Rubbed Roast Tenderloin of Beef with Sweet Strawberry Mashed Potatoes

by Libbie Summers
Photography by Chia Chong for Savannah Magazine
Hosted at Grove Point Plantation
Assisted by David Dempsey, Candace Brower, Anthony Lunnsman
Benefiting The Fresh Air Home

My secret to the best beef tenderloin in the world involves pork!

Rubbed Roast Tenderloin of Beef with Sweet Strawberry Mashed Potatoes
Serves 6

1 (3-pound) tenderloin of beef, trimmed and tied
2 tablespoons rendered bacon fat
Flake sea salt
Coarsely ground black pepper
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
Sweet Strawberry Mashed Potatoes (recipe below)

Preheat oven to 425°F.
Prep the tenderloin by rubbing the outside of it with the bacon fat and seasoning liberally with salt and pepper. Bring a large oven-proof skillet to blazing hot oven high heat. Add the tenderloin and sear all sides until a rich brown. Then place the skillet in the preheated oven and cook until the temperature resisters 130°F when a meat thermometer is inserted into the thickest part. Remove the tenderloin from the oven to rest.
To make the balsamic drizzle: remove tenderloin to a cutting board and place the skillet with the renderings over medium heat. Add 2 tablespoons of vinegar and cook, stirring, until mixture thickens.
To serve, slice the tenderloin and serve alongside Sweet Strawberry Mashed Potatoes. Drizzle with the balsamic reduction.


Sweet Strawberry Mashed Potatoes
Serves 6

3 pounds potatoes, peeled and quartered
1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for sprinkling
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
1 tablespoon chopped white chocolate
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup strawberries, stemmed and chopped
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves

Put the potatoes in a large pot and cover with cold water. Add the 1 teaspoon salt to the water and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer, covered, for 15 to 20 minutes, until the potatoes can be easily pierced with a fork.
In a small saucepan, heat the cream and butter just until the butter has melted. Drain the potatoes and return them to the pot. Add the hot cream mixture and the white chocolate. Using a potato masher, mash the potato mixture to your desired consistency. Salt and pepper to taste. Stir in the strawberries and thyme.

Strawberries, Spring, Dinner Party, Flowers, Libbie Summers, A Food-Inspired Life

Before and After: Spring Onions and Waffles

Recipe and Styling by Libbie Summers
Photography by Chia Chong

Spring Onions…before.
Garden Vegetables, Spring Onions, Onions, Food Photography, Food Styling, Libbie Summers, Chia Chong

Spring Onions…after. 
Breakfast recipes, Waffle Recipes, Savory Waffles, Libbie Summers, Chia Chong,
Savory Spring Onion and Pancetta Waffles
(maple butter, sea salt)
makes 5/serves 4 for breakfast or dinner/serves 20 for an appetizer

1 packet active dry yeast
1 cup warm water
½ teaspoon sugar
3 cups All-Purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
1 ¼ cups milk
½ cup melted butter
3 eggs, separated
4 ounces diced and cooked pancetta
3 spring onions diced, green and white parts
Maple Butter (recipe to follow)
Sea salt for sprinkling

In a small mixing bowl or glass measuring cup, dissolve the yeast in the water. Stir in sugar and allow mixture to sit until it begins to bloom (foam). In a large mixing bowl, stir the flour with the salt and pepper. Whisk in the yeast mixture, milk, butter and egg yolks until smooth.

In a medium mixing bowl, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form. Fold them into the batter and let stand for 20 minutes. Just before cooking, fold in the pancetta and spring onions.

Preheat the oven to 200ºF

Prepare a waffle iron by spraying with non-stick cooking spray and heat. Pour 1 1/4 cups of the batter into the iron and cook until the waffles are golden, 6 minutes. Transfer the waffles to the oven to keep warm. Repeat with the remaining batter. Serve with a dollop of Maple Butter on top and sprinkle with sea salt.

Maple Butter
yields about 1 cup

1 cup Irish butter, room temperature
2 tablespoons good maple syrup

In a small mixing bowl, stir all ingredients together. Serve with warm Savory Spring Onion and Pancetta Waffles.

Lamb and Fennel Mint Salad

Recipe by Brenda Anderson for Smith Brother’s Butcher Shop
Photography by Chia Chong
Styling by Libbie Summers
Wine Pairing by Grapefriend 

The promise of spring on a plate. 

Lamb and Fennel Mint Salad
serves 4 

What you need:
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 fennel bulb, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon anise seed
Juice of one lime
1 rack of lamb
2 teaspoons Kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
4 cups mixed greens, washed thoroughly
Fennel Mint Salad Dressing (recipe to follow)

What to do:
In large sauté pan heat olive oil over medium heat. Add fennel, lime juice and anise seed, brown slightly, leaving fennel crisp. Remove from pan and set aside.

Allow lamb rack to come to room temperature and rub with cracked pepper, coarse salt and garlic powder. Cook rack of lamb in the same pan fennel was prepared in over medium high heat. Cook until medium rare (about 6-7 minutes) turning once halfway through the cooking time. Set aside. Let rest for 10 minutes. When cool enough to handle, cut the meat away from bone and slice into 1/2-inch medallions.

