Q. I will be grateful if anyone can help me find a recipe for my husband’s birthday. He loved meat medallions with blue cheese that I made once from a recipe I cut out. It also had panko.
Maria Teresa Vicaria
Perfect Beef Tenderloin
1/2 stick (4 tablespoons) softened butter
1 beef tenderloin (about 5 pounds)
Garlic salt to taste
Heat the oven to 475 degrees, with one rack set in the center. Use your hands to press the butter into the tenderloin, then sprinkle evenly with garlic salt. Place in a shallow roasting pan.
Roast beef for 15 minutes, then, without opening the oven door, turn off the heat. Let stand in the oven 15 minutes. Remove pan and place on a rack. Cover loosely with aluminum foil and let stand 30 minutes before slicing. Makes 10 servings.
Per serving: 471 calories (69 percent from fat), 36 g fat (15 g saturated, 14.5 g monounsaturated), 166 mg cholesterol, 35 g protein, 0 carbohydrates, 0 fiber, 117 mg sodium.
Orange Pecan Tea Bread
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup low-fat buttermilk
1/4 cup chopped pecans, toasted
3 tablespoons 1 percent low-fat milk
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 tablespoons orange marmalade
2 teaspoons grated orange zest
2 large eggs
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
2 teaspoons fresh orange juice
1 1/2 teaspoons chopped pecans, toasted
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, nutmeg and allspice in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk. Make a well in center. Combine sugar, buttermilk, pecans, milk, oil, marmalade, orange zest and eggs. Pour into well in dry ingredients, stirring just until moist.
Spoon batter into an 8-by-4-inch loaf pan coated with cooking spray. Bake 45 minutes or until loaf tests done. Cool 10 minutes in pan on a wire rack; remove from pan and cool completely.
Combine confectioners’ sugar and juice, stirring until smooth. Drizzle over bread and sprinkle with pecans. Makes 14 servings.
Per serving: 171 calories (29 percent from fat), 5.6 g fat (0.9 g saturated fat, 2 g monounsaturated) 2.4 g polyunsaturated fat, 3.2 g protein, 27.4 g carbohydrates, 0.7 g fiber, 31 mg cholesterol, 144 mg sodium.
1 (1.5-ounce) bottle pickling spice
1 quart white vinegar
1 medium onion sliced
2 carrots cut into chunks
4 tablespoons dark brown sugar
4 tablespoons of white sugar
5- to 6-pound beef roast (bottom round or sirloin tip)
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 tablespoons cornstarch dissolved in 1/4 cup water
In a large nonreactive pot, combine the pickling spice, vinegar, onion, carrots and both sugars. Gently warm (do not boil). Set aside.
Place the roast in a large glass bowl or zippered plastic bag, and pour on the vinegar mixture. Cover or seal, and refrigerate for 2 days, turning occasionally.
Remove meat and strain and reserve the brine mixture, reserving the vegetables. Brush off the extra seeds from the roast, and pat dry.
Heat the oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Brown meat on all sides. Slowly pour the brine mixture into the pot, and add the onion and carrot. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a bare simmer and cook about 2 1/2 hours. Meat will be very tender. Remove from the pot and set aside.
Stir the cornstarch mixture into the pot liquid and cook over medium-high until thickened. Slice the roast and serve with the sauce. Makes 12 servings.
Per serving: 472 calories (59 percent from fat), 30 g fat (12 g saturated, 13.8 g monounsaturated), 121 mg cholesterol, 38 g protein, 8.8 g carbohydrates, 0.5 g fiber, 1,041 mg sodium.
Q. I remember once you gave directions for making a perfect beef tenderloin every time. I used it for many special occasions, but I have lost the clipping.
This is so simple it is hard to believe it works, but it does. You’ll have a perfectly pink medium-rare interior, plus a few slices at either end that will be medium for those who prefer it.
I learned the trick from my friend Roger, who takes this one step further and cuts the tenderloin into 1/4-inch slices, then bathes them in a skillet of melted butter, and serves the slices on toast points with roasted garlic. Memorable, if deadly for cholesterol watchers!
Orange Tea Bread
Cooking Light magazine’s October issue features recipes for readers’ 30 best-loved quick breads — loaves, muffins, biscuits and scones leavened with baking powder or baking soda. I was particularly taken by this Orange Pecan Tea Bread with its kick of citrus. It originally appeared in the magazine’s April 2004 issue.
Joan Kennedy wrote in response to the column about “poor man’s sauerbraten,” saying we should tell readers how to make the real thing. She provided her recipe, which she recommends serving with red cabbage and spaetzle. It produces a wonderfully pungent and tender beef that’s well worth the cooking time.
Send questions and responses to LindaCiceroCooks@aol.com or Food, 1 Herald Plaza, Miami, FL 33132. Personal replies are not possible.
While I was visiting my daughter, a longtime vegetarian who recently went vegan, she served the best pesto pasta I’ve ever eaten. It was amazingly rich, and I could not believe it contained no cheese or heavy cream. The secret ingredient, it turned out, was avocado.
Chicken Divan, basically chicken with almonds topped with a cheese and sherry-laced Mornay sauce served over broccoli, was first created in the 1930s in New York City, where it was the signature dish at the Divan Parisien restaurant. Since I never had the version at the Inca, the best I can do is adapt a favorite method of making the dish by substituting asparagus for the broccoli. If anyone has the authentic recipe I will happily pass it along. I found I actually prefer using asparagus, especially now when it is fresh and redolent of spring.
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