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Monday, February 21, 2011

Simple Yet Sophisticated Fillet Mignon

My mother and I love to cook...
But, like in everything, we approach it with our own unique style. Jeanine strictly follows recipe, enjoying the pleasure of nurturing her family and friends.  Jenn, on the other hand, loosely follows recipes, loving to mix up the flavors and enjoying the calm that comes from stirring a slowly simmering sauce.  Most of the recipes I'll share here will have a Jeanine 'Traditional' version and a Jenn 'Creative' version.  (Isn't our company name just perfect for us?)  That way you can choose the recipe that works best for you. They will both be yummy, though in my biased opinion most of the Jenn recipes are yummier. ;)

However, for the first Creative Tradition recipe it's a Jenn Original recipe!  It's what I made for my husband and I for Valentine's Day this year.  I took a picture of it to share with my friends on Facebook then suddenly I was sharing the recipe in the comments. So really this recipe is what led to me finally getting around to starting our blog. So let's get to the good stuff...

Simple Yet Sophisticated Fillet Mignon
Doesn't this meal look so sophisticated and yummy?  Can you believe it only takes about 30 minutes?


2 fillet mignons
1 bag of baby carrots with caps
1 bag of frozen Ore-Ida Steam-N-Mash Russet Potatoes
3 Tbs real butter (I used unsalted)
1/4 cup milk (I use skim)
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
2 Tbs sour cream (I use fat free)
3 cups red wine
2 large garlic cloves
1 beef bouillon cube
olive oil


1. Get Things HOT!
Preheat the oven to 425.
Select a pan that is big enough to hold your fillets and deep enough for the sauce.
Put a pan on Medium heat to get hot. The pan needs to be hot to best sear the fillets.

2. Roasted Fancy Carrots 
I buy these carrots at Ralphs in a microwavable bag. Microwave for half the suggested time. If you bought unbagged carrots, you'll need to cook your carrots in the oven longer.
Spread carrots in a single layer on a baking sheet.
Drizzle lightly with olive oil. 
Season with salt and pepper.
Place the baking sheet in the oven.

3. Fillet Mignon
Drizzle the pan with olive oil increase heat to High.
Remove fillets from packaging and set on a plate.
Season the fillets with salt and pepper.
Once the oil is hot (toss a few droplets of water in the pan, if it sizzles it's ready!) place the fillets in the pan seasoned side down.
While they are searing, season the fillet tops with salt and pepper.
Let it sear for 2-3 minutes (that means don't touch it!) then turn the fillets over to sear the other side.
Sear the other side for 2-3 minutes.
While the second side is searing, check on your carrots. Move turn them over to get their other side roasted.
Once the second side is done searing, flip the fillets so its on the side you first seared.
Add 2 tablespoons of butter to the hot pan (carefully).
Tilt the pan so the butter is in one area, dip a spoon into the melted butter then pour it on top of the fillets. Repeat for about 1 minute.
Flip the fillets and spoon the butter on that side for another minute.

4. Carrot Fillet Swap and Start the Sauce
Remove the carrots from oven.
Move the carrots off the baking sheet into a serving bowl or other container.
Place the fillets on the hot backing sheet and return it to the oven.
Cook for 6-10 minutes depending on your preferred doneness.
Reduce the the fillet pan heat to Medium.
Carefully add the red wine into the pan.

5. Prepare Potatoes... No Peeling or Boiling Necessary!
Place a bag of Ore-Ida's Steam-n-Mash Russet Potatoes in the microwave for 10 minutes.

This is probably the most valuable innovation I've seen in the market recently.  I love mashed potatoes but I hate waiting for water to boil and peeling (or worse cleaning up after it).  These are real potatoes cut into chunks and frozen.  They steam in the microwave so when you take them out of the bag you can make them your favorite way! They are full of flavor and WAY better than anything boxes. If you haven't I REALLY recommend you try these!  You can even cheat and use them for Thanksgiving and no one will be the wiser ;)

6. The Sauce
Sauces are great fun to play around with... I'm still trying to perfect my red wine sauce but here is what I've got so far:

The pan should be on Medium heat with the red wine simmering away picking up the fillet sear flavors and the left over butter.
Peel and crush the garlic then place it into the pan.
Place the beef bouillon cube into the pan and crush it with your spoon.
Time to taste! Get a clean spoon and carefully taste the sauce.
Add additional seasonings till its to your liking.
Salt, Pepper, Herbs de Province or lemon zest can help bring out more flavor. Be careful not to over flavor just yet since the sauce will continue to reduce.
Let the sauce reduce while you continue. Stir occasional.
If you want a thicker sauce, sprinkle some gravy flour while stirring.

7. Time to Mash!
Once your fillets are cooked to your liking (use the chef back of finger method or the easier to understand digital thermometer) remove fillets from the over.
Remove them from the baking sheet and place on a clean cutting board.
Let them rest for 3-5 minutes.
Remove your potatoes from the microwave.
Carefully cut open the bag and pour into a mixing bowl.
Mash your potatoes as you like. This time I added butter, skim milk, sour cream, and parmesan cheese.

8. Presentation
To serve, plop a pile of potatoes slightly off center of the plate.
Sprinkle the potatoes with a garnish like parmesan cheese, diced chives, etc.
Lay the fillet against the potatoes.
Lean the carrots, tops up, between the fillet and potatoes.
Spoon sauce over the fillet.
Pour remaining sauce into a gravy boat.

You can make such a wonderfully sophisticated looking meal, concentrating on the scrumptious fillet mignon because the sides are so simple.  Enjoy!

1 comment:

  1. Reading your recipes... My mouth is watering! Think I'll have to surprise Troy with a couple of new meals! ~Kathi