>> Tuesday, February 14, 2012
So you want to know how to make the perfect Dinner for your sweetheart? It is easy; I will take you step by step into the secrets of the culinary world.
- Cast Iron Seared Filet Mignon with Green Peppercorn Sauce
- Maine Lobster Tails (I don't care for the Spiny/Rock Lobsters)
- Home-Grown Asparagus (see our gardening section)
- All-American Smashed Potatoes (also from the garden)
- Chocolate Dipped Strawberries
Beef Tenderloin & Filet Mignon. What is the difference? Beef tenderloin vs Filet Mignon can be a little confusing if you're not used to selecting cuts of beef.
Beef tenderloin is a large cut of beef before it is sliced into steak, and known by it's french name Filet Mignon. I've seen beef tenderloin steaks in the market and these are the same thing as filet mignon steaks. However, you'll never see an entire beef tenderloin labeled as filet mignon. There are two types of beef tenderloin. The trimmed version of the beef tenderloin and the untrimmed version. The trimmed version has the fat off the sides largely removed and is smoothly cut with the side medallion removed. It is more expensive since it has less fat and waist than untrimmed. The trimmed version is my favorite since it doesn't require any preparation.
The untrimmed version requires more preparation since you have to trim it yourself. Go for it if your adventurous and skilled with a knife. You don't want to mange the prime cut of beef that you just paid good $$ for. To turn a beef tenderloin into Filet Mignon, all you have to do is take a very sharp butcher's knife and slice the beef tenderloin into 2 inch steaks across the grain of the beef tenderloin. Once it's is sliced, you have Filet Mignon.
Where to buy? Sam's Club or Costco and the Beef Tenderloin or you can go to any butcher shop and find the ready-to-go Filet Mignon. We found these at Kroger, actually, "Nolan Ryan All-Natural" so they say. Only $14.99 a pound. I got one pound; they where 8oz each PERFECT! How much would you pay at the restaurant; well much more than that!!!! At Sam's you can get the whole untrimmed tenderloin around $8-$10/pound. You can get around 8-10 steaks out of one, depending on the size you find. Save the rest for later!!!
LOBSTER: During Valentine's you will be able to easily find great Lobster tails about 4-8oz. We found these at Kroger at a great price for only $5 each! Also can find at any specialty store like Whole Foods too any time of the year. Or my favorite place Central Market! These I have here are about 5 oz. each. Easy for you, then you don't have to mess with a whole live lobster; for the scared ones-you know who you are!!!
Get your sides ready!!!
Don't forget about Dessert!!
TIME TO COOK:
Take you old Cast Iron Skillet to cook this cut of beef, very easy to do inside when it is Cold outside and you don't want to turn the grill on. Get the pan hot. About a medium-high heat and place in a 1/2 stick of butter. YES BUTTER!!! Don't over season the beef; a simple salt and pepper will do. Make sure not to overcrowd your pan. Use a big enough pan. We don't want to "steam the beef" Sauce coming soon....
After about 3-5 minutes you can turn it over. You should only need to turn the steak over once. Don't mess with it in the cast iron skillet leave it alone until you think it is ready to turn. You will know when you see some brown coming from the sides. If you like it more done "well done" shame on you: then it will take longer to cook!
For the Lobster I like to just add a little salt, butter, paprika for color. Cook them in the oven on BROIL, on high heat! They will only take about 1-2 minutes to cook. WATCH THEM!!!
Don't forget the EXTRA butter for Dipping!!!
GREEN PEPPERCORN SAUCE:
1 can/jar green peppercorns
1 stick of butter
1/2 of a yellow onion diced small
1 cup Beef Stock/Broth
1/4 cup Bourbon or Cognac or Brandy or whatever!
3 Tbsp. Heavy Cream
Heat your cast iron pan to medium high heat. Add the butter and diced onions and saute until they are starting to turn brown. Don't over-stir them of they will never brown! Leave them alone. Add the green peppercorns, Beef broth and choice of liquor. Careful it might flame up! Do if off the fire. Let it reduce by half and add the heavy cream . WHALLA!!! you have your sauce!
FINISH YOUR DESSERT!
TIME TO EAT!!!