I have to admit that probably in my top three reasons of why I love the holiday season food will come up. You knew that though, right? I mean think about it–from baked sweets to simmering roasts there’s nothing quite as savorful as indulging on everything the holiday season has to offer. For the next four weeks I am going to share with you some scrumptious beef recipes from appetizers to main course meals all not only so I can make your tastebuds tingle, but also so you’ll have some ideas on how to entertain your own guests, family or friends.
This week is all about appetizers! Boy are you going to LOVE what I’ve got in store for you:
2 boneless beef top loin (strip) steaks (about 1-1/4 pounds)
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1-1/2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
12 slices thin white sandwich bread, crusts removed
1-1/2 teaspoons coarse grind black pepper
4 ounces garlic-herb cheese spread, slightly softened
prepared balsamic syrup
24 small arugula leaves
Directions: Heat oven to 350°F. Combine Parmesan cheese and flour in small bowl; toss to mix well. Spray baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray. Sprinkle Parmesan mixture evenly into 8-inch circle on baking sheet. Bake in center of 350°F oven 6 to 8 minutes or until melted and light brown. Cool 2 minutes on baking sheet, then remove to wire rack to cool completely. Break into 24 irregular-shaped pieces. Set aside.
Cut each bread slice diagonally in half. Place in single layer on baking sheet. Bake in 350°F oven about 6 minutes or until lightly toasted but not brown. Set aside.
Press pepper evenly onto beef steaks. Heat large nonstick skillet over medium heat until hot. Place steaks in skillet; cook top loin steaks 12 to 15 minutes (tenderloin steaks 10 to 13 minutes) for medium rare to medium doneness, turning occasionally. Carve steaks into thin slices; season with salt.
Meanwhile, spread 1 teaspoon cheese onto each bread piece; top with 2 to 3 steak slices. Drizzle balsamic syrup over beef; top with Parmesan crisp and arugula leaf.
They were so good that my boys scarfed ’em down as fast as I could put them together.
They smelled so great that my husband actually got off World of Warcrack to eat dinner with us.
Here’s how I mixed up the recipe a little bit:
- I did not cut the crusts off my bread. Doing so will make your appetizers prettier, but I hate wasting food. Plus, I tell my kids that all the vitamins are in the crust and that’s what gets them to eat bread crust…don’t want to get them to stop now…
- I toasted the bread in the toaster, rather than the oven. Saved time.
- We used a 9 grain bread instead of white. I don’t think it really matters. You could probably even use rye bread which will taste great with the peppered beef and arugula leaves.
- I did not have balsamic vinegar on hand to make the prepared balsamic syrup, so I used tarragon wine vinegar instead and two tablespoons molasses, simmered for 5 minutes. You could probably use apple cider vinegar. No need to buy something you might only use once when you can substitute something else just as easily.
- My kids ended up making sandwiches with the appetizers, because they are easier for little hands to eat that way.
During the next four weeks I (as well as nine other Texas Beef-loving Bloggers) will be featuring dishes from the Texas Beef Council to help you get cooking this Holiday season.
Be sure to join us on Tuesday evening, December 13 from 8p to 9p CST for the “Beef Tweet Exchange”! We’ll be featuring great tips and information to help you create the perfect holiday menu! Follow hostess @TexasHolly for all the details. We will be joined by experts from the Texas Beef Council – Chef Tiffany, Jason the Butcher and Nutrition Expert Lerin – who will be available to answer all your questions. Over 20 prizes will be awarded, including a Tom Perini Fully-Cooked Tenderloin Roast, a $100 gift card, and a variety of beef items like a “Beef. It’s What’s for Dinner” apron, a meat thermometer, a cutting board and steak seasonings! Giveaway open to U.S. residents only. All winners will be chosen at random from those using the #TxBeef hashtag during the event. Let us know that you’re planning to attend by tweeting @TxBeef! Hope to see you there!
Disclosure: I am participating in a four week campaign promoting Texas beef and am being compensated for my efforts. All opinions are my own. Recipes are courtesy the Texas Beef Council.