I hope your holidays have been everything you hoped them to be. I found mine to be busy, but perfectly balanced with relaxation. As always, there were many family dinners, and friends in from out of town. It was all wonderful.
Yesterday was my first day back to work since the 23rd. Jason and I had planned a dinner to make on Sunday night, but other things came up, so it was pushed to last night. We got the recipes from this great book that Robin gave me for my birthday. It's called Mix & Match Meals. To fully appreciate this book you really need to go pick one up. When you open it, the pages are split horizontally in three sections. The top one: appetizers, the middle: entrees, the bottom: desserts. So as you pick which one you want for each stage of your meal, you can flip through all the sections separately and in the end have all three recipes open at the same time. This means the process of making your grocery list is greatly simplified.
The Menu: Stuffed Fillet Steak with chili and parsley butter, with Savory Cheese and Bacon Muffins.
I have mixed feelings about this meal. The muffins were surprisingly amazing. If you make them with whole wheat/grain bread crumbs they become a healthier option. The steak was... interesting. I'm not sure I'm a fan of a cream cheese filling for a steak. Maybe if it was whipped with some fresh herbs and spices? Or spinach? Or feta and/or goat cheese instead? It needed something else. The butter I would put more chili flakes in. That being said, it would be delicious spread on some fresh bread.
All in all, it was a pretty plate.
Savory Cheese and Bacon Muffins
adapted from Mix&Match Meals, Page 108 (starters)
5 1/2 oz (150g) Canadian bacon, sliced
7oz (200g) Cheddar cheese, cut up into small cubes
1 1/4 cups whole wheat/grain bread crumbs
1/2 bunch of scallions, finely chopped
1/2 cup milk
salt and ground black pepper
Pam for greasing
1. Fry the bacon until cooked but not too crispy, then cut into bite-sized pieces. Mix together the cheese with the bread crumbs, scallions, eggs and milk. Stir in the bacon.
2. Season generously with salt and pepper, then spoon into 4 buttered ramekins (or into your muffin trays). Bake in the oven at 375F (190C) for about 25 minutes until risen and golden. Serve hot or cold.
Stuffed Fillet Steak with Chili and Parsley Butter
adapted from Mix&Match Meals, Page 64 (Main Course)
4 sirloin steaks, about 8oz (225g) each, cut to a minimum 1 inch (2.5cm) thick
4 1/2oz (125g) light cream cheese
1 tbsp olive oil
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
for Chili and Parsley Butter
5 tbsp salted butter
1 tsp hot red pepper flakes
2 tbsp finely chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves
Spinach to serve
1. To make the chili and parsley butter, mix together all the ingredients in a bowl until well combined. Form into a sausage shape, and place in a piece of parchment paper. Roll up into a tube, twist each end of pepper, and chill for 30 minutes.
2. Heat the barbecue until hot. Take each fillet steak and, using a thin pointed knife pierce the side and move the knife from side to side to create a cavity, trying not to increase the size of the opening too much. Place a portion of cream cheese into each opening. Do not over stuff.
3. Grill the steaks on the barbecue over high heat for 3 minutes on each side, turning once. Set on a plate, and let rest for 5 minutes.
4. Serve on top of fresh spinach with a dollop of Chili and Parsley Butter for garnish.
I can't wait to hear about your travels! I hope all is and will continue to go safely.