Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Week 8 Donna Hay: The Classics


Well, it was about time for another Donna Hay dinner and what could be more perfect than watching the 2012 Olympics Opening Ceremony? I had DVR'd the ceremony and was finally able to have a night at home to watch it.  Some last minute shopping and another Donna Hay meal was in the works.

Now I have to say these pictures are great, but the do no justice to the absolutely amazing flavors in this meal.  Alright, here is the skinny... (Photo credit from brother-in-law and sister via iPhone and poor lighting.)
Starter
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White Asparagus with Taleggio


Main
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Bacon-Wrapped Beef with Red Wine Glaze


Side
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Porcini Mash

Dessert
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Caramelized Crostini with Figs


Now for the good and the bad.  The Starter: I would not change a thing!  I could not find taleggio cheese which is what the recipe called for so instead I used smoked gouda as that was the closest thing I could find.  Trust me, this was a good call.  The flavors of the white wine and thyme sauce drizzled over the par cooked asparagus with the smokey cheese was heavenly.  DO NOT ADJUST THIS RECIPE.  

So the starter went well and now on to the main.  I was expecting to be a little disappointed or not love this dish.  Why you ask?  Well because you are suppose to make a leek and horseradish sauce to go on top of the steak fillet when you bake it in the oven.  I have had a difficult time at times with horseradish and I really thought the sauce was overpowering when I slathered it on.  Well I was wrong.  This dish could easily have been served at my favorite restaurant and I would have died loving it.  In fact, it might have tasted even better than that.  Let me tell you in detail what the dish was exactly.  First you have mash potatoes cooked with porcini mushroom which in and of itself was a show stopper full of flavor.  Then you had fillet mignon wrapped in bacon and crusted with shallot (I did not have a leek) and horseradish.  This was placed on top of the mash and then drizzled with a pomegranate (I did not have red currents) and red wine reduction sauce.  Can you name one bad thing?  No you cannot.  Ah-MAZE-ing (Yes dad I know how to spell amazing, this previous spelling was for emphasis.)  The dishes were so good they are now going to be used on special occasions and holidays.  I would have given them a perfect 10 except that the meat was more on the medium side and medium rare side.  I learned to stop cooking it before it reaches the desired temperature as it keeps cooking some when you take it out to rest.  (130 degrees Fahrenheit for medium rare beef.)

Now on to dessert.  The flavors were good although the figs I got were so mild you barely tasted them next to the rich mascarpone sauce.  Also the figs were on the small side as it is just the beginning of their season here in Southern California.  My sister and I even stopped by our neighbor Vito's house on the way to the market to check in on his figs.  He said a few more weeks and they will be good.  so dessert good have been improved and the plating of it was less than desirable, but hey, that is why I practice.

Oh and in case you are wondering, dinner was served on my Donna Hay inspired dinnerware from Ikea,  Yep, that is right.  I saw it at Ikea and knew I would regret not buying them.  Worth it!

Hope you enjoyed the pictures and happy cooking!




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