Sunday, March 27, 2011

Filet Mignon with Pepper Cream Sauce

1/4 cup coarsely crushed black peppercorns
4 (6 ounce) beef tenderloin filets, 1 1/2 inches thick
salt to taste
1 tablespoon butter
1 teaspoon olive oil
1-2 shallots, finely chopped
2 T cup beef broth
1 cup heavy cream
Preheat an oven to 275F.

Place the peppercorns into a shallow bowl. Sprinkle the beef tenderloin filets with salt on both sides, and coat both sides with crushed peppercorns. Place the filets on a cutting board or dish and cover with foil. Let the filets sit at room temperature for 45-60 minutes.

After the filets have warmed, place them in a pan and put the pan in the pre-heated oven. Cook the filets until they have reached an internal temperature of 95F (12-15 minutes). Once the filets have reached an internal temperature of 95F, take the filets out of the oven.

Melt the butter with the olive oil over high heat in a heavy skillet (not nonstick) until the foam disappears from the butter. Gently place the steaks in the pan, and cook until they start to become firm and are reddish-pink and juicy in the center, about 3 1/2 minutes per side. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the center should read 130 degrees F (54 degrees C). Remove the steaks to platter, and cover tightly with foil.

Cook the shallots in the pan for 1-2 minutes, then pour the beef broth into the skillet, and use a whisk to stir the broth and scrape up any dissolved brown flavor bits from the skillet. Whisk in the cream, and simmer the sauce until it is reduced and thickened, 6 to 7 minutes. Place the steaks back in the skillet, turn to coat with sauce, and serve with the remaining sauce.

Cook's Notes: This was an easy and incredibly easy dish to make. It has an incredibly sophisticated taste but it could not be easier to make. We served this with a bottle of Educated Guess Cabernet.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Saturday night salad

Saturday night, we had friends Yvonne and Gary over for dinner.  Paul made a magnificent honey and rosemary rack of lamb.  Yvonne asked to bring the salad and how happy we were that she did.  WOW.   You need to make this sometime.  

Radicchio with blue cheese and pears 

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 T white wine vinegar
1 T honey
2 small radicchio, ends trimmed and leaves separated
2 small beurre bosc pears, quartered, cored and cut into thin wedges
Blue cheese crumbled  (No amount here ... I love blue cheese so more is better.  You can decide on amount based on your personal taste)
1/4 cup roasted hazelnuts, roughly chopped

Mix everything.  Eat.  It's amazing.  

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Baked Potato Soup

I really felt like some soup today.  It's been overcast, dreary, feeling-colder-than-it-is kind of cold, damp cold, lugubrious.  Our soup days are coming to an end (hip, hip, hooray) so I thought I would take advantage of the weather.

Saturday night, I made a fabulous meatloaf and decided on baked potatoes to go with it.  Having seen this recipe earlier in the day,  I threw a couple extra potatoes in to bake.  I am SO GLAD that I did.

Baked Potato Soup courtesy of

3 bacon strips, diced
1 small onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon pepper
3 cups chicken broth
2 large baked potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 cup half-and-half cream
1/2 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
Shredded Cheddar cheese
Minced fresh parsley

In a large saucepan, cook bacon until crisp. Drain, reserving 1 tablespoon drippings. Set bacon aside. Saute onion and garlic in the drippings until tender. Stir in flour, salt, basil and pepper; mix well. Gradually add broth. Bring to boil; boil and stir for 2 minutes. Add the potatoes, cream and hot pepper sauce; heat through but do not boil. Garnish with bacon, cheese and parsley.

Cook's notes
Because I can never really follow directions, here are a few changes that I made.
I never took out the bacon.  And I am really glad that I didn't.
I used 4 cups of chicken broth instead of 3.
I should have used a few more potatoes.

It is fantastic.  And really easy.

Sunday, March 6, 2011


This weekend we went hog wild. Using the pork that we purchased last year, we made the following dishes for dinner each night:

Friday Night: Parmesan and Sage Pork Chops
We followed this recipe to the letter. To our surprise the Parmesan cheese adhered quite well to the chops.

Saturday Night: Slow Cooker Barbecue Ribs
Truth be told, Deirdre and I did not make the sauce per the recipe. I bought a bottle of Sweet baby Ray's BBQ sauce and poured it over the ribs. The meat cooked for 8 hours and it was literally falling off the bone.

Sunday Night: Tangy Slow Cooker Pork Roast

We have yet to enjoy Sunday night's meal, but I can tell you that our dinners on Friday and Saturday night were nothing short of outstanding. Here are a few images of what has become known as Pork-a-Palooza: