Sunday, December 26, 2010

Beef Tenderloin with Garlic Horseradish Cream

This is the beef tenderloin that I made for Christmas dinner. The sauce and meat were outstanding. I served this with baby roasted yukon gold potatos and baby vadalia onions tossed in olive oil, sea salt and rosemary. Also, baby english peas tossed in butter with sauteed mushrooms. The sauce can be made ahead, but with solidify in the refrigerator. You must reheat this slowly or the sauce will break. I know this, because mine broke. That said, I just whisked in a bit more cream and it came back together. One other note, the cooking time below is not enough. We went another 1/2 hour before the roast was done. So, time accordingly. We also removed the roast at 125 degrees and it was perfect.

For sauce
  • 1 head garlic (1/4 pound; about 2 1/2 inches in diameter), left intact
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup drained bottled horseradish
  • 1/8 teaspoon white pepper

For tenderloin
  • 1 (3-pound) center-cut beef tenderloin roast, tied
  • 1/2 cup cracked black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons granulated beef bouillon
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 3/4 teaspoon dried oregano, crumbled
  • 3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon paprika (not hot)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

  • Special equipment: a roasting pan with a rack; an instant-read thermometer

Make sauce:
Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 400°F.

Cut off and discard top fourth of garlic head. Drizzle exposed garlic with oil and sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt, then wrap head tightly in foil. Roast garlic until tender, about 1 1/4 hours, then open foil and cool.

While garlic roasts, simmer cream in a 1 1/2- to 2-quart heavy saucepan, stirring occasionally, until reduced to about 3/4 cup, 20 to 25 minutes, then transfer to a bowl.

Squeeze garlic into a small bowl, discarding skins, and mash together with horseradish, pepper, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt using a fork.

Stir garlic mixture into cream, then chill until ready to use.

Roast tenderloin:
Increase oven temperature to 475°F.

Pat tenderloin dry. Stir together pepper, bouillon, salt, cornstarch, oregano, garlic powder, and paprika in a small bowl. Rub oil all over tenderloin, then sprinkle with spice mixture, rubbing it into meat. Put tenderloin on rack in roasting pan and roast 10 minutes, then reduce oven temperature to 425°F and cook until thermometer inserted diagonally into center of meat registers 130°F, 20 to 25 minutes for medium-rare. Let beef stand on rack in pan 10 minutes before serving.

Cut beef into 1/4-inch-thick slices and serve with garlic horseradish cream.

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Spicy Cheddar Cheese Straw Dough

  • I made these yesterday for Christmas day with drinks. The basic cheese straw dough has several variations. I simply rolled it into a log in saran wrap chilled it then sliced off the cookies. I tried it with the pecans and I think the plain is best. This dough can be frozen and then thawed in the fridge. You just slice off what you need. Very rich, very spicy and great with cocktails.


  • 1 (10-oz.) block sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces and softened
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
  • 2 tablespoons half-and-half


Pulse first 5 ingredients in a food processor at 5-second intervals until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add half-and-half, and process 10 seconds or until dough forms a ball.

Note: Dough may be wrapped in plastic wrap, sealed in a zip-top plastic freezer bag, and chilled up to 3 days.

Four-Seed Cheddar Triangles: Preheat oven to 350°. Prepare dough, and divide in half. Roll each half into a 9- to 10-inch round. Transfer rounds to parchment paper-lined baking sheets. Whisk together 1 egg white and 1 tsp. water just until foamy. Stir together 1/4 cup roasted, salted pumpkin seeds; 1/4 cup roasted sunflower kernels; 2 Tbsp. toasted sesame seeds; and 2 Tbsp. black sesame seeds. Brush rounds with egg white mixture, and sprinkle with seed mixture. Cut each round into wedges of random sizes, using a fluted pastry wheel. Separate wedges about 1 inch apart. Bake 16 to 18 minutes; cool on baking sheets on wire racks 30 minutes. Makes: 24 to 32 triangles. Hands-on Time: 20 min.; Total Time: 1 hr., 22 min., including dough.

