Whisk Wednesday: Class 12

29 06 2008

I joined up with these fabulous ladies at lesson.  I have some back work to do, but it’s mostly learning techniques and mastering the master sauces.  Everything else is built around that.  So with no further adieu…

Class 12:  Filet Mignon with Artichokes and Bearnaise…

What great timing! Hubster was feeling a bit down in the dumps and nothing cheers him up like a great meal.  When I was explaining what I’d gotten myself into, and he saw the pictures in the book, he was purring.  We’ve been wanting to do tournedos of beef with Bearnaise sauce for ages.  Class 12 is bearnaise…

I’m pretty comfortable with emulsions. I make my own dressings and whisk until they’re thick and creamy, so this wasn’t much different.  What threw most of the group was the artichokes, and I confess, the artichokes made me nervous as well.  There was a load of trimming and discarding.  I opted to do baby artichokes instead of big globes…the globes available when I shopped were $2.99 each and were the size of a “lob” ball.  Once I sat down and did the first one, poorly, I got the hang of it.  I was able to discover the desired end result and things went well from there.  I was discouraged that the artichokes turned dark even with  putting lemon juice on immediately following the cuts.  Oh well…off to a nice warm bath while we do other things.

Simmering artichoke bottoms

I think the key to the emulsion sauces is not too much heat.  I whipped my egg yolks until they reached the desired state described by Le Cordon Bleu at Home.  I had melted my butter at a very, very low heat.  When I whisked the butter into the sauce, I could get away with being a little heavy-handed because the butter wasn’t terribly hot, just warm.  Still, my arm got a healthy work-out on the sauce.

Once the sauce was finished, I tied and grilled my steaks, adding a tomato along side to make a more colorful plate.  The result was kind of interesting.  Artichokes tend to make foods eaten after them taste sweeter.  A bite of artichoke; a bite of tomato….wow!  The artichoke make the tomato’s flavor soar, sweet and full of summer! Ahhhh!

Hubby gave me an A; I’ll take it.  Everything came out properly, tasted fine, and the sauce didn’t break!!
Class 12-Filet mignon, artichokes, and bearnaise

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3 responses

2 07 2008
Kayte

Very nice post, very nice photos, very nice food…you did a great job. I agree, that tomato really sets off the plate and is a welcome addition. I can just taste that sauce on it, too!

2 07 2008
sara

Mmm, your dinner looks fantastic! i wish I had found the tiny artichokes to use, I’m still having trouble with the peeling, and all I can find a re jumbo! Great job!

30 06 2008
Shari

Your plate looks delicious! The sear marks are perfect on your steak, and your sauce looks amazing. I still haven’t found my groove with artichokes, even with everyone’s help and suggestions! Yours look so light colored. I wasn’t able to find any small ones (just the huge, globe ones). I’m glad you enjoyed the Bearnaise!
Shari@Whisk: a food blog

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