Monthly Archives: June 2013

Whole Beef Tenderloin with Green Peppercorn Sauce

Whole beef tenderloin with green peppercorn sauce

Whole beef tenderloin with green peppercorn sauce

WHOLE BEEF TENDERLOIN WITH GREEN PEPPERCORN SAUCE

The Fall River: I have been fortunate to have cooked this great dish in wonderful places for wonderful people.  The first time I cooked this dish (for a discriminating group) I was on the Fall River outside of Burney, CA.  If the day is clear and you hold your head just right you can see 2 great volcanoes from the deck, Mt. Shasta to the West and Mt. Lassen to the East.  We were at a wonderful guest/fishing ranch called the Circle 7.  I was new to this group and was being “interviewed” as a regular invitee if I could cook good stuff and reasonably cast a dry fly.  Well I guess I passed the first test.  This was a dish I cooked for a band of 6 hungry fishermen that wanted something quick and hearty.  Besides if it took too long to cook there wouldn’t be any wine left for me. 

Birthdays, Birthdays:  Most recently I’ve had opportunity to cook this dish at a few special birthday bashes.  First, Brook Lowe’s 80th birthday party, father of ace guide Bill Lowe.  13 adults and 6 children left no traces of the beef, salmon, bok choy and jasmine rice.  The flourless chocolate cake bites somehow disappeared as well.  Miles Minno safely turned 23 with a couple filets on his plate, garlic mashed and some crispy green beans.  To both a very happy birthday!

M/M Lowe

M/M Lowe

It’s all in the sauce:  I originally found this recipe in a Cordon Bleu home sauces cookbook.  It’s very simple and can be made with only 4 or 5 ingredients.  I have tweaked it a bit from the original to bring out more of the robust beef flavor.  The heavy cream smoothes the edges, as the brandy adds a bit of smoky flavor.  It pairs perfectly with a whole tenderloin or individual beef filet.  The little green peppercorns hideout nicely into the sauce until bitten, then a nice little burst of heat shows up.  I like mashed potatoes on the plate to soak up the excess, with a nice dark green vegetable. 

The Sauce

  • 3 Tablespoons of drained green peppercorns
  • ½  cup brandy
  • 2 cups beef stock
  • 1 Tablespoon veal or beef demi glace
  • ½ cup heavy cream

Place the drained peppercorns in a small heavy bottomed saucepan.  Heat the peppercorns on low drying the peppercorns stirring with a wooden spoon.  While drying the peppercorns (for a minute or two) smash a few in the pan so a little of the heat is released into the sauce.  Pour the brandy in the pan and evaporate until all but a few Tablespoons remain.  Add the beef stock and demi glace and simmer to reduce the stock by 1/3.  Add the heavy cream and simmer until sauce coats the back of a spoon.  Keep warm and set aside.

WHOLE BEEF TENDERLOIN

  • 1 whole beef tenderloin, 4-5 pounds cleaned of excess fat and silver lining.
  • ¼ cup EVOO
  • 3 Tablespoons Kosher salt
  • 3 Tablespoons coarse black pepper

Massage the tenderloin with oil on all sides making sure the surface is well coated.  Cover evenly with the salt and pepper.  Be sure the tenderloin is at room temperature before grilling.  Grill on med to med-hi for 20-25 minutes for medium rare.  The thin end of the tenderloin may be medium while the thick end may be rare. 

Grilled Filet Mignon

Grilled Filet Mignon

Tips:  This sauce is great on individual steaks.  Pan seared/ hot roasted filet mignon is wonderful covered in this sauce.  Or, throw one on the grill.  Tenderloin is revered for texture and has very little fat so careful not to overcook.  I shoot for medium rare or rare.  If you start with meat at room temperature the middle is already done.  Well almost but you get the picture.  Throw a spoonful of creamed horseradish in your potatoes for a little extra kick.

If you want to connect with a great fly shop in the Sacramento area, contact Fly Fishing SpecialtiesThey will be glad to help you with local reports, guides and gear.  For a great fishing experience on one of our local rivers, contact Bill Lowe at Bill LoweTight Lines!

The August Bow River Fly Fishing Trip is almost Here!

