until mixture is dry again. Finally, add cream and stir for an additional 4 minutes. Mixture should once again be dry. Remove from heat an allow to cool. Place both beef and mushroom and beef in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
Place a piece of plastic wrap on a work surface large enough for 2 pieces of phyllo dough to be placed side by side. Lay one sheet of phyllo dough on the plastic. Place the second along the long side of the first but overlapping it by about 2”-3”. Layer prosciutto over phyllo dough. Spread chilled mushroom mixture over the whole surface of the phyllo dough, leaving about a 1” margin on all sides. Cut the twine from the chilled tenderloin on one end of the phyllo dough. Using the plastic wrap underneath, roll the phyllo dough and mushroom mixture around the tenderloin. Fold in the sides of the phyllo and then keep everything tightly wrapped in the plastic. Place the roll in the refrigerator.
Unfold the puff pasty on a lightly floured board. Use a rolling pin, roll it out to about a 12” square. Trim away about 2” from a long side. You’ll use this for decoration. Remove the plastic from the phyllo dough wrapped tenderloin and place it along a long end of the puff pastry. Roll the puff pastry around the tenderloin. Place the roll seam side down and fold in the ends to seal the tenderloin inside. Brush the surface with the beaten egg.
Using the excess dough, cut strips or shapes to decorate the surface of the puff pastry. Brush a bit of egg onto the puff pasty and then apply the cutout. Brush the entire surface one more time with the egg. Slice a few 1” slits into the surface of the roll to allow steam to escape during baking. Refrigerate the roll one last time for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Place tenderloin on a baking sheet and bake for 40-50 minutes or until a thermometer inserted into the center reads 135 degrees F for medium rare. Having a thermometer is key to correctly getting your desired level of doneness.
Remove the tenderloin from the heat and allow it rest for 10 minutes before slicing. Serve with madeira sauce (recipe follows).
makes about 1 1/2 cups
3/4 cu Shallots, finely chopped
2 Garlic Cloves, minced
1/2 tsp Fresh Rosemary, finely minced
2 tbl Butter
2 tbl All-Purpose Flour
1 1/2 cu Beef Broth
1 tbl Bourbon
1 tbl Dijon
1/3 cup Madeira wine
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add shallots and garlic and stir frequently until shallots are tender, about 5 minutes. Add rosemary and stir for an additional minute. Stir in flour until fully incorporated. Slowly whisk in beef broth and then add bourbon, Dijon wine. Continue stirring until fully combined and mixture thickens, about 5 minutes. If sauce is too thick, you can thin it with additional beef broth or water.
Potato Carrot Puree
3 Russet Potatoes, peeled and cubed
1/2 lb Carrots, peeled and sliced
1 tbl Brown Sugar
4 tbl Butter
1 tbl Horseradish
1/4 cu Milk
1/2 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp Pepper
Place potatoes in a large pot and fill with water to at least an inch over the potatoes. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer uncovered for 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoons of butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add carrots and sauté for 8 minutes, being careful not to let the carrots burn. Add brown sugar and continue to sauté for an additional 4 minutes. Remove and transfer carrots to a food processor. Blend until carrots are smooth and set aside.
Drain potatoes and transfer them to a large bowl. Add remaining 2 tablespoons of butter and milk and blend with a hand mixer until butter has melted. Add in horseradish and carrots and continue blending until smooth. Add salt and pepper. Taste for seasoning and adjust if necessary.
Brussels Sprouts with Pearl Onions
1 1/4 lb Brussels Sprouts
1/2 lb Pearl Onions
2 tbl Butter
2 tbl Olive Oil
10 slices Turkey Bacon, cooked and chopped
1/4 cu Chicken Stock
1/2 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp Pepper
Peel the pearl onions by dropping them into boiling water for 2 minutes and then transferring them to a bowl of ice water for about 3 minutes. Trim of the ends and peel away the outer skin. Set them aside.
Trim the ends off of brussels sprouts and split them in half lengthwise. Set aside. Remove the outer skin from the pearl onions and trim the ends as well. Heat butter and olive oil in a large saucepan over medium high heat. Add Brussels sprouts and sauté for about 2 minutes. Add onions and sauté both for an additional 3 until both begin to char a bit. Add bacon and chicken stock. Reduce heat to a low simmer and cover for 4-5 minutes until Brussels sprouts and onions are tender. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a serving dish and serve.
Apple Peach Cobbler
2 1/2 cu All Purpose Flour
3/4 cu Margarine (12 tablespoons), diced and cold
6 oz Cream Cheese, diced and cold
2 cans sliced peaches (15.25 oz. size)
2 lb Granny Smith Apples, peeled & sliced in wedges similar to the canned peaches
7 tbl Margarine
1 cu Granulated Sugar
1/2 cu Brown Sugar
2 tsp Cornstarch
1 tsp Nutmeg
1/2 tsp Cinnamon
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
Additional granulated sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg to sprinkle on crusts
Prepare crusts. Combine flour, margarine and cream cheese and mix together with your hands, breaking margarine and cream cheese down into smaller bits. Continue blending until the flour has been incorporated and dough holds together. Divide the dough into two equal parts. Roll each into a ball and flatten slightly. Wrap each in plastic and refrigerate for an hour.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Remove one dough package from the refrigerator and roll it out on a floured board to about a 14” square. Transfer to an 8” x 8” baking dish. Round the excess dough into a thick border around the edge of the dish. Using your index finger on one hand and your thumb and index finger on the other, form ridges in the border. Using a fork, make random holes in the crust. Lightly sprinkle the crust with sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg. Because this is a delicate and soft dough, I place two sheets of aluminum crisscrossing each other in the bottom and up the sides of the pan against the crust. Pressed into the dough, this will keep the crust from sliding down the dish during the initial baking process. Bake crust in the oven until lightly brown (about 12 to 15 minutes). Remove from oven and remove aluminum. Allow to cool.
In the meantime, drain the peaches. Pour about 2 tablespoons of the liquid into a small bowl. Discard the remainder. Add cornstarch and stir until fully incorporated. Set aside. In a large saucepan, melt 3 tablespoons of margarine over medium high heat. Add apples and granulated sugar. Sauté until apples are tender but still firm, about 5 minutes. Add peaches, brown sugar, and dissolved cornstarch. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium. Add 2 tablespoons of margarine, 1 teaspoon of nutmeg, 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon, and the vanilla. Continue to simmer until mixture thickens, about 7-10 minutes. Remove from heat and allow mixture to cool. Pour into prepared crust.
Roll out second crust into a rectangle 9” x 12”. Cut 1/2" strips 9” long, yielding about 22-24 strips. Starting on one corner of your cobbler, lay one strip vertically across and lay a second one perpendicular to the first. Continue laying strips in an alternating pattern interlacing them with the previous strips to form a latticework top. Tuck the edges up against the ridges of the bottom crust. Sprinkle the top with granulated sugar cinnamon, and nutmeg. Dot the top with the remaining 2 tablespoons of margarine cut into small pieces. Place on the center rack of your oven and bake until the crust is golden, about 20-25 minutes. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream.