Saturday, January 1, 2011

It is 2011

Happy New Year. May 2011 be a good year for everyone. Keep eating, keep traveling, and keep smiling.

Last night was New Years Eve, and First Night in downtown St. Petersburg. First Night is a community  celebration with entertainment at various venues around downtown, and two fireworks displays, one at 9 for those of us who can't make it to midnight. 

Before Frank and I headed to First Night, he fixed a perfect, restaurant quality, Beef Tenderloin with Picon Cheese from Jose Andres', Made in Spain cookbook. Frank nailed the entree in every way. The tenderloin was nicely seared and cooked to a perfect medium-rare. The cheese, cider, and shallot sauce was rich and flavorful. He served it with oven-roasted asparagus. 

Great work, Chef Frank

After dinner we walked to St. Peter's Cathedral to hear a selection of arias performed by members of St. Petersburg Opera Company, followed by a chamber music concert. Both concerts were very good, but the opera selections stood out with some outstanding voices. 

Beef Tenderloin with Picon Cheese
Serves 4
2 teaspoons Spanish Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 pound beef tenderloin
3 garlic cloves, peeled
1/2 shallot, thinly sliced
2 fresh thyme sprigs
1/4 cup sidra (Spanish hard cider - or other hard cider0
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 oz. Picon cheese (a Spanish blue cheese) or other good quality blue cheese
Sea Salt to taste
Chopped chives for garnish
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees
Heat the olive oil in  a large ovenproof saute pan over high heat. When the oil begins to smoke, add the tenderloin and sear on all sides, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer the pan to thee oven and cook the tenderloin for 10 minutes or until it measures 130 degrees on a meat thermometer (for medium rare). Transfer the tenderoin to a platter and keep warm.
Carefully return the saute pan to the stovetop and heat over medium0high heat. Gently crush the garlic loves with the flat side of a kitchen knife and add them to the pan along with the shallot and thyme. Cook for 2 minutes then add the sidra and 2 tablespoons water to deglaze the pan, scraping up any brown bits. Reduce the heat to medium and stir in the cream and 1 ounce of the Picon cheese. Keep stirring as the cheese melts into the sauce and the sauce begins to thicken, Remove the pan from the heat and set aside.
Slice the tenderloin into 1/2-inch-thick medalions and arrange on 4 plates. Season with sal and spoon the cheese sauce over and around the medallions. Crumble the remainin 1 ounce Picon cheese over the medallions and garnish with chives.

No comments: