Beef Lettuce Cups With Horseradish Cream
As printed in Napa Valley Life Magazine “Cooking with Karen Crouse” Spring 2021
Springtime in the Napa Valley is marked by bud break. This is when the grapevines wake up and the first leaves emerge from the dormant buds. It is the beginning of the growing season. It is exciting for anyone who visits or lives in the Napa Valley as you can see vineyards turn from a dark grey to a speckled and evolving green. It is picturesque!
This recipe checks all of my boxes….reflective of the season, fresh, visually appealing and easy to eat. These lettuce cups look and taste like spring.
The pea shoots are my preference as they are readily available in the spring. They have a delicate and slightly sweet flavor that complements the beef and the velvety texture of the horseradish cream.
I like to serve the lettuce cups on a dark cutting board. The green lettuce leaves make a stunning show against the rustic wood. Since they are best served right away, I usually assemble them as my guests are visiting with me in the kitchen.
Open your favorite bottle of Rose’ and say “Hello” to Spring.
- Large skillet
- Small bowl
Ingredients for beef tenderloin
- 12 oz piece beef tenderloin, 1” thick
- 1 head Bibb lettuce
- 1 container of pea shoots or handful of baby spinach
- Sea salt
- Black pepper
Ingredients for horseradish cream
- ½ cup sour cream
- 1 ½ Tbsp prepared horseradish, drained
- 1 Tbsp mayonnaise (I like Duke’s)
- 1 Teaspoon rice vinegar
- ½ teaspoon Dijon Mustard
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Number of servings: 10-12
Sear the beef in a large skillet over medium-high heat until the internal temperature is 130 – 135 degrees (medium rare), about 3 to 4 minutes per side. Let the meat cool completely, wrap it in plastic, and refrigerate for one hour or as much as 24 hours.
While the beef is still cold, cut it against the grain into ¼ inch slices.
Wash and fully dry the Bibb Lettuce leaves and arrange them on a serving platter or board. Place 1-2 slices of beef in the center of each leaf, folding or bunching to keep the meat centered. Layer with a pinch of pea shoots. Top with 1 teaspoon of Horseradish Cream. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.
Yields 2/3 cups
Whisk together sour cream, horseradish, mayonnaise, rice vinegar, Dijon Mustard, salt and pepper in a small bowl until completely blended. Can be made two to three days ahead if stored in an airtight container.