As soon as I read the prompt for FoodBuzz Project Food Blog Challenge #4, I was intimidated.
The challenge prompted us to use photography to show the process of a recipe using photos, taking what could potentially be a complex recipe and breaking it down into steps using photography.
I’m not a process photographer. At all. I’m VERY right-handed and really only able to cook, write, stir, whisk (you get the idea?) with my right hand; I’m beyond paranoid about getting food in my DSLR, dropping my lens in a pot of soup, or lighting the strap on fire. I don’t generally take photos of the steps of any recipes unless they’re not at all messy. There was this little part of me that was considering making a video tape of me cooking and then taking stills from it so I didn’t have to touch my camera mid-recipe.
Then I realized that I was being an overprotective camera mama. Since I don’t have human children yet, I tend to treat my electronics like children. I had to trust that my camera could play nice mid-recipe.
My camera wasn’t going to die from taking pictures mid-recipe. And besides, most of cupcake baking is, as my sister says “hurry up and wait”, and I rarely actually get messy while making them.
And then I remembered something else. This lovely blog of mine is called “What’s For Dinner?” not “I Made Cupcakes”. DInner… I needed to make a dinner recipe. With our new beautiful oven, anything was possible.
Adam and I are both big fans of the sandwich, much like Joey on Friends from way back when. Put it on a sandwich, and it’s likely that we’ll like it. So I decided I’d make a sandwich. It would not be just any sandwich. This would be a special sandwich, with homemade bread, roasted beef tenderloin prepared in my favorite way, a favorite condiment, and something delicious and green.
Piqued your interest yet?
After I got over my anxiety and began getting excited about the challenge, I realized something rather random. Something about this challenge was very reminiscent of an assignment I did in elementary school where we were all told to write a step by step essay on “How To Make a Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich”. We were told to be as specific or general as we wanted to be, and upon turning in the essay, our teacher acted it out.
The students who were general and said “Take the bread and put the peanut butter on it” had a good laugh when the essay was acted out. The teacher took the jar of peanut butter, then placed the jar upon the whole loaf of bread. It’s fairly obvious that certain things needed to happen before I began cooking for Challenge #4.
I received my Challenge #4 acceptance letter, grabbed my keys in the morning, put on my shoes, got in my car, got the necessary “rocket fuel” for a day full of cooking, and drove to my very favorite produce market.
My recipe for bread was set as I needed to start it the night before I cooked. I used this recipe for ciabatta bread and started out making a sponge or starter.
In the morning, the starter was ready, and so I embarked on the mission to make ciabatta…
As the rolls cooled (and we munched on one) I began cooking the beef tenderloin. I’ve been making various herb-crusted roasts for years, but the steps have never been documented. There are equal amounts of each herb, and an equal volume of olive oil (3 T of herbs and 3 T of olive oil) for this two pound roast. Adjust accordingly for your roast of choice. The oven was at 400*F.
My favorite condiments have to be a close tie among ketchup, horseradish (of various types) and goat cheese. I chose two to create a delicious creamy sauce to accompany our sandwiches. Creamy horseradish goat cheese!
Mix, mash, whip, and taste until creamy and smooth. My “something green” to go on the sandwich were some delicious green pea sprouts. They have a very delicate flavor, a nice crunch, and beautiful color.
A very important step after cooking any challenging meal is, in my opinion, to relax. Preferably with a beautiful glass of wine. What’s better than a glass of wine? A glass of cherry wine from a local winery!
Then… the assembly of this glorious sandwich. I’m beyond proud of myself.
The bread had a glorious crust and was puffy and chewy on the inside. The meat was perfectly seasoned and tender, and the horseradish goat cheese is a condiment that I don’t think I can live without anymore.
With the exception of a few pea sprouts, both Adam and my sandwiches were gone without a trace by the end of dinner. I may have even eaten a few more pieces of steak with horseradish goat cheese. The ciabatta bread has been on my “bucket list” of things to make for a while now, and I’ll definitely be doing it again soon.
Voting for Project Food Blog Challenge #4
begins tomorrow at 8 a.m. CDT Is open! I’d really appreciate your support, and thanks in advance! Your continued support is what has helped me get this far!