Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Thanksgiving at our house pt 1

I may have mentioned before that my wonderful wife Kris is a bit picky about what she will eat, while we were dating she told me some of the foods that she just doesn't like; all seafood (smells bad) most pork (too dry and not much flavor) most casserole dishes (too many things in one pan) turkey (too dry, too gamey) were all on the list. I am a pretty good cook so I have convinced her to try some new things or old things prepared well and she has changed her mind about some of them. Still on the list; all seafood (I usually cook any fish outside, I have to admit it does have an odor) and Turkey. I have tried Turkey in every way shape and form and she just doesn't like it.

Add to the fact that Kris isn't a big fan of Turkey, Thanksgiving is usually the Holiday I have to work so Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday I will be getting up at 3:15 so that I can be on the South Side of Chicago by 4:45 to open up. We decided to do two things different than most. First, Thanksgiving took place on Wednesday in our house. Second, this year Turkey and Stuffing were off the menu completely they were replaced by Beef and Polenta. I recently read a statistic that suggests 90% of Americans eat Turkey on Thanksgiving day, really I don't know how that statistic was arrived at or if it was just made up but I am going to run with it for now. If you figure 90% of us are eating Turkey on Thanksgiving then take into account that about 5% of Americans are Vegetarians that puts me and my family in the small 5% of us that forsake the bird on this day. So the Thanksgiving menu in our house was:

Beef Tenderloin with a Red Wine Reduction
Mashed Potatoes
Green Beans
Grilled Polenta
Brown Sugar and Bourbon Cranberries

The Sauce:
1 TBL Vegetable Oil
6 Green Onions Coarsely Chopped
2 Portobello Mushrooms Diced
1 TBS Brown Sugar
2 TBS Balsamic Vinegar
2 Cups Red Wine
1 Cup Beef Broth
1 Cup Chicken Broth
2 sprigs Fresh Thyme
2 Sprigs Fresh Rosemary
1 tsp Peppercorns
1 tsp Flour
1 tsp Butter

Heat oil in sauce pan the add the Onions and Mushrooms and saute over medium heat for about 10 minutes then add the Brown Sugar stir until that has melted then add the Balsamic Vinegar and Saute until all the liquid has evaporated (a minute or two).

Add wine, both broths, herbs and peppercorn and cook over medium/low heat for about 45 minutes. When the sauce is done put the butter and flour in another saucepan and make a roux then strain the sauce into that pan cook until thickened (maybe another 1o-15 minutes)

The Beef
1 1/2 pounds of Beef Tenderloin
2 TBS Olive Oil
2 Cloves minced Garlic
1 very small Onion diced
a little bit of Butter

Preheat oven to 350 then heat the olive oil, saute the garlic and onions for a couple of minutes then brown the beef on all sides (I deglazed the pan with chicken broth and cooked my green beans in that liquid) Place beef on baking pan and top with salt, pepper and about 3 pats of butter then put in the oven for about 35 minutes. Until it registers 120-125 on a thermometer for medium rare, or if your daughter "looks at" your thermometer for only a few seconds and returns it broken into several pieces, guess. Let it rest on a cutting board for about 10 minutes then slice 3/4 of an inch thick and top with a little sauce. You can see in the picture that we were having a little fun with edible flowers


  1. Your dinner totally kicks turkey's ass.

  2. Thanks, I was nervous the whole time I was planning it... Can you even have the big meal without turkey? Turns out you can and it is great!