Wednesday, December 29, 2010


Oh heyyyy! Yes, I'm still alive. It's been a month of Christmas, Paris, family...and unfortunately stomach flu and working two jobs. Ok, I know having two jobs is a good thing, but it doesn't leave me much time to do fun things like cooking and eating and writing about it. At any rate - I'm back, and I've got a lot to tell you about!

So let's start with the most recent, shall we? Christmas. It was a Chicago Christmas this year, which I am very thankful for, because if I have to travel again within the next two months it will be too soon. Remember that snow storm that destroyed travel across Europe a couple weeks ago? Let's just say we were some of the lucky ones.

This was actually my second time hosting Christmas (first time being in New York a few years ago), although my mom really pulled most of the weight in the kitchen. However, I did make Christmas breakfast which was very easy and if I do say so myself, very delicious.

A slice of toast from a big loaf of semolina bread, a couple pieces of San Daniele prosciutto, and a poached egg. Simple and really good.

My family's traditional Christmas dinner has become beef tenderloin with horseradish sauce, roasted potatoes, and a few other sides. This year we did asparagus and haricots verts. The tenderloin was really out of this world. We bought the meat from Fox & Obel, and it was fantastic. The recipe my mom uses is basically an herb marinade that can sit for a few hours up to overnight.

Herb Roasted Beef Tenderloin

4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons minced fresh thyme
3 tablespoons minced fresh rosemary
1 tablespoon finely minced garlic
1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper, or to taste
4-4 1/2 lb. trimmed beef tenderloin, patted dry and tied
2 teaspoons sea salt or kosher salt, to taste

In a small bowl combine the olive oil, vinegar, herbs, garlic, and pepper. Rub the tenderloin with the mixture, wrap in plastic and chill for 2 hours, or overnight.

Arrange the tenderloin on a rack in a roasting pan. Sprinkle with salt to taste and roast in the oven at 500 degrees for 35-40 minutes, or until a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the meat reads 130 to 135 degrees for medium rare. Transfer the meat to a cutting board and let it cool, loosely covered, for 15 minutes.

Remove the strings, cut the meat into thin slices. 8-10 servings.

We used a 3 1/2 lb. tenderloin which was plenty for 5 people and a little bit of leftovers.

Horseradish Sauce

2 cups sour cream or 1 cup each low-fat plain yogurt and sour cream
1/2 cup peeled grated fresh horseradish or drained bottled horseradish
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon finely minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon sugar
salt to taste

Mix all ingredients, transfer to a serving bowl, cover and chill until ready to serve. May be made one day ahead.

(The original recipe says to drain the sour cream in a piece of cheesecloth for 15 minutes, but....ehhh, we didn't do that.)

More Christmas recipes to come, and several reports on Paris to come as well!

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