Sunday, June 8, 2008

Beef Tenderloin Bites on a bed of Arugula

This is another Rachael Ray recipe. I know I've voiced my frustrations with RR before, but for some reason I'm always willing to give her a chance. I get many meal ideas from watching 30 Minute Meals, and I did buy a trial copy of her magazine, Everyday with Rachael Ray (I'll post a review soon). However, one of my biggest issues with RR is that her 30 Minute Meals rarely take 30 minutes; I've tried a number of them and they all take much longer--at least an hour! Granted, she's much faster with a knife than I am, and I am convinced that during the commercial breaks one of her interns runs in and switches her baking dinner in the oven or broiler with an already completed meal.

However, RR is growing on me. She'll never reach my level of adoration for Giada or Ina (partly because her personality can be so abraisive), but slowly she's going from abhore to dislike to tolerable. Tonight's dinner helps her case because it was really simple, delicious, AND was finished in under 30 minutes! This meal came from the RR cookbook my mom gave me for Christmas a few years ago, and I'd always meant to try it out but never got around to it.

These were really tender and delicious. I was honestly surprised by how easy these were to prepare. Graham loved them and has already requested that they make more appearances in our weekly/monthly rotation. I had to make some changes, but check my Notes below for that.

Beef Tenderloin Bites

1 & 1/2 cujps Italian-style bread crumbs
Handful of fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, chopped
1/2 cup graded Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 or 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
4 tenderloin steaks, 1 inch thick, cut into bite-sized pieces
5 to 6 cups arugula, chopped
Juice of 1 lemon
Salt and pepper

Preheat the broiler.

Mix the bread crumbs with parsley and cheese. Warm the olive oil and garlic over low heat for 5 minutes to infuse the oil with flavor. Pour the oil and garlic into the bread-crumb mixture and combine with a spatula to distribute equally and moisten the bread crumbs.

Season the meat with salt and pepper, then toss the meat in the bread-crumb mixture to coat evenly. Spread the meat on a baking sheet or broiler pan and place under the broiler until the coating is crisp and the meat is tender-about 6 to 7 minutes.

While the meat is under the broiler, dress the arugula with a drizzle of olive oil, lemon juice, and salt and pepper to taste. Toss to coat well. Serve the beef on the bed of arugula. Serves 4.

Notes:
  • I halved this recipe since there are only two of us, and there was still plenty left over. This easily could have served three people.
  • I didn't have Italian-style bread crumbs, just "plain". I added a palmful or two of dried oregano, basil, and rosemary and tossed.
  • I didn't add the cheese to these since Graham doesn't like melted cheese. I'm thinking that next time I'll add the cheese anyway and we can pick and choose which ones we want.
  • I can never find RR's cheese of choice (Parmigiana-Reggiano) at the grocery store. I typically substitute mozzarella or parmesean cheese or a mixture of both in her recipes.
  • I actually had to use my grill pan to make these since we don't have a broiler pan. I've heard you can use a cookie sheet and cooling rack to substitute for a broiler pan, but I was afraid our cooling racks would warp in the broiler. It wasn't too bad, but I definitely need to pick up a broiler pan because there's a lot I can do in the broiler, especially during the summer.
  • We didn't have arugula, so I used some leftover baby spinach leaves instead. They don't have the "bite" arugula does, but I wasn't about to run out and get something else when we had leftover spinach leaves just sitting in the fridge!

2 comments:

  1. I saw the 30 Minute Meal episode where she made these. Good to know that it was quick and easy to make. I may try it out! How does the meat turn out following those directions, rare, medium rare, medium well?

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  2. Whoa, good question! I actually didn't think too much about it when I started cooking; when I flipped them, I thought, "Hmm...I wonder..."

    I prefer my meat medium-well, so I left them on a little longer than the recipe required, probably about 10 minutes. I would say that had I followed the recipe, they would have been a nice, solid medium--but that also depends on your oven/broiler!

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