Monthly Archives: September 2014

  • How to Cook the Perfect Filet Mignon
  • How to Cook the Perfect Filet Mignon
  • How to Cook the Perfect Filet Mignon

How to Cook the Perfect Filet Mignon

Posted on September 29, 2014
Category:

If you’ve been hanging around here for a while, then you know that meat isn’t something I cook often at home. So when I do, I go big. And today friends, you and I are going to cook the most perfectly succulent filet mignon that will rival any restaurant steak house. Trust.

OK, let’s just talk about the elephant in the room: filet mignon is expensive. I paid $22.00 for two 6-ounce pieces at Whole Foods. So this isn’t something you’ll be cooking on a weekly basis. Unless of course you are that lucky lady who just landed the bank account heart of George Clooney. So save it for a special anniversary dinner, date night meal or intimate Holiday gathering. And keep in mind that if you were to order the filet mignon at a restaurant, it would easily cost you over $20.00 for a single entrée. At home, you can serve two people for the same price. Winning.

Are we still on board? Good. Keep reading.

This method is incredibly simple and takes only about 15 minutes. And a few little tricks help to make it completely foolproof. For example, always take your meat out of the refrigerator for about 20 minutes to remove the chill before you start cooking. Also, resist the urge to move the meat around in the pan while it’s searing. And most importantly, use a timer to keep track of the time. Things happen fast and you DON’T want to overcook filet mignon. That would be a sad thing.

I was inspired to share this little “how-to” with you today after an incredible session I attended at IFBC put on by the folks from Beef Checkoff (Hi Erin!). Their session was purely educational (i.e. they weren’t pushing a particular brand or product), and their goal was simply to increase consumer knowledge about beef in America. So whether you are looking to save money at the meat counter, not sure what cut of beef to use in a particular recipe, or deciding if grass-finished beef is the appropriate choice for your family, these folks have answers for you. Be sure to check out their site for TONS of tips on shopping for, cooking and storing beef. And remember, you can always ask your butcher for advice too. They are there to help you.

This filet mignon tutorial is the perfect way to help us become more confident when cooking with beef. Because when you pay the big bucks for filet mignon, you don’t want to mess it up!

One final note: I beg you not to slather this with steak sauce (just don’t), blue cheese or butter. Those toppings are all undeniably delicious, but filet mignon doesn’t need them. The meat is so tender and flavorful that it can stand on its own. A good pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper and a spoonful of any pan drippings is plenty delicious. Save your additional toppings for more inexpensive cuts of meat.

Cheers,

Liz

How to Cook the Perfect Filet Mignon

Serves 2

How to Cook the Perfect Filet Mignon

Ingredients

  • 2 filet mignon steaks, each about 6-ounces and 2-inches thick
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • About 1/2 tsp. each salt and pepper

Instructions

  1. Remove the filet mignon from your refrigerator and set them on your counter top to come to room temperature, about 20 minutes. Filet mignon is very lean and doesn’t usually require any trimming.
  2. Pre-heat your oven to 425 degrees. Season the filet mignon with salt and pepper on both sides. I use approximately 1/8 tsp. salt and pepper per side.
  3. Heat a large oven-proof sauté pan (I prefer a stainless steel skillet; don't use a non-stick pan) over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil and let it get hot.
  4. Add the filets to the hot pan and let them cook undisturbed for 4 minutes. Use a timer and don’t move the filets around in the pan during this time. After 4 minutes, flip the filets. Then immediately transfer the sauté pan to your pre-heated oven and set your timer. Cook in the oven for 5-7 minutes, depending on your preferred level of doneness: 5 minutes for rare, 6 minutes for medium-rare or 7 minutes for medium.
  5. Remove the pan from the oven and transfer the filets to a clean plate. Tent with foil and let them rest for 5 minutes. Do not leave the filets to rest in your sauté pan or they will overcook from the residual heat in the pan.
  6. Spoon any juices from the sauté pan over the filets and serve immediately.
http://www.floatingkitchen.net/how-to-cook-the-perfect-filet-mignon/
  • Apple Harvest Yogurt Parfaits with Maple-Nut Clusters
  • Apple Harvest Yogurt Parfaits with Maple-Nut Clusters
  • Apple Harvest Yogurt Parfaits with Maple-Nut Clusters
  • Apple Harvest Yogurt Parfaits with Maple-Nut Clusters

Apple Harvest Yogurt Parfaits with Maple-Nut Clusters

Posted on September 24, 2014
Category:

There are things about living on a floating home that are a bit different than living in a regular home. One: don’t ever drop your keys or your phone in the “yard”. Two: it’s best not to piss off your neighbors or they may poop on your deck. And three: be prepared for copious amounts of spiders.

