Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Today's Quiz

So guess which one of these recently-tried recipes was the winner -- the one I'll be making again soon.

Was it the lemon-blueberry bread, complete with glaze?

Was it the braided cheese bread, sprinkled with sesame seeds?

( Please excuse my ooze.)

Was it the mushroom-sherry sauce, served over a fine piece of beef?

Or would our winner be the from-scratch chocolate cake, made with nearly one whole pound of butter?
Ticktock. Ticktock.
I'm waiting while you make up your mind.
Got your answer?
Let's see if you were right.
The lemon-blueberry bread, alas, was nothing special.
The cheese bread, while making a lovely albeit humongous loaf, was also nothing my taste buds are screaming to experience again.
Likewise, sad to say, the chocolate cake with nearly one whole pound of butter.
Did I mention there was a lot of butter in this recipe?
The hands-down winner, in spite of my blurry little photo, was the mushroom-sherry sauce, adapted slightly from a Julia Child/ Louisette Bertholle/ Simone Beck recipe from Mastering the Art of French Cooking.
You wanna try it yourself? Here are the instructions.
First, fry up some filet mignon steaks in a skillet with 2 T. butter and 1 T. oil. Cook on medium-high, about four minutes a side for medium rare. (Yes, filet mignon is very expensive. Yes, this is a dish to save for a special occasion like a birthday or anniversary or Valentine's Day dinner.)
In separate skillet, saute in butter 1/2 lb. mushrooms, sliced, until lightly browned.
When meat is done, remove from heat and keep warm. (I used my oven's "warm" setting.) Pour out any excess oil from pan you cooked your meat in. Stir into the pan 1/2 c. beef bouillon (I used 1/2 c. water and about 1/2 t. powdered bouillon) along with 1 T. tomato paste. Boil rapidly for a couple minutes, scraping up whatever's in the pan, until liquid is down to 2-3 T.
In measuring cup, stir together 1/4 c. sherry and 1/2 T. cornstarch. Stir this mixture into stock mixture. Boil rapidly for one minute to let the alcohol evaporate. Add the sauteed mushrooms and serve over the beef, sprinkled with a touch of dried tarragon.
Et voila. Julia, your sauce is tres magnifique.



Blogger Ruby said...

Looking good.
I thought they all looked good but the sauce does sound special.

February 2, 2010 at 3:00 PM  
Blogger Ingrid_3Bs said...

Thanks for the heads up on those so-so recipes.

The mushroom sherry sauce sounds delish! I have a question for you. This is going to sounds stupid but when I go to buy a bottle of sherry do I just look for a bottle that says sherry? Thanks!

February 2, 2010 at 7:44 PM  
Blogger Lynn said...

I don't think your question sounds stupid at all, Ingrid. I just bought a bottle of sherry myself. It was at the grocery store, in the middle of the booze section, and it simply says "Sherry Cooking Wine" on it. Julia's original recipe, by the way, called for Madeira (not sherry) but I googled it and discovered sherry was a good substitute. So if you happen to already have some Madeira in the cupboard, you're all good already :)

February 2, 2010 at 7:51 PM  
Blogger Mimi said...

I new that mushroom sherry sauce was a winner. It looks fabulous.

February 2, 2010 at 9:42 PM  
Blogger grace said...

none of the sweet stuff won you over, eh? you're a stronger woman than i. and by the way, i had a great chuckle upon reading "please excuse my ooze." :)

February 3, 2010 at 1:56 AM  
Anonymous Barbara said...

I guessed wrong. Oops.
So, while all of these looked good, (especially the oozing bread) I'll try the mushroom sherry sauce first!

February 3, 2010 at 6:43 AM  
Blogger teresa said...

fun! i love that filet mignon, it looks amazing! as do the rest of your dishes.

February 3, 2010 at 10:03 AM  
Anonymous Faith said...

Lol, as I read down the list I guessed each one! I can see how that mushroom-sherry sauce would be the winner though!

February 3, 2010 at 10:58 AM  
Blogger The Blonde Duck said...

Popped in to say hi! This looks amazing!

