Salt-Crusted Tenderloin and Blueberry Tea Cake

Mark stitches 

My husband Mark and I are big Food Network fans.  One of our favorite shows is “Good Eats”, starring the most awesome cook in the world (in my opinion, anyway), Alton Brown.  Beef tenderloin was on sale at our local butcher shop, so we bought half of one.  Prior to seeing Alton preparing tenderloin on his show, we might never have attempted cooking it for fear of ruining such an expensive cut of meat.

We made Beef Tenderloin in Salt Crust; a great recipe we’d tried once before.  Basically, the tenderloin is surrounded by fresh herbs and wrapped in a crust made of flour, egg white and lots of Kosher salt.  Sounds crazy, but boy is it good!  On the outside, like Alton says,  it looks like an ugly loaf of bread, but the meat inside is to die for.

Tenderloin 1 

We were just getting ready to sit down to dinner.  The only thing left to do was to slice the meat.  Unfortunately, the electric knife jumped out of Mark’s hand, clattered to the floor and sliced his right middle finger in the process.  So dinner was interrupted for a couple of hours.  Three stitches later, Mark is doing just fine.

We finally sat down for dinner, and the meat was moist and flavorful.  And no, we don’t like meat well-done.

Tenderloin 2

Blueberry Tea Cake

We had this Lemon and Blueberry Tea Cake from an Emeril Lagasse recipe afterward.  I was inspired by all the fresh local blueberries for sale in recent weeks.  I am not usually a person who likes fruit-containing desserts, but I thought it was very good, especially when served warm with vanilla ice cream.  I’d better hit the gym every day this coming week!

13 Responses to “Salt-Crusted Tenderloin and Blueberry Tea Cake”

  1. mark - in my own defense Says:

    Yes, Mark ruins dinner even when he doesn’t cook.

  2. Grandma Cheryl Says:

    Poor Mark. Those recipes however look very good. I wonder if I can try the salt-crusted tenderloin with any other cut.

  3. Lara Says:

    mmmmm… I am going to have to try these!! And I agree… Alton Brown rocks!!!

  4. Lisa Leonard Says:

    Looks delicious! Ouch–bummer about Mark’s finer (and having to wait to eat!!)

  5. larab13 Says:

    so I tried that Blueberry tea cake… did it take longer than 50 minutes for you? My cake is still in the oven right now and it has been in there for 1 hour already and when I test it the skewer comes out wet…hopefully it just needs a couple more minutes.

  6. Michele B Says:

    OK so the next time you guys are making this can you just let me know so I can “happen” to stop by… B would never let me leave the meat that rare and it just looks so spectacular! I’ll volunteer to cut the meat – definitely looks worth the risk.

  7. Michele B Says:

    Oh, and um sorry for Marks finger too.

  8. Karen Says:

    Lara: the blueberry cake took right around an hour for me. Our new oven is alot hotter than our old oven. I don’t own an oven thermometer, so who knows how accurate it is. I hope the cake came out OK for you.
    Michele – you know you are welcome anytime! 😉
    We’ll call you the next time we are having rare meat.

  9. larab13 Says:

    Well my first attempt failed at the cake (I am not used to failure in the kitchen!) It tasted good but I did not let the blueberries dry after I washed them so ended up with too much liquid in the cake. When I took it out of the pan it fell apart… however as it cooled it got better, so the guys at Paul’s office will have that one.

    I was so determined to get it right so I made another one. This one cooked bang on in 50 minutes, however, I probably should have pressed the crumble topping into the batter liked I did the first time because when I flipped this one out the crumble fell off… DOH!!! Oh well, at least the cake itself turned out perfect and I will just sprinkle icing sugar on top. I was making the cake as a thank you for a neighbour, now I can give her this one tomorrow!!

  10. Karen Says:

    I had the same problem with the crumble topping too- I just saved it and sprinkled it on top of the cake. The boys love it even though it’s not adherent to the cake itself. I am impressed by your determination! Failure usually makes me not want to attempt the recipe for several months if ever again!
    I am thinking about making a nectarine cobbler next since we have some nice ripe ones in the kitchen.

  11. Lisa (UK) Says:

    Wow that beef looks FAB! That is exactly how I like my beef cooked – tenderloin well done is simply a criminal offence. I am definitely going to try this recipe but like yourself will have to wait until it is on special offer in the supermarket. With regards the salt exterior, I have seen them do this over here with fish but never tried it…

  12. Karen Says:

    Thank you, Lisa! I have to agree with you on overcooking tenderloin. If someone wants a piece of meat to cook to the consistency of shoe-leather, s/he should at least pick a tough cut of meat to ruin!
    I’ve never tried fish with a salt crust. I’ll have to look into that.

  13. Lisa (UK) Says:

    Hi Karen… hope you can open this link, it is for Salt-Baked Sea Bass (or any white fish I think)… if the link doesn’t open just search the recipe by name on the website and you should be able to find it. It appears to be a very healthy meal served with spinach and cannaloni beans.

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