Monday, August 24, 2009


I made this recipe for dinner last night and it was nothing short of fantastic. We served it with asparagus and a tomato vinaigrette, and washed it down with a bottle of 2005 Lolonis Merlot, conveniently purchased at Art of the Table. This recipe is too good not to share:


• 1 cup good bourbon
• 1 cup brown sugar
• 2/3 cup soy sauce
• 1 cup chopped cilantro
• 1/2 cup lemon juice
• 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
• 1 cup water
• 1 teaspoon dried leaf thyme
• 1 beef tenderloin, about 5 pounds, trimmed

Combine bourbon, brown sugar, soy sauce, cilantro, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, water, and thyme. Fold the tail end of the beef back underneath itself so that it is an even thickness. Secure with cooking twine and place in a nonreactive dish or pan. Pour marinade over tenderloin, cover, and refrigerate for 6 to 10 hours. Turn meat from time to time to keep it coated with marinade. Preheat oven to 400°F. Place the roast into a cast iron skillet or roasting pan and add enough marinade so that there is 1/2-3/4 inches of the marinade in the skillet/pan. Cook the roast, uncovered, basting occasionally. Cook the roast until an internal thermometer reads 127F for medium rare, 133F for medium and 138F for well done. Once the roast reaches desired temperature, remove from the oven and place on a cutting board and reserve the remaining marinade. Loosely cover with foil and allow to rest for 10 minutes.

While the roast is resting, heat the skillet/pan over medium high heat. Reduce the liquid until it has the consistency of light syrup. After the reduction is done, slice the roast, serve and spoon the reduction over the meat.

Serves 6-8

Cook’s Notes: The original recipe called for 2 cups of water and did not include the reduction. After I cooked the roast, I realized that I should have put more of the marinade into the skillet (I always cook beef tenderloin in a cast iron skillet), and that I had an opportunity to reduce the remaining liquid. The reduction was fantastic, but I barely had enough. The next time I make this recipe, I will ensure that I have at least 3/4" of marinade in the skillet when I place it in the oven.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Shrimp Tacos

I was flying solo Saturday night for dinner. Paul was in GP for a party and I had the night to myself. Given that Paul doesn't eat seafood, I couldn't WAIT to make something good. I found a recipe that was suitable for children (and poor cooks) and I knew that I could handle it. :) From Real Simple Magazine and it is just that.

Shrimp Tacos

* 1/4 cup fresh orange juice
* 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
* 2 tablespoons sour cream
* kosher salt and black pepper
* 1/4 small cabbage (8 ounces), shredded
* 1 cup corn kernels (from 1 to 2 ears, or frozen and thawed)
* 1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped
* 1 tablespoon olive oil
* 1 pound peeled and deveined medium shrimp
* 8 small flour tortillas, warmed

* 1 In a large bowl, whisk the orange and lime juices, sour cream, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Add the cabbage, corn, and jalapeƱo and toss to combine. Let sit, tossing occasionally, for 10 minutes.
* 2 Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Season the shrimp with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Cook until opaque throughout, 2 to 3 minutes.
* 3 Serve the shrimp with the tortillas and the slaw.

**Cook's notes. I made a couple of minor changes, because well Paul will say that I don't follow directions well. I added two jalapeno peppers instead of one and a 1/2 tablespoon of Splenda to give it a little sweetness. Fantastic!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Holiday Beef Tenderloin

I made this recipe last night and it was delicious. We washed it down with a bottle of 2005 Ross Estate Barossa Valley Estate Cabernet Sauvignon. Yum!

Holiday Beef Tenderloin

1 tablespoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons onion powder
1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 1/2 teaspoons pepper
1 teaspoon ground red pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 (5-pound) beef tenderloin, trimmed
1/4 cup olive oil

Combine the spices. Rub tenderloin with oil; coat with spice mixture. Place in a roasting pan; cover and chill 8 hours.

Bake at 500° 15 minutes or until browned. Lower temperature to 375°; bake for 20 more minutes or until desired degree of doneness. Let stand 10 minutes. Slice; serve with horseradish mayonnaise.

Yield: 8 servings
Cook’s Notes: The roast sat in our fridge all day and I removed it about an hour before I placed it in the oven. I cooked the roast at 500F for 10 minutes, and then reduced the oven temperature to 375F. I removed the roast from the oven when the internal temperature of the roast was 127F. The roast rested for 10 minutes, I then sliced it and served.

This was a delicious recipe and it was east to make. I will make this again, but next time I will not add the salt. There was enough salt in the onion and garlic powder to add flavor to the roast.