February 3, 2010 at 12:26 PM  
Blogger Rachel said...

I love you blog! Thanks so much for stopping by mine so I could find yours. It's a gold mine! =)

Thanks for all the great tips and encouragement. I really appreciate it. I'm going to be following you now and I look forward to learning from you!

February 3, 2010 at 6:46 PM  
Blogger Lynn said...

It's good to meet you, Me, Myself and Pie. I really enjoyed your blog, too. And your blog title? So cute!

February 3, 2010 at 7:12 PM  
Anonymous Stephen said...

I love the simplicity of good beef, earthy mushroom and booze. add some sweet acid from tomato paste and lip smackin beef stock.. and get back jack! :)
as for herbs, since this is a special dish I would go for fresh tarragon. The potent anise flavor will definitely be the cherry on top.
nice blog!

February 3, 2010 at 7:15 PM  
Blogger Lynn said...

Thanks for stopping by, Stephen. Sounds like you're a guy who knows his way around the kitchen :)

February 3, 2010 at 7:28 PM  
Blogger Sandy's Kitchen said...

I was sure it was going to be the chocolate cake with the one pound of butter : ) But then again I have a major sweet tooth that gets me into trouble. The mushroom sherry sauce sounds very good. Worth a shot if you say it is good. Thanks for letting us know which one you will be making again.

February 3, 2010 at 7:44 PM  
Blogger Lynn said...

I have a major sweet tooth too, Sandy, and believe me, I was hoping to LOVE the butter-filled chocolate cake. But alas, with that many calories I expected it to be stupendous, and it just wasn't. Sigh. Will have to keep baking, I guess ;)

February 3, 2010 at 8:05 PM  
Blogger Carpool Queen said...

Does it strike you as odd that Julia would use a bullion cube? I don't know why that seems funny to me - I'd never dream she'd do it -

For the record, that cheese bread looks fantastic.

February 4, 2010 at 3:02 PM  
Blogger Lynn said...

Carpool Queen, Julia's recipe actually calls for "1/2 c. stock or canned beef bouillon." She would likely not approve, but I don't happen to have any homemade beef stock lying around, or canned beef bouillon either, for that matter ;) So I am the cretin who substituted in the powdered bouillon. Tasted fine to me XD

February 4, 2010 at 3:33 PM  
Blogger How To Eat A Cupcake said...

Lol well you didn't tell us it was a Julia Child recipe! Of course it won! ;)

February 6, 2010 at 12:07 PM  
Anonymous Juliana said...

Oh! I'd love to try the mushroom sauce...specially on top of a nice piece of meat...

February 8, 2010 at 12:26 PM  
Blogger Katy said...

Saving the sherry mushroom sauce recipe. I happen to have madeira in the pantry so can't wait to try this. Looks positively divine!!

Love the oozing comment. Gads, I think these kinds of kitchen mishaps only occur here, grins.

My word verification is "nopudge" Wonder if that's some sort of divine hint to me? hahahahaha

February 14, 2010 at 3:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hmmm. If that's my recipe for chocolate cake, Lynn, it doesn't look right. It should be veryyyy moist and dark. Sorry it didn't work for you. It is our very favorite chocolate indulgence! But, as they say, "Different strokes for different folks!" :)

February 15, 2010 at 9:36 AM  
Blogger Lynn said...

Addhumorandfaith, no, this cake is not a recipe I got from you. So now tell me more about YOUR cake! I made your jello poke cake a few months back, you may recall, and it was wonderful. Are there more cakes you make that I need to know about? I just went back and looked at the recipes on your blog from the last 8 months or so and didn't see one . . . (but your cake balls were soooo cute! As was your story about having the reporter come out and interview you about them.) So please advise me about any wonderful cake recipe I may be missing!! Thanks.

February 15, 2010 at 5:18 PM  
Anonymous Carolyn Jung said...

Wow, the mushroom sauce beat that great looking cheese-sesame bread? Just shows that in cooking, just as in life, looks are not everything. heehee

March 8, 2010 at 6:27 PM  

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