3 More Cheese Straws:

1. Spicy Cheddar "Long" Straws: Preheat oven to 350°. Prepare dough, and turn out onto a well-floured surface; divide in half. Roll each half into a 12- x 8-inch rectangle (about 1/8 inch thick). Cut dough into 3/4-inch-wide strips using a sharp knife or fluted pastry wheel, dipping knife in flour after each cut to ensure clean cuts. Place strips on parchment paper-lined baking sheets. Bake 18 to 20 minutes or until edges are well browned; cool on baking sheets on wire racks 30 minutes. Makes: about 3 dozen. Hands-On Time: 15 min.; Total Time: 1 hr., 26 min., including dough.

2. Pecan-Cheddar Buttons: Preheat oven to 300°. Prepare dough, and shape into 1-inch balls. Whisk together 2 egg whites and 2 tsp. water. Dip balls in egg white mixture, and roll in 2 cups finely chopped pecans. Place 1 inch apart on parchment paper-lined baking sheets. Bake 1 hour; cool on baking sheets on wire racks 30 minutes. Makes: about 4 1/2 dozen. Hands-on Time: 30 min.; Total Time: 3 hr., including dough.

3. Spicy Cheddar Appetizer Cookies: Preheat oven to 350°. Prepare dough, and turn out onto a well-floured surface; divide in half. Roll each half to 1/8-inch thickness. Cut with 2 1/2- to 3 1/2-inch assorted star-shaped cutters; place 2 inches apart on parchment paper-lined baking sheets. Bake 16 to 18 minutes; cool on baking sheets on wire racks 30 minutes. Makes: 28 (3 1/2-inch) cookies or 72 (2 1/2-inch) cookies. Hands-on Time: 20 min.; Total Time: 1 hr., 38 min., including dough. Note: Position cookie cutters closely together to cut out shapes; dough will be tough if rerolled.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Papa Joe's Brussel Sprouts

Papa Joe served these last night with beef tenderloin and roasted potatoes.  They were sooo good.  Of course, there is no real recipe, but you don't need one.

Brussels sprouts, cleaned, and cut in half, enough for 5-6 servings
2-4 tbl butter
2 tbl olive oil
5 shallots, minced
pre-cooked bacon bits
1 cup chicken stock
salt and pepper to taste

Saute shallots and bacon bits in olive oil and butter; Add the brussels sprouts and saute.  Add the chicken stock and cook covered until Brussels sprouts are tender, about 10 minutes. Salt and pepper to taste.

Papa Joe's Spiced Pecans

When we arrived in Florida yesterday Papa Joe had made spiced pecans that were fantastic. Of course, there was no recipe, but here's what he did. 

Put pecans in an iron skillet, then drizzle with some ALAGA cane syrup; sprinkle with salt, sugar, and cayenne. Papa Joe cooked these in his convection oven, alternating between baking and toasting.  I would probably just bake them in the oven at 325 until toasty, brown.

Saturday, December 18, 2010


I really don't have a recipe for this, and you don't need one either. Chili is one of those dishes that you can make to your taste and according to what you have in your pantry.  I like to use ground beef and red beans, but you can easily substitute ground turkey and kidney beans. If you like a mild chili, leave out the Rotel and perhaps add some green pepper.
2 tbl olive oil
1 1/2 lbs ground beef
1 onion, chopped
2 fat garlic cloves, chopped
1 can Rotel (I use mild)
2 small cans or 1 large can tomato sauce
1 can beef broth
1 bay leaf
chili powder
cumin powder
coriander powder (if you don't have, just add a little more cumin)

Saute onion and garlic in olive oil with a pinch of salt. Season with some chili, cumin, coriander, and pepper.  Add the meat and cook until no longer pink.  Season again with some chili, cumin, coriander, and pepper. 
Add Rotel, beans, tomato sauce, beef broth, bay leaf.  Taste and reseason with chili, cumin, coriander, and pepper.  Cook, partially covered, on top of the stove for 1-2 hours. Stir occasionally and add a little water if it begins to stick.  For crock pot, move everything to crockpot and cook on high 1 hour and low 5 hours.
Cook on top of the

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Spiced Pecans

I made these today to take to my dad's house for Christmas. You can make these very simple with just butter and salt, or you can do what I did and add a little spice. Any way you make them, they are addictively, delicious.

