How I impressed myself, it isn’t too hard to do.

14 02 2007

I didn’t sleep too well on Sunday night.  The idea of ruining a very expensive cut of meat was weighing heavily on my mind.  I mentioned to Karen my idea for Valentines day Monday morning and (as usual) she suggested some improvements.  How unlike her.  They were actually good ideas, and I implemented them grudgingly.

Thanks to old man winter, Karen had Tuesday afternoon and all day Wednesday off, so we decided to have V-day dinner Tuesday night after the kids went to bed.  That way could enjoy a leisurely dinner without worrying about bedtime.  Which was good, since dinner started at 9:30. 

Let it first be said that Karen trimmed the roast for me.  I don’t want to take credit for everything.

Have I told you Alton Brown is king?  He presented an impossible-to-ruin tenderloin roast recipe on “Tender is the Loin 2,” and I followed it with one minor alteration.  Instead of seasoning the roast with cumin, I used thyme (at Karen’s suggestion).  There are only three main parts to this method: Season, Sear, Roast.  And you must eat tenderloin medium-rare, it’s the law.  Here’s me searing the meat:


Alton and I disagree on so few things, but final roasting temperature is one of them.  He says pull from the oven at 135, we do it at 140-143 and we like it better that way.  It does carry over a bit, and the results were pleasantly pink.


Remember that soup from my first post?  Well I made it again with some modifications.  I didn’t use the crostini and I changed the mushrooms from creminis to morels.  Thank you to Mario Batali for the soup, it went perfectly with dinner.

Who really cares about dinner when there’s a dessert with Bailey’s in the ice cream, Kahlua in the brownies, and chocolate sprinkled on top?  Please visit Pinch my Salt for this wonderful recipe, the results were stellar.


One word: Wow.

 Click more for the soup recipe.

Mushroom Soup Recipe 

This is a very easy soup to make, I am surprised it tastes so good.  It’s certainly not a meal unto itself, but it complements meat dishes very well, and I think it would be good for a soup and sandwich night too.  Anyway, here it is:


  • 1 lb. of button or cremini mushrooms (or one 1 oz. package of dried mushrooms)
  • 1 small onion or shallot, chopped fine
  • 4 cups of chicken stock (I used store bought)
  • Handful of flat Italian parsley, chopped fine
  • 1 tsp. Extra virgin olive oil

Separate the mushrooms into stems and caps; chop the stems coarsely and slice the caps thin.  Heat the oil over medium high heat and add the onion, mushroom stems, and parsley.  Sweat the aromatics until the onions are translucent.  Add the stock and bring to a boil.  Add the mushroom caps and simmer for 20 minutes. 

I originally had used creminis for this soup and it had such a nice light flavor.  For Valentines day I used dried morels and wow, I cannot overestimate the intense flavor of this soup.  Intense in a good way, it was perfectly delicious.  Mario Batali originally suggested porcini mushrooms in this soup, but they are as hard to find here as morels.  I would love to try it with porcinis.



8 responses

15 02 2007

I’m very proud of you, Mark…Bravo!!! You put a lot of thought and work into this special day and I’m sure Karen appreciates it very much. Oh my goodness, and that dessert???? Are you sure you don’t want to open a restaurant??? Very impressed.

15 02 2007

It was an outstanding dinner, and probably does not belong under the “Mark Ruins Dinner” heading! Now I think he’s set a dangerous precedent…I will be expecting food of this caliber more often now! 😉
And many thanks to “Pinch My Salt” for a truly amazing dessert recipe!

15 02 2007

You guys should be getting royalties from “Pinch My Salt”, Alton Brown Mario Batali and Gordon Ramsay…I feel like saying, “Now a word from our sponsor!” hehe.

15 02 2007

Just trying not to get sued, Shelly. Don’t want people thinking these were my ideas.

15 02 2007

Very smart man

15 02 2007

I am glad that Karen was so gracious; Rhoda & I went out to dinner; at a fine restaurant and spend a lot of money on a meal that honestly did not taste as good as your’s sounded. Way to go Mark. Maybe one day I will be able to make salad without burning it. LOL.

17 02 2007

Wow! Great job on the dessert, it’s beautiful!!

13 08 2007

Wow that dessert looks amazing!!!!

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