i ate two things yesterday that i had never before tried. i certainly wasn't going out of my way to avoid these two dishes, but i had just never made them or ordered them when out. both turned out to be delicious. in fact, i would make both of these dishes again.
first up was the wedge salad. have you ever had one of those? i used to see them typically at steak restaurants but have noticed them popping up all over these days. it is basically a quarter head of iceberg lettuce usually topped with crumbled bacon, chopped tomatoes, green onions, and bleu cheese dressing. and that's exactly how we had it last night. i took one look at the plate and said "no way i am going to eat all of that!" it looked huge - it was 1/4 a head of lettuce after all. but, somehow, i managed to eat almost every bite. iceberg is mostly water anyway, right? the combination of the super crunchy lettuce and salty bacon with the creamy tang of the bleu cheese dressing was perfect.
the second dish was just as good, beef wellington. i usually think of puff pastry as a vehicle for sweet treats but i do use it on occasion as a topping for pot pie or in savory pinwheels. but tender filets topped with mushrooms and gorgonzola wrapped in buttery puff pastry was almost as delicious as a dessert.
sharon and i worked together to top and stuff the puff pastry while my mom graciously documented our steps. i precooked the filets to rare and let them cool before we wrapped them in the puff pastry. after each envelope of meat, mushrooms, and cheese was sealed, we refrigerated again. i find puff pastry puffs and browns better when put into the oven cold.
i was worried the steaks would be overdone but each one turned out to be perfectly pink in the center. the mushrooms and gorgonzola really added richness to the filet while the buttery, crispy puff pastry was the perfect package. i would definitely make these again although the beef would be equally delicious without the pastry too if that floats your boat.
6 - 5oz filets
salt and pepper
10oz baby bella mushrooms, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbs butter (i used wegmans truffle butter)
1 tbs extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup crumbled gorgonzola cheese
3 puff pastry sheets
preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
pat filets dry with paper towel and sprinkle both sides with salt and pepper. bake until internal temperature reaches 110 degrees F (rare). remove filets from oven and let cool completely.
meanwhile, chop mushrooms in food processor. heat butter and oil in large pan over medium-high heat. add garlic and stir. add chopped mushrooms and stir well. season with salt and pepper and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until browned and all liquid has cooked off. add white wine and continue to cook until liquid has again cooked off. remove from heat and let cool.
make egg wash by lightly beat egg in small bowl with 1 tablespoon of water. set aside. roll out puff pastry sheets on lightly floured surface until roughly 12"x10". cut in half horizontally and place cooled filet in center of pastry strip. spoon 1 tablespoon of cooled mushroom mixture onto filet and top with 1 tablespoon of cheese. brush egg wash on edges of pastry. fold one side over filet and fold other side on top and press to seal. press edges together and crimp with fork to seal. pok 2-3 times with fork to allow air to escape while baking. repeat with each filet.
place onto parchment lined baking sheet and refrigerate at least 30 minutes. just before baking, brush tops of pastry with egg wash.
bake until internal temperature reaches 130-135 degrees F for medium steaks. pastry should be browned and puffed. remove and let stand for 10 minutes. serve and enjoy