Sunday, January 15, 2012

Beef Tenderloin Mini Sandwiches Appetizer

I am very behind in documenting all of my kitchen capers. We are now all fully back to reality, i.e. back to school and work which has taken some adjustment after an extended hiatus from 'normal'. Plus I keep coming up with ways to keep myself busy. For example last week I decided I *must* re-paint all of the wood work on our main floor. This stems from having laid a new cork floor in our library/dining room just before Christmas. One home improvement project seems to lead to another which leads to another... So this weekend I have caulked and cleaned and painted along with cooked.

I still have a few blog-worthy food items from 2011 to share before moving on to 2012. One of the last new dishes I tried in 2011 were these awesome beef tenderloin mini sandwiches:

These were an appetizer for our last family dinner of the Christmas season, which featured turkey. We love turkey but thought there was room for some red meat as a prelude to the main event. These are very easy to make and are do-able as a 'make-ahead' dish that you can assemble once you are ready to serve. They basically consist of a slice of baguette that is topped with lettuce, thin slices of beef tenderloin, a sour-cream-horseradish-dijon sauce, capers and shaved Parmesan cheese.

The sauce as called for below includes horseradish. I played it safe and didn't include the horseradish (I wasn't sure how many people might be put off by this ingredient). Next time I think I would definitely include it. I was worried it might be too hot with the horseradish (I've had some very pungent horseradish experiences!) but a small hit of horseradish would have made these little morsels even better, in my opinion.  I also couldn't find watercress so just substituted some fresh leaf lettuce, which looked the part and is so mild I knew it wouldn't ruin the overall taste. 

I think I cooked my beef about twice as long as called for in the original recipe, about 20-30 minutes. I'm not very confident when it comes to pan-frying meat, and I wanted to make sure I didn't make anyone sick with under-done beef! My thermapen was invaluable in preparing this dish - I kept it handy and made sure the beef got to medium-well in the centre before I took it off the heat. The slices from the end of the tenderloin were more well-done but that didn't stop them from being eaten. I cooked and sliced the beef ahead of time (and put the sauce together to chill) then took these ingredients, along with a fresh baguette, lettuce, cheese and capers with us to our hosts. To serve I sliced up the baguette, added some lettuce, layered on the beef (2 slices, very thin), dabbed with sauce/capers and then finished with a Parmesan curl. Mmmmm. Just thinking about these is making me hungry!

Seared Beef Tenderloin Mini Sandwiches - from Cooking Light

2/3 cup fat free sour cream
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons minced fresh tarragon
2 tablespoons prepared horseradish
1 (1 1/2-pound) beef tenderloin, trimmed
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Cooking spray
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
3 cups trimmed watercress (about 1 bunch)
1 (8-ounce) French bread baguette, cut diagonally into 16 slices
2 tablespoons capers
1/2 cup (2 ounces) shaved fresh Parmesan cheese

Combine first 4 ingredients, stirring well with a whisk. Cover and chill.

Secure beef at 2-inch intervals with twine. Sprinkle beef with pepper. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat; coat pan with cooking spray. Add beef to pan; cook 15 minutes or until desired degree of doneness, turning frequently. Let stand 15 minutes. Cut into 16 slices. Sprinkle with lemon juice.

Arrange watercress evenly on bread slices. Place 1 beef slice and about 1 tablespoon chilled sauce over each bread slice. Arrange capers and cheese evenly over sauce.

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