Thursday, February 11, 2016

Filet Mignon with Warm Shallot Vinaigrette, Sautéed Mushrooms and Toasted Baguette

Filet Mignon with Warm Shallot Vinaigrette, Sautéed Mushrooms and Toasted Baguette


When my birthday occurred a couple of months ago, Mrs. Stuntman took me out to dinner the day prior because she had to work on the evening of my actual birthday. On my actual birthday, I posted a picture of the dish I ate for dinner on instagram. Call this an update but this could easily be served this weekend for Valentine's Day if you don't want to go out to eat.

Inspiration Behind the Dish

I was surfing the net recently and came across a dish that won a Top Chef challenge in a prior season. It paired halibut with a vinaigrette. Vinaigrettes are ubiquitous in dressing salads, but are more uncommonly used by home cooks as a sauce to complement a protein and I wanted to explore the idea. In addition, the supermarket I normally patronize had USDA Choice New York steaks on sale, however they were a little too large of a portion for my family so I purchased filets instead. A quick review of The Flavor Bible revealed that beef steaks pair well with shallots, mushrooms and Dijon mustard.

Dish Details

I would like to think that this dish would be served at any fine dining steakhouse. I adapted a vinaigrette from Food & Wine but the remaining components of this dish are original.

Ingredients

2 shallots, sliced thinly
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil, divided
2 1/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1/4 cup Italian parsley leaves
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
2 8-ounce beef tenderloin steaks, approximately 1-inch thick
8 ounces cremini mushrooms, sliced
1 tablespoon garlic, minced
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 baguette, cut into 1/2" slices on a bias
Basil leaves, cut into chiffonade (for garnish)

Method

1. Prepare the vinaigrette. Combine the shallots and 1/2 cup olive oil in a saucepan over medium low heat and sweat, stirring frequently until softened, approximately 10 minutes.


Transfer the contents of the saucepan to a blender and let it cool slightly. Add the vinegar and mustard into the blender and purée until smooth. Add in the parsley and pulse until finely chopped. Season the vinaigrette with salt and pepper to taste, then keep warm over low heat.


2. Sear the steaks. Place 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat and heat until the oil starts to smoke. While the oil is heating, season the filets with salt and pepper then add them to the skillet to sear, approximately 4 minutes. Flip the steaks to sear on the opposite side but reduce the heat to medium, until desired doneness is reached, approximately 6 minutes for medium rare.


3. Sauté mushrooms and finish the dish. If the skillet is dry once the steaks are removed, add the remaining teaspoon olive oil then the mushrooms. Sauté the mushrooms until they shrink, approximately 3 to 4 minutes. Add the garlic to the pan and stir until fragrant, approximately one minute, then deglaze with the white wine, scraping any fond from the pan. Season with salt and pepper and continue to simmer until the wine has evaporated.


While the wine is reducing, put the baguette slices on a aluminum foil lined sheet pan and season with salt and pepper. Place under the broiler, checking every 30 seconds until the desired color is reached.


To plate, follow the classic design of starch at 10 o'clock, protein at 2 o'clock with sauce under the protein and vegetables at 6 o'clock by spooning a tablespoon of vinaigrette onto a plate right of center, then placing the filet onto the vinaigrette at the center of the plate. Using a slotted spoon, drizzle some mushrooms off to the side of the filet then lean a baguette slice against the filet on the opposite side of the vinaigrette and garnish the dish with the chiffonade basil.

Final Thoughts

This dish is about as spontaneous as I'll get because I did not plan to publish it here when I went shopping for the ingredients in the morning I prepared it. In fact, I composed it while I was there in the supermarket based upon the ingredients I knew I had in my pantry. Still, it was well balanced with the baguette offering a texture contrast. In addition, the acidity of the vinaigrette balanced out the sweet flavors in the basil and the savory steak from the standpoint of the flavor profile. From an execution standpoint, I altered my method slightly in preparing a filet because I found that, by following my prior method, the center was too rare for my taste and, in many cases, blue in the center.

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Light Stunt: Buttermilk Battered Chicken Wings for a Big Game Day Party Recipes #SundaySupper

Light Stunt: Buttermilk Battered Chicken Wings for a Big Game Day Party Recipes #SundaySupper


My long time readers might remember a chicken wings dish I published two years ago for a similar #SundaySupper theme. After looking at it again, I'll admit that the dish I published previously is a little labor-intensive, especially if you're hosting a game day party. Call this an update that is a little easier so the host can spend more time with their guests.

