Midwest Poor man’s Beef Wellington

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If your’e a food show binge watcher like myself, you’ve probably seen cooks make the Gordan Ramsey famous beef wellington! One evening, I decided I want to try to make this! However, from all the recipes I looked up, one thing stayed in common for all—its expensive! A beef tenderloin is an expensive cut and paying nearly $20 for a piece of meat that would get me one serving…really wasn’t sitting well with me.

So ask I paced through the grocery store trying to figure out if I really wanted to spend the cash….this recipe emerged! Using a bottom round roast, would 1–save me money and 2–allow for multiple meals/servings.  And this my friends created the Poor man’s beef wellington! Its delicious, its fairly simple to make and its a fancy meal you can present while staying to your budget!

The total time should take you about 2-2 1/2 hours. 1 hour for letting your meat tenderize, 1 1/2 for it just cooking in the oven. Not too shabby really. And did I mention this warms up great?!

Ingredients

Roast

  • 2-4 lb bottom round roast
  • 1 cup finely diced mushrooms
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • Seasoning: salt, pepper, garlic powder, dried thyme, dried oregano, fresh or dried parsley.
  • 1-2 rolls of crescent roll dough ( I used the Pillsbury crescent roll sheet–highly recommend)
  • 1 large ziplock plastic bag to store meat while it tenderizes
  • 1 roasting pan
  • skillet
  • Meat Thermometer

Sauce  (I recommend making the sauce, if not I mean at least make some brown gravy!)

  • 2 cups red wine
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 1 shallot minced
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 tbsp of oil
  • 1 tbsp of butter softened
  • 1 tbsp of flour

Instructions

Wellington

  1. First we are going to tenderize our meat for our an hour. If there is any excess fat your meat, be sure to cut if off before seasoning.
  2. Rub your meat in olive oil and lemon juice, place in bag with seasonings. Mix around till meat fully covered. Place in fridge.
  3. At about 20 minutes left take your meat out of the fridge and let sit to get to room temperature.
  4. Once the hour is up, put a little olive oil in a skillet. You are now going to sear all 4 sides of your meat, its about 4 minutes each side for a total of 20 minutes.
  5. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  6. Once all sides are seared, place meat in a roasting pan. Set timer for 1 hour and check on your temperature. (for medium-rare, a thermometer should read 135°; medium, 140°; medium-well, 145°).Depending how you want your meat done, we will shave off 13 minutes from the final cooking time. When you’re about 10 degrees away from your desired meat temp, that’s when we’ll remove the meat >place in the mushroom mixture and wrap in the dough. The dough takes 13 minutes to cook.

I ended up with a medium well wellington by taking out my meat at an 1 hour 30 minutes then cooking it for another 13-15 minutes. So I kind of broke it down of how long TOTAL the cooking time should be based on your meat doneness : 1 hour  15 min = medium rare, 1 hour 30= medium and 2 hours =medium well.

So based on the above, pick how you’d like your meat done then subtract 15 minutes, and that will be the time you’ll wrap your meat in the dough and mushroom mixture.

7. While your meat is cooking, finely chop your mushrooms and saute in butter until soft and nicely browned.

8. Roll out  your dough on a non stick baking sheet (preferably with edges so any juices don’t leak into your oven).

9. Spread your mushroom mixture over dough.

10. Take your roast and place in dough, roll and wrap so that the mushrooms and dough are evenly covering the roast. I had to kind of warp my dough around my roast and add some mushrooms over the roast. So do how you see fit.

11.Make some slashes on top of the roast, I made one  little big slash so I could stick my meat thermometer in without piercing the dough.

12. Finish cooking in oven for 13-15 minutes until dough is golden and cooked.

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13. Let sit for 5 minutes, FYI your meat temp will rise.

14. Serve and enjoy!

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Sauce instructions

  1. The sauce takes about a half hour to make, mainly due to reducing the wine. Add wine to sauce pan, turn onto to medium high heat and let reduce by half.
  2. In a small skillet, saute your minced shallots and garlic until shallots are translucent and soft, watch not to burn.
  3. Once your wine is reduced add in your shallot/garlic mixture. Stir and add in your beef broth. Let this now reduce for about 10-15 minutes.
  4. In a small bowl combine your soft butter and flour. It should make a paste and then add this to your sauce.
  5. Stir together. If sauce is too salty or thick, add a little water and keep at a low to medium heat until meat is ready.

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Serve over top of wellington and enjoy!

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Eggplant Parmesan

In all honesty, I have only ever eaten eggplant once in my life. I had it last year when I made ratatoulli! So trying eggplant in a different form, I wasn’t too sure how this recipe would turn out.

I can say that I actually impressed myself and have a new favorite recipe that is light, crisp and delicious. The entire recipe cost me $10 and it makes about 5-6 servings. I really recommend trying this out, impress yourself, impress your friends and enjoy an awesome meal!

