Monday, January 3, 2011

A Married to a Meat-eater Christmas

This blog is coming a little late because I was really sick after Christmas and could not blog. Better late than never I say! We host Christmas every year and I just love having it. This year on the menu: Fettucine Al Formaggio Parmigiano, Filet Mignon with Peppercorn Cream Sauce for the meat-eaters, Portobello Mushrooms with Lentils for me, Brussel Sprouts with Cranberries and Pecans, Mashed Potatoes, and for dessert Mini Red Velvet Bundt Cakes with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Glaze.

For the pasta course I chose to recreate the pasta dish we had in Aruba Spaghetti Al Formaggio Parmigiano. I did make one substitution I made Fresh Fettuccine instead of Spaghetti. I will blog about fresh pasta soon, so if you don’t want to make it you can get fresh pasta from your grocery store or just use dried.

Fettuccine Al Formaggio Parmigiano
5 tomatoes peeled, seeded and diced
5 basil leaves (whole)
3 cloves of garlic
S&P to taste
1 cup of Whiskey
1 ½ lb fresh pasta
3 cups of parmesan cheese shaved with a vegetable peel

First peel, seed and dice your tomatoes. This will take a little while so allow some time. To make the sauce saute garlic in a large pan with evoo until brown, then add your fresh tomatoes and basil. Saute until tomatoes have broken down a bit and add S & P to taste. Cook your pasta in salted water according to packaged instructions to al dente. Add the cup of whiskey to the sauce and light on fire.

Make sure the flame is out and then add pasta and toss to coat with the sauce.

Remove to a hot bowl ( in a 250 degree oven for 10 mins) and toss with cheese.

Plate and serve immediately. 

Since it had been a few months since we ate in Aruba we couldn’t compare too well, but my husband said it was even better and my in-laws said it was pretty close and very good. My parents loved it but have never eaten Spaghetti Al Formaggio in Aruba. We all gobbled it down. Next time I will use spaghetti though and see how that comes out. It was defiantly a hit and is staying with us for next Christmas!

Filet Mignon with Peppercorn Cream Sauce
3 tbs butter
4 8 ounce filets

3 tbs
¼ cups sliced shallots
1 cup beef stock
1 cup heavy cream
3 tbs cognac
2 tbs of multi colored dried peppercorns

This recipe was adapted from Epicurious. Season steaks simply with salt and pepper. Cook steaks to desired wellness in melted butter, about 4 minutes per side for medium-rare. Transfer steaks to plate and cover with foil. In the same pan add 3 tbs of butter and shallots. Sautee for 3 minutes add beef stock and scrape up the bits at the bottom of the pan. Allow to thicken for about 6 minutes. Then add cream, cognac and peppercorns. Cook for another 5 minutes until the sauce comes together. 

Plate the steaks and spoon over the steaks.

Everyone loved the steaks, even my mom who doesn’t really like red meat. She said the sauce made the dish.

Portobello Mushroom with Lentils
1 cup Lentils
3-4 Portobello caps
1-2 tbs of butter
Garlic powder
Onion powder

Cook Lentils to Packaged instructions. Once lentils are done add a ¼ cup of mushroom stock a pinch of cumin, coriander, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper. In another pan melt butter and cook Portobello’s until tender. Plate the Portobello and spoon lentils over them.

This was good but I think I would have preferred a Peppercorn cream sauce for this too. I just went with lentils to have some protein for Christmas.

Mashed Potatoes
1 medium red potato per person or more for leftovers (I used 6)
4 tbs butter
1 cup sour cream
Some milk to thin it out about 1 cup

Peel and chop potatoes. Make sure they are about the same size. Add potatoes to salted water and boil until potatoes are soft, about 15-20 minutes. Drain water from potatoes. Mash potatoes in the pot then add butter and mash some more. Next add your sour cream and stir with a spoon. Add as much milk as you’d like for the consistency you like. I added about 1 cup.

The sour cream adds a nice zing to the potatoes and goes really well with beef!

Roasted Brussel Sprouts with Cranberries and Pecans
2 lbs Brussel Sprouts
2 tbs of evoo
2 tbs butter
S&P to taste
1 cup of chopped pecans
1 cup dried cranberries

Preheat oven to 350. Wash and trim brussel sprouts. Slice brussel sprouts in half, quarters or leave whole depending on size.

Place on a baking sheet and coat with evoo, butter, salt, and pepper. Cook for about 30-35 minutes until they are almost done, shaking the pan from time to time to let them brown evenly. Add pecans and put back in the oven for another 5-10 minutes until the pecans are roasted. Add more evoo or butter if the brussel sprouts are too dry. Remove from oven and toss in dried cranberries.

I made these last year and was surprised that everyone loved them. I didn’t know others liked brussel sprouts, or maybe it was just the way I made them. So I made them again this year and they were very yummy! I love the crunch of the pecans and the sweetness the cranberries bring to the sprouts!

Mini Red Velvet Bundt Cakes with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Glaze

1 cup of unsalted butter at room temperature
1 ¾ cups natural sugar
2 ½ cups of flour
1 ¼ tsp salt
2 large eggs
1 cup sour milk (1 cup of milk 1 tbs white vinegar let stand 5 mins)
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp baking soda
1 ½ tsp vinegar
2 tbs unsweetened cocoa powder
2 ounces red food coloring

3 cups powdered sugar
¾ cup (6 ounces) softened cream cheese
¾ tsp of ground cinnamon
3 tbsp milk to thin out

Recipe adapted from Recipe Girl. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray bundt pan with baking spray. Cream butter and sugar. Mix eggs, sour milk, vanilla, baking soda, and vinegar in a separate bowl. Add Salt and flour in another bowl. Alternate flour and sour milk mixture to the creamed butter. Mix well after each addition. In a small bowl add the food coloring and cocoa powder and mix. Then add to the cake batter and mix until combined. Pour batter in the bundt pans and bake for about 15 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean. Cool on a baking rack.

When you are ready make the glaze. Mix all ingredients together. Move the baking racks with the cakes on them to a pan to catch the glaze then spoon the glaze on the mini cakes letting it ooze down the sides. Decorate with sprinkles or leave plain. 

I actually made these for Christmas eve and saved some for Christmas. They definitely changed my mind on red velvet, which I never really liked before!

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