Lorena Garcia, author of "Lorena's New Latin Classics," stopped by THE TALK to share some of her Latin recipes with a modern and fresh twist.
BLUE CHEESE-CRUSTED BEEF TENDERLOIN with PASSION FRUIT DEMI-GLAZE
For the Beef Fillets:
1 cup crumbled blue cheese
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
4 6 to 8 ounce, 1½ to 2 inch thick beef tenderloin fillets
½ teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon freshly gound black pepper
2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
For the Passion Fruit Demi-Glaze:
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
½ pound porcini or cremini mushrooms, stemmed and thinly sliced
1½ shallots, very finely chopped
6 garlic cloves, very finely minced
1 cup Simplified Red Wine Demi-Glaze (see below)
½ cup passion fruit juice
¼ cup agave syrup
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1. Before cooking the fillets, make a blue cheese butter. Place the blue cheese, butter, and Dijon mustard in the bowl of a food processor and blend until smooth. Scrape the mixture into a small bowl, cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 20 minutes or up to overnight.
2. Set the fillets on a large plate. Season with the salt and pepper and then coat the fillets with the olive oil. Heat a large skillet over high heat for 2 minutes. Add the fillets and cook until a nice crust forms, 3 to 4 minutes on each side. Transfer the fillets to a clean plate (set the pan aside for the sauce) and set aside.
3. To make the glaze, pour the olive oil into the pan used to sear the fillets and place the pan over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms, shallots, and garlic and cook, stirring often, until the mushrooms start to get glossy, about 3 minutes. Stir in the red wine demi-glaze, passion fruit juice, agave syrup, and soy sauce and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and let the glaze reduce until it's thick and syrupy, 35 to 40 minutes.
4. Preheat the oven to 400ºF
5. Remove the blue cheese butter from the refrigerator. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil and place the fillets on it. Top each fillet with 1 tablespoon of the blue cheese butter. Roast the fillets until the blue cheese is melted and the edges of the cheese begin to brown, about 10 minutes. Remove the fillets from the oven and place each one on a plate. Pour some passion fruit glaze around each fillet and serve.
*This is great served with a side dish of mashed potatoes or spinach.
**Incredibly tender and decadent beef tenderloin is fantastic, but for a more cost-friendly cut, try steaks like sirloin culotte, hanger steak, or top-loin club steak.
SIMPLIFIED RED WINE DEMI-GLAZE
Makes about 5 cups
1½ pounds beef, chicken, pork, or veal bones
4 carrots, cut into thirds
4 celery stalks, cut into thirds
2 yellow onions, quartered
8 garlic cloves
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1 6-ounce can tomato paste
1 bottle (750 milliliters) dry red wine (such as cabernet sauvignon or merlot)
1. Preheat the oven to 400ºF
2. Place the bones, carrots, celery, onions, and garlic in a large roasting pan. Add the olive oil and salt, toss with the bones and vegetables, and cook for 30 minutes.
3. Whisk the tomato paste in a small bowl to loosen it up. Remove the roasting pan from the oven and uses a pastry or silicone brush to coast the bones and any large pieces of vegetables over, and cook for another 20 minutes.
4. Remove the roasting pan from the oven and pour the red wine over the bones and vegetables. Set aside for 5 minutes. Remove the bones from the pan and discard. Use a wooden spoon to scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan and then use a slotted spoon to transfer the vegetables to a large stockpot or soup pot. Pour the liquid from the roasting pan.
5. Add 6 cups of water to the stockpot and bring to a boil over high heat. Turn down the heat to medium-high and cook for 10 minutes, then turn down the heat to medium-low and simmer until the liquid is reduced by half, 45 minutes to 1 hour. Turn off the heat and set aside to cool slightly, about 5 minutes.
6. Set a fine-mesh sieve over a large plastic container and strain the reduced demi-glaze into it. Use a rubber spatula to press down on the solids in the sieve to extract as much liquid as possible. Cover the container and refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 weeks.
QUINOA, SWEET PEPPERS, and FIG SALAD
1 cup dry sherry
1/2 cup dried currants
1 cup quinoa
2 1/2 cups vegetable Stock
2 scallions, white and light green parts only, thinly sliced
1 cup fresh figs, stemmed and chopped
1 carrot, finely chopped
1/4 green bell pepper, finely chopped
1/4 red bell pepper, finely chopped
1/4 yellow bell pepper, finely chopped
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
1/3 cup Tangy Citrus Vinaigrette (recipe follows)
1. Pour the sherry into a medium bowl. Add the currants and set aside to rehydrate for 20 minutes. Drain the currants, discard any remaining sherry, and set the currants aside.
2. Place the quinoa in a fine-mesh sieve and rinse under cold running water. Bring the vegetable stock to a boil in a medium saucepan over high heat. Add the quinoa and return to a boil. Cover, reduce the heat to low, and cook until the quinoa is tender, 20 to 25 minutes. Scrape the quinoa into a large bowl and set aside to cool.
3. Stir the scallions, figs, carrots, bell peppers, and cilantro into the cooled quinoa. Pour the citrus vinaigrette over the salad and stir gently to combine. Serve immediately or refrigerate for up to 3 days. The salad can be served cold or at room temperature.
TANGY CITRUS VINAIGRETTE
Makes about 2 cups
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
6 tablespoons agave syrup
6 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (from 2 lemons)
6 tablespoons fresh orange juice (from 1 1/2 oranges)
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
Whisk together the mustard, agave syrup, lemon juice, and orange juice in a medium bowl. While whisking, slowly drizzle in the olive oil and then whisk in the salt and pepper. Pour the vinaigrette into an airtight container or glass jar and refrigerate. Shake well before using.
PEARS AL VINO TINTO
3 cups red wine (such as pinot noir)
1 cup sugar
3 whole black peppercorns
3 whole cloves
Three 1/2-inch-wide strips lemon peel
1 cinnamon stick
4 ripe Bartlett or Bosc pears, peeled, halved, and cored
1 pint vanilla ice cream (optional)
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
Mint sprigs for serving (optional)
1. Bring the red wine, sugar, peppercorns, cloves, lemon strips, cinnamon stick, and 1/2 cup of water to a boil in a large pot over high heat, stirring occasionally to dissolve the sugar, about 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer the mixture until slightly reduced, about 2 minutes.
2. Add the pears and simmer until they're tender and a paring knife easily slips into the center, about 15 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the pears to a large bowl and set aside.
3. Remove and discard the peppercorns, cloves, lemon peel, and cinnamon stick. Continue to simmer the poaching liquid over medium-low heat until it is reduced by half and is the consistency of a thick syrup, about 30 minutes.
4. Return the pears to the thick poaching liquid and heat for 1 minute, basting the pears with the syrup. Turn off the heat and place 2 pears halves in the center of each plate or bowl. Drizzle the pears with 2 tablespoons each of the poaching syrup, and then top with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, a pinch of nutmeg, and a mint sprig, if using.