I want to start by saying thank you so much for your support of this new series. The first Cooking With Stanley from last week
is doing really well and there was so much excitement around it. I love that because I'm really enjoying everything about these posts and I was hoping you guys would too. For the second week of meals, we said goodbye to pasta and brought on the meat and potatoes. I had originally planned to make three recipes for this dinner but ended up only managing two. You'll probably laugh and judge me when you see why but hopefully I'll get some tips out of my amateur cooking skills.
Cooking With Stanley Week 2 Menu
Appetizer: Cremini Mushroom and Bean Soup
Main Dish: Beef Tenderloin with Prosciutto
Attempted Side: Mashed Potato and Artichokes
This was an all-around really great meal. It was a hit with everyone and as far as the main dish and side go, the recipe was definitely used as a guide rather than step-by-step tutorial. We drank red wine with this meal and it paired beautifully. Unfortunately, I was in a bit of a bad mood by the time we sat down for dinner and I forgot to write down the name of the wine. Next time, I'll make sure to note the details so I can share them. My aunt made easy brownies for dessert which were amazing. I love her brownies and I loved that I didn't make them myself. Believe me, when you cook so often, the last thing you want to do is make everyone dessert too. Especially if you don't have an efficiency for baking.
Getting to the food, let's start with the appetizer. I followed the Cremini Mushroom and Bean Soup recipe perfectly and man was it good. I wasn't expecting to love this soup because it has a lot of mushrooms. I was perfectly happy eating this for lunch every day that week. It was so full of flavor. It pairs well with grilled cheese or a simple slice of Italian bread. The instructions leave some room for improvisation which was nice. I used pinto beans that I soaked overnight and added extra veggies so it was a thicker soup but used only half the amount of onion. My Noni isn't a big onion person so I cut back if if I can when I know she's going to be eating with us.
The Beef Tenderloin with Prosciutto was delicious. I had slim pickings for the tenderloin at my grocery store when I went shopping. The shelves were practically bare from the holidays just being over. It was pretty sad. There were only two tenderloins to choose from and I wasn't going to be that person and take them both. So I took the larger of the two which was still a pound smaller than what I was supposed to use. This just fed my family. We could have used a larger one or maybe I should have just bought the second. My Noni and I carefully orchestrated the wrapping of the tenderloin in prosciutto. Let me tell you, that baby looked really good raw. We placed it on a cooling rack in a roasting pan with vegetables underneath. Now, let me explain why potatoes were included because they were definitely not supposed to be there...
Which leads me to the story of the attempted side, Mashed Potato and Artichokes. In full disclosure, I decided to purchase two whole artichokes because I didn't read Stanley's intro all the way. If I did, I would have seen that I could have bought canned hearts or bottoms. So, here I am at home attempting to peel an artichoke. Needless to say, it didn't go well. In a few weeks, I'll have a bloopers post where I'll go into more detail but for now, I'll just let you know that the Mashed Potato and Artichokes recipes was not made. Instead, we threw the chopped potatoes in the roasting pan with the rest of the veggies, added a little chicken stock so they weren't so dry and called it a day. I have no doubt that when I make the Mashed Potato and Artichokes another day, it will be delicious. I just won't play the expert and buy whole artichokes. I'm going canned all the way.
So what do you think? Do any of these dishes sound tasty to you? The soup was definitely my favorite. The tenderloin was delicious too. Next week, I'll tell you about how I found out I might possibly have a shellfish allergy. I'm still not sure...
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