This was something I just knew was going to be good.  Tri-tip steaks, mashed potatoes, braised arugula…  all with a twist…

This started as a mashed potato idea yesterday…  A variation on a Duchess Potato with a big dollop of goat cheese in the center and then baked.  I had thought of several different cheeses, from brie to cheddar and just about everything else, but the goat cheese just kept calling my name.  In time, I may try different cheeses, but for tonight, the goat cheese won.  And it really was a winner!

I didn’t make a classic duchess… I made my normal lumpy skin-on mashed potatoes but used creme fraiche instead of milk.

I used an ice cream scoop and put a couple of hefty scoops of potatoes on a baking sheet and then placed a thick slice of garlic and herb chevre right in the center.  I put them into a 425° oven for about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, there were tri-tip steaks to pan-fry.  Tri-tips are great.  Tender and juicy.  They have finally started appearing on eastern shelves.  They’ve been a western cut forever… Salt, pepper, and garlic.  They didn’t need anything else.

The arugula went into a skillet with a pat of butter and a bit of salt and pepper. It didn’t need anything else, either.  Cooked arugula is one of my most favorite vegetables.  Yes, boys and girls, it can be used for more than salads!  It’s just like spinach – only better.

And then the Bearnaise…

I cheat.  I make blender bearnaise.  But it is still really good.

Béarnaise Sauce

  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 1 tsp dry tarragon (or 1 tbsp fresh)
  • Pinch black pepper
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1 stick butter
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 tbsp tarragon vinegar

Place shallot, tarragon, pepper, and wine in small saucepan.  Reduce to about 1 1/2 tablespoons of liquid.  Strain.

Melt the butter, keeping it hot.

Add egg yolks and tarragon vinegar to blender.  Mix.  With blender running at high speed, slowly dribble in the hot butter.  When butter is all added, whirl in the wine reduction.

I make blender hollandaise, as well…

It just worked on every level.  Besides being really visually appealing – I love layering things – the flavors all worked well together.

I can see lots of variations on this with chicken breasts or pork tenderloins…  a mushroom sauce…

Yeah…  the old gray cells are working overtime on this one…