Bow River Brown

Bow River Brown

 

NORTH BOW LODGE TRIP AUGUST 11-18 2013

Calgary, Alberta

THE BEST OF BOTH WORLDS

From where I sit I can’t think of a better arrangement.  What could be better than cooking with friends at a lodge on one of the best trout waters in North America?  I’ll be guest “cheffing” at the North Bow Lodge right in the middle of hopper season, from August 11th through the 14th.   Then, I too am going fishing, from the 15th through the 18th.  The North Bow Lodge is the only guest lodge on the famous Bow River.   Michele Wheeler and I will be preparing some exciting new dishes to celebrate the great days on the river.  Email ahead for the menu in case you want to bring some special wines.  If you don’t feel like bringing your own wine, for your convenience we will have some recommendations available at the local market to pair nicely with the menu.

The fishing: Float almost 50 miles of the famous Bow River, famous for large trout taking dry flies.  Have a shot at a trophy brown trout that may well exceed 24”’s.  Daily floats can be 10-12 miles long so plan on doing a lot of casting.  The local guides are excellent and can be arranged through the lodge.  This is my 7th year visiting the lodge and fishing the Bow.  I can say without reservation the Bow is my favorite large trout river.  The river has everything, grassy banks, big rocks, riffles, deep pools and feeder streams.  Big foam flies are the order and if you’ve never seen a trout eat a big foam hopper, it’s a thing of beauty.  “God save the queen” is the advice given when asked “how long should I wait before setting the hook?” Speak the words, and then set the hook.  Feels like an eternity.

The food: Going hungry isn’t an option at the North Bow Lodge.  You’ll be eating some great meals freshly prepared, onsite.  Michele insists on the freshest local ingredients available.  Eat hearty breakfasts, fresh baked pastries, desserts, and dinners that rival the best restaurants.  No skimping here but know you’ll need the calories after a long day on the river.  I feel lucky to have my fingers in the pie and be a part of it.  I hope we see you on the trip, share a meal, sip some wine, and tell some stories.  Book early and bring a friend.  If these dates don’t work for you, check for other availability and special events.  Rates start at $1,150 per person for 2 days of guided fishing, 3 night’s food and lodging, double occupancy.  No matter when you come, I promise it will be a wonderful experience.  Take a look online ( North Bow Lodge) at the lodge and get a glimpse of what all the excitement is about.  Contact the lodge directly at info@northbowlodge.com or email me at info@tightlinescafe.com  for more details. Tight Lines!

Bow River Fly Fishing Trip 8/11-8/18

Bow River Brown

Bow River Brown

Calgary, Alberta

THE BEST OF BOTH WORLDS

From where I sit I can’t think of a better arrangement.  What could be better than cooking with friends at a lodge on one of the best trout waters in North America?  I’ll be guest “cheffing” at the North Bow Lodge right in the middle of hopper season, from August 11th through the 14th.   Then, I too am going fishing, from the 15th through the 18th.  The North Bow Lodge is the only guest lodge on the famous Bow River.   Michelle Wheeler and I will be preparing some exciting new dishes to celebrate the great days on the river.  Email ahead for the menu in case you want to bring some special wines.  If you don’t feel like bringing your own wine, for your convenience we will have some recommendations available at the local market to pair nicely with the menu.

The fishing: Float almost 50 miles of the famous Bow River, famous for large trout taking dry flies.  Have a shot at a trophy brown trout that may well exceed 24”’s.  Daily floats can be 10-12 miles long so plan on doing a lot of casting.  The local guides are excellent and can be arranged through the lodge.  This is my 7th year visiting the lodge and fishing the Bow.  I can say without reservation the Bow is my favorite large trout river.  The river has everything, grassy banks, big rocks, riffles, deep pools and feeder streams.  Big foam flies are the order and if you’ve never seen a trout eat a big foam hopper, it’s a thing of beauty.  “God save the queen” is the advice given when asked “how long should I wait before setting the hook?” Speak the words, and then set the hook.  Feels like an eternity.

