Filet Mignon with Green Peppercorn Sauce

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Cooking the perfect steak is not an easy task. Getting the temperature just right takes practice. I spent many years of my life as a vegetarian and now that I am eating meat again, filet mignon is my favorite cut of beef. Medium rare is the temperature I strive for. I found this technique on floatingkitchen.net under the how to cook the perfect filet mignon heading, and she isn’t joking around, it is perfect. However, I did add the butter and an extra 4 minutes cooking time in the pan.

Picture above from a restaurant in Florence, Italy, one of my best meals there; filet mignon with green peppercorn sauce, sauce recipe below. Picture below a perfectly cooked filet mignon.

Ingredients:

  • 2 filet mignons, approx. 2 inches thick
  • 1 TBS extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 TBS butter

Directions:

Remove the steaks from the refrigerator and let them get to room temperature, approx. 20 minutes. Set oven to 425 degrees. Season steaks with salt and pepper. Heat a large oven-proof sauté pan to medium-high heat (I use a cast iron). Add olive oil and let it heat up.

Add steaks an let cook undisturbed for 4 minutes. Flip them over and cook on the other side for another 4 minutes. Place 1 TBS butter on each filet and immediately place in pre-heated over. Cook for another 7 minutes or to your desired temperature.

5 minutes=rare

6 minutes= medium-rare

7 minutes= medium

Transfer steaks to a plate and let rest for 5-10minutes while tented with foil.

Green Peppercorn Sauce

Original recipe found on http://www.thespruceeats.com, I have made minor modifications to directions.

Ingredients:

  • Fine Sea Salt
  • 4 TBS dried peppercorns
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup cognac, brandy or Marsala wine
  • 1/2 cup cream

Directions:

Coarsely grind 3 TBS of the peppercorns with a mortar, blender, food processor….whatever you have. Spread the coarsely ground peppercorns onto both sides of fillets before cooking. Cook the fillets as described above.

Add the cognac to a skillet and stir well over medium heat. If you are using the same skillet you cooked the fillets in its a bonus. I use a cast iron and transfer my fillets to a cooking pan for the oven. Add the cream and remaining TBS of peppercorns. Salt to taste. Let the sauce thicken slightly then spoon over fillets.

Banana Walnut Bread

 

 

I am always buying bananas and not eating them before they go bad. This is a great way to use those over ripe bananas and turn them into a decadent bread. Recipe and picture from Food Network Kitchen and foodnetwork.com, recipe modified slightly by me for simplicity. Pairs good with a spot of tea, pictured above.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened, plus more for preparing the pan
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 very ripe bananas, peeled and mashed with a fork, about 1 cup
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnut pieces

Directions:

Mix the flour, baking soda and salt, set aside. Whisk the eggs and vanilla, set aside. Brush a loaf pan with butter. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a standing mixer fitted with paddle attachment cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Gradually pour the egg mixture into the butter until incorporated. Add the bananas. Note that the mixture will look curdled but is not.

Use a rubber spatula to mix dry ingredients, fold in the nuts and transfer to prepared pan. Bake for 55 minutes or until a toothpick in the center comes out clean. Cool on wire rack for 5 minutes then turn out of the pan and let cool completely. Wrap in plastic wrap. Best served the next day.