Preheat oven to 250

4 cups pecan halves
1/3 cup butter
powder chipotle chile powder

Line cookie sheet with Release aluminum foil. Put the butter in a microwave-proof bowl large enough to hold the pecans. Microwave to melt butter. Add pecans and toss to coat.  Add salt, sugar, and chile powder.  Mix, taste, and reseason to taste. Put nuts on cookie sheet in one layer and put in oven. Bake for 1 hour, stirring every 20 minutes. Nuts are finished when they are a rich brown color. Let cool and place in plastic bags to store.

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Mama's Best Pecan Sandies

This is my mother's recipe for melt-in-your-mouth, Southern perfection. So simple and yet so delicious, these cookie's are buttery, nutty, and not too sweet.

3 1/2 dozen
Preheat oven to 300
1 cup butter
1/2 Cup confectioners sugar; additional conf sugar for rolling the cookies in.
2 Cups flour (White Lily if you can get it)
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup pecans, chopped fine

Cream butter and sugar.  Add flour and salt and mix gently. Add vanilla and nuts and mix gently.  Roll out into fingers or balls. (I use a 1 tbl scoop to portion them and then chill the balls before rolling.)  Bake for 10-20 minutes on parchment covered cookie sheets.  Watch the cookies carefully.  They should just barely brown.  Remove from oven, let cool a few minutes, and roll in additional confectioners’ sugar while still warm.

Saturday, December 04, 2010

Sour Cream Coffee Cake

I didn't make the Doughnut Muffins for the tailgate. I just couldn't face baking and handling so many individual items. I made this instead, and it was a hit.  I made it in the single layer version--super easy--, sliced it into individual servings, and put them in cupcake liners so people could grab a single serving. I got this recipe from
One 9-inch square or Bundt cake; 6 to 9 servings
Streusel Topping:
1/2 cup granulated or brown sugar, or 1/4 cup each
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg or cloves (optional)
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter or margarine, softened
1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts or pecans, grated coconut, golden raisins, or chocolate chips, or 1 cup any combination (optional)

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon double-acting baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter or margarine, softened
1 cup granulated or brown sugar or 1/2 cup each
4 large egg yolks, or 3 large eggs
1 cup (8 ounces) sour cream or plain yogurt
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest (optional)

Glaze (optional):
1 cup confectioners' sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla or almond extract
1 to 2 tablespoons milk or water
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (325°F if using a glass pan). Grease one 9-inch square pan,9-inch Bundt or tube pan, or 9-inch springform pan. Line with parchment or waxed paper, grease again, and dust with flour.
2. To make the streusel: Combine the sugar, flour, cinnamon, salt, and nutmeg if using. Cut in the butter to resemble coarse crumbs. If desired, stir in the nuts.
3. To make the batter: Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In a large bowl, beat the butter until smooth, about 1 minute. Gradually add the sugar and beat until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Beat in the egg yolks, one at a time. Blend in the sour cream, vanilla, and zest if using. Stir in the flour mixture.
4. Spread half of the batter in the prepared pan. Sprinkle with half of the streusel. Carefully cover with the remaining batter and sprinkle with the remaining streusel.
5. Bake unitl the cake is golden and pulls away from the sides of the pan, about 50 minutes. Set on a rack and let cool in the pan for at least 15 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature. Wrap the kuchen in plastic and store at room temperature for up to 2 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
6. To make the glaze if using: Combine all the glaze ingredients, stirring until smooth and of pouring consistency. Drizzle over the cake and let stand until set.
When baking and storing a cake containing acidic ingredients such as sour cream in an aluminum pan, line the bottom with parchment paper to prevent the juices from reacting with the aluminum and creating a metallic flavor.
Single-Layer Coffee Cake:
Spread all the batter in a 13-by-9-inch pan, sprinkle with all of the topping, and bake for 30 to 35 minutes.
Fruit-Filled Coffee Cake:
After adding the middle layer of streusel, top with 1 cup peeled, cored, and thinkly sliced cooking apples, 1 cup peeled, pitted, and sliced peaches, or 1 cup pitted cherries, blueberries, blackberries, or raspberries.
Cheese Coffee Cake:
Combine 8 ounces softened cream chees, 1/4 cup sugar, 1 large egg, and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract. Spread over the top of the batter, leaving a 1-inch border on all sides. If desired, spread 1/2 cup melted blueberry, cherry, raspberry, or strawberry preserves or pie filling over the cheese mixture. Sprinkle with the streusel.