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Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Worth Tasting

As a proud member of the Junior League of the Palm Beaches, one of my requirements each year is to buy our cookbook, Worth Tasting. I have always been a fan of cookbooks because without written instructions, I would probably burn or over salt whatever I'm making. Last weekend, I was feeling ambitious and decided I was going to cook a big dinner for my family. I started looking through some old cookbooks that were my grandmothers, but they were just too old school... who uses lard to cook with anymore? disgusting! Instead of the old traditional recipes, I decided to finally open up my Junior League cookbook, Worth Tasting..One word, YUM! Since I've never really been great at cooking chicken I decided to go with a more carnivorous choice. On page 83, the first page of the beef, lamb and pork section, I found a recipe for Cabernet Beef Tenderloin with Shallots. I'm quite competitive. So when I do cook, I try to make something over the top, that gets a lot of praise. This was definitely the right choice! Here are the ingredients: Cabernet Beef Tenderloin with Shallots
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup of chopped shallots
1 1/2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme
2 tablespoons of all purpose flour
2 cups of cabernet sauvignon or other red wine
1 1/2 cups of beef broth
1 cup of heavy whipping cream
1 teaspoon tomato paste
salt and pepper to taste
2 - 2 1/2 pounds of beef tenderloin trimmed
Olive Oil for brushing
Course Salt to taste

Turn on the oven to Bake at 450 degrees. Arrange the tenderloin on a trimmed baking sheet and rub or brush the surface with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Let it cook in the oven for 45 minutes for medium. Remove the tenderloin to a platter and cover loosely with foil. Let stand for 20 minutes. Cut into 1/2 inch thick slices.

While the tenderloin is cooking, melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the shallots and thyme and saute for 5 minutes or until the shallots are brown. Stir in the flour and cook for 2 minutes or until the flour browns, stirring frequently. Whisk in the wine and broth and bring to a boil. Boil for 15 minutes or until the sauce is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, whisking frequently. Whisk in the cream and tomato paste. Season with salt and pepper. Cook just until heated through. Remove from heat and cover up to keep warm. You may prepare up to one day in advance (I did it the same day, and it was still very good).I also prepared a side of Tarragon- Roasted Asparagus Tips, another recipe I found in worth tasting. It was really nice to have a light vegetable to go with the tenderloin.

Taragon- Roasted Asparagus Tips
2 pounds of fresh asparagus spears
1/4 cup of fresh lemon juice
3 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons of water
1 shallot, finely chopped
1 teaspoon of chopped fresh tarragon
salt and pepper to taste.

Snap off the woody ends of the asparagus spears; the spears should be approximately 4 to 5 inches long. Arrange the asparagus in a single layer on a baking sheet. Mix the lemon juice, olive oil, water, shallots and tarragon in a bowl and pour over the asparagus, turning to coat. Sprinkle salt and pepper and roast at 375 degrees for 15-17 minutes or until light brown.

I hope you all will try the recipe out, or at least just go pour yourself a glass of cabernet, and think about it. If your planning a dinner party for some friends, it's a pretty delectable meal to impress them with. Unless they are vegetarians, then I would probably go with something else. I have to say I was quite surprised how many great recipes there are in Worth Tasting. I'll try to share some other delicious ones, that I try out in the future!

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