The food: Going hungry isn’t an option at the North Bow Lodge.  You’ll be eating some great meals freshly prepared, onsite.  Michelle insists on the freshest local ingredients available.  Eat hearty breakfasts, fresh baked pastries, desserts, and dinners that rival the best restaurants.  No skimping here but know you’ll need the calories after a long day on the river.  I feel lucky to have my fingers in the pie and be a part of it.  I hope we see you on the trip, share a meal, sip some wine, and tell some stories.  Book early and bring a friend.  If these dates don’t work for you, check for other availability and special events.  Rates start at $1,150 per person for 2 days of guided fishing, 3 night’s food and lodging, double occupancy.  No matter when you come, I promise it will be a wonderful experience.  Take a look online ( North Bow Lodge) at the lodge and get a glimpse of what all the excitement is about.  Contact the lodge directly at info@northbowlodge.com or email me at info@tightlinescafe.com  for more details. Tight Lines!

Gluten Free Meatballs with Rustic Marinara

Meatballs and Marinara

Meatballs and Marinara

SIMPLE MARINARA

  • ¼ CUP EVOO
  • 15 CLOVES OF GARLIC PEELED AND SPLIT LENGTHWISE
  • 5 LBS OF FRESH OR CANNED CRUSHED ROMA TOMATOES
  • 1 TABLSESPOON OF DRIED OREGANO
  • 10 LARGE FRESH BASIL LEAVES SLICED INTO THIN RIBBONS
  • SEA SALT AND BLACK PEPPER TO TASTE

Heat a heavy saucepan on low and add the EVOO and split garlic cloves.  Slowly brown the garlic being careful not to burn.  When the garlic is softened add the crushed tomatoes.  Simmer for approximately 30 minutes and then add the oregano.  Simmer for another 30 minutes to an hour until the sauce has reduced by ¼.  If you like a rustic sauce (with tomato chunks and garlic pieces), whisk by hand until the tomato pieces and garlic start to break apart.  If you like a smoother sauce, run the sauce through a food mill.  This will strain out any seeds and fibrous material you may want out of the sauce.  If you want to leave everything in the sauce, put the sauce in a blender or a food processor.  Return to the heavy pan and add the basil just before serving.  If you’re having meatballs, I like to put them in the marinara about 30 minutes before serving to “marry” the flavors.  Fresh tomatoes are best but good quality processed tomatoes give you the chance to make this sauce year round.  This sauce freezes well so make a lot.  If the sauce is too “acidic”, add a pinch of sugar.  Add some freshly grated parmesan and serve over pasta.   

Tips: Try a few pinches of lemon zest to brighten the tomato flavor. If you’re using canned or processed tomatoes use a quality brand like “Pomi” that come in a box or a jar.  Good processed tomatoes cost more but the better the tomato product the better the sauce.  Keep it gluten free and try brown rice pasta.

Gluten Free Meatballs

  • 2 lbs ground beef 80-85% lean to fat ratio
  • 1 lb ground pork
  • 1 lb ground veal
  • 1 medium onion fine dice
  • ½ bunch of fresh finely chopped parsley leaves
  • 3 large eggs beaten
  • 4 cloves crushed garlic
  • 4 Tablespoons crushed tomatoes
  • 1 cup of grated Grand Padano or Reggiano Parmesan cheese
  • 1 Tablespoon of red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon of cracked black pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon of Italian seasoning
  •  2 teaspoons of sea salt

Preheat the oven to 350F.  Line a 12” X 18” sheet pan with foil and add a flat pan rack and spray or wipe with olive oil. In a large mixing bowl add the meat, eggs, onion, parsley, garlic and crushed tomato.  Mix well.  In a separate bowl combine the cheese and spices.  Slowly add the cheese mixture to the meat mixture combining the two until well blended.  Shape into large meat balls about 4 or 5 to the pound ending up with about 20 meatballs.  Place evenly on the pan rack.  Bake the meatballs for 50 minutes to an hour depending on size.  Place gently in the marinara.  Serve with fresh grated cheese over pasta. 

Tips:  If the meat is too lean the meatballs will be dry.  Be sure to leave some fat in the ground meat.  If you like spicy meatballs, kick up the pepper flakes and cayenne.  Try spraying some olive oil on the outside of the meatballs for a little extra crust.