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Feeling a Little Raw

Howdy, folks!  Long time no see.  I debated even posting this culinary adventure because it has a sad ending.  Nevertheless, I think it's a good one to share.  Warning: If you're a germ-ophobe, walk away now.  Why?  Because we're serving raw meat in this episode of Friday Food Frenzy.  That's right.  Raw meat.  Let's get started.

Carpaccio.  Bless you.  Nope, not quite.  Carpaccio is a fabulous, decadent, yet splendidly simple dish of raw beef tenderloin pounded flat and served very elegantly.  And it takes almost  that takes almost no time.  The prep work actually takes longer than the food because you want to make sure you're working in a clean environment.  Here's a little video from Alton Brown that I used as a guide.  It's also pretty entertaining, as he usually is. :-)

Okay, first, I got everything ready starting with the work surface.  My island was the best place for this because it's nice and isolated and ready to clean.  Oh, and it's my favorite place to work as well. :-)  I disinfected the top of the island and wiped it down with a wet paper towel afterward.

*Confession: If it was just me, I might not have been so neurotic about sanitization, but the hubs...well, he was a bit nervous.

After the work surface was clean of 99.9% of bacteria (or so the canister said), I laid out all of my materials.  Again, isolation was the idea here.  Get this.  That was the hardest part.  Onto the mandatory beatings!

Here you see my tenderloin slices all lined up and wrapped in plastic.  I definitely felt a little Dexter-ish at this point.  Secure and contained.  Oh, and it's important to note that you should only ever do this with a fresh, unopened package of tenderloin.  Don't use leftovers for this dish; it deserves better than that.

I'm not 100% certain this part was necessary, but, again, to make the hubs feel better I wrapped the plastic-wrapped loin slices in a tea towel and pounded the entire little package flat on a cookie sheet.  Who knows, maybe the plastic could have ripped while it was being flattened...or something.  After the slices are nice a thin, it's just time to plate and dress.

Oh, carpaccio, you look beautiful!  I just spiraled the slices around the plate, topped with toasted walnuts, shaved parmesan  and arugula, and lightly drizzled the whole lot with extra virgin olive oil.  Oh, and just a sprinkle of salt and pepper.  Se magnifique!  Or wait, what's that in Italian?  Because this is an Italian dish.  Oh, who cares?!  It's awesome!

So I loved it.  So delicate and delicious and lovely.  And, being the cook, I can confidently say I know it was prepared in as germ-free as environment as possible.  Now, here's the sad bit.  Even having seen the whole process, Mike still felt too uneasy about it to eat any...until he cooked it.  This bothers me.  Not because I don't understand his fears (I do; I know the risk involved), but because he'll happily order carpaccio at one of our favorite restaurants!  He swears it's nothing against me, but I still take it personally.  I'm working on getting over this...

This dish is definitely a food-venture if there ever was one.

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