Christmas/Pre-New Year Dinner Date

Happy holidays everyone!!!

Amidst all the hustle and bustle, hubby and I know we have to take our one on one time to reconnect and rejuvenate.

Since Tennessee in the winter can be quite boring and cold. I decided to cook!

I had a menu all planned out and was quite happy with it, until I made the mistake of asking hubby if he had any preferences. Well, for the first time in a very long time(if not ever), he did! He wasn’t too excited about the Cornish hen entrée and had a craving for filet mignon. That wasn’t a major change except for the fact that I had decided on a flank steak crostini as an appetizer and we couldn’t have steak twice. Then came the next challenge I created for myself! Make a crostini but use whatever is in the fridge. Any who, here’s what I came up with! Enjoy!! The arugula was a no go because it was finished a few days before our date and I didn’t want to buy a big bag of arugula only for 4 or 5 leaves. 

Appetizer:

Crispy Prosciutto
Truffle Aioli
Poached egg
Arugula

Entrée:

Filet Mignon. Topped with grilled shrimp
Parmesan Scalloped potatoes
Seasoned Mixed veggies

Dessert:

Funnel cake
Ice cream
White chocolate Molten lava cake

Making an aioli and cooking with truffles was completely new! I’ve been hearing about how amazing truffles are, so I decided to get some truffle oil to find out what I was missing! I wanted to be as safe as possible so I used pasteurized eggs to make the aioli. I learned the hard way that too much of a good thing isn’t all that great and had to redo the aioli because the first batch had a very strong and overpowering truffle taste and smell because I used almost half a bottle of truffle oil.  😥 

The white chocolate molten lava cake was ahhhhhhmazing!! I just kinda poured items together without measuring or anything and had made an amazing dessert. So, I immediately wrote down what I did, so I can try to replicate it next time.

Crispy Prosciutto with white truffle aioli, and a poached egg.

The Crostini was very good but I felt like it was missing something! Maybe some hollandaise sauce or something, can’t quite put my finger on it, when I figure it out, I’ll be sure to let you know! I will have to do it figure out what that is and perfect it! It also ignited my desire to use my panini press. I can see a whole lot of panini’s in my future. Yummmmmm

For the Crostini:

Slice a baguette or  French bread lengthwise. Brush with olive oil and season with salt. Let toast in a 350 degree oven for 15-20 minutes.

For the Aioli:

Separate an egg, keep the white refrigerated (use for an egg white omelet, meringue, or be boring and throw it away).

Crush a clove of garlic with your knife. Mince,  sprinkle some coarse salt /sea salt and continue to crush with your knife until you get a puree. (Or you could use a food processor  for the rest of the steps).

Whisk the egg yolk and the garlic puree. Add about 1/4 teaspoon of lemon juice and continue whisking until pale yellow. Slowly drizzle 1/4 cup of olive oil while whisking vigorously.

It will start to thicken, keep whisking until all the oil is added. You can always add other things such as parsley, etc at this point or enjoy the plain aioli.

For the Prosciutto:

Pre-heat oven to 350.

Cover a cookie sheet with parchment paper and spread the prosciutto with an inch between each slice (Don’t let them overlap, they’re rather sticky).

Bake for 15 – 20 minutes.

Enjoy!

Poached Egg:

Heat water on medium high. Right before it starts to bubble and simmer, turn down to medium.

Sprinkle salt( it’s preferable to vinegar).

Crack an egg into a small sieve and let the loose egg white fall away.

Transfer the rest slowly into the pot and let cook.

If you like loose yolk, don’t poach for more than 2 -3 minutes.

 For a more solid yolk, poach for about 5 minutes.

Filet Mignon topped with grilled shrimps, Parmesan Scalloped Potatoes, and Steamed Mixed Veggies.

For the scalloped Potatoes:

Using a mandolin, cut 2 medium potatoes to a 1/8 slices or cut as evenly as you can with your hands.

Over medium heat, melt 1/2 tablespoon of butter and  1/4 teaspoon of minced garlic (don’t let the garlic burn or brown). Pour in 1 cup of heavy cream and 1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese, and mix until the cheese melts and the sauce thickens (about 2 minutes). Season with salt, thyme, parsley, or any herbs you like).

Generously grease a 6 cup muffin/cupcake pan or individual ramekins with melted butter. 

Stack about 7-8 potatoes into each cup, ensuring, the potatoes do not come up above the container itself.

Pour in the sauce to 3/4 full and sprinkle some Parmesan cheese over the tops. Spray non stick coating on a piece of foil and loosely cover the potatoes.

For the Filet Mignon:

Be sure to bring out the filet mignon 30 minutes to an hour before cooking to bring the meat to room temperature (it ensures even cooking).

Bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees. Then remove the foil and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes.

Brush olive oil on all sides of the filets and season with salt and pepper.

Heat a heavy pan (without any oil) and brown the filets for 2 minutes each on the top and bottom and 1 minute on the sides. Place a small piece of butter on each filet, cover the pan with foil and bake for 7 – 10 minutes for a medium rare or 10 – 15 minutes for a medium. Let the meat rest for about 5 minutes outside the oven before plating.

 For the Shrimps:

With the shells still on, marinate the shrimps in some olive oil, thyme, rosemary, garlic salt, and parsley for about 15 minutes. Make sure to get some of the marinade underneath the shell.

Saute’ on a medium heat for about 6 minutes. Don’t turn it over, just cover it, so the steam cooks the top part of shrimp, while the pan cooks the bottom part. De-shell, leaving just the tail and voila!

White Chocolate Molten Lava cake, funnel cake, and a scoop of vanilla ice cream

So, I practiced making a one spoon quenelle and I don’t think it’s so bad for my first time! Just gotta keep practicing! Besides, that Ice Cream was very frozen! Had to leave it for about 5 minutes before I could get the hot spoon to scoop it up!

For the funnel cake:

*** I wanted a very thin funnel cake that looked more like branches and absolute control of the batter, so I used a squeeze bottle. You can always use something with a big spout for a funnel cake that is more cakey in texture rather than crunchy. You can also have fun with it and make mini funnel cakes by placing a cookie cutter in the oil and pouring your batter into the center of the cookie cutter to control the shape and size of your final cake. Use your imagination! Possibilities are endless!*** 

Sift 1/2 cup of all-purpose flour, 1/4 teaspoon of baking powder, a pinch of salt, and 1/4 cup of confectioners (powdered) sugar. In a separate bowl, whisk one egg, 1/2 cup + 1/4 cup milk, and a few drops of vanilla extract.

Make a well in the middle of the dry ingredients, pour in the wet ingredients and mix well until there are no lumps.

Pour into a squeeze bottle and refrigerate for about 30 minutes before using.

Heat about 3 cups of oil in a skillet on medium high. Turn down to medium and fry your funnel cake on each side for approximately 1-2 minutes per side depending on how hot the oil is.

For the White Chocolate Molten Lava Cake:

Whisk 3 eggs and 1/2 cup sugar together.
In a separate, bigger bowl, melt about 1 cup + 1/4 cup white chocolate and 1/4 cup (Half stick) unsalted butter together for 30 second intervals in the microwave. Mix thoroughly.
While still mixing the chocolate, pour in the egg mixture and mix thoroughly.
Sift Flour into the mixture. (A little thicker than cake batter in consistency)
Butter the ramekins or molds. Pour mixture into it about 3/4ths of the way full.
Cover with plastic wrap and freeze for about 2 hours.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Bake from frozen for about 15-20 minutes, or until the top looks cooked through (dry)
Let cool for about 3 minutes, place plate over the top and invert.
Garnish and ENJOY!!!

 

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