Cardie in December - The Food
We have had many a good holiday meal over the years but I would say the most quintessential Queen Cardine meal would be the individual Beef Wellingtons she discovered years ago. Emeril Lagasse's recipe to be exact.
I remember the online printout that she held onto until she got the recipe down pat and then it was tossed.
Very few adjustments have been made over the years and only one ingredient had to go - pate. My mom and I threw that out the window year one but my aunt had to try it. With such an amazing piece of meat, she reported that it just gilded the lily. And we are known to gild the lily so that's saying something.
After the first bite into our own individual Wellingtons, it instantly became our Christmas Day dinner tradition.
Thanks to my mom, we always had a green veggie to accompany it but the beef truly spoke for itself. The meat melted like butter in your mouth, the mushrooms duxelles rounded out the flavor and the hint of white wine enhanced the entire thing. And wrapped in a puff pastry? Well it just made you want to slap your mamma. I mean not literally...it's a southern thing. Anyway...
If you happen to mull over the possibility of making this recipe during the holidays (just Google it!) here are a few tips:
1. You absolutely MUST sear all sides of the beef. I'm not talking just top and bottom. Every. Single. Inch. Of. The. Meat. If you skip this step, I pity the fool.
2. Roll out your puff pastry thinner so that it cooks all the way through. Nobody likes a soggy pastry.
3. Once the pastry is rolled and the meat cooled, put the mushrooms duxelles down first. Emeril says to put the mushroom on the beef and then flip over onto the pastry - that sounds messy. My aunt just put a spoonful down first, then the meat, and then wrapped the pastry over the top and then flipped it over to keep the seam side down.
It really is quite an easy recipe and crazy delicious. And if you must, a few spears of asparagus on the side can be tasty.