one of my favorite special treats. They’re great for breakfast, served warm with butter, honey and your favorite jams. On Christmas, I gave them the “Yorkshire” pudding treatment, plating them up alongside the main course of beef and gravy.
2. Beef Tenderloin with Port Reduction Sauce. I found this recipe on Epicurious and thought it would be the perfect thing for our holiday dinner. Beef tenderloin sounds fancy, but it’s actually crazy easy. As this recipe instructs, the key is to “dry brine” the meat for about 24 hours before cooking. To do this, simply cover the beef in course salt, and let it sit, uncovered, on a racked pan in your fridge for at least 24 hours. It will look a little dry when you take it out, but trust me the results will be tender and juicy. Before cooking, rub olive oil all over, and then cover in a cracked pepper crust. I also made the gravy the night before, cooking down a sauce of Cognac and port until it was nice and thick.
3. Sausage and Swiss Chard Strata. We had guests sleep over on Christmas Eve and I wanted something easy and satisfying to serve on the big morning after opening presents. The night before, I prepared a sausage and Swiss chard strata from Martha Stewart Living. It’s basically an egg and bread lasagna. First you cook the sausage, then the chard, and then you layer in a baking dish with slices of day-old baguette. Pour a mixture of egg and milk over top so it is soaked thoroughly. The next morning, before baking, I added a layer of grated Gruyere on top and baked it about 45 minutes. It was so delicious. I will definitely do this again — perhaps even for dinner one night!
4. Perfect Pot Roast. We had a lot of leftover mashed potatoes after the holiday dinner, so I decided to make a pot roast to go with them. Really, I was wanted an excuse to finally try Pioneer Woman’s perfect pot roast. It was so easy to cook it was almost criminal! I took out my trusty Le Creuset French oven, and set to work. First, sear a couple of onions followed by a whole bunch of carrots on the stove. Then, brown the chuck roast. Afterwards, everything comes out of the pan and add a little red wine, stirring up with whisk to loosen all the bits on the bottom. Put everything back in the pan, add some beef broth with fresh rosemary and thyme, put the lid on it, and stick it the oven for four hours or so. Let me tell you, those leftover mashed potatoes never tasted so good!
What have you been cooking the past few days? I’d love to hear about it. — Angela M.