Beef Tenderloin Crostini with Whipped Goat Cheese and Pesto
I have severe anxiety regarding this Sunday’s Academy Awards.
Obviously, some of said anxiety is anticipatory—Who will give the best/worst speech? Is JLaw going to be drunk? Has Amal forgiven Giuliana for making fun of her white gloves at the Globes? WILL BEYONCE BE THERE??!!
These questions (and my roommate’s snoring) keep me up at night, but I’m mostly panicked because I’ve seen zero of this year’s Best Picture nominees.
As I’ve mentioned before, I pride myself on getting through at least 75% of Oscar nominated movies before the big show. Such an accomplishment coupled with my being up to date on 10-12 television shows pretty much guarantees that I slay on the February small talk front. Bring on the strangers and friends-of-friends at cocktail parties! I shall wow them with my film buff-ness!
Not this year. This year, I fell down on the job.
I don’t really have a good excuse for my shameless lack of Best Picture viewing other than the fact that NYC has been akin to the frozen tundra lately, and eating Sour Patch kids while watching Step Brothers for the infinitieth time has seemed far more appealing than venturing 6 blocks to the movie theater. I did purchase tickets to American Sniper a few weeks ago, but I ended up drinking cocktails with Logan on the couch and missing it. Sorry.
Oh, and my friend Daniel called a couple weekends ago and, for no apparent reason, word vomited the endings to every single Best Picture nom except Birdman, which he thinks I should see for myself.
He has been excommunicated.
It’s bad enough that I’ve been iced from movie convos this award season, but what’s worse is that I’m not qualified to do a kitschy Oscar-themed round-up à la 2014. (I’m sure you’re devastated.) However, I did make you some epic Beef Tenderloin Crostini with Whipped Goat Cheese and Pesto that are guaranteed to take home top honors at all of Sunday’s viewing parties…
When I look at these beautiful babies, I want to sing that annoying John Legend song and do interpretive dance with two steaks and a bowl full of whipped goat cheese. “Allll of me, loves allllll of you. All your curves and all your edges, all your perfect imperfections…”
You will most likely have similar feelings, as the amount of flavor and texture packed into each of these tiny wonders is truly magical. Toasty, garlic-rubbed baguette slices are the perfect base for tangy whipped goat cheese, gloriously tender slices of beef filet and your favorite fresh pesto. The result is an unbelievably creamy, crunchy, meaty dreamboat of a bite that people will lose their shit over. (I know this for a fact because I served Beef Tenderloin Crostini at Logena Christmas. People lost their shit.)
To those of you getting slightly sweaty thinking about all the different components involved here, please take it down a notch. These bad boys are doable from start to finish in about 45 minutes (and that’s with a champagne lag), but you could shave 20 minutes off that time if you use store-bought crostini and pesto. You can also prep the individual elements of the recipe up to a day in advance, and then just slice the steak and assemble the crostini before serving. Bing, bang, boom. Take a bow. (These are also an amazing way to put any Slow-Roasted Beef Tenderloin leftovers you may have!!)
In case you’re in the market for some other Oscar-friendly finger food, I highly recommend chicken fingies, grilled cheese bites, Manchengo crisps, fancy popcorn, classy quesadillas (these or these), and maybe some killer oatmeal cookies. Needless to say, champagne punch is non-negotiable.
Sidenote: If you wanted to get super weird and reimagine these crostini as giant toasted steak sandwiches, I wouldn’t judge. SUNDAY.
Beef Tenderloin Crostini with Whipped Goat Cheese and Pesto: (Serves 8)
½ baguette, cut into ¼-inch slices (You should have around 25 slices.)
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
5 cloves garlic, divided
2 8-ounce pieces beef tenderloin
Fresh ground pepper
1/3 cup pesto of your choice (I used my kale pesto, but rustic basil pesto would also be bomb if you want to go the homemade route.)
For the Whipped Goat Cheese:
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
4 ounces goat cheese, softened
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
Pinch of salt
Preparing your Beef Tenderloin Crostini with Whipped Goat Cheese and Pesto:
-Let’s start with the crostini, shall we? Arrange the baguette slices on a large baking sheet. Lightly brush both sides of the bread with olive oil (you’ll need about 2 tablespoons of oil for this) and sprinkle with a little salt.
-Place bread under the broiler for 1-2 minutes on each side until lightly brown. Please pay attention while you do this, peeps, it is scarily easy to burn crostini.
-Peel 1 clove of garlic, and slice the tip off. Rub the clove on one side of each toasted baguette slice. Set crostini aside to cool while you get to work on your steak.
-Pat the steaks dry with paper towels and season both sides generously with salt and fresh ground pepper.
-Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet or saucepan over medium-high heat. When hot, add the steaks and cook for about 4 minutes on each side for medium-rare. When you turn the steaks (after the first 4 minutes), smash 4 garlic cloves in their skins and add them to the skillet. Periodically use a spoon to baste the steaks with the oil/juices in the pan.
-Remove the steaks to a cutting board and let rest for 10 minutes before thinly slicing them against the grain. (Please don’t skip the resting step!!! You need to let all the beef’s glorious juices redistribute.)
-While the steaks are resting, get going on the whipped goat cheese. You have two options here: 1.) Place all of the ingredients in a food processor and process for 1-2 minutes until fluffy and smooth. 2.) Place all the ingredients in a bowl and beat with a hand mixer until fluffy and smooth. (I went with the latter bc I don’t like to clean my food processor, but you do you.)
-To assemble your crostini: Spread each toasted baguette slice with whipped goat cheese. Top with a slice of steak and a small dollop of pesto. Done and done.
Oh you fancy, huh?
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