Category Archives: Recipes

Sauce for Wellington

So in my excitement to post about the 2010 Beef Wellington Extravaganza, I forgot to mention the sauce I made to go with it.   I have to share…its really good.

Joy of Cooking recommended several different recipes for sauce to go along with the beef, including a mushroom wine sauce.  I used that recipe as my jumping off point.

First, you want to use the pot that you used to sear the beef roast: all the flavor and-  I’ll say it- the fat will provide a great base for the sauce.  Next, chop up about 2 cups of mushrooms and 1 medium sized shallot.

Mushrooms and butter...mmmmmmm

Melt a couple tablespoons of butter in the pot and then toss in the chopped mushrooms and shallots and some kosher salt.   Saute them for a few minutes then add in a few tablespoons of the duxelles that you reserved and a couple tablespoons of Madeira.  You KNEW that duxelles would come in handy, didn’t you!?

Cooking down the mushrooms

After a couple more minutes, add a few cups of chicken stock.  I tossed in about 2 1/2 cups…it was all that was left in the fridge!  Now, let it cook and cook stirring occasionally until its cooked down and thickened.  The beauty is that you can turn the heat way down and leave it on the stove until your roast is ready…just make sure you stir it every so often.

I added some more butter (shameless) and a little black pepper toward the end of cooking.  I just kept tasting the sauce and adding to taste.  It made a gravy-boat-full of sauce….that’s the metric system.

It was fantastic with the beef wellington, buttery and with the same deep flavors of the roast.  Also the mushrooms stay firm and are great secretly plucked out of the gravy boat and eaten with the wellington and any sides you make to go with it.

NOTE: I feel like this recipe is pretty much the standard approach to many sauces:  Deglazing the pan you cooked meat in, adding flavors (mushrooms/shallots) and then adding liquid (stock/Madeira) and reducing down.

I apologize for the lack of a “finished product” picture….it got devoured pretty quickly.  Consider that an endorsement!

More soon…I apologize for the brief hiatus!

Calling all Casseroles!

“I refuse to believe that trading recipes is silly. Tuna fish casserole is at least as real as corporate stock.”

– writer Barbara Grizzuti Harrison

Broccoli Casserole, image from Cooking Light Magazine

In order to stay true to my roots in flyover country, I included “a casserole” on my list of 30 recipes.  It was intentionally vague.   I have a limited casserole experience and even less casserole knowledge.  Yet, the casserole is a pillar of life in flyover country.  Having at least one delicious casserole recipe in my repertoire will be a right of passage for me.

A casserole, technically, is pieces of meat or poultry and vegetables baked with a binding starch and some form of liquid, often accompanied by a crunchy topping.  It is different from a stew because you bake it rather than cook over heat on a stove top.

The problem is, I don’t have any tried and true, delicious casserole recipes.  My mom occasionally made the one with scalloped potatoes and ham, but few others.

Confession: I didn’t eat green bean casserole until I was in college.  We never had it….ever.  No, it was not even part of the Thanksgiving regalia.  SECRET: I don’t really even like it.

The infamous green bean casserole, absent from my childhood home.

The goal is to make a casserole on Sunday evening.  Sunday is the four+ hour LOST finale extravaganza, so I will be out of the kitchen and on the couch. Perfect night for a casserole!!  SO– I’m soliciting your recipes and suggestions.

What is the best casserole you’ve ever had?  Is there a recipe that puts all other casseroles to shame?  Are there <gasp!> gourmet casseroles out there?

And include the story.  Is this the tater tot casserole your mom makes when you come home?  Is it the tuna casserole your spouse begs you to cook?  Is it the recipe off the back of a soup can label?

** Leave me a suggestion in the comments or email me at  Thanks in advance for sharing!