"Food is essential to Life; therefore make it good."- S Truett Cathy

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Naked Wellingtons

I took a bit of a blogging break the last quarter of last year because frankly I was uninspired. Not sure why, possibly because my thyroid was out of whack. Also possibly because I was chronically broke of my own doing and so we were cooking and eating on the cheap which while tasty and relatively nourishing, was nothing to write home about. I mean do you really want to hear about my kraft dinner + tuna? I didn't think so.

Yesterday was my husband's birthday so I decided to cook something good for a change and get back into the swing of things. As I am prone to doing, I got overzealous. He asked for steak and lobster. I decided to kick the steak up a notch and try my hand at individual beef wellingtons. I had seen them on Rachael Ray recently and we had some awesome Omaha Steaks  in the freezer. Didn't look too hard. I googled a few recipes and found this one based on a version by Gordon Ramsey that used Parma ham instead of pate. Easy enough.

I had to work all day today and figured I'd pick up the ingredients on the way home. It of course took longer than anticipated and included a last minute stop in the liquor store for Sherry and Triple Sec because not only was I going to cook beef wellington and lobster and asparagus, I just had to make a claret cup cocktail I had read about in my NY Times cookbook. Not having wrote down the recipe I pulled one up on my trusty iphone and went to gathering stuff.

All is going along well, I've got the lobster water on to boil and have seared my beef just so, and am working on the mushroom mixture so I go to grab the puff pastry to pull it out and get it ready to assemble. It had been on the counter at least 25 minutes at this point but was still pretty much frozen. So I read the directions. Thaw for 40 MINUTES. Ugh oh. I had hungry people and was already feeling a bit overwhelmed. What to do? Scratch the wellington from the menu? Then what am I going to eat? I don't eat lobster so had only bought two, one for Jeremy and one for the girls to split.

So I decided to make some "gluten free" wellingtons. I called em Naked :) Slathered on the mushrooms, wrapped them in that gorgeous parma ham and slid em in the oven as if they had their pastry. In go the lobsters and the asparagus and about 12 minutes later all was again well in my world. They turned out great. I'm sure the pastry adds something but this variation suited us just fine. The ham was just smokey/salty goodness melded in with the mushrooms and beef. I had the deli slice it on .5 so it was super thin. Yum. We were too hungry to remember pics!

For dessert there was angel food cake with a mix of strawberries, blackberries and raspberries with whipped cream. Perfect. I did manage to snap a pic of that before devouring it.

Naked Wellington "gluten free"
4 beef tenderloin steaks
8oz crimini mushrooms
2 shallots
2 tbsp butter
Few glugs of Sherry
4 slices super thin Parma ham

Melt 1 Tbsp butter in a saute pan. Dry the steaks and season with salt/pepper. Sear on all sides- you're not cooking here, just sealing them up. Maybe 2 minutes on each side. If your steaks are thick make sure you sear all the edges.  Remove from pan and set aside.

Melt remaining tbsp butter and add the shallots finely chopped. While they are softening, pulse the mushrooms in food processor for a few minutes until finely chopped. Not completely paste but very small pieces. Add to the pan with the shallots. Lower the heat to med and stir occasionally while the mushrooms give off their liquid. Once almost dry add a few glugs of sherry. Stir well and continue to cook until the sherry is absorbed. Taste and season with salt/pepper.  

Remove the mushrooms and allow them to cool a few minutes while you assemble whatever else you're having on the side. Lay out a piece of parma on a cutting board and smear with the mushroom mixture. Top with a steak and wrap up the ham as tight as you can get it. Flip it over seam side down into a baking dish. Repeat with the other steaks.  Roast for 10-12 minutes in 400 degree oven until done to your liking. At 12 minutes ours were perfectly med rare. 


PS- the claret cup I just HAD to have? Yuck.