What's for Dinner #64 - This Year's Almost Over, Thank Goodness! Edition - December 2020

Thanks @gracieggg! Actually, although labor intensive by it’s nature, it wasn’t too bad. The steps are easily broken down into make ahead tasks, like the crepes, duxelles, and sauce. Keeping the rest of the meal simple helped also. It was delicious, and tastes surprisingly good leftover, and even cold.

Two things I’d do differently would be to dry age the beef in a spice rub for a couple of days, and use better components in the sauce; we used the only Madeira we could find, which was Paul Masson, and commercial beef stock. I’d definitely special order a better bottle of Madeira, as well as a container of Demi glacé. Or make my own Demi glacé, which is somewhat daunting, but someday…

Also used pre-made pate and puff pastry, which kept things easier as well.

Oh, the recipe was from Fine Cooking, and is on line.

@naf - please let us know if you decide to make it; one of the benefits is that we had a round of puff pastry left, which we used to make raspberry almond croissants, with homemade raspberry jam, sliced almonds, and powdered sugar, once out of the oven. Sooo good!


The meat just melted in your mouth. I’m not sure how it was prepared.

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Thanks for the reminder, I just put the frozen puff pastry in the fridge, will be ready for tomorrow. Which recipe did you use? I look at several, but find Serious Eats the best explained, especially on the moisture problem.

@naf, we used the one from Fine Cooking Magazine - it’s the classic version.

Thanks a lot. Did you have juice coming out or the crepe absorbed everything?

We enjoyed another outstanding dinner at Bloom in Verona, NJ. Besides the usually awesome octopus, escargot, bulgogi tacos, and fried chicken sandwich with truffled fries, I enjoyed a rack of baby back ribs.It all went great with an excellent Syrah.


Smoked salmon chowder. Touch of saffron, capers, etc.


Proceeding with the Christmas roast, ragu.


No, @ Naf, it was absolutely perfect. We used shiitakes and small brown mushrooms (baby portobellos), took it out of the oven a couple minutes early, and that was pretty much the extent of the modifications. I’m sure SE has a version they’ve nailed; whichever you use, please let us know how it turns out.

Care to share some details on that escargot? I’m always looking for new recipes for it besides the normal garlic and butter. (like Drew’s which I don’t have the courage to try to make it with blue cheese, though his is excellent)

Very happy and healthy Holiday wishes to you and Mrs. P.

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Thanks @NotJrvedivici! Happy & healthy holiday wishes to you and your family as well!

The excellent escargot dish was made with a mornay sauce with a touch of herbs and parmesan cheese.

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Wow, your ragu looks mouthwatering. Applause, applause.

Interesting another cheese(y) based sauce, I thought for sure it was a pesto creation by the picture. Thank you.

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Oh - being sick on vacation is such a drag. Couple of yrs ago, the 4 of us had 6 days in London, with 2 travel days, for spring break. And over those 8 days, all 4 of us were sick, with me getting sick the day before we went, and then another family member dropping every 48 hrs. So many plans for the trip, practically nothing actually accomplished. Particularly in terms of eating out. Never had more than 2 people who felt ok at the same time.

Leftovers for dinner last night - Xmas eve posole with cilantro and onion salad on top :upside_down_face: and cornbread. Enjoyed as much or more than before.


It looks extra saucy. Do you make your own? Recipe?

Nomination time for COTQ. Come on, 2021! Winter 2021 (Jan-Mar) Cuisine of the Quarter - NOMINATIONS

We’d have anarchy in the U.S. if they tried to make it law. But I personally know 5+ people who contracted Covid after gathering with peeps from different households for Tday. Two are severely ill in the hospital. :cry: This sh_t is real.

Ditto! Not quite the same but last year we got sliced Jamón lbérico de Bellota (acorn fed) from a local gourmet shop. It was delicious. :heart:

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Sorry they got sick, hope all of them will recover without consequences. Stay safe @TheCookie !!


That is a shame @Sasha - especially for an international destination, with all the travel time, and the things you want to see and do, not to mention the food. Unfortunately it’s happened to me/us more than the once. There was that time in Mendocino, when the 3 of us got strep throat, spaced a couple days apart. At least H was well, until later, then it was his turn. 2 trips to the ER on consecutive nights. No fun! Oh, DD1 was only 2…