Dinner blog: Quick Beef Wellington

And you thought I forgot that this was “Le Café” Witteveen.

This was our dinner on Monday night, a recipe I found in America’s Test Kitchen 30-Minute Suppers from 2010. It’s the Quick Beef Wellington.

It’s something I wanted to make for what feels like years. And I finally convinced Tina to try it.

The recipe seems like it would be disgusting. There’s pâté (not silly pâté like that old SNL commercial. Real pâté). And the beef is deli roast beef. How can this be good?

Well, it’s good because ATK is badass.

The recipe is below the fold. And if you make it, be sure to check in and let me know how it turned out.

Bon Appétit!

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Dinner Blog: Scallops with Butternut Squash

I’ve posted this before, but it’s an awesome meal. It’s scallops with a mashed up butternut squash in a butter sauce with shallots, sage and lemon.

The butternut squash has a touch of cayenne pepper in them. I haven’t made this since Christmas with my family in North Carolina. I want to point out that the cayenne pepper we used in NC isn’t nearly good as the bulk cayenne pepper we bought at Whole Foods. The cayenne we used in NC was made from crushed red pepper flakes, it seemed.

The rich color of the powder we bought and the flavor is worth the extra trip to a grocer who sells it bulk. It’s also a little more reasonable, because you only buy what you need.

Recipe below. Bon appétit.

Here’s the recipe. Serves 4. It’s from America’s Test Kitchen. So, so good.

  • 1 Butternut Squash (about 2 to 3 lbs). I did a 3 pounder yesterday) Peeled seeded and cut into 1-inch chunks.
  • 1 tablespoon half and half
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 1/2 lbs of sea scallops (I bought .75 lbs for Tina and me. But I made the full butternut squash, because it’s inexpensive and good for you … kind of).
  • 2 tbs of vege oil or canola
  • 1 Shallot minced
  • 2 teaspoons of minced fresh sage and 8 whole sage leaves.
  • 1 table spoon of lemon juice

1. Place squash in microwave and cook for 8 to 12 minutes. Turn once. Throw in a food processor with 1 tablespoon butter, half and half, salt and cayenne pepper. Make smooth.

2. Pat scallops and throw in a large skillet on medium high heat. 1.5 to 2 minutes per side.

3. Heat remaining butter, swirl constantly 1 min, add shallot, sage and sage leaves and go another minute. Off heat, add lemon juice, salt and pepper and pour over scallops and butternut squash.


Weekend Menu: Aged ribeye, Asparagus and Gnocchi, Cauliflower and Gorgonzola Gratin

Tina’s birthday is next Sunday, and she expressed that she wanted to go out to eat. So Friday I said, “Because I’d like to cook you something special, choose anything and I’ll make it for you.”

I was in the mood to cook. Of course Tina had her stomach set on a steak and asparagus. She asked specifically for dry-aged steak that we buy at our local Whole Foods. I chose ribeye because that’s our favorite dry-aged variety.

It’ll run you $20 to $25 a pound, but for special occasions, this is definitely splurge worthy.

I refused to oven cook a dry-aged steak, so I braved the weather and grilled. If you’ve never tried a dry-aged steak, give it a whirl. Your stomach, and the stomachs around you will thank you.

I’ll throw the next recipe under the fold. It’s “Gnocchi, Cauliflower and Gorgonzola Gratin.” It’s from the cookbook America’s Test Kitchen 30-minute Suppers “Winter Comfort” edition. This is a must make. The book is a must buy. I’m not kidding. This recipe is so warm and comforting, you’re a failure every second you don’t make this dinner. Here’s the photo:

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