Wednesday, June 15, 2011

HighFalutin Food on a Non Falutin Budget

I love food...  I think we've already established this...   But really I LOVE food.  I love eating at cute bistro's and fancy restaurants but don't get me wrong I love a good happy meal too.  I love the experience of trying new cuisine fusions, deep rich flavors that have been coaxed along by an experienced chef and ingredients imported from far away lands.

I love watching shows like Top Chef and Chopped to get ideas for my own kitchen and also to educate myself on ingredients and verbiage.  I know that looking at a menu can be intimidating when you don't understand what they are trying to serve you.  It also cracks my face up when I read certain descriptions that are over the top snooty for no reason.

Last night I made dinner.  I would like to share the recipe with you and at the same time break down some of the vernacular that may not make sense while you are cooking or eating.

Beef Roulade with a Sherry Cream Sauce,  Potato and Leek Gratin and Haricot Verts
(What is this you say?  Rolled up Beef with stuff in the middle.  Thinly sliced potatoes and Green Beans)

But tell your guests the other name and pretend that you slaved away in the kitchen for hours!!

Filling for the Roulade:
Dice (chop up) 8oz of mushrooms
Slice a Leek (Basically a giant green onion- very subtle flavor) Cut off the yucky part at the bottom and use the white and part of the green section.  (To clean separate the rings and rinse in a bowl of water.  All of the dirt will fall to the bottom)  Coarsely chop (do a quick chop with your knife.. It doesn't have to be pretty).
Add one pat of butter (2 tablespoons) to a saute pan and add the mushrooms, leeks and one clove of garlic That has been minced (chopped up very small).

There are lots of gadgets for garlic out there.  My friend just got me this one from Sur La Table..  Way fun!

Cook until mushrooms and leeks are tender and place into a bowl with 2 triangles of Laughing Cow spreadable cheese or any soft creamy cheese you can find..   Honestly you can even use cream cheese.
Mix together and set aside.

Buy Very Thinly Sliced Beef.  Season with Salt and Pepper.  Place a heaping spoonful of the filling mixture towards the bottom and roll the beef up from there.

Lightly flour (roll the meat up in flour).  Add a little olive oil back to the pan you cooked the veggies in and place the meat open side down and begin to brown the meat.  Cook on Medium flipping the meat to get brown on all sides.  Turn down to low and allow the meat to finish cooking.

Some of the filling will fall out.  This is OK because it will incorporate into the sauce later.    Once the meat has cooked through remove it from the pan to rest (allow the juices to stay in the meat).   Deglaze (use alcohol to get all of the yummy meat and veggie bits off the pan) with a little sherry.  Pour in Philidelphia Cooking Cream ( i got to try this product free from Kraft First Taste..  I probably wouldn't have tried it on my own but I liked it and bought it again)  mix all of the yummy bits in from the bottom of the pan and pour sauce over meat.  You could also use sour cream if you don't have the cooking cream.  If it is thicker than you would like go ahead and add milk.

Next Boil Water and add fresh green beans .  (Remove the yucky end first) Boil Green Beans for 3-5 minutes and remove from water.  Add 1 Tablespoon butter to a saute pan and add in the green beans and season with a little salt, pepper and garlic powder.  Saute for a few minutes until they are the tenderness you desire.  Some people like a lot of bite left some prefer very tender.  You're the boss.   And don't be lame and buy a can of green beans.  They're fine in the winter but its not the winter and fresh green beans will blow your mind!  If you want to be truly amazed add some freshly cooked bacon....

Finally,  If I were going to make a potato dish I would normally add cream to it but the sauce for the beef will dribble over and that would be way to rich.   So,  I used my mandolin ( a really dangerous but amazing slicer) to slice the potatoes to very thin.   I layered the potato in a circular even pattern on the bottom of a 9in cake pan.  I then took the remaining leek rings and sprinkled them over the top.  Salt and Pepper evenly over the potatoes and add 3 tablespoons of cubed (cut into little squares) Pieces of butter.   (yes...  I know I sound like Paula Deen but butter is delicious and healthier for you than margarine.. )  Place these around the top of the potatoes.   Bake at 350 degrees until golden brown and the potatoes are cooked through.  At the end sprinkle just a little bit of cheese over the top and place back in the oven for a few minutes until melted.
I was starving by the time I finished because I was lazy until around 7 so It's not the best plating but you get the idea.  You might want to gently pour sauce over...  If your trying to impress your guests...

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