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This week’s challenge had two teams catering two courses for a wedding reception. The first course was a simple Caesar Salad with Goat Cheese Tartlet, and the second course was Filet Mignon and Salmon with Steamed Vegetables, Mashed Potatoes, and Fried Onions. The Red Team served both courses to the Bride’s side and the Blue Team served both to the Groom’s side. Based on both judge and guest feedback about the dishes, the Red Team was declared the winner.
The first course was really simple, especially since I cheated and bought pre-made pastry dough. But I did make the dressing from scratch by using this recipe: Caesar Dressing Recipe. And for the tartlet, I just brushed the pastry dough with olive oil, sprinkled the herb goat cheese over top, and popped it in the oven for 10 minutes. That really was it and it was pretty good. I wasn’t crazy about the dressing but I may have not whisked it enough because it was pretty thin. The tartlet was really good though and it worked well with the salad.
The surf and turf dish was significantly trickier though. Each component was simple enough but there were many different components that needed to end up on the plate. To make this entree, I used the following ingredients (broken down by component):
- Surf and Turf
- 1 6-ounce Filet of Atlantic Salmon
- Salted water for brining
- Juice of 1/2 a Lemon
- Tablespoon of Butter
- Pinch of Dill Weed
- 1 6-ounce Filet Mignon
- 1 Cup of Balsamic Vinegar
- Salt and Pepper to Taste
- Steamed Vegetables
- 2-3 Carrots, Diced
- 1/8 of a Yellow Onion, Chopped
- 1/4 of a Red Bell Pepper, Chopped
- 1 Cup of Spinach (It was supposed to be zucchini but the zucchini I bought at the store was rotten on the inside so I substituted for spinach since I had it on hand)
- 1 Cloves of Garlic, Minced
- Pinch each of Oregano, Sage, Salt, Pepper
- Olive Oil
- Mashed Potatoes
- 1 Pound of Russet Potatoes
- 1/2 Cup of Skim Milk
- 2 Tablespoons of Butter
- Salt and Pepper to Taste
- Fried Onions
- 1/4 of a Yellow Onion
- 1 Egg
- 1 Tablespoon of Skim Milk
- 2-3 Dashes of Hot Sauce
- Bread crumbs, Salt and Pepper
- Oil for Frying
Since there were so many components and I went back and forth between all of them, the easiest way for me to explain how I did each is to go through each component one at a time.
Surf and Turf – First, I seasoned the filet with salt and pepper and put the salmon in some salt water to brine. Then, I started a balsamic reduction to go over the beef. I used this as a guide: How to Make Balsamic Reduction. Then, I pan seared the filet to brown it on all sides and popped it in the oven for a few minutes to finish it off. Then, I made a sauce for the salmon with some melted butter, lemon and dill, and pan seared the salmon (just a couple minutes on each side).
Steamed Vegetables – This was definitely the easiest part. I sautéed the onion, garlic, carrots, red bell pepper, herbs and spices in some olive oil until the carrots were tender. Then, I added in the spinach and let it wilt.
Mashed Potatoes – I skinned and boiled the potatoes until they were cooked through. Then, I mashed them with milk, butter, salt and pepper until smooth. I didn’t measure the milk (which was stupid) and accidentally put too much in. They were still good but a little thin for my taste.
Fried Onions – To prep, I sliced up part of an onion, mixed egg, milk and hot sauce together, and stirred up the bread crumbs with some salt and pepper. Then, I just dredged the onions in the egg mixture followed by the bread crumb mixture and threw them into hot oil for a few minutes until they were crispy.
Overall, everything tasted great. My mashed potatoes were a little thin and the fried onions were too salty, but the steak and veggies were perfect. The steak with balsamic reduction is actually one of my favorite things I’ve made for this blog. All in all, a perfect Sunday dinner.