Posts Tagged ‘christmas’

Pancetta-wrapped Beef Tenderloin with Whipped Horseradish Cream

January 16, 2017

Pancetta-wrapped Beef Tenderloin with Whipped Horseradish Cream

pancetta-beef-tenderloin

Total: 1 Hour, 25 minutes

Makes 8 servings

Every once in a while, it is nice to have an excuse to make something a bit fancy – elaborate even. And while I like to think that as a family of 3 (well, maybe more like 2 and a half), we eat some nice food, I will rarely break out the really fancy stuff, for fear our toddler will cut dinner short or request mac and cheese instead.

So I welcome Christmas. Not just because it is my favorite time of year, but because it gives me an excuse to host. To make something a little more than your average nightly meal. And, while I tend to make ham on Christmas Day, I thought I would mix it up this year. When I saw this recipe in Southern Living for pancetta-wrapped tenderloin, I knew it had to be good. And, I wasn’t wrong.

It was surprisingly easy, once I got down the “wrapping technique.” And, on a platter it looked very impressive. It also made fantastic leftovers – putting the beef on buns with the horseradish cream as a sandwich.

This will be making a comeback next year – and hopefully before then. Bon appetit!

Ingredients

1 (5- to 6-lb.) beef tenderloin, trimmed
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon coarsely ground pepper
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
14 very thin pancetta slices
Wax paper
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
Kitchen string

Preparation

1. Preheat oven to 425°. Sprinkle tenderloin with salt and pepper. Cook tenderloin in 2 Tbsp. hot oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat 5 minutes on each side or until browned. Let cool 5 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, arrange pancetta slices in 2 rows on a large piece of wax paper, overlapping to form a rectangle the same length and width of tenderloin.

3. Sprinkle garlic and rosemary over tenderloin. Place tenderloin on edge of 1 long side of pancetta. Tightly roll up tenderloin with pancetta, using wax paper as a guide. Discard wax paper. Tie tenderloin with kitchen string, securing at 1-inch intervals. Transfer to an aluminum foil-lined baking sheet, and brush with remaining 1 Tbsp. oil.

4. Bake at 425° for 30 minutes or until pancetta is crispy and a meat thermometer inserted into center of tenderloin registers 120° (rare). Let stand 10 minutes. Discard kitchen string before slicing. Serve with Whipped Horseradish Cream.

Note: For medium-rare, cook tenderloin to 135°, or to 150° for medium.

 

Whipped Horseradish Cream

Ingredients

1 cup whipping cream
1/4 cup horseradish
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1/4 teaspoon salt

Preparation

1. Beat whipping cream at medium speed with a heavy-duty electric stand mixer 1 minute or until soft peaks form.

2. Fold in remaining ingredients. Serve immediately, or cover and chill up to 8 hours.

 

Old Fashioned Holiday Ham

January 3, 2016

Ham #2Although most find me to be a bit crazy to offer hosting Christmas in our house after moving in just 2 weeks prior, but I would not have had it any other way. Not only did I want our nearly 2-year-old to spend Christmas morning in his new home, but I wanted an excuse to cook a big meal. Perhaps the first big meal in our new digs.

And since it was Christmas, I felt ham would be the best choice. Not to mention I find it fairly easy – it’s already cooked and tough to mess up. But I felt like I was in a ham rut. Not a bad ham rut, as I love ham with mustard and gingersnaps, but I wanted something different. New house, new recipe.

Nothing seemed more classic than a ham with some pineapple and maraschino cherries. Now I made the mistake – or very fortunate choice – to pick up maraschino cherries from our local wine shop. They were Ham #1.jpgfrom Italy and I thought they would surely be better. And they were, but at $25 a jar, I am still undecided if they were worth the splurge.

This traditional ham recipe is from the lovely Paula Deen and is incredibly simple – just pineapples (and juice), maraschino cherries, mustard and brown sugar. The result was not only beautiful, but also delicious.

