The last post was surf so of course this one had to be turf. You just gotta love a good surf and turf  combination. When ever I come up with a new idea I have to get it tested. Some poor soul has to be my guinea pig or how would I know if I have a flop or a winner?

Have the monkeys be my guinea pigs you say. Ummm…have I mentioned how taste testing phobic they are? Ever since  Monkey One discovered that I slipped him flounder once and told him it was chicken instead, my deceptive goose has been cooked.  He was also a wise big brother and passed the word on to Monkey Two.

My darlin’ surfer of course is a willing guinea pig but I need more than his opinion, he is biased ya know. Therefore my guinea pig is my dear friend Tammy. This time rather than just bringing by the completed test subject for Tammy to enjoy, I conducted my cooking experiment in her kitchen. This experiment was beef and Gorgonzola pockets with a red wine sauce and dollop of fig preserves.

The first picture up top is how I have envisioned my pockets for weeks. The second is what I made for Tammy because as usual I goofed and bought the wrong puffed pastry. I know, I know… when do I not have an oops in the kitchen. Oh well no biggie, it always works out in the end. You have to roll with it baby and go with the flow. Of course the insta-shells are easier than cutting your own pastry pockets but I like to do things the hard way. On the way home I bought the correct pastry and made a second batch for my darlin’. Here is the recipe for how you can make both.

Beef & Gorgonzola Pockets Topped with Fig

What you will need…

1 good sized sirloin steak

1 package of yummy Gorgonzola

1 jar of Fig Preserves

1 box of Puff Pastry (six shells)-Thawed

1 box of Puff Pastry (two sheets)-Thawed

2 shallots

1/2 cup red wine (bold or Madeira) as you can see I used Shiraz

1/4 cup beef broth

1 tsp soy sauce

2 tsp butter

1 1/2 tsp cornstarch

2 tsp hot water

1 egg

2 tsp olive oil

First Prep Work:

1. Cut the sirloin into bite size pieces and remove any fat (if you like)

2. If you are going the easy route preheat the oven to 400 and bake the insta-shells for approx. 25 minutes on a nonstick baking sheet or a baking dish that has been treated with cooking spray. Make sure that they are thawed.

3. If you are like me and like to do things the hard way go ahead and get your pastry ready. Sprinkle some flour on a flat surface and rub some flour on a rolling pin. Take one of the thawed pastry sheets and roll it out as much as possible. Be sure not to roll it out too thin. No I did not roll mine out on fabric. There is a cutting board underneath.

4. Finely dice the shallots.

This dish will actually go pretty quickly from here. You can do all of this at the same time in two different sauce pans. If that makes you nervous and you feel the need to hyperventilate into a brown paper bag just at my mentioning the idea, start with the beef.

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet on medium high heat. Add the shallots and let them cook for about two minutes then add the beef. The beef should sizzle when it first touches or the skillet is not hot enough. Cook until tender and with just a tiny bit of pink left.

If you haven’t hyperventilated go ahead and start your wine sauce in another medium sized skillet.

Red Wine Sauce

Prep: Mix the cornstarch and water in a bowl and set aside.

1. On medium heat add the butter first and let it melt completely.

2. Add the wine to the butter and let simmer for approx. 3 minutes.

3. Add the broth and the soy sauce let simmer for another couple of minutes.

*At this point if the meat is not done cooking yet turn the mixture down on low until just before the meat (and insta-shells come out of the oven). Timing is a wonderful thing when working with sauces. If the meat and shells are done turn the heat back to medium and continue.*

4. Add the cornstarch mixture and stir continuously until well blended and remove from the heat.

Try not to get distracted and add the cornstarch unmixed straight into your wine sauce or you will get lumps like I did. I couldn’t help it, I was getting a kick out of mine and Tammy’s four monkeys having an adventure in Turtle Hunting. See…

It is also why you do not have any step by step photos for the sauce. I apologize but the elbow length orange gloves, muddy legs and box turtles had me enthralled.

Okay back to building pockets of yummy, delicious, goodness.

Puff Pastry Sheet

Prep: In a bowl crack open the egg and whisk for the egg wash.

1. Cut the pastry into approx. 3 x 3 squares ( about the size of a blackberry). Place approx. 1 tbsp of beef, 1 tsp of cheese and 1 tsp of wine sauce on the pastry.

2. Brush around the edges with the egg wash.

3. Cover with another square of pastry and smooth around the edges so that the two pieces of pastry stick together.

4. Brush the entire square with egg wash.

One pastry sheet will make approx. 7-9 squares depending on the size.

Bake until golden brown approx. 15-20 minutes at 425 degrees. Add a dollop of Fig Preserves if you like to try something new and different. If not add a dollop of the wine sauce instead. Sprinkle with Gorgonzola and Taa-Daa, yummy, delicious, goodness. These are indeed perfect Little Bites of Goodness. They TICKLED my taste buds all the way to my toes.

Insta-Shells

Once they are done baking remove the pop tops and the centers.

1. Fill the shells with beef

2. Add about 1 tsp of sauce and 1 tsp of Gorgonzola

3. Pop the filled shells back into the oven for approx. 3-4 minutes to heat the cheese up.

Even though these were just as yummy and delicious, the shells are a little to much bread for that one bite perfection. That was the taste testing consensus of my lovely guinea pig Tammy and of course myself.

I hope that you will enjoy making these as much as Tammy and I did. Thanks again Tammy for always being my guinea pig 🙂 It’s so much more fun cooking with a friend in the kitchen.

PS: Your kitchen has spectacular lighting! I will be moving all future cooking experiments to your house asap 🙂

Tickled Red

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