Tuesday, January 12, 2010

The Bachelor, Beef & Brussels

It's official, Monday is becoming my favorite day of the week! Not only do I get to enjoy a delicious meal and great company (this week with Margaret, Molly and Kara), but The Bachelor is becoming more ridiculous with each episode...and by "ridiculous," I mean amazing!

This week's Bachelor feast consisted of my mother's "elegant" beef tenderloin, and Kara's mother's Brussels sprouts and twice baked potatoes. The sauce in which the tenderloin roasts gives the meat a flavor and tenderness that is beyond compare; each bite literally melts in your mouth! On top of that, the dish is suprisingly easy to prepare.

I know you're thinking that tenderloin isn't exactly Affordable Foodie material, but at the right price, it actually fits the bill. We purchased our tenderloin on sale, cleaned and ready to roast, at our neighborhood location of The Fresh Market (Peachtree Rd. location) for just $9.99/lb. A total steal! Since we were only making this dish for four, we were able to save and freeze half of the tenderloin for another night. If you'd like to receive a weekly e-newsletter from The Fresh Market alerting you to specials and sales, you can sign up at www.thefreshmarket.net.

Kara's Brussels sprouts were what we like to call "special," and the twice baked potatoes were a concoction of creamy, cheesy goodness. Both dishes perfectly compliment the beef. If you want the perfect bite, combine the trio and voila! Crisp bacon is mixed into the potatoes, along with a generous portion of gruyere cheese and a touch of Ranch dressing - the Ranch being Kara's last-minute idea - to create side dish perfection. The trick on the Brussels lies in sauteeing them in the remaining bacon fat.

All of these dishes come highly recommended by the whole group. Wine and good food were enjoyed by all...maybe most of all by my miniature dachshund, Lula!

p.s. Lula has been begging me to let her blog! Enjoy the recipes below.

Elegant Beef Tenderloin


1 1 and 1/2 lb. beef tenderloin, cleaned (as we mentioned above, you can buy a 3 lb. tenderloin, cut it in half and reserve one half for another meal)
1 1/4 teaspoon garlic salt (or until meat is well seasoned)
1 cup Burgundy wine (does not have to be French, pinot noir works as well)
1/4 cup soy sauce
3/4 cup butter
1 teaspoon lemon pepper seasoning


Place meat on a lightly greased or non-stick shallow roasting pan. Sprinkle generously with garlic salt. It is important to massage the salt into the meat. Roast at 425 degrees F for 10 minutes.

While meat is roasting combine wine, soy sauce, butter and lemon pepper in sauce pan. Cook on low heat until mixture is heated through.

After 10 minutes, remove meat from oven and pour prepared sauce over the tenderloin. Bake an additional 30-40 minutes at 425 degrees F or until a thermometer, inserted into the thickest part of the meat, reads 140 degrees (for rare) or 150 degrees (for medium rare) or 160 degreees (for medium).

**** Baste the meat often with the pan drippings! **** This is the trick to making the meat so tender. The more you baste, the better the meat. I try to baste every 5-7 minutes. It's a laborious process but well worth it!

Sauteed Brussels Sprouts


4 slices bacon, chopped
1 lb. Brussels sprouts, trimmed, small spouts left whole, larger sprouts halved
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper


Clean and trim the Brussels sprouts, removing any discolored leaves. Brown bacon in a medium skillet over medium high heat. Remove bacon to a paper towel lined plate and reserve for twice baked potatoes. Add Brussels sprouts and coat in oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cook 30 minutes or until tender. Adjust seasoning and serve immediately.

Twice Baked Potatoes with Bacon & Gruyere


4 large russet potatoes, scrubbed and dried
2 to 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/3 cup sour cream
1/3 cup milk
2 tablespoons Ranch dressing
2 cups shredded Gruyere cheese, divided
4 slices bacon, cooked and chopped (reserved from the Brussels sprouts recipe)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Fresh chives or green onions, chopped


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Pierce each potato in a couple of spots with a fork. Place the potatoes directly on the rack in the center of the oven and bake until tender, about 1 hour. Remove potatoes from the oven and turn the heat down to 375 degrees F.

Holding each potato with an oven-mit or towel, create an oval and trim off the top to make a canoe-like shape. Reserve the tops. Carefully scoop out most of the potato into a bowl. Take care to leave enough potato in the skin so the shells stay together. Mash the potato lightly with fork along with 2 to 3 tablespoons of the butter and sour cream. Stir in the milk, Ranch dressing, 1 cup of cheese and the bacon. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Add more milk or sour cream if the mixture seems dry. Season the skins with salt and pepper. Sprinkle a thin layer of cheese on the bottom of each shell and then refill them with the potato mixture, mounding it slightly. Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top of the potato filling. Brush the reserved tops with the remaining butter and season with salt and pepper.

Set the potatoes and lids on a baking sheet, and bake until heated through, about 20 minutes. Serve immediately.


  1. Yummy! I heart brussel sprouts. And um, bacon. Make me dinner and bring it to me please!

  2. This dinner was AMAZING! I am not normally a brussels fan, but these were unreal! The Bachelor was good too. Hoping I will be invited back next week :)

  3. Lula should be a guest judge on Iron Chef...

    cable box shoved under the dresser behind the potatoe picture... my favorite part.

  4. Why have I not been invited to these bachelor/food extravaganzas???

    I'm free next Monday from 8-10.