OLD FASHIONED HOLIDAY HAM

Serves 12+

Ingredients

1 spiral-sliced half ham (Paula prefers Smithfield)
1 20 -ounce can pineapple slices, juice reserved
1 small jar maraschino cherries
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
2 tablespoons yellow mustard

Directions

Preheat the oven as directed on the ham package and follow the instructions for baking the ham. Remove the ham from the oven about 30 minutes before the end of the warming time.

Decoratively arrange the pineapple slices on top of the ham, securing them with whole cloves, if using, or toothpicks. Place a cherry in the center of each pineapple ring and secure with a clove or toothpick.

In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar, mustard and just enough of the reserved pineapple juice to make a thick glaze. Spoon the glaze over the ham and bake for the remaining 30 minutes. Remove the ham from the oven, transfer to a cutting board and carve.

Pecan Lace Sandwich Cookies with Orange Buttercream

December 21, 2010

When I first made this recipe, I thought I had done it all wrong. The dough was barely existant (looked like enough for maybe 6 cookies), the texture was greasy and sticky (not like normal dough) and there were no levening ingredients (no eggs, baking soda, etc.). Then, when I read I was only to put 1 teaspoon of dough on the baking sheet per cookie I was certain this was destined for failure.

My fear was clearly unwarranted because I had never made a lace cookie before. Lace cookies are named for the lace-like holes in the cookie when they are baked. They are light, crisp and delicate, and require nothing to leven because they spread (and don’t worry, they really do spread!). So, when you know that what you think feels wrong is indeed right, these cookies are insanely simple to make!

The cookie is flavorful and crispy and the icing is amazing. You don’t need much icing to make them yummy – and too much might make them sickly sweet. Another word of advice is to make all the balls when the dough is warm. So, when you fill your cookie sheet and put it in the oven, roll up the remainder of the balls and place on a place so you have them ready to go before the dough hardens and gets tough to work with.

This is a great holiday recipe and looks so much more complex than it is to make.

So, when you are looking at your dough like you have done something wrong – trust in yourself and throw them in the oven. You too will be surprised to pull a delicious lace cookie out 11 minutes later!

Thanks to Bon Appetit for this one!

PECAN LACE SANDWICH COOKIES WITH ORANGE BUTTERCREAM
Makes about 18

Cookies:
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/3 cup sugar
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1/3 cup all purpose flour
1 cup coarsely ground pecans (about 4 ounces)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Filling:
1 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 tablespoon orange juice
3/4 teaspoon grated orange peel

For cookies:
Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 350°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Stir butter, sugar, and corn syrup in heavy medium saucepan over low heat until melted and smooth. Bring to boil over medium-high heat, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Stir in flour. Add nuts and vanilla; stir to combine.

Drop dough by teaspoonfuls onto prepared baking sheets, spacing 2 inches apart. Bake cookies, 1 sheet at a time, until bubbling and lightly browned, about 11 minutes. Cool on sheets 10 minutes. Transfer to rack; cool completely.

For filling:
Whisk all ingredients in medium bowl until smooth. Spread 1 teaspoon filling onto bottom of 1 cookie. Top with second cookie, bottom side down, pressing lightly to adhere. Repeat with remaining cookies. (Can be made 2 days ahead. Store between sheets of waxed paper in airtight container at room temperature.)

Triple-Chocolate Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies

December 17, 2010

It is always a plus when you are making a holiday treat and can include the festive colors of the holiday season. I generally go for taste over presentation for my holiday sweets, but when I saw this recipe, I had high hopes for the best of both worlds.

I have never really baked much with cranberry, but knew this recipe would be so beautiful with the flecks of festive red among the rich chocolate. They turned out not only beautiful (although I will admit I need to work on my chocolate drizzling skills), but very delicious. The cranberry, turns out, isn’t just for looks. The tart flavor cuts through the richness of three types of chocolate – creating a very balanced and delicious cookie!

Thanks to Bon Appetit for this winning cookie recipe – the perfect winter cookie!