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Ingredients

  • 1 large eggplant
  • 1-2 cups of flour
  • 1-2 cups of fine Italian bread crumbs (I like to use Kroger)
  • 4 eggs
  • 2-4 tbsp of grape seed oil (highly recommend over olive oil for this frying)
  • Parmesan cheese shredded
  • Whole milk mozzarella shredded (available at Kroger)
  • Tomato sauce canned or see recipe below
  • Salt, pepper, garlic powder, garlic salt, crushed red pepper
  • Deep medium size baking dish
  • Frying pan

Fresh tomato sauce recipe

  • 1 can of whole peeled tomatoes
  • 1 small can or half of a large can pureed tomatoes
  • Fresh basil
  • Fresh parsley
  • dried thyme
  • dried oregano
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • half a small onion finely diced
  • Salt, pepper, garlic powder, garlic salt, crushed red pepper

Tomato sauce instructions

  1. Cut up/smash the whole tomatoes. Pour all  juice from jar and pieces into a sauce pan.
  2. Add your pureed tomatoes
  3. Saute your finely diced onion and minced garlic in a pan, till they’re soft but not browned.
  4. Finely chop your basil and parsley. About 1-2 tbsp each.
  5. Add in your onion/garlic mixture and begin seasoning with your thyme, oregano and additional seasonings.
  6. Taste taste taste! Get the sauce to your liking and keep on low heat so that it can cook while you begin your eggplant.

Eggplant Parmesan Instructions

  1. Peel your eggplant and then cut vertically into thin strips.
  2. Place the strips on paper towel and sprinkle with salt then cover with more paper towel. This process helps get all the moisture out of the eggplant so it wont’ be mushy. Let the eggplant rest for an hour, this is when I made my tomato sauce and prepared the rest of my ingredients.

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3. Once you’ve hit your hour mark, rinse off the salt from your slices and pat dry with paper towel.

4. Cut the vertical slices in half, so you have almost like squares. This will allow easy placement and stacking in the baking dish and makes serving easier.

5. We are now going to prepare our batter station with 3 separate bowls. An egg wash bowl, a flour bowl and then an Italian bread crumb bowl.

6. Whisk together 4 eggs so that the egg wash is smooth.

7. Take a slice of egg plant, dip into the egg wash–shake off any access then dip into the flour so that its lightly coated and shake off any access. Dip your slice back into the egg wash and into the bread crumbs.

8. Have a frying pan ready with 1-2 tbsp of the grape seed oil. Place your slice into the HOT pan and let brown on each side. About 3 min each side. I usually put 4-5 slices in at a time. More oil may be needed the more you fry.

9. Repeat batter process and fry all pieces.

10. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

11. Place a layer of your slices into the baking dish. Cover with sauce and cheese then add another layer of eggplant. Repeat stacking until done. Top with sauce and cheese then bake for 30 minutes.

12. Cook your spaghetti as directed.

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Place your eggplant serving on top of your spaghetti, garnish with some parsley and serve with a nice dry white wine.

Enjoy!

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Tomato Gratin

This is a custom French summer dish that I tweaked slightly. The entire thing cost me $4 to make $2 for a French Baguette and $2 for some tomatoes. Easy, cheap and delicious ?! Okay now! This is also perfect for warming up at work for leftovers! The bread stays crispy and it tastes amazing!

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Ingredients

  • 4-5 medium size tomatoes
  • 1 Baguette, either 1 large one or probably 2 small (Can also use whole grain bread)
  • Olive Oil
  • Fresh Basil, Parsley and Thyme (If you don’t have thyme, just go with basil and parsley!)
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 sweet onion ( I just used half of one)
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Salt, pepper, red crushed pepper and Italian seasoning
  • Baking dish

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven for 425 degrees. Slice your tomatoes thin, you can probably get at least 6 slices out of one tomato.
  2. Place tomatoes in bowl, season with salt, pepper, red crushed pepper, Italian seasoning and stir. Place tomatoes in rows in baking dish.
  3. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese over tomatoes.

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4. Take baguette and cut into small cubes, put in a medium mixing bowl.

5. Chop your basil and parsley and put in bowl along with Thyme.

6. Finely dice your onion and mince garlic, add to bowl.

7. Season  bowl mixture with salt and pepper, then pour in olive oil. You want bread coated evenly in the oil, so pour at your own discretion. This allows the bread to become crispy.

8. Toss the cubed baguette in the fresh herbs, oil and seasoning.

9. Pour bread over tomatoes and use anything left in the bowl to drizzle over top.

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10. Bake for 25-30 minutes, around 20 minutes check that your bread is golden and not burning…everyone’s oven cooks differently so better to be on teh safe side.

11. Serve and enjoy!

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Oven ‘Fried’ Chicken

It’s crispy, its crunchy…you’ll hate that its soo good! This is an easy recipe to make on the week day or weekend and enjoy with family!

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Ingredients

  • 1-2 cups flour
  • 2 cups Italian bread crumbs ( I used Kroger brand)
  • Chicken legs, thighs or breast
  • 1 stick butter
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 TBSP milk
  • 1 TBSP hot sauce
  • Salt, pepper, cayenne, paprika
  • Oven safe baking dish or tray (you’ll want deep enough for butter to not spill out)

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Instructions

  1. Begin by making your egg wash. Combine eggs, milk and hot sauce until completely mixed.
  2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  3. Pour your flour into a bowl/container and season with salt, pepper and any additional seasonings. Pour your bread crumbs also into a separate container.
  4. You’ll have 3 bowls or containers setup for this next process. And have your baking dish ready.
  5. Dunk your chicken into the flour mixture, shake off excess, dip into the egg mixture, then dunk into your bread crumbs and set in dish.
  6. Continue this until all your chicken has been properly coated.
  7. Melt your stick of butter in the microwave so that its liquid. Pour butter over chicken and into dish.
  8. Place your chicken in the oven for 20 minutes, pull out and flip and cook for an additional 20-30 minutes.
  9. Your chicken should be golden brown and a temperature at or above 165.
  10. Serve and enjoy!

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