Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Food Nanny Fillet Mignon and Steamed Honey Glazed Carrots (The Meal That Made Me Blush)



My husband and I both agreed that this is one of the very best savory dishes to have been produced in my kitchen. It's ridiculous. I made it for myself for lunch so that I'd have plenty of daylight for taking photos. I kid you not, I started blushing when I took the first bite. I made it again for my husband for dinner tonight and he made eyes at me. And he said it got even better as he continued to eat it. Even now as I try to describe it, my head just goes to a fuzzy place and all I hear is a pleasant humming.



So, I know that there are a lot of you that want to write off this meal right away, because of the cost of this cut of beef. I have two words for you: half sirloin. They're about 1/3 of the cost, and they're cut very similar, so the cooking instructions hold. No, it won't be AS good, but it'll still be make-you-blush good. And it's not all about the steak. Cooked carrots are something that I've hated since childhood, but I ate every single one of those carrots you see on that plate, and I plan to make them again. My husband loved them. And they are EASY. (Many thanks, by the way, to my new sister-in-law Leslie, for giving us honey from her family's beehives for Christmas. It was perfect in this dish!)


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Food Nanny Fillet Mignon
by Liz Edmunds, The Food Nanny

Serves 4
Cook Time: 10 minutes

Plan Ahead
Let seasoned steaks sit out for 30 min. at room temperature

Ingredients
4 1-inch to 1 1/2-inch thick center cut Black Angus beef tenderloin steak (Fillet Mignon,) room temperature
1 Tablespoon coarse salt
2 Tablespoons crush peppercorns
1 Tablespoon canola oil
4 Tablespoons cold butter

Sauce
4 Tablespoons cold butter
1/4 cup shallot, minced
1/4 cup Merlot or red wine
1/4 cup beef broth
3/4 cup heavy cream
1 Tablespoon parsley, fresh or dried, minced

Directions
Fillet Mignon
Pat Steaks dry with a paper towel. Place on a platter or baking sheet. Season each steak onboth sides with coarse salt and crushed peppercorns. (Or use your pepper grinder on the largest grind.) Be sure to let seasoned steaks sit out for 30 min. at room temperature.
Preheat oven to 500 degrees. When oven is ready continue. 
If NOT making the sauce, pre-heat a cast iron pan over high heat. (I don't like the way this sauce turns out in a cast iron skillet. It seems muddy...) If you ARE making sauce, choose a non-cast iron, oven-safe pan. The pan is ready when you sprinkle with a few drops of water and it sizzles. If the pan is smoking turn down the heat. Add canola oil. Place the meat in the pan and sear 3 min. per side. Set your timer.
Quickly place 1 Tablespoon cold butter on top of each steak and move pan into the hot oven on the middle rack and continue cooking steaks without turning, 4 more min. for medium rare. Set your timer. Remove from oven. Place the pan on top of the stove. 
If not making with sauce, serve immediately. If making sauce, quickly remove steaks to a platter and cover with foil to keep warm.
Sauce
To the pan drippings on top of the stove add, 2 Tablespoons butter, 1/4 cup minced shallot. Stir until shallots are browned, about 3 to 4 min.
Add Merlot, or any red wine or cooking wine and beef broth. Stir, scraping up any brown bits. Boil over moderately low heat until reduced to a syrupy consistency.
Add heavy cream and any meat juices accumulated on the platter where the meat is resting. Boil down to half. Swirl in 2 to 3 more Tablespoons cold butter and the minced parsley.
Season to taste with coarse salt and fresh ground pepper.
Cut steaks into thin slices or serve whole and pour the sauce over meat.
 
Janna's Note:
Liz gives the sauce recipe as optional, but I can't tell you enough how worthwhile it is. For me, it was the element on the plate that stole the show.
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Steamed Honey Glazed Carrots
by Liz Edmunds, The Food Nanny

Serves 2
Cook Time: 10 minutes

Plan Ahead
Cut carrots up and keep in plastic bag.

Ingredients
whole fresh carrots, peeled and cut into sticks - not "baby" carrots in plastic bags
Softened butter, to taste
Clover honey, to taste
Coarse salt, to taste

Directions
Peel the carrots. Cut in half lengthwise, then in half again. You should end up with at least 8 carrot sticks per carrot. (Some carrots are extra thick and you could cut more sticks.)
Steam carrots for 10 min. Remove and toss hot carrots with butter and drizzle with honey. Lightly salt. Serve immediately.
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On Friday I'll be serving up the last installment of our Valentine's French Menu: Strawberries and Cream Cake. Hope you're as excited as I am!

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