Cooking a meal for two does not have to be time-consuming, boring or expensive. You can prepare a delicious, restaurant-quality meal at home in less time than you think. These recipes are perfectly proportioned, so there is no waste. And with these simple ingredients, you won’t break the bank. Grab a glass of wine and start cooking!
Remove beef from oven and transfer to a platter; cover with foil and keep warm. Transfer skillet back to stove over medium heat. Add shallots and sauté until soft. Add wine and cook until reduced by half and starting to thicken. Remove skillet from burner and stir in butter to desired sauce thickness. Strain sauce to remove solids. Adjust seasoning if necessary. Slice roast and garnish with fresh oregano. Serve with sauce.
Ancho Coffee-Rubbed Chateaubriand
- 1 1-1/2 pound beef tenderloin roast (center cut)
- 1 tablespoon Chef Belinda Turkish Coffee Spice Mix
- 2 tablespoons ground espresso powder
- 1 tablespoon ancho chile powder
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 1⁄4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1⁄2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons chopped shallots 1⁄2 cup red wine
- 2-3 tablespoons butter Fresh oregano, for garnish
Preheat oven to 375°. Tie roast with pieces of kitchen twine one inch apart, to ensure even cooking. In a small bowl combine coffee spice mix, espresso, ancho chile powder, paprika, oregano, cayenne and salt; then add olive oil. Rub roast with spice/oil mixture all over. (Any leftover spice blend can be stored in an airtight container.)
In a cast-iron or ovenproof skillet, over medium-high heat, sear beef on all sides until brown. Transfer to oven and cook to desired doneness –125° for rare, 135° for medium rare, 145° for medium, 150° for medium well, as indicated on an instant-read thermometer.
Chateau Potatoes Serves 2
- 4 white potatoes, peeled
- Kosher salt
- Fresh ground black pepper
- Olive oil
Preheat oven to 400°. Rinse potatoes. Slice off both ends; stand each potato upright on one at end and cut off each side of potatoes to make four at sides. Then slice off each corner, resulting in four 8-sided potatoes.
In a medium pan, over medium-high heat, boil potatoes about 3 minutes. Drain and pat dry. On a shallow baking pan, covered with a silpat or foil, arrange the potatoes on their sides, and sprinkle with salt, pepper and oil. Bake in the preheated oven for 50-60 minutes – turning halfway through the cooking process – until golden brown on all sides. Serve with roast.
Chocolate Chantilly Serves 2
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon caster sugar (or super fine granulated sugar)*
- 7 ounces chocolate (with 70% cocoa), chopped
- 1 tablespoon orange liqueur, such as Triple Sec or Grand Marnier
- Grated chocolate, garnish
- Whipped cream, garnish
Prepare an ice bath by adding ice cubes and water to a large pan. In a medium-sized saucepan, over medium heat, bring cream and sugar to a simmer, stirring to dissolve sugar. Do not allow to boil. Into a medium bowl put chocolate pieces and pour hot cream over it. Stir until chocolate is completely melted and mixture is smooth. Stir in the liqueur and place bowl into ice bath, ensuring that the water does not over ow into the chocolate mixture. Continue stirring the chocolate until thickened to the consistency of whipped cream, 2-3 minutes. Pour into two small serving bowls and refrigerate. Remove from refrigerator 45-60 minutes before serving. Garnish with grated chocolate and whipped cream.
*Make caster sugar by grinding granulated sugar in a food processor until super fine, but not powdered.
Chef Belinda Spices are available at www.chefbelinda.com or at Food Lion and La Dolcé Bakery, Café, and Tea Room, 960 Dougherty Road.
Chef Belinda Smith-Sullivan is a food writer, personal chef, and pilot who enjoys exploring the “off the beaten path” culinary world. Her love of cooking and entertaining motivated her to give up a corporate career to pursue a degree in Culinary Arts from Johnson & Wales University. Now living in Aiken, she currently markets her own spice line called Chef Belinda Spices. She is a member of Les Dames d’Escoffier, Charleston chapter, a philanthropical organization of women in the foodservice industry.