So I mentioned a little bit about catering Jack's parent's 30th Anniversary party this past week. I have to bring it back to 2005 and quote Borat Sagdiyev when I say it was a "great success". Now, I have discussed Jack's parent's beachhouse kitchen in a previous post, saying that it is my dream kitchen and the perfect location for a cooking show. Well, their regular kitchen is equally as amazing, so I felt a bit like twinkle toes when cooking in their home. Plus, it has this as a view:
Yes, that is the Manhattan skyline and yes, that is a cruise ship going past, and yes, that is the view from their window.
Needless to say, it was a constant reminder of how happy I was to finally be home.
The meal consisted of a multi- course dinner, and I'll post many of the dishes. The menu was:
Amuse Bouche - White Gazpacho with Vanilla Grapeseed Oil
Course 1 - Cumin-scented Beet Salad
Course 2 - Deconstructed Eggplant Parmesan
Course 3 - A choice of a Duo of Truffle Chicken with Honey Rosemary Sauce or Steamed (which turned out to be baked) Snapper (which we couldn't find, so we bought grouper, which we asked to be cleaned and de-boned, which weren't, so we had to use Tilapia, which is not the best fish, but worked perfectly, thankfully) with a Butternut Squash Sauce, Chanterelles, and Rock Shrimp.
Desserts - Raspberry Rose` and Mango Lime Sorbets and Red Velvet Cake.
But what I spent most time on were the appetizers, including this amazing beef tenderloin appetizer. This is the perfect party dish - simple and a great make-ahead dish. The succulent, melt-in-your-mouth tenderloin is smeared with a creamy blue cheese spread and wrapped around crisp green beans for a bite that is filled with great flavors and textures.
And you know who loved this dish the most?
Yes, my dog, Remy. After eating for a little while, everyone left the room we were gathered in to watch a video. They returned 15 minutes later to find an empty platter. Jack came into the kitchen with a curious look on his face and asked:
"Did you take the beef tenderloin back?"
I looked at him, confused, as I watched his eyes widen while he placed his hands over his mouth, which was now agape.
"Remy just ate $40 worth of beef tenderloin."
He then started laughing at the clean way in which she did it. The tray had a mark where each bite had rested and was still in the position we had left it. Which means that Remy, dainty little girl that she is, gently lifted each piece of tenderloin off of the tray so as not to make any mess.
The odd thing was that Remy never eats food when left to her own devices. So we trusted her. But I guess no human or canine could resist this dish.
Beef Tenderloin with Blue Cheese adapted from Top Chef
1 beef tenderloin, about 1 1/2 pounds
4-6 ounces blue cheese
3/4 cup heavy cream, more if necessary
6 ounces green beans, trimmed
Salt and pepper for seasoning
Heat oven to 450 degrees.
Sprinkle tenderloin with salt and pepper. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a medium oven-proof skillet over medium high heat. Add tenderloin and brown on all sides. Transfer skillet to oven and bake 12-15 minutes until tenderloin is medium-rare and has reached an internal temperature of 120 degrees. Remove from oven, transfer tenderloin to a plate.
Let cool to room temperature. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.
In a food processor fitted with a metal blade, combine blue cheese and heavy cream. Process until mixture is smooth and spreadable, adding more heavy cream if necessary. Transfer mixture to a small bowl, cover and refrigerate.
Fill a medium bowl with ice and water. Set aside.
Fill a medium saucepan with water. Bring to a boil. Add 1 teaspoon salt and green beans. Cook until color changes to bright green and beans are tender, about 2 to 5 minutes. Transfer beans with a slotted spoon to ice bath. Let stand until cool. Remove beans from ice bath with slotted spoon and pat dry. Set aside.
Remove tenderloin from refrigerator. Thinly slice tenderloin. Place slices between two pieces of plastic wrap. Gently pound with a mallet, being careful not to tear plastic wrap, until beef is very thin. Remove top sheet of plastic wrap and discard.
Divide blue cheese mixture between the slices and spread thinly on each slice. Place 2-3 green beans in the center of each slice and roll beef around green beans. Place roll-ups on plate, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.
Slice each roll in half.