Over these past couple years I’ve learned to deal with the spiders. Usually they don’t bother me too much. I’m not someone that gets majorly freaked out by bugs. BUT then something bad happened…

I just wanted a cup of tea. I hadn’t made tea in weeks, as it’s been fairly warm around these parts. So I heated up the water in my kettle, poured it into my mug and noticed that a little something came out of the spout. I looked into my mug and discovered that it was a HUGE spider! It was dead of course because I had just boiled it’s brains out. But still. Guys! A spider was living in my tea kettle!!

What do I do now with my tea kettle? It’s one of those ones that only has a spout and no top lid that comes off. So I can’t get a sponge in there to scrub it. HALP! I think I might just have to throw it out and buy a new one. I’m so grossed out. Yes, I know that boiling water kills things. That’s not the point. I need to SEE that it’s clean and I can’t. Tea might be ruined for me forever now…

So now I have to enjoy my breakfast sans tea. Which is actually OK because I’ve been having some really delicious breakfasts lately. Less tea = more room in my belly for these yogurt parfaits! Creamy yogurt layered with sautéed spiced apples, crunchy nut clusters and a drizzle of apple cider syrup is my idea of breakfast heaven.

OK, now I bet your looking down at that recipe and thinking “that’s a lot of steps for 7am”. It is. You’re right. So do all the parts the night before if you want (or even 2 days before!). Store the apple cider syrup and sautéed apples in the refrigerator and the maple-nut clusters at room temperature. Then just assemble the parfaits in the morning and you’re ready to take on the day (or something cheesy like that).

Oh and this is my favorite spider video ever (um…said no one ever). Watch it. It’s so funny and it’s not creepy at all. I would not lie to you.

Cheers,

Liz

Apple Harvest Yogurt Parfaits with Maple-Nut Clusters

Serves 4

Apple Harvest Yogurt Parfaits with Maple-Nut Clusters

Ingredients

  • For the Apple Cider Syrup
  • 4 cups fresh apple cider

  • For the Maple-Nut Clusters
  • 1 cup sliced almonds
  • 1/2 cup pecans, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/4 tsp. salt (use less if starting with salted nuts)
  • 3 tablespoons maple syrup

  • For the Sautéed Apples
  • 2 apples, cored and roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup fresh apple cider
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cardamom
  • 1/8 tsp. salt

  • For the Parfaits
  • 6 cups Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup dates, pitted and chopped

Instructions

  1. Make the apple cider syrup. Simmer the apple cider in a medium saucepan for approximately 1 hour, or until the cider is reduced to about 1 cup, stirring occasional. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool. Once cooled, the apple cider syrup can be stored in an airtight container (like a mason jar) in the refrigerator for 1 to 2 weeks.
  2. Make the maple-nut clusters. In a dry skillet over medium heat, toast the almonds, pecans and sunflower seeds until they become fragrant, about 2-3 minutes. Watch them closely and stir frequently so they don’t burn. Add the salt and the maple syrup, stirring until everything is well coated. Remove from the heat and spread the nuts out onto a parchment-paper lined baking sheet. Set aside to cool. Once cooled, the nuts can be broken down into clusters and stored in an airtight container at room temperature for several days.
  3. Sauté the apples. Combine the chopped apples, cider and spices in the same skillet you used to cook the nut clusters. Simmer over medium heat, about 5 minutes, until the apples are slightly softened (you want them to still have a little bite to them). Remove from the heat and set aside to cool. Once cooled, the sautéed apples can be stored in a airtight container in the refrigerator for 2-3 days.
  4. Assemble the parfaits in this order: Greek yogurt, sautéed apples, nut clusters, apple cider syrup. Repeat this layering one more time, finishing with a sprinkle of chopped dates on top. For a single parfait, I typically use about 1 1/2 cups of Greek yogurt, 1/2 cup of sautéed apples, 1/3 cup nut clusters and 2 tablespoons of apple cider syrup. But do what tastes right to you! This recipe yields enough to make approximately 4 parfaits.
http://www.floatingkitchen.net/apple-harvest-yogurt-parfaits-with-maple-nut-clusters/

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