TRIPLE-CHOCOLATE CRANBERRY OATMEAL COOKIES
Makes about 30

1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup old-fashioned oats
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup milk chocolate chips
1/2 cup white chocolate chips
1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh or frozen cranberries
2 ounces milk chocolate or white chocolate, chopped (for drizzling)

Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 350°F. Line 2 large rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper. Whisk flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt in medium bowl to blend. Using electric mixer, beat butter and both sugars in large bowl until smooth. Beat in egg and vanilla. Add flour mixture and oats and stir until blended. Stir in all chocolate chips and cranberries.

Drop batter by rounded tablespoonfuls onto prepared sheets, 2 inches apart. Bake cookies, 1 sheet at a time, until edges are light brown, about 16 minutes. Cool on sheets 5 minutes. Transfer to rack; cool completely.

Stir chopped milk chocolate in top of double boiler until melted and smooth. Using small spoon, drizzle melted chocolate over cookies in zigzag pattern. Let stand until milk chocolate sets, about 1 hour. (Can be made 2 days ahead. Store in airtight container at room temperature.)

Toffee Squares

December 12, 2010

The problem with making cookies for the holidays is that everyone has a different favorite. I can’t go through a holiday season without making jam thumbprints for my husband (his favorite) or brownies for my co-worker (her favorite) and so on and so forth. Every year I make 3 or 4 of the old favorites that without, whining would certainly commence. Then, I always try some new ones to be added to the rotation.

And, before my designated “Christmas Baking Day” (yes, I actually take a day off of work to do it), I had to bake a bit early since our holiday parties seemed to span a 2-week time frame. So, when I saw this recipe on epicurious.com, I thought it sounded like the perfect missing puzzle piece to my cookie line-up.

The original recipe comes from a booked called Very Merry Cookie Party by Virginia Van Vynckt and Barbara Grunes. I made the recipe in the second way suggested – with the inclusion of toffee bits.

I am actually a bit embarrassed to show how easy this recipe is, since only about 30 minutes total gives you an entire 9 x 13 of these sweet morsels. They are so good that only within about 4 days from my first batch, I will be making another for yet more holiday occasions.

Thanks to Very Merry Cookie Party for this amazing recipe – and the newest member of my holiday cookie favorites.

TOFFEE SQUARES
Makes about 48 squares (on 9×13 pan)

Crust:
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups all-purpose flour

Topping:
7 to 8 ounces milk chocolate, broken into pieces, or 1 1/2 cups milk chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped almonds, toasted
1/2 cup toffee bits

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a 9-by-13-inch baking pan with parchment. (or spray a nonstick pan with baking spray)

Prepare the crust. In a large bowl, with an electric mixer, beat together the butter and sugar on medium speed until light, about 2 minutes. Beat in the egg yolk, vanilla, and salt. On low speed, gradually beat in the flour just until mixed. The dough will be stiff. Pat the dough evenly over the bottom of the baking pan.

Bake in the center of the oven until pale gold on top, about 20 minutes.

Remove the pan from the oven and scatter the chocolate pieces evenly over the crust. Return the pan to the oven for 1 minute. Remove the pan again and, using a knife, spread the chocolate evenly over the crust. Sprinkle evenly with the almonds.

Let cool completely in the pan on a wire rack. Using a sharp knife, cut into small squares, then carefully remove from the pan with a small offset spatula or an icing spatula.

Rugelach

December 29, 2009

I have to admit to you off the bat, this one is time consuming. You make the dough, chill the dough, roll out the dough, put the filling on the dough, cut the dough, roll up the dough, chill the dough, coat the dough then bake the dough. If you read this far then you are VERY committed to baking – so congrats! It is TOTALLY worth it and I make it every year.

I read a recipe last week that made these in logs then cut them into pinwheels. I must say my curiosity was peaked by the shortcut, so I might be blogging a simpler version later.

But, for now, this Barefoot Contessa recipe is fantastic. The cream cheese dough is to die for, and the jam with nuts, raisins and spices just give you that warm feeling all over. It really is worth the effort. But, be warned – once you start a tradition of making it, your friends and family will ensure it continues year after year!