Inspiration Behind the Dish

Last autumn, I accepted a consultant role for a student business organization that is working to establish itself at the University of Washington's Bothell campus. I joined the organization when I was at school in California so I am familiar with it's operations. When I met this group of students, I told them I write a food blog so I thought I should put up or shut up when they hosted a barbecue on a Friday night a few weeks ago. I chose chicken wings because they can be served as a finger-food hors-d'oeuvres and it is an easy way to serve a large crowd, which translates well to a big game watch party.

Dish Details

Chicken wings are a sports bar staple, however I found this recipe on foodnetwork.com a little more intriguing. More on that below. The night I prepared this dish for the barbecue, I had to double the ingredient quantities since I was feeding approximately fifty people but I replicated it again a couple of nights later using the original amounts.

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups buttermilk
1/2 teaspoon plus 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
3 pounds chicken wings, split at the joints with the tips removed
1 1/2 all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon paprika
Vegetable oil, for frying
Flat leaf parsley leaves, for garnish (optional)

Method

1. Place the chicken wings in a resealable bag then pour the buttermilk over them and add 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt. Ensure all of the chicken is submerged in the buttermilk, then refrigerate for 30 minutes. While the wings are soaking, combine the flour, paprika and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt in a mixing bowl, then fill a stockpot with vegetable oil to at least a 1-inch depth and heat to a temperature of 350° Fahrenheit.

2. Once 30 minutes have expired, drain the wings, then dredge them in the flour mixture, shaking off any excess.


Deep fry them in batches until the wings are golden, approximately ten minutes. Using a slotted spoon, drain the wings on a paper towel lined plate before serving, garnished with parsley leaves.


Final Thoughts

The link I referenced above has fifty chicken wings recipes but I specifically chose the eighth for a couple of reasons. First, the members of the student organization requested that they not be too spicy and second, I wanted to test the pairing of buttermilk and chicken for myself after hearing of Chef Thomas Keller's legendary buttermilk fried chicken.

The feedback I received from the student organization was positive, but I really only had a bite or two that evening just to evaluate doneness. When I went back and replicated the dish a few nights later, I was surprised to find the wings so well seasoned considering only 1 teaspoon of salt was used.

Hopefully, these other dishes prepared for this week's #SundaySupper theme will be helpful if you're still planning for a watch party. They're listed below.

Appetizers and Sides
Main Dishes
Desserts and Drinks
Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board.

Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It's easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Deconstructed Steak Poutine: Top Sirloin Steak with Crumbled Bleu Cheese, Buttered Mashed Potatoes and Red Wine Gravy for a 'Let's Poutine' #SundaySupper with Idaho® Potatoes #FWCon

Deconstructed Steak Poutine: Top Sirloin Steak with Crumbled Bleu Cheese, Buttered Mashed Potatoes and Red Wine Gravy for a 'Let's Poutine' #SundaySupper with Idaho® Potatoes #FWCon


Before I begin, let me be one of the last to wish you a Happy 2016!

To start this new year, I must congratulate Isabel of Family Foodie for a number of reasons. First, it's the fourth anniversary of her founding Sunday Supper Movement, but more than that, she was able to get January recognized as National Sunday Supper Month and, more specifically, the second Sunday of January National Sunday Supper Day, both occurring annually from this year going forward. You might have seen the National Sunday Supper Month Kickoff with last week's #SundaySupper event.

There are many ways to participate in National Sunday Supper Month. I highly encourage you to take the Sunday Supper Pledge to support the mission of bringing back #SundaySupper around the family table. Also, you can complete the sentence I cook because... in addition to a daily Instagram Photo Challenge. Click on the links above for more information.

Inspiration Behind the Dish

Another way to celebrate is to participate in the Idaho Potato Commission Recipe Contest for National Sunday Supper Month. To enter the contest, contestants must create a recipe inspired by a poutine using Idaho® potatoes, among other requirements. See the link above for complete details. The task of creating a poutine-inspired recipe using Idaho® potatoes was also assigned to the twenty participating bloggers in today's Let's Poutine #SundaySupper event. By now you might have guessed that this post is sponsored by the Idaho Potato Commission in conjunction with a social media campaign through Sunday Supper LLC. All opinions are those of the individual bloggers. Please visit Idaho® potatoes website, 'Like' their Facebook page, and follow them on twitter, instagram and pinterest.


