We hope you had a very Merry Christmas and now some much deserved relaxation time before the big New Years celebrations in a few days to welcome in 2013!
The lack of recent articles is obviously reflective of the increased activities and travel of the Holiday season. As 2012 comes to a close, we’ll count down the 12 restaurants, bites, and sips of the year…because there just aren’t enough of those year end countdown lists, are there? We’ll also reveal our restaurant of the year, dish of the year, wine of the year, cocktail of the year, beer of the year, espresso of the year, and then when January arrives, the 13 changes for 2013 cooking, dining, and drinking you should anticipate from your fearless forecaster. Let’s face it, Trev’s Bistro is always correct.
First things first, however. How did Trev’s Bistro celebrate the Christmas dinner? With a sensational Beef Wellington, our now traditional loaf of no- knead olive bread, Brussels sprouts tossed with soy sauce, honey, raisins, extra mushrooms from the duxelle, and some fish sauce, and for dessert, the family’s cheesecake leftover from a recent birthday celebration.
For the Beef Wellington, we followed the classic Joy of Cooking recipe, wrapping the filet tail in puff pastry brushed with butter. On the bottom side of the filet go strips of pâté, while a quick mushroom duxelle with criminis, baby portobellos, and shiitake sautéed with olive oil and fresh thyme goes on the top side of the meat.A classic sauce Bordélaise fortified with shallots goes into a silver dish for table-side serving.
The main struggle with the Beef Wellington is achieving the perfect interior temperature when half of the family wants medium and half wants rare to medium rare. We cut off a smaller, thinner piece from the central one, and cooked them for the same time. The large central piece was pink, what would be considered a full medium rare. Hence, a touch too well done.
For some reason, the strips of pâté didn’t melt and the pastry never glued to the beef. In many ways, the dish felt more like prime rib with pâté, mushrooms, and Yorkshire pudding. That’s no complaint whatsoever. It’s just not the proper Beef Wellington. We’ll soon work on a remedy for these problems for another Tuesday’s Project.
Oh, yes of course. What would Christmas be without the cheer of egg nog?
For 4 people, inspired by Mr. Boston:
3 eggs, 1/2 cup sugar, 1/4 tsp. salt, 5 oz. golden rum, 5 oz. Brandy, 1/2 pint of Half-and-Half, and a 1/2 pint of 2% Milk
First beat the eggs until they’re light and foamy. Then add the sugar and salt to thicken the consistency and an egg yolk color. Stir in the alcohols and milks. Then chill half the day.
Garnish with no shortage of grated nutmeg (preferably fresh, but I cheated). Be generous, the nutmeg is critical.
Hey, who spiked the egg nog? Just as long as Grandma doesn’t get run over by a reindeer.