I went to Jennifer’s culinary school yesterday for lunch for the second time. Occasionally they can invite guests in exchange for a bottle of wine. The menu was an asparagus and fava bean salad, Beef Wellington and Crepe Suzette for dessert.
Beef Wellington is one of those things probably most people have heard of but I had no idea what it was. It sounds old, stuffy and English. In reality, it’s a complete beef tenderloin covered in foie gras, rolled in sliced mushrooms and finally wrapped in a dough and baked. It sounded laborious to cook; you sear the meat and then fully chill it before wrapping it and cooking it inside the dough. But the results are well worth it – it was an awesome dish.
Marie, the school founder explained that Beef Wellington is a classic dish that was an example of the very best. It uses the best cut of beef, expensive foie gras, the best dough and it takes a long time to prepare and cook. Apparently pre-early-70s, the dish was cut and served table-side (like many dishes) but that approach was phased out because it often delivered cold food (I didn’t understand why that would be the case?)
Both the salad and dessert were equally tasty. The fava beans were lightly pureed into the consistency of a chunky guacamole and served on top of the asparagus. The crepes had a Brandy flambe at the end. It was entertaining to watch the students over-cautiously try to light it without setting themselves on fire. No Michael Jacksons at this lunch.
Sometimes it’s better to not see your food prepared; the crepes started out by melting 1/2lb of butter in this ~16″ deep dish pan. It’s not really a secret why French-style food is so tasty… it anesthetizes your arteries with each bite!