- Pan-seared Filet Mignon
- Mashed Potato Casserole
- Grilled Asparagus
- Almost No-knead Whole Wheat Bread
- Peachy Canyon 2010 Incredible Red Zinfandel
- Chocolate Pots de Creme
It seemed only right to plan a special meal for my special lady on Mother's Day. We had nothing particular planned for the day and neither of our two children, both grown, were able to be with us. Menu planning thus focused on things that Diane is fond of which made it pretty easy. Since I hadn't done much cooking the previous two Sundays I was looking forward to getting back into the kitchen, so I didn't feel a need to budget my time as much as I need to some weekends.
mentioned in this blog that Diane likes steak more than I do. I like it too but I'm not a big meat eater in general. I like the easy rule of thumb which says your meat portion should be about the size of a deck of playing cards. I had recently seen some recipes describing how to cook Filet Mignon which we both enjoy. Visiting the butcher at Whole Foods, I selected two "Beef Loin Tenderloin Steaks". These together weighed about 8 ounces and cost $22. To prepare them I used a hybrid of the two techniques I read about. I heated a cast iron skillet on the stove over medium-high heat. I patted the steaks dry with a paper towel and applied olive oil, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. They were placed in the hot pan and both sides were browned, taking about three minutes a side (and producing a fair amount of smoke, especially for the first side.) The pan and steaks were then placed in a 375° oven and the steaks cooked to an internal temperature of 125°, which should have been medium rare. They steaks rested while the other courses were completed and then served. The steaks were tender and delicious, very easy to cut and eat. They were, however, not medium rare, but probably medium. Still very good, though.
The bread was made using my standby no-knead recipe from America's Test Kitchen. Diane prefers whole grain breads to those made with white flour. I spent a little extra time shaping the dough so the boule would be nice and symmetrical. I scored the top using a tic-tac-toe pattern we saw being used at the Boudin bakery at the Disney California Adventure Park. (Though I could have made the cuts a little deeper, I think.) Probably because of the warmer weather the dough rose nicely, resulting in a beautiful loaf of bread with great whole wheat flavor and crispy crust.
Peachy Canyon. I think it cost around $13, so the price was right. I chose this wine because we had visited the Peachy Canyon winery, which is near Paso Robles, on vacation a few years ago. We went on a wine tour, and since we didn't have to drive we were not so limited to how much we could taste. The Peachy Canyon wine was excellent and went very well with the filet.
Caleb and Caryn both called during the afternoon to wish their mom a Happy Mother's Day. I was busy in the kitchen cooking when they called, and so participated in the call using the phone on speaker. Each got a little play-by-play of a portion of the preparations: Caryn of dessert and Caleb of the potatoes and filet. So while they weren't here in person, they both were here in spirit and participated in the making of this special meal for mom.
Filet Mignon from Cook's Illustrated and 101 Cooking for Two
Mashed Potato Casserole from Cook's Country
Almost No-Knead Whole Wheat Bread from Cooks Illustrated
Chocolate Pots de Creme from Cook's Illustrated
Some America's Test Kitchen recipes require registration before they can be viewed. You may be able to find these recipes on other web sites.