Let's start with the showpiece recipe: Individual Beef Wellingtons. I took inspiration from many different sources- Simply Recipes, Ella Says Opa, and Tyler Florence. In the end I combined high quality filet mignon, sauteed delicious portobello and shiitake mushrooms, prosciutto and dijon mustard and wrapped it in a flaky puff pastry and cooked it to a perfect medium rare. The flavors were so well balanced it didn't need a sauce!
Individual Beef Wellington Recipe
4 Filet Mignon
Salt and pepper
1 onion, diced
1 lb mushrooms (we used half portobello mushrooms, half shiitake)
4 thin slices prosciutto
2 Tbsp Dijon Mustard
7 ounces puff pastry (needs 3 hours to defrost in refrigerator if using frozen)
2 egg yolks, beaten
Preheat oven to 400°F. Heat a tablespoon or two of oil in a large pan on high heat. Season the fillet generously with salt and pepper. Sear the fillet in the pan on all sides until well browned. Remove the fillet from the pan and let cool. Once cooled, brush the fillet on all sides with mustard. Heat a large sauté pan on medium high heat. Cook the mushrooms and onions until soft and onion is opaque. Transfer mixture to food processor and pulse a few times. Roll out your puff pastry. Cut 4 sheets big enough to cover the filets.
Lay the prosciutto on the pastry. Place the beef in the middle. Add the mushroom mixture on top.
1 pound salmon
1/4 cup maple syrup
2 tablespoons soy sauce
Marinate the salmon in the maple and soy for 20 minutes. Cook the salmon in a preheated oven set to broil for 5-10 minutes. (Pour some of the marinade over the salmon several times while cooking.)
And the last dish I made was Smitten Kitchen's Swiss Chard and Sweet Potato Gratin. Over the last couple years, I've made this dish many many times.
I loved using Smoked Gruyere cheese. It made this vegetarian dish taste like there was some bacon in it! This has a bunch of steps, but its totally worth it in the end.
Swiss Chard and Sweet Potato Gratin
1/2 stick of butter
1 small onion, chopped
2 pounds of swiss chard, leaves and stems separated and both cut very finely
2 cups of half and half
1 tablespoon of minced garlic
4 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into rounds
dried parsley and thyme
salt and pepper
1 1/3 cups of grated Smoked Gruyere Cheese
Cook onion in 2 tablespoons of butter in a large pan or pot. Add the chard stems and salt and pepper. Increase heat and add chard leaves by the handfuls. Season with salt and pepper then transfer to a colander and drain well. To make the sauce, combine half and half and garlic in a saucepan and bring to a simmer. Melt two tablespoons of butter in another saucepan and stir in flour. Cook roux, whisking then slowly whisk in warm cream and boil. Season with salt and pepper.
Then assemble gratin by first preheating oven to 400. Spread sweet potatoes in the baking dish and a handful of the cheese.
Spread the greens over the mixture and sprinkle with salt and pepper and then pour the béchamel sauce over.
Repeat 1-2 more times and sprinkle the remaining quarter cup of the cheese. Bake gratin for around an hour. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.
What's your go-to special occasion meal?