Tuesday, February 13, 2007

More on What to Cook on Valentines Day

Valentines Day Main Dish: Roast Beef Tenderloin (Super easy and a favorite of my Valentine; however since I just cooked this for my in laws a week ago, we're having ribs)
  • 1 whole peeled beef tenderloin (5-6 lbs) patted dry with paper towels, silver skin cut, tip end tucked under and tied with kitchen twine.
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp kosher salt
  • 2 Tbsp coarsely ground black pepper (crush peppercorns with a mortar and pestle or with a heavy bottomed saucepan or skillet)
  1. Remove the tenderloin from the refrigerator 1 hour before roasting to bring the meat to room temperature.
  2. Adjust an oven rack to the upper-middle position and heat the oven to 425 degrees. Set the roast on a sheet of plastic wrap and rub it all over with the oil. Sprinkle with the salt and pepper and then lift the wrap to press the excess seasoning into the meat.
  3. Transfer the prepared tenderloin from the wrap to a wire rack set in a shallow roasting pan. Roast until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the roast registers about 125 degrees (the meat will range from medium-rare to medium in different areas when it finishes), about 45 minutes. Remove from the oven and tent loosely with foil until ready to serve. Cut into 1/2 " thick slices.

Side Dish: Sauteed mushrooms: I use a little olive oil or butter (1 Tbsp) and saute the sliced mushrooms on medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until the juices released from the mushrooms evaporate and the mushrooms begin to brown. Garnish with fresh parsley and serve with the tenderloin.
Desert: Tart au Citron (Lemon Tart)

This was a favorite of mine when my family and I toured Europe. Every chance I got I'd jump into a French pastry shop and buy one of these. I've made "The New Best Recipe's" version of the lemon tart, but it tasted like American lemon bars to me--I wanted the real French "Citron." The recipe I'm posting is what I'll be making on Valentine's day and is from Saveur Cooks Authentic French cookbook.

For the Pastry:

  • 2 C flour
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 12 Tbsp cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces

For the Filling:

  • 1 1/4 Cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 10 tbsp butter, melted and cooled
  • Juice and minced zest of 2 lemons
  1. For the pastry, combine flour, sugar and salt in a large bowl. Cut in butter with a pastry cutter or 2 knives (mixture should resemble coarse cornmeal). Sprinkle with up to 3 Tbsp ice water so that dough holds together, then form into a ball. Wrap in plastic, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
  2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Transfer dough to a lightly floured surface, then flatten and roll into a 9" round. Ease dough into an 8" false-bottomed tart pan. Prick the bottom of the pastry all over with a fork. Cover dough with foil and chill for at least 20 minutes, then fill with pie weights or dried beans and bake for 15 minutes. Remove foil and beans and continue baking for 5 minutes more. Remove from oven and set aside to cool.
  3. For filling, beat sugar and eggs together in a bowl with an electric mixer until mixture is pale yellow. Continue beating as you gradually add melted butter. Then stir in lemon juice and zest. Spoon filling into tart shell and bake until crust is golden and filling is set and lightly browned, about 25 minutes. Cool completely before serving.


older singer said...

Meat for Valentine's day should always be stuffed with artichoke, spinach, and mozerella cheese. It should be cooked with twine so that when each piece is cut, it resembles a heart. That's what I always do. And only people who can pronounce "citron" should make it.

Factotum said...

Why do I have no recolection of this fancy artichoke-spinach-mozerella-meat concoction?

older singer said...

Because you are getting old? Don't you remember the Valentine's Day mornings which I began with heart-shaped pancakes topped with cherries and whipped cream? The hot chocolate served in heart-shaped cups? The valentine tarts? The cross-stitched place markers which said "I love you on this Valentine's day and always"? Have you forgotten everything? Don't tell me you don't remember the green eggs and ham we'd have for St. Patrick's Day breakfast. This is really too much.

Factotum said...

I remember the jack-o-lantern sandwiches on Halloween if that's any consolation.