Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Beef Tenderloin with Horseradish Cream

This classic dish requires only a few basic ingredients, but really packs in some great flavors. This meal can be dressed up or down and is great for most occasions, whether it's a Tuesday night or an Engagement Party, like it was for this particular event.

The meat is briefly seared to add color and flavor, then finished off in the oven. The bold flavor of the horseradish and the brightness of the lemon balance out the creaminess of the sauce, complementing the beef. A nice indulgence, from time to time.

  • 1 1/2 lb. beef tenderloin, trimmed
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
Horseradish Cream
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 2-3 tablespoons prepared horseradish
  • juice of 1/2 lemon

  1. Season the beef with salt and pepper, then cover with plastic wrap.
  2. Allow the meat to come to room temperature.
  3. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
  4. Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium to medium-high heat.
  5. Sear the beef in the skillet until it is browned on all sides, about 2-3 minutes per side.
  6. Transfer the skillet to the 425 degree oven.
  7. Roast until an instant-read thermometer inserted into thickest end reads 125 degrees, about 10 minutes.
  8. Let meat rest on a cutting board for 30 minutes. 
  9. Meanwhile, combine mayonnaise, horseradish, and lemon juice in a small bowl. 
  10. Thinly slice beef and serve with sauce.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Virginia Ham & Provolone Sammies

If you've ever been on Pinterest, you have probably already seen this recipe . . . and probably didn't pay much attention to it, like me. But, after I tried them at a party, I'm a convert. And, again, they are easy to throw together and great to have for just about any spread.

It's the comfort of a ham and cheese sandwich, but with a kick. The seemingly odd flavor combinations come together to make something special. Tangy, savory, a little sweet.

  • 1 package of 12 Hawaiian Sweet Rolls
  • 1 onion, minced
  • 1/4 lb. unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 3 teaspoons poppy seeds
  • 1/2 lb. shaved Virginia ham
  • 8 slices provolone cheese

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a small skillet, melt the butter.
  3. Add the onions and sauté for 2 minutes.
  4. Stir in the mustard, Worcestershire sauce, and poppy seeds into the mixture. Simmer for 5 minutes on medium-low heat. 
  5. As a group, slice the rolls lengthwise and place bottoms on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil.
  6. Spread half of the butter mixture over the roll bottoms, followed by the ham and cheese slices.
  7. Top with the other half of the rolls.
  8. Spread the remaining butter mixture over the top of the rolls.
  9. Cover with aluminum foil and refrigerate until ready to bake.
  10. Bake at 350 degrees F for 25-30 minutes until the rolls brown and the cheese melts.
* This recipe is adapted from the Beyer Beware website.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Herbed Mushroom Tartlets

These tasty bites are simply and savory. They are a great addition to a buffet or brunch spread.


  • 3 pints mushrooms (creminis, oysters, porcinis, portobellos, shiitakes), cleaned and chopped
  • 1 large shallot, minced
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
  • 2 packages of frozen mini phyllo tart shells

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Heat the butter over medium heat in a large skillet.
  3. When the butter has melted, add the mushrooms, shallots, and garlic and sauté until tender. As the vegetables soften, sprinkle in the salt, pepper, and thyme. Once tender, let the mixture stand until cool.
  4. In a large bowl, fold the mushroom mixture into the cream cheese and stir until thoroughly combined.
  5. Spoon one tablespoon of the filling into each frozen mini phyllo tart shells and arrange them evenly on a large baking sheet.
  6. Bake at 375 degrees F for 15-18 minutes.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Mustard Marinated Shrimp

Forget shrimp cocktail. Try this spicy and tangy mustard marinade for your next dinner party. Sarah P. introduced me to this recipe and it's a staple at most Mott-family events now.

  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 cup dry mustard
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 6 green onions, chopped
  • 1/4 cup capers, drained
  • 2 1/2 lbs medium Gulf shrimp, cooked and peeled

  1. Blend the the vinegars, black pepper, dry mustard, red pepper flakes, and salt in a food processor on low speed for a few seconds.
  2. Slowly add in the oils, continuing to blend until the mixture thickens slightly.
  3. Add the parsley, garlic, green onions, and capers, pulse to combine.
  4. In a large boil, pour the marinade over the shrimp and coat thoroughly.
  5. Cover and refrigerate overnight or up to 2 days.
  6. Drain the marinade from the shrimp and serve chilled.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Engagement Party Menu

My sweet sister-in-law is getting married! Have I mentioned that already? Lydia and Tim will tie the knot in December. Jared and I (and all of the rest of the family and friends on both sides) are just a little bit excited and ready to get the party started.
Lyd and friends
Now that we're more than a year out from our own wedding and all of the details and vendors and budget, I no longer want to plug my ears and hum something mind-numbing when people talk about wedding planning. In fact, it's kind of fun to be helping out and looking at pretty dresses and flowers when you don't actually have to make decisions about them. 
And I'm, of course, all for celebrating the bride and her wonderful groom-to-be. What better way to start than with an engagement party? An excuse to try new recipes and eat and drink with family and friends (plus it forces us to actually clean the apartment and make things look nice). 
The brothers: Greg and Tim
So, Jared and I hosted a very festive bunch this past weekend. It seemed like everyone had a great time and enjoyed the tasty spread. The crowd dispersed close to midnight and we went to bed with full bellies and happy hearts.
Brie and aged gouda and humboldt fog. Oh my.
The Engagement Party Menu

Pomegranate Champagne Punch
The Barns Viognier, Virginia
The Barns Petit Verdot, Virginia
Freshly Brewed Sweet Tea with Lemon

Cheese and Olive Plates

Lemon Bars

More of these lovely recipes coming soon . . .