To assemble the salad, divide salad green among 4 plates and top with equal parts of the fennel. Top with lamb medallions and drizzle Fennel Mint Salad Dressing over to taste. Serve immediately.

Wine Pairing by Grapefriend:
You need something with enough body to match the pan seared lamb, but you’ve also got all that great anise spice in the fennel. A Spanish rosado will go with this like a champ: these rosés tend to be darker in color, and full of juicy red berry flavors. As a bonus, they’re the big bargains of the rosé world (most are around 10-15 bucks). I love the ones made from Garnacha grapes, but I like the Tempranillo-based ones too. Plus it’s spring so why not start popping some pink?

Fennel Mint Salad Dressing
1 cup Fennel Mint Simple Syrup (recipe to follow)
4 tablespoons rice vinegar
4 tablespoons olive oil
4 tablespoons fresh lime juice
4 tablespoons minced garlic
1 tablespoon cracked pepper

Combine all ingredients in a jar and shake until well mixed. Store in the refrigerator for up to one month. Shake before using.

Fennel Mint Simple syrup
makes 2 cups

2 cups water
1 cup sugar
1 cup mint, rough chopped
1 cup fennel, rough chopped

In a large sauce pan comb all ingredients. Once it comes to a boil, reduce temperature and simmer for 15 minutes. Strain and let liquid cool.


Libbie’s Food Styling Props: (top image) Shot on an old small tabletop. Salad greens are in a green glass bowl picked up at a yard sale in Savannah, GA. Dressing is setting on the bottom of an uber cool butter dish. Dressing is in a Weck jar. Cool spoon I picked up in Birmingham, AL from Table Matters. Lamb is setting on an old pie tin from Habersham Antiques Market. (bottom image) Shot on the same old table top. The green glass salad bowl is now sitting on top of a milk glass serving bowl. The napkin used to be a duvet cover from my son’s bedroom that he never used, so had it made into napkins (PS I gave him a set for Christmas/PSS He wasn’t impressed). The uber-cool salad tongs are from Rethink Design Studio.

Irish Corned Beef and Cabbage Soup

By Libbie Summers for Terra’s Kitchen
Photography by Chia Chong

There always seems to be leftover corned beef and cabbage on St. Patrick’s Day –maybe it’s the alcohol consumption that reduces the appetite for chewable foods. For whatever reason, you’ll need something to do with your leftovers. This Corned Beef and Cabbage Soup recipe I did for the amazing meal kit delivery service Terra’s Kitchen is the perfect receptacle for any leftovers. It’s hearty yet somehow light and magically delicious.
Corned Beef and Cabbage Recipes, St. Patrick's Day Recipes, Soup Recipes, Libbie Summers, A food-inspired life
Irish Corned Beef and Cabbage Soup
serves 4-6

What you need:
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 small onion, diced
2 cups shredded carrots
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon dry mustard powder
1/2 teaspoon Kosher or flake sea salt
1/4 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
16 ounces roughly chopped cabbage (big chops!)
6 cups low sodium chicken broth
1 cup barley
1 lb. piece of prepared corned beef, cut into ¼-inch wide strips
Celery leaves for garnish, optional

What to do:
Read the rest of the recipe HERE

Monet’s Favorite Sandwich

by Libbie Summers
Photography by Chia Chong

My obsession with the dining habits of Claude Monet began in college. I feasted again and again on the few English translations available of the notebooks he kept from his home in Giverny. At a time when my cooking skills were constrained by the size of my dorm room hotplate and my wallet, I would dream about the elaborate lunches Monet held promptly at 11:30 each day for guests like Renoir, Cézanne, and Degas. Some of the local ingredients that were mentioned in the notebooks included capons, chickens, berries, cheeses, and wonderful breads.

It wasn’t long after that I started making what I call Monet’s Favorite Sandwich. I thought: What if he was a sandwich eater and he put some of his favorite ingredients together between sliced bread? Wouldn’t it make the best sandwich in the world?

And it did.

I’ve yet to meet anyone who doesn’t love this sandwich. It has everything. Savory chicken, sweet raspberry preserves, creamy/salty brie, and the yeasty crunch of a baguette. Like Monet himself, this sandwich is kind of sweet and vicious. In the past, when someone asked me for the recipe, I told them to read Monet’s notebooks from Giverny. Now I’m a little sad thinking they may not have done so.

Libbie Summers, A Food-Inspired Life, Bread, Monet's Favorite Sandwich
Monet’s Favorite Sandwich
(warm roasted chicken, brie + raspberry jam on baguette)
serves 4

What you need:
1 loaf Napoleon Bread (page 116),
or your favorite baguette, split in half lengthwise
1⁄4 cup raspberry preserves
1⁄2 small roasted chicken, bones removed
and meat sliced or torn into large pieces 4 ounces brie
Fresh parsley leaves (optional)

What to do:
Preheat the broiler.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place the bottom half of the bread on it. Spread the raspberry preserves over the bread. Top the preserves with the chicken. Cut the brie into chunks or slices and spread across the top of the chicken. Broil for 3 to 5 minutes, until the cheese is just melted. Top with parsley if you like. Place the top half of the bread on the sandwich and cut into four equal pieces.
Serve warm.


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