RUGELACH
4 dozen

8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2-pound unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/4 cup granulated sugar plus 9 tablespoons
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3/4 cup raisins
1 cup walnuts, finely chopped
1/2 cup apricot preserves, pureed in a food processor
1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon milk, for egg wash

Cream the cheese and butter in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until light. Add 1/4 cup granulated sugar, the salt, and vanilla. With the mixer on low speed, add the flour and mix until just combined. Dump the dough out onto a well-floured board and roll it into a ball. Cut the ball in quarters, wrap each piece in plastic, and refrigerate for 1 hour.

To make the filling, combine 6 tablespoons of granulated sugar, the brown sugar, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, the raisins, and walnuts.

On a well-floured board, roll each ball of dough into a 9-inch circle. Spread the dough with 2 tablespoons apricot preserves and sprinkle with 1/2 cup of the filling. Press the filling lightly into the dough. Cut the circle into 12 equal wedges–cutting the whole circle in quarters, then each quarter into thirds. Starting with the wide edge, roll up each wedge. Place the cookies, points tucked under, on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Chill for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Brush each cookie with the egg wash. Combine 3 tablespoons granulated sugar and 1 teaspoon cinnamon and sprinkle on the cookies. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until lightly browned. Remove to a wire rack and let cool.

Praline Bars

December 28, 2009

So as I mentioned earlier, a lot of baking goes on in my house during the holidays. This recipe is a staple and I can take ZERO credit for it – my mom gave me this recipe. As a disclaimer, when my mother makes these they look MUCH prettier – she delicately drizzles semisweet chocolate and white chocolate to make a beautiful presentation. Mine look a little sad compared to hers, but boy do they taste amazing.

Many of my friends wanted this recipe, so here it is. No, there are no misprints below, it truly is this easy and there really is that much butter and sugar in it!

PRALINE BARS
Makes 60

15 graham cracker sheets
3/4 cup chopped pecans
1 3/4 cups firmly packed brown sugar
1 cup butter
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup white chocolate chips (I usually omit, but it sure is prettier if you take the time to include it!)

Preheat oven to 350 degree.

Separate each graham cracker sheet into 4 crackers; place in a lightly greased 15 x 10 jelly roll pan. Sprinkle chopped pecans over the graham crackers.

Bring brown sugar and margarine to a boil in a saucepan over medium heat. Boil 2 minutes. Pour brown sugar mixture evenly over graham crackers. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. Remove graham crackers to wax paper using a spatula and let cool.

Microwave (or use double boiler) semisweet chocolate chips, stir until smooth. Drizzle chocolate evenly over cooled bars. Repeat procedure with white chocolate chips.

Jam Thumbprints

December 23, 2009

It is Christmas-time, which means I spend about half the season in my kitchen baking like crazy. It feels like the one time of year I have an excuse to bake large quantities of bad for you goodies and it is ok. I will admit, one or two of them do make it into my mouth despite my wishes of healthy eating, but most end up in the homes of friends, family and coworkers.

I would love to have one staple recipe – the one I am known for. And, every year I could crank out a few batches and all would be well. However, I make the mistake of baking many kinds of cookies – and each friend had a different favorite. So, when they would ask me each year if I was making the “x” again, I always just say yes!

That being said, you will see lots of baking recipes coming from me in the next few weeks. This particular recipe is my husband’s favorite, meaning it will certainly never leave the rotation. I will admit, I am not a huge “fruit in cookie” fan but these jam thumbprints will rock your world. Thanks, Ina Garten!

JAM THUMBPRINTS
3 dozen

3/4 pound (3 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 1/2 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water, for egg wash
7 ounces sweetened flaked coconut
Raspberry and/or apricot jam

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar until just combined, and then add the vanilla. Separately, sift together the flour and salt. With the mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture to the creamed butter and sugar. Mix until the dough starts to come together. Dump on a floured board and roll together into a flat disk. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for 30 minutes.

Roll the dough into 1 1/4-inch balls. (If you have a scale, they should each weigh 1-ounce.) Dip each ball into the egg wash and then roll it in coconut. Place the balls on an ungreased cookie sheet and press a light indentation into the top of each with your finger. Drop 1/4 teaspoon of jam into each indentation. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the coconut is a golden brown. Cool and serve.


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