Word of caution though - I had a hard time finding truffle butter in Charleston. One certainly can't find it at the Bi-Lo or Publix. And oddly Whole Foods in Mount Pleasant discontinued carrying truffle butter. Hunh? Fortunately though Williams Sonoma downtown on King Street and every one's favorite Southern Seasons in Mount Pleasant both carry it.
Truffled Filet of Beef Sandwiches (Serves 6)
1½ to 2 pounds filet of beef, trimmed and tied
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, at room temperature
Kosher salt and coarsely ground black pepper
2 French baguettes, 18 to 20 inches long
3 ounces black truffle butter, at room temperature
1 (2-ounce) chunk good Parmesan cheese
Fresh baby arugula
SOURCE: Barefoot Countessa
Preheat the oven to 500 degrees. (Be sure your oven is very clean!)
Place the beef on a sheet pan and pat the outside dry with a paper towel. Spread the butter all over the beef with your hands. Sprinkle the beef evenly with 1½ teaspoons salt and 1½ teaspoons pepper. Roast for exactly 22 minutes for rare and 25 minutes for medium-rare.
Remove the beef from the oven, cover it tightly with aluminum foil, and allow it to rest at room temperature for 15 minutes. Remove the strings and slice the filet about ¼ inch thick.
Open the baguettes lengthwise but not all the way through. Spread the bottom halves generously with the truffle butter. Top with a layer of sliced beef and sprinkle it with salt and pepper.
Using a vegetable peeler, shave the Parmesan into thin shards and scatter the shards over the sliced beef on each sandwich. Finish with a sprinkling of arugula leaves. Fold the tops of the sandwiches over, cut each baguette diagonally in 3 or 4 sandwiches, and serve right away.
Roasted Tomato Caprese Salad (Serves 6)
2 plum tomatoes, halved lengthwise, seeds (not cores) removed
¼ cup good olive oil, plus more for drizzling
1½ tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 large garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons sugar
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
16 ounces fresh salted mozzarella
12 fresh basil leaves, julienned
SOURCE: Barefoot Countessa
Preheat the oven to 275 degrees.
Arrange the tomatoes on a sheet pan, cut sides up, in a single layer. Drizzle with the olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Sprinkle with the garlic, sugar, 1½ teaspoons salt, and ½ teaspoon pepper. Roast for 2 hours until the tomatoes are concentrated and begin to caramelize. Allow the tomatoes to cool to room temperature.
Cut the mozzarella into slices slightly less than ½ inch thick. If the slices of mozzarella are larger than the tomatoes, cut the mozzarella slices in half. Layer the tomatoes alternately with the mozzarella on a platter and scatter the basil on top. Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper and drizzle lightly with olive oil. Serve at room temperature.