For some reason, my first thought when planning this dinner was to serve Beef Wellington. Don't ask me why, it is probably better suited to the 1960's than the 1890's. But I had my heart set on it. Luckily, I found justification in the Canon!
He cut a slice of beef from the joint upon the sideboard, sandwiched it between two rounds of bread, and, thrusting this rude meal into his pocket, he started off upon his expedition.
Okay, it's a stretch. But I'll go with it! Beef Wellington is a piece of meat, wrapped in a bread like coating. Creamed spinach seemed like an appropriate British take on vegetables, and the tarragon carrots feel French to me, a nod to Holmes' heritage.
The recipe for Individual Beef Wellingtons can be found here. I followed the recipe pretty closely. But read through the reviews, there are some good suggestions you may wish to follow. I used my own demi-glace for the sauce. This recipe is nice, because it can be mostly prepared ahead of time. The one thing I'd change next time is where I buy the meat. I bought my tenderloin at Central Market. I told the gal at the counter what I was making, and that I wanted six pieces of steak the same size. She didn't have any in the case, so she had the butcher cut them specially for me. Imagine how disappointed I was to get them home and unwrap them, to find them in a variety of sizes! I got out my kitchen scale, and they varied more than two ounces between the largest and smallest pieces. So, I had to cut the larger ones down in size. Consequently, the meat, although very flavorful and tender, was more well done than I would have liked. Other than that, the recipe is a keeper.
|A little gorgonzola peeks out|
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 onion, chopped
2 boxes frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
3 cups whipping cream
freshly grated nutmeg
This is another seat of my pants recipe. Saute the onion in the butter until soft. Add spinach, then add cream and cook until cream is reduced by half or more. Add grated nutmeg, salt and pepper to taste.
2 bunches carrots
1/4 cup butter
2 tablespoons fresh tarragon, chopped
Peel carrots and slice very thin. Place in saucepan with butter and tarragon and cover. Cook until carrots are tender, about 5-10 minutes over medium heat.
The wine with this course was Alexander Valley Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon 2010. A nice, solid Cabernet, with a lovely finish. Just enough tannins, with layers of flavor that seem simple at first, but grow with complexity as you drink it. But not so complicated that you lose focus of the food. A very nice wine!
Tomorrow, salad angst!