Thursday, April 22, 2010

My obsession with Beef Tenderloin

If you had asked me 10 or 15 years ago if tenderloin/filet mignon would be something I would serve my family often, I'd have laughed till I peed my pantaloons. I remember days when I sat at the deli agonizing over ham. Damn, I really want the honey ham, but it's 5.99 a pound. Chip chop ham is 1.99.. But I hate chip chop ham, I really want that freaking honey ham. But instead, I went home with the shitty part of the pig instead. So, ask me if I'd be cooking filet mignon for my family on a semi-regular basis and I'd have said you were nuts.

If you buy meat often, or steaks for that matter, think about the price and then calculate just how much of that meat you trim and cut off....bone, fat, gristle....You may pay 3.99 for a cheap cut of meat, but it's cheap and you wind up cutting half of it off before you even cook it. In my neighborhood I can find some really killer deals on tenderloin a few times a year. The cheapest I have found is 3.99 a pound. Yes, 3.99 believe it or not. When they go on sale like this, I run as fast as I can to the store and buy 4 or 5 of them. They may be 15 or 16 dollars each and it seems like a huge investment, however, the payoff in the end is worth it. I generally leave a few of them frozen whole and the rest I chop into filet mignon steaks, shish kebob meat and even stew meat. There are no bones and I've gotten really good at trimming the little bit of fat off of them.

It's the best deal around. There are times I can't get ground round for 3.99 a pound. I once went to a very fancy hotel-opening party and they were serving whole carved beef tenderloins. I never even thought of roasting one until that day, but it was so good that I had to figure out how to cook it at home.

Now I serve one on Christmas every year. It's simple, yet elegant and everybody loves it. I will post the recipe soon and maybe if you make it, you'll understand my obsession with this cut of meat.

Picky children and a hubby with coronary artery disease

When some people read my posts or my latest facebook updates, they say "Oh my God, how do you find the time to cook like that, it must be so hard!"

Little do they know that I have 3 very picky teenagers who almost NEVER try my gourmet meals unless they involve steak or possibly bacon. As I whip up my Fondue de Poulet Ala Creme I'm also hard at work whipping up a homemade pizza for the brats who won't eat what I put on the table. Sigh..yes this is how most of the mealtimes go here at my crazy place. NOTE to new moms everywhere. When your children are little FEED THEM EVERYTHING. Even if you hate it. I made the ginormous stupid ass mistake of not feeding my kids anything I didn't like and let me tell you, there is a lot I don't like. Most things that are green for example..Basically I ruined my children's palates. I pray they will outgrow their aversion to anything that contains a cream sauce or a sauteed vegetable.

So, as I whip up gourmet meal number one for hubby and I and perhaps some company, I have to cook separately for the kids. AND another great challenge I face is trying to keep my husband from having his third heart attack. The poor man has a family history.....so, cooking is just a major challenge in my house. I've managed to make really shitty good-for-you type meals into something spectacular with a little imagination and savvy ingredient swapping.

Meals aren't always gourmet in my house. Sometimes my job just doesn't allow for it. Take last night for example. We had burgers (turkey burger for hubby), homemade pasta salad and I opened up a very fine bag of frozen corn. Not exactly a stellar meal, but hey, they ate it up.

I should also mention, in my house, there generally is never enough left for me to eat. SO, while I cook and drink my wine, I try to sample a lot. That way by the time the food is put on the table, I've got 2/3 of a bottle of wine under my belt and a few decent bites of whatever I'm cooking. Eating and standing have become an olympic sport for me. I'd get the gold for sure. Hell yes.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

When all else fails

Thank God for good wine.

yada yada yada

Not much to say. Had nothing gourmet to cook today. I worked 9.5 hours and then had to cook. WTF do you cook when you are working? Well, we made some homemade pasta salad. Two meaty burgers for the boys with worchestire, teriyaki and some great seasoned salt. I bought some great giant potatos at the store .25cents each. Cant beat that. Sliced em real thin and fried em up for fair-style french fries. YUM. Best part of the meal. Oh, and had to try to make a turkey burger taste delicious for hubby. Sorry page, it wasn't much of a gourmet meal, but it did the trick. Not many mommies work 9.5 and then cook a full meal. So if you don't like it, screw off.

Filet Mignon with Whiskey Peppercorn Sauce

Well, I posted my first recipe today. Look under the page, Recipes..
Recipes..Recipes.

This was the first recipe I ever had published. Of course when I wrote it, I didn't take into account the hundreds of people who would actually read it and try it out. The critics were kind of hard to take at first, but hey, if you don't realize on your own that you can substitute button mushrooms for crimini mushrooms, then that is your tough shit.

You also don't have to use filet mignon. I only used it because I was trying to copy a recipe from a restaurant. Sirloin works just as well.
I laugh at some of the comments because people say it takes "sooooooooooooooo long" and that is just hilarious to me. I'm guessing it's because they haven't seen the inside of the kitchen in a long time. It doesn't take a long time as long as you are prepared.

Oh, and you can forgo the crab stuffing if you're feeling lazy or just plain hate crab. It doesn't matter either way. Sometimes I use it, sometimes I don't.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Giada's Bolognese sauce


Today we are having pasta and I'm making Giada's bolognese sauce. So far, I'm not too terribly impressed. Actually, I've cooked a few of her dishes and none of them were very impressive. About the only thing I'm impressed with of Giada's are her boobs. Lord knows you see them enough on her show. sigh....ok, so back to the sauce.

After I threw together Giada's very bland sauce, I googled bolognese and found a myriad of recipes out there...some call for milk, some call for dry white wine. Giada's called for neither.

I lifted the lid on my sauce and added both. I had to keep adding and adding to get any kind of flavor whatsoever. So, when the final product is done, if it turns out decent, I will post my modified recipe.

Butter!!


It truly is ALL about butter. When you were young and you sang the Hokey Pokey, did you ever wonder what IT was all about? Well, I'll tell you....Butter. It was about butter.

For all of you cholesterol-fearing, margarine freaks out there, take a breath. Butter will NOT kill you. As long as you're not eating sticks of butter, you will be fine.

Yes, I watched Julie and Julia. Yes I have Julia Child's cookbooks.....LOVED that movie and I love butter, so I have something in common with Julia Child. Oh, and Julia liked to drink. So do I! Coincidence? I think not!

For every recipe that gives you the choice of butter or margarine, Please, please please.....Choose Butter! It makes all the difference in the world. A little butter goes a long way.

Besides, have you ever read the ingredient list for margarine? Ingredients for a nuclear bomb that is what margarine contains!

First attempt at blogging

I've always wanted to do this, but I have no idea where to start first. I guess I'll start with my name...... I'm Sue and I'm not that old yet. I'm a mom of three teenagers, a wife, a closet chef and a wine freak. I do have a day job as a corporate travel agent. Sounds glamorous, but it's not.

I love to cook and I love to drink. Some people will tell you that I have a foul mouth. Don't believe a damn thing you hear. They are just jealous.

I'm writing this blog for fun I think. I have always loved to write and I figure writing and cooking go together.... Writing, cooking and drinking....not so much...

So, this is my first post on this blog page and hopefully I will figure this all out and create a really cool blog.

My inspiration for cooking meals at home really didn't come about because I wanted to be a slave to my kitchen, rather it came about because back in the day-when my husband and I first got married and had kids, we could never afford to go out to eat. So, the few times we would go out and have a good meal, I would go home and attempt to recreate the recipe there.

Through the years I've gotten quite good at it and it's not as hard as some might think.

I'm going to post some of the recipes here and let you try them out for yourselves.