Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Cold Roast Beef and Watercress Salad

Monday March 28

We still had loads of prime prime rib leftovers from Thursday, and there's nothing better than having it just cold - lukewarm, really, if you remember to get it out of the fridge ahead of time.

The Nice People at Findlay Market sold us a bouquet of watercress that made us feel that it was almost spring - almost. So we decided to do this but used more vinegar - cider vinegar for choice - and no honey.

Barbara had an envie for horseradish sauce with her roast beef, and tried to get the recipe from "Cook's Illustrated/America's Test Kitchen" website. But they won't let you look at anything unless you give them your e-mail address and subscribe to their lame-ass website for recipes we have tried and found wanting - and they will start charging you for it after 14 days!

So here is the recipe for horseradish cream sauce FOR FREE.

Start with an amount (say half a cup for 4-6 people, though the two of us need less) of heavy whipping cream. Whip it with a whisk until it thickens - Cook's says 1 or 2 minutes, but unless you're a chef and have iron wrists, manual whisking takes at least 5-7 minutes. When it's thickened, season it with about a half teaspoon of salt, and - I'm going out on my own here - a couple of grinds of white pepper, which is far more subtle than black and goes better with cream sauces.

Now, Cook's says to add an equal amount of prepared horseradish to the amount of cream, and this is amazingly stupid, even for them. Prepared horseradishes differ radically not just according to how they're made, but how long that particular bottle has been in the refrigerator (in fact, most foods differ, which is why Cook's "tested to be perfect" recipes seldom are). I used Mr. Gene Green's Hot Horseradish bought fresh on Saturday, and if you used the amount they said, it would crisp your nose hairs. SO fold in a couple of tablespoons of prepared white horseradish, and taste. Keep adding until you like it, and then stop.

The beef went on the dressed watercress, and the cream was dabbed on it ad lib. Pretty damned good.

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