1.13.2008

Happy Hour - Tenderloin Thai Beef Salad in Cucumber Cups

Tenderloin Thai Beef Salad in Cucumber Cups
I am on a one woman crusade to promote Happy Hour. I am not talking about the $1 beers, endless hot wings, and layered taco dip Happy Hour. The Happy Hour I want to promote is the one when a few good friends are invited over to your home, a festive drink or new bottle of wine is featured, and a couple new "little plates" are served.

I just reviewed a new cookbook entitled Great Bar Food at Home by Kate Kehoe that will be appearing next week in The Paper Palate section of The Well Fed Network. This book is the essence of my Happy Hour. Unique recipes for small plates such as Stuffed Hot Dates, Teacup Tomato Toasts, and Cognac Shrimp Wrapped in Bacon are offered. The book also includes tidbits about bygone cocktail hours. In the future, I will preparing many of the recipes in this book.

Last night, The Husband and I attended a party. An Asian fusion menu was planned by the hosts so I picked a recipe to prepare that I thought fit with the theme. It was not from my favorite, new Happy Hour cookbook, but I think it represents my Happy Hours to come. I prepared Tenderloin Thai Beef Salad in Cucumber Cups which is a take on the traditional Thai beef salad.

Medium rare beef tenderloin is thin sliced and combined with traditional Thai ingredients including mint, cilantro, fish sauce, and bird's eye chili peppers. I was anxious to reviews from a group of people that did not include my own kids. The reviews were 4 fork all around. The party attendees were very welcoming of a unique appetizer and I like to bring something a little out of the box. I even got a request from a guest for cooking lessons. He said he wants to see what I can do in the kitchen.

Get the cocktail shaker out and check back here for new little plate recipes. Invite a few friends over and make it Happy!

Tenderloin Thai Beef Salad in Cucumber Cups

adapted from a recipe from my co-workers at The Personal Chefs Network

makes about 24 pieces

2 English cucumbers, try to find ones uniform in shape
olive oil
salt and pepper
8 ounces of beef tenderloin, get it at the butcher's counter
1/2 cup red onion, small dice
about 1/4 cup mint leaves, finely chopped
2 tablespoons cilantro leaves, finely chopped
2 tablespoons fish sauce
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 Thai chili, finely chopped
1 teaspoon brown sugar
24 cilantro leaves for garnish

Heat a saute pan, preferably a cast iron skillet, to medium high. Drizzle tenderloin with olive oil and generously salt and pepper. Place in the pan and cook until medium rare, about 2 minutes per side, depending on thickness. The internal temperature should be about 120 degrees. Remove tenderloin from the pan and let rest for about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, trim the ends of the cucumbers but do not peel. Cut into about 1/2 to 3/4 inch pieces. Scoop out the center of each slice to make a small cup. Set aside.

Combine onion, mint, cilantro, fish sauce, lime juice, Thai chili, and brown sugar. Set aside. Thinly slice the tenderloin, then slice into small strips. Add to the onion mixture and stir to combine. Fill each cup with the tenderloin Thai beef salad and garnish with a cilantro leaf. Can be made up to 6 hours ahead and chilled.



4 comments:

KBP said...

I responded to your post about this on CH. I totally agree that the home-based cocktail hour should come back. Hmmm maybe I will try to have one once a month. Maybe as a "preflight" as my hubby likes to call it, before going out on the town.
Maybe people will start doing Cocktail Hour Clubs instead of Dinner Clubs..... hmmmmm.

Leah said...

Beef, cilantro, and mint? You had me at hello! I can't wait to try this one ... I just adore Thai flavors, and cocktails! Cocktail Hour Clubs instead of dinner clubs? That's genius. ;-)

Miss Scarlett said...

Oh my word - I have been looking for this recipe *literally* for years. I helped out w/ catering at a friend's Christmas party YEARS ago and remember seeding little cucumber cups and filling them with thinly sliced beef. Wow. So happy your pic made tastespotting - my quest is over!

JerseyBites.com said...

Hey, when did the cocktail hour(s) party go out of fashion? I love tapas time or whatever you want to call it. We need to have a party!!