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An Appetizer Fit for Royalty

July 15th, 2011 by Kevin Baldacci | No Comments »

Beef Tenderloin Crostini with Basil-Curry Mayonnaise

Last night I was pleased to come home from work with a peculiar appetizer waiting for me personally cooked by my mother, Brenda. These little beauties were little slabs of steak with some kind of melted cheese/mayonnaise spread on top. I was a little skeptical at first since I am a very picky eater and have been since I figured out that shaking my head meant “no vegetables for me, thanks.” However, I took a bite into the little appetizer and was immediately bombarded with the most delicious array of tastes and textures. I couldn’t stop eating them and soon turned a small appetizer into a meal. But the meal wasn’t quite complete. I figured this would go great with a glass of wine and popped open our Pinot Noir, Elizabeth 2009 and was immediately proud of my decision. Cheese and steak are normally separate delights with a glass of wine. However, I could have never imagined the two fused together would be probably the best wine pairing I’ve ever tasted. The combination was enough to leave me drooling and debating if society would frown upon me having it for breakfast as well.

Upon inquiring within about the recipe, I learned my mother picked it up from Food Network star, Giada De Laurentiis, who served it to newlyweds Prince William and Princess Kate during a charity event in Santa Barbara. I was flattered my mother felt I was worthy of a “royal recipe” and have decided that I would share it with everyone. Throw this delectable meal together along with a glass of Pinot and you are ready to rock your taste buds’ world. Enjoy!


Recipe: Beef tenderloin crostini with basil-curry mayonnaise

By: Giada De Laurentiis


  • For the crostini (bread):
  • 1/2 baguette or ficelle loaf, sliced into 20 1/4- to 1/2-inch-thick slices
  • Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

For the steak:

  • Vegetable oil cooking spray
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 clove garlic, finely minced
  • 2 4-ounce filet mignon steaks, each about 1 inch thick
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

For the mayonnaise:

  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 3 tablespoons mascarpone cheese, at room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons Madras curry powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


To make the crostini: Place an oven rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Arrange the bread slices on a baking sheet.

Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt.

Bake for 10 to 12 minutes until the bread is light golden.

To make the steak: Spray a small baking sheet with vegetable oil cooking spray. Set aside.

In a small bowl, combine the salt, pepper, cumin, coriander and garlic. Rub the spice mixture all over the steaks.

In a medium nonstick skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the steaks and cook for two minutes on each side until browned.

Transfer to the prepared baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes for medium doneness.

Let the steaks rest for 10 minutes before slicing. Slice the steaks, across the grain, into 20 1/4-inch-thick slices.

To make the mayonnaise: In a small bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, mascarpone cheese, basil, curry powder, smoked paprika, salt and pepper.

To serve: Spread a heaped 1/2 teaspoonful of the curry mayonnaise over each toast slice.

Arrange a slice of steak on top.

Place a 1/4 teaspoon dollop of curry mayonnaise on top of the steak and arrange a single leaf of cilantro on top.

Serving Size

Yields six to eight servings


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