Let's discuss the dish for a moment. The poutine originates from Quebec and is comprised of French fries topped with a brown gravy and cheese curds. If I can be candid for a moment, poutine is considered fast food there in Canada and a Canadian friend of mine even went so far to call the dish drunk food. Many of my colleagues within #SundaySupper were introduced to the poutine at the Food Wine Conference last summer where Saturday's lunch was sponsored, in part, by Idaho® potatoes so it's a little ironic that the dish was so well received. I think that the dish's execution in addition to the various flavor pairings offered that day contributed to its warm reception. My story with the dish is a little different because my chef friend put a short rib poutine on his menu at his restaurant when it opened in 2011, so I was familiar with it when I attended last summer.

Dish Details

I've always been a little suspicious of the dish because a gravy is defined as a sauce made from the juices secreted from a cooked protein so the absence of one has always confounded me. It's the reason why I included a protein in my re-imagined dish here. One of the requirements of this dish is that I use Idaho® potatoes, so thankfully, the supermarket I usually patronize had them in stock:


I borrowed the red wine gravy recipe from myrecipes.com, but the other components of the dish are original.

Ingredients

1 pound russet Idaho® potatoes, peeled and cut crosswise 1/4-inch thick
Kosher salt
1 tablespoon plus 2 tablespoons plus 1 tablespoon olive oil, divided
4 8-to-10 ounce top sirloin steaks
Freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 cup dry red wine
1 1/2 cups beef stock
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup whole milk plus more if necessary
2 cups baby arugula
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
Bleu cheese crumbles, for garnish

Method

1. Boil the Idaho® potatoes. Put the potatoes in a medium saucepan and fill with enough water so that the potatoes are submerged by at least one inch, then season the water with kosher salt. Place the saucepan over high heat and boil until they are fork tender, approximately ten to fifteen minutes. Drain the potatoes with a colander and place them back in the saucepan.


2. Prepare the steaks. While the potatoes are boiling, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large stainless steel or cast iron skillet over medium-high heat and season the steaks with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Sear the steaks in the pan, four minutes per side for medium rare, then remove from the pan and set aside to allow for carryover cooking while the other components of the dish are prepared.


3. Prepare the gravy. Create a roux by reducing the heat under the skillet to medium and add an additional two tablespoons olive oil. Whisk in the all-purpose flour and continue to whisk frequently until brown.


Deglaze the pan with the red wine, loosening the fond from the bottom of the pan, then add in the beef stock and simmer until thickened. Season with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, as necessary.


4. Finish potatoes. While the gravy simmers, mash the drained potatoes or pass them through a food mill. Add butter and scoop some potatoes over so the butter melts. Once melted, stir in the milk until the potatoes absorb the fluid. More milk may be added until the desired consistency is reached.

5. Prepare the salad and finish the dish. Whisk together the remaining one tablespoon olive oil and lemon juice, then season with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Toss the arugula with just one or two teaspoons of the vinaigrette-just enough to wet, but not wilt, the leaves. Cut each steak diagonally in half, across the grain then place some gravy into a squeeze bottle. To plate, spoon some potatoes onto the plate towards the front but still in the center. Place a couple of dollops of gravy beside the potatoes, then put one half of the steak on the potatoes, then place the other half off center so the interior is exposed. Top the steak with the arugula salad and garnish with the bleu cheese crumbles.

Final Thoughts

Those that know me know that I rarely publish a dish without consulting my copy of The Flavor Bible first. I certainly did here but the flavor profiles noted were nothing unusual. Each of the main ingredients used were noted to pair well with each other: steak, potatoes, cheese (specifically, bleu cheese), arugula, butter and red wine.

I'm not the only #SundaySupper member that prepared a poutine-inspired dish. Check out the others below:

Breakfast:
Appetizers:
Main Dish:
Plus: Poutine Variations for National Sunday Supper Day from Sunday Supper Movement

Have you signed the #SundaySupper pledge to eat together as a family? Do it right here!

Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board. Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It's easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.