The Fourth of July always has special memories and traditions for everyone, usually centered around family and friends. In my life, the Fourth is all about the Mercuri and Tocci families. You see, back in 1974, I became friends with the best friend anyone could have. Sharon Mercuri opened her heart and her family to me. Since that day, I have truly felt that I was a member of their family. Here we are in 2012, and I am still spending my Fourth of July with them...and honestly? I can't think of anywhere I would rather be (even though I was told this was my last Fourth of July visit! lol!)
Anyway, I try to bring some yummy addition to their incredible spread! This year, I decided to cook and slice a tenderloin, served over a bed of lettuce and grilled peppers.
I started by marinating the meat, which you traditionally are not supposed to do! But, being nontraditional, I figured what have I got to lose? This marinade is amazing on ribeyes and steak tips, so what the heck? Here it is:
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 tbs and 2 tsp. red wine vinegar
2 tbs lemon juice
1 tbs and 1 1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1 tbs Dijon-style mustard
1/2 onion sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
This recipe is definitely a keeper!
While that marinates, I grill some peppers that I will serve with the tenderloin. Pre-heat your oven now to 425 degrees! It is really important to cook the tenderloin ( or any other cut of steak) at room temperature, so the hour marinade at room temperature is huge!
I have found the best way to cook a tenderloin, is to sear it in a fry pan first, browning all sides. Then, put the tenderloin in the oven and cook until the internal temp reaches 120. It usually takes about 20-30 minutes. Please don't over cook this! It is an expensive cut of meat, but if cooked right, it is delicious and well worth the cost!!!! Even though I took a chance and marinated it today, it comes out just as delicious if you only salt and pepper, garlic and onion powder the outside and rub a little bit of olive oil over it.
So, once it reaches 120 degrees, I pulled it out of the oven and let it sit for about 10 minutes, after which time I sliced that bad boy up! I added the grilled peppers and tucked in some bib lettuce around the edges. Yum!
The whole trick to cooking tenderloin cuts of beef is to season the outside with seasonings you like, searing in the juices and flavors, and then cooking it in the oven for about 30 minutes. How simple is that? and....it is a winner every time!
So now I have to figure out what I am going to do next Fourth of July....... Maybe I will have a cookout at Pomfret Street and invite all of the Mercuri's and Tocci's..... it might be nice to give them a break from entertaining for once! The best families in the world!