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Christmas dinner 2013

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas.
We did.
Of course, the best part is having all my loves home with me!

o christmas tree

For Christmas Eve, we brought back a tradition we began last year (when I had a fractured pelvis and could not stand up in the kitchen to cook) and we once again had blue cheese fondue. We are all in love with the new simple, fun, and communal approach to a special family meal. The kids voted that we add in chocolate fondue for dessert in 2014. Dave and I made that vote unanimous.

2013 Christmas table

This was our Christmas day tablescape.

glitter L

For our Christmas day dinner, the main course was something I taught at Les Gourmettes, individual beef Wellingtons.

beef tenderloin

You’ll notice that some of the photos below were taken while I was prepping for that class.


I purchased a full beef tenderloin and cut it into 16 pieces. This was the most economical way to feed a crowd.

16 steaks

For our holiday meal, I purchased already cut filet mignon.

individual beef wellington

Individual Beef Wellingtons with Mustard Crème Fraiche

2 sheets puff pastry (1 package)
1 tablespoon olive oil, plus more for drizzling
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 large shallot, peeled and diced
1/2 pound white mushrooms, stemmed and finely chopped
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
Salt and freshly black ground pepper
1/4 cup dry sherry
6 filet mignon steaks, cut 1-inch thick (about 4 ounces each)
8 ounces purchased pâté
1 large egg, lightly beaten with 1 tablespoon water

1  1/2 tablespoons whole-grain Dijon mustard
1/2 cup crème fraiche

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat mat.

add sherry

Heat a small skillet over medium heat. Add the olive oil and the butter. When the butter melts, add the shallot, mushrooms, and thyme. Cook for 4 to 5 minutes or until most of the liquid has been released and cooked off, then season with salt and pepper; add the sherry.  Cook off the liquid until dry, about 1 to 2 minutes.


Remove from the heat, transfer to a plate or baking sheet and set aside to cool completely.

sear beef

Heat a large nonstick skillet over high heat.  Drizzle olive oil over the steaks to lightly coat it on both sides. Place the meat in the hot skillet and sear to caramelize, 2 minutes on each side, do not crowd the pan, sear in batches if necessary. Remove the meat and let cool completely. Pat the steaks dry and season with salt and pepper just before wrapping them in the dough.

4 squares

Open the puff pastry dough, roll out 1 sheet slightly, then quarter the dough with a sharp knife. Place puff pastry rectangles on the prepared baking sheet.


Cut the pâté evenly into 6 portions. On 1 rectangle, mound one-sixth of the cooked mushrooms.

egg wash

Top the mushrooms with a portion of pâté.

top with steaks

Now top each with a steak and brush the edges of the dough with egg wash.

bottom side

Wrap the dough up and over the meat, sealing it with egg wash and tucking in the ends as you would a wrapped present.

brush with egg

Repeat and arrange all four Wellingtons on a baking sheet, smooth side up.

Open the second sheet of puff pastry dough, roll out slightly, then quarter the dough with a sharp knife. Two of these rectangles will be used to repeat the “wrapped present” process with the remaining mushrooms, pâté, and steaks. Repeat the process to make 2 more Wellingtons. The last two rectangles of puff pastry will be used as decorations for your individual Wellingtons.

4 wellingtons

Use a small holly cookie cutter and cut 12 holly leaves from the remaining two rectangles of pastry. Then roll 18 little balls for the holly berries, and attach all leaves and berries, as shown.


Brush all six of the Wellingtons again with the egg wash and bake until golden, 12 to 15 minutes. Remove the meat from the oven and let rest for 5 minutes before serving.

While the meat cooks, whisk together the mustard and crème fraiche together in a small bowl. Serve a dollop on the side of each Wellington.

individual beef wellington

Serves 6

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1 Tram Mai { 12.27.13 at 10:26 AM }

Both beautiful and delectable!! xoxo

2 Marissa { 12.27.13 at 3:21 PM }


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