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Saturday, March 10, 2012

Juicy, Tender Filet Mignon for Steak and a BJ Day

There was a time when February 14th wasn't fair. It wasn't fair to women. It wasn't fair to women because there was so much emphasis on them, they didn't get the chance to give back. Not properly. The flowers, the candy, the romance; none of this is for the man.

But that was all before. Now there is March 14th, one month after Valentines day. Steak and a BJ day: a day for men. Both are equally as important, but this is a food blog so I will focus on the steak and leave the BJ techniques to the bedroom bloggers.

There are some pairings to be discussed. What kind of steak will you be serving? And what will you serve with it?

Steaks are a matter of preference. Rib Eye is one of the tastiest and juiciest steaks thanks to a lot of extra fat. The Porterhouse and T-bone are manly cuts with a T-shaped bone (adding more flavor), the latter tends to be a little tougher. The strip steak is common and a good cut of meat without the bone. Flank steak can be tough but so good when marinated and sliced thin. The most prized cut of beef is the Filet Mignon with considerably less fat, fork tender and great flavor. Some see this as a women's steak because it is so tender. It's worth finding out which cut your partner enjoys.

Go easy on the potatoes and the heavy rich sauces to allow the meat flavor to shine through. There are so many great marinades and sauce recipes available but this cut doesn't need, save those for a cheaper cut of meat. Serve with a simple mango, chickpea or quinoa salad instead.

For beverage pairings, red wine seems the most obvious however, for some, this can cause a dry mouth. Besides being too light for a steak, an American pilsner style beer can cause burps from all the carbonation. Try something casual like a porter or a dark amber to add depth to the meal. Just limit yourself to one or two at most.

One final thought- just because it's called Steak and a BJ day doesn't mean the steak has to come first. After all, what guy doesn't want dessert first?

Fat and Happy Food Blog Tips and Techniques: Piercing the steak will cause a dry steak by allowing the juice to run out so use a pair of tongs over a fork to flip the steak. Always let your steak come to room temperature before cooking it. I'm sure you can find something to do for a half hour.

Pan Frying Filet Mignon

2 filet mignon's
Kosher salt
Fresh cracked pepper
1 tbls olive oil
2 tbls cold butter
Side salads

Place the steaks on the counter and liberally sprinkle both sides with course salt and cracked pepper. Let the steak sit for 30 minutes to come to room temperature. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Heat the olive oil and 1 tablespoon of butter in a cast iron or heavy pan until hot, nearly smoking. Use a paper towel to dry off the steaks, just pat them dry on both sides. Place the steaks in the hot pan and cook for 3 minutes per side. Place the pan in the oven and let cook for 4 minutes, depending on your desired doneness. Four minutes in the oven gave me a perfect rare to medium rare steak. Let yours go for another minute or two if you want them slightly more medium but I implore you not to cook them past 8 minutes because they will result in a dry steak.

To test for doneness press your finger onto the steak, how does it feel? Now touch your thumb and your index finger together in an "OK" sign, and then press the fleshy part of your palm right below the thumb with your other hand. Feel how soft and malleable that is? That's the way rare steak feels when you press it!

Now touch your other fingers to your thumb, one at a time. As you move from your index finger to your pinky, the pad of your thumb will get progressively more firm and resistant. This feels similar to steak as it cooks, moving from rare (index finger) to medium-rare (middle finger) to medium (ring finger) to well-done (pinky). Test your steak often and remember they will continue to cook slightly even after they are removed from the heat.
  • Very Rare Steak – feels soft and squishy
  • Rare Steak – soft to the touch
  • Medium-Rare Steak – yields gently to the touch
  • Medium Steak – yields only slightly to the touch, beginning to firm up
  • Medium-Well Steak – firm to the touch
  • Well-Done Steak – hard to the touch
Remove the steaks from the pan, place a pat of butter on top of each, set them on a plate and loosely cover them with tin foil. Allow the steaks to rest for 10 minutes before you cut into them. Just walk away, don't touch them at all.

Ready the side salad, pour the beverages and set the table while you are letting the steaks rest. Plate the steak with your side dishes and serve. Savor every bite.

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