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Filet Mignons with Whisky Mushroom Sauce


The first recipe we decided to prepare from Steven Raichlen’s new BBQ cookbook was Filet Mignons with Whisky Mushroom Sauce a dish from Uraguay. It’s beef wrapped in bacon smothered in a creamy wild mushroom sauce. What’s not to like?

Recipe adapted from PLANET BARBECUE!: An Electrifying Journey Around the World’s Barbecue Trail by S. Raichlen (Workman, May 2010).

Serves 4

Ingredients

Sauce:
12 ounces wild mushrooms (porcini, chantrelle)
2 tbsp (1/4 stick) butter
1 shallot, thinly sliced
2 tsp all-purpose flour
1 cup beef stock
1/4 cup whipping cream
2 tbsp scotch whisky
2 tsp dijon mustard
1/2 tsp finely grated lemon zest
kosher salt & ground pepper

Steaks:
4 filet mignons (each 1.5 inches thick & 6-8 ounces)
4 slices country style bacon
8 bay leaves (optional)
butcher string

Preparation

Make the sauce:  Trim/clean mushrooms and thinly slice. Melt butter in pan over medium heat. Add shallot and cook until translucent but not brown, about 2 minutes. Add mushrooms and increase heat to high. Cook until tender stirring often and most of the liquid has evaporated, about 3 minutes. Stir in flour and cook, stirring, until flour evenly coats the mushrooms, about 1 minute. Stir in beef stock and cream bring to boil, stirring well. Reduce heat and simmer until slightly reduced, 3-5 minutes, stirring often. Add whisky, mustard, lemon zest and stir until blended, about 2 minutes. Season with salt & pepper to taste. Sauce can be prepared up to 1 hour ahead and kept warm.

Prepare the steaks: Wrap a slice of bacon around the side of each filet, sandwiching 2 bay leaves, if using, between the bacon and beef on opposite sides. Tie bacon in place with butcher string. Season top and bottom of steaks with salt & pepper.

Set up the grill for direct grilling and preheat to high. To be authentic you’d grill over oak or eucalyptus embers.

When ready to cook, brush and oil grill grate. Arrange filets on the hot grate and grill to taste 4-6 minutes per side for med-rare. Don’t forget to grill the sides to brown the bacon.

Transfer steaks to plate and remove string. Spoon sauce over the top and serve at once.

See my review of the cookbook here

Buy the book here


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Fajitas

I was craving Fajitas but didn’t know how to prepare the steak. I ended up using a Paula Deen recipe. The result was displeasing due to the lack of flavor. It probably wasn’t the best idea to look to the kooky southern cook for a Mexican recipe but it was called Gold Medal Fajitas. It sounded like a winner. Oh, well… at least it looked good. Anyone have a tasty Fajita recipe to share with me?

Recipe link, if interested

Lasagna-Style Baked Pennette with Meat Sauce

Mike and I hosted a get together last Friday night. Since we both had to work during the day I came up with the idea to make a lasagna because we could make it in advance. I ended up using a recipe I found in the December 07 Food & Wine Magazine. It was a variation on a lasagna and looked really yummy. It consisted of penne pasta, a hearty amount of lamb and veal, some tomatoes and a creamy cheese sauce. It turned out really good. A small amount goes a long way with this dish. It’s very rich. We easily fed 9 people and still had leftovers for two more meals.

Minor modifications for next time would include more tomatoes and maybe some garlic. This was my first Italian dish without any garlic…

Photo gallery (Click to enlarge):

You can also find the recipe in the 2008 Food & Wine Annual Cookbook

Caprese Salad

A couple times a year we have a wine & food night with friends. The evening consists of decadent food and many bottles of fantastic wine. This time Mike and I were assigned the salad course.

I attempted to make the Caprese Salad Mike and I ate at Enoteca San Marco last month. I had found an adaptation of the recipe online. I will admit I didn’t have time to make the pesto so I picked some up at Whole Foods. It was fresh and had the exact same ingredients the recipe called for but it was not as garlicky as I would have liked.

The 2 hour roasted tomatoes turned out well but didn’t have the same consistency as I remember at Enoteca. Enoteca looked and tasted more like stewed tomatoes.

Final verdict: No complaints from the foodies but I think I could do better.

You can find the original recipe in Mario’s cookbook:Molto Italiano: 327 Simple Italian Recipes to Cook at Home

Cod with tarragon butter sauce

Mike whipped up this classic french fish dish the other night. He got the recipe out of the “best of Cooking Light 9” special edition magazine. It can also be prepared using sole or flounder.

Take the cod and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Heat a large skillet over medium heat then coat with cooking spray. Add fish. Cook 2 minutes on each side or until flaky. Remove from pan, cover and keep warm. Add 3/4 cup dry white wine and chicken broth plus shallots (1/3 c) and garlic (1tbsp). Bring to boil. Simmer 10 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in 5 tsp butter, 1/4tsp salt, 1 tbsp chives, and 1.5 tsp fresh tarragon. Spoon sauce over fish and serve.

cod

Lobster Risotto – The Ultimate Valentine’s Day Meal

If you ever get an invite to our house for risotto don’t pass it up! Mike is a risotto master. It doesn’t matter what kind he makes it always turns out fabulous. It is so good that I can’t order risotto in restaurants because they can never compare. For this special day he decided to make Lobster Risotto. It was his first attempt at preparing anything with lobster and he did a wonderful job. He chose this variety because he knows I am a lobster fanatic. My family lived in Massachusetts for many years so I have been eating lobster since I was young. Below are some pics of the fruits of his labor…

lobster stock phelps ovation lobster risotto

Mike started things off by making his own lobster stock which infused the rice with even more yummy lobster flavor. The final dish was silky and luscious. You can’t celebrate a special occasion at our house without a bottle of Joseph Phelps wine. This evening Mike chose a 2004 Chardonnay called Ovation which is what I gave him after I finished my 3rd helping of risotto!

Mike’s risotto cookbook of choice is by Judith Barrett and Norma Wasserman. It’s a winner. Purchase it here: Risotto

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