Spicy Filet with an Apricot Orange Glaze

Is it just me or does the coverage of the Olympics stateside seem to be more adverts than sport? I love the Olympics and love to see the human interest stories, people succeeding and when they fall my heart goes out to them. It used to be a lot of all this. Now it is more important for us to see giant Big Macs and sugary drinks. The last things that should be associated with athletics.

Aside from the weird spectacle of the North Korean cheerleaders who outnumber their athletes by a couple hundred it’s been fun to see how everyone is doing. We do wonder of the sanity of the skeleton racers. Who thought, hey let’s go head first down an ice run?

But it has amused me while I’ve been sick this past week. I’m finally catching up with everything. One of the downfalls of getting my life organised and scheduled is it looks bad when it goes south. Such is life! I was glad to be back on my feet in time for Valentines Day. I wanted to make a nice meal for my husband.

I found this recipe on Carlsbad Cravings for a Cajun Steak with an Apricot Orange Glaze. I adjusted it for smaller portions and what I had on hand.

It’s an easy recipe with a few steps. In a small bowl mix together a 1/2 tablespoon each of paprika, brown sugar, onion powder, and chili powder. Add a teaspoon each of dried oregano, cayenne pepper, sea salt then add 1/2 a teaspoon of dried basil and pepper.

Take 2 teaspoons of this mix and put aside in a small saucepan. Use the rest to make the marinade. To the spice mix a 1/4 cup/2 oz of soy sauce and olive oil. Then add a tablespoon each of Worcestershire sauce, orange juice and brown sugar. Coarsely chop 2 cloves of garlic. Mix well and add two filet mignon to the marinade. Set aside for about an hour.

In the small saucepan add about a 1/2 cup of apricot preserves, a 1/3 cup of orange juice, a tablespoon of soy sauce, and a dollop each of brown mustard and brown sugar.

Mix well and bring to a simmer. While the rest of the meal is cooking reduce this by half. Melt a few dabs of butter and brown both sides of the filet. Finish off in the oven at 350F/175C until desired doneness.

I roasted potatoes and sautéed green beans to accompany the steak. Drizzle the sauce over the dish right before serving,

A nice easy delicious meal to enjoy for a romantic dinner.

I did have more than two green beans, contrary to what my husband says I do eat veg! ūüėĄ

Gorgonzola Risotto with Filet Mignon and Sundried Tomato Sauce

Last week I passed the three year mark for blogging. ¬†One of the changes WordPress seems to have made is they now make it very low key. ¬†Basically it’s “So, yeah, you are another year down, don’t forget to take out the trash” tone to it. ¬†I liked how it was before where they gave you a great breakdown on how you are doing, what was a hit, what wasn’t. ¬†I’m ok with a little woot, woot!

And with three years of recipes sometimes it’s hard to come up with something new. ¬†Things have been somewhat calm this past week which would allow me more time to cook. ¬†But then instead of writer’s block, I was having a bit of cooking block. ¬†Broke that on Wednesday! ¬†I wanted a special meal with flavours that wouldn’t be subtle. ¬†We had a couple of filets in the freezer and some sundried tomatoes to use up. ¬†Off to the store to get some gorgonzola and oyster mushrooms and I had a very good idea of what I wanted to do.

Prep the ingredients beforehand for everything.  To add a bit of crunch to the dish I toasted a third of a cup of pine nuts.  Do it in a dry skillet.  And keep an eye on it!  It can take awhile to toast but can burn quickly.

Gorgonzola risotto 1 2015

Remove the pine nuts from the skillet and set aside.  In a larger skillet start the risotto.  This recipe is for 2-3 people.  First by melting 2 tablespoons of butter.  Add a finely chopped small shallot and 2 cloves of garlic.

Gorgonzola risotto 2 2015

Add 1/2 a cup of risotto and saute for a minute or so.  Then add a tablespoon or so of champagne vinegar.  Stir well.

Gorgonzola risotto 4 2015

This recipe needs about 2 1/2 cups of chicken stock.  This current batch I made was the best so far.  So much flavour!  Add about a 1/2 a cup at a time and allow the risotto to absorb the liquid.  At this point, in a small skillet, melt a couple of tablespoons of butter.  When it is hot add the filets to the skillet.  Make sure they are seasoned well with sea salt and pepper.  Baste with the butter as you cook.

Gorgonzola risotto 5 2015

Finish the steak off in the oven at 350F/175C until the desired doneness.  Allow it to rest while you finish the meal. In the same skillet, add a bit more butter then saute some shallots, garlic, and sundried tomatoes.  Saute for a couple of minutes to soften the tomatoes then add a handful of the oyster mushrooms.

Gorgonzola risotto 7 2015

Once the risotto is almost done add a third of a cup of crumbled gorgonzola and about the same of mascarpone cheese to the risotto.

Gorgonzola risotto 8 2015

Mix well.  Just before serving add the pine nuts and a small handful of basil.

Gorgonzola risotto 9 2015

Serve with the filet and top with the mushroom sundried tomato sauce.

Gorgonzola risotto 10 2015

There were a few strong flavours in this dish but it was balanced and delicious.  When I mentioned it to my daughter she said I could make it for them.  Anytime.  I think I can swing that.

PS. ¬†So I started this post this morning but got interrupted by doctors appointments and things. ¬†The whole day went pear shaped and I only just remembered I hadn’t finished this when we were walking the dogs. ¬†My husband called it postus interruptus. ¬†ūüôā ¬†As we are getting ready for date night I’ll be further behind on reading posts but I promise to catch up!

Home Cooked Food – A Cure for Long Travels

It’s been a very busy year for my husband with business trips and he just did two weeks to close out the year.¬† It was a tricky time though, what with the kids’ Christmas concerts, teacher conferences, and the like.¬† Thank goodness for technology as I was able to record a few of the songs the kids did and we could have him on speaker phone so he could be part of the conference.¬† Which is wonderful as he hates to miss this stuff.

As you can imagine he misses the home cooked food as well.¬† Two weeks of sandwiches and so so hot food begins to wear a person down. So a special meal was called for.¬† I was ready for it too because the second week was a kid free week and I don’t really cook for myself so it was fun to get creative again.

For the first course I did a cheese plate and opened a bottle of a lovely red wine.  For the second I wanted to have some of his favourite ingredients.  Roasted parsnips and pan sauteed Brussels Sprouts were no brainers.

At Thanksgiving I was able to pick up beef tenderloin from the farm where I got the turkey.¬† I now have more of an appreciation of the labour that goes into perfect looking filet mignon.¬† My knife skills being what they are mine didn’t come out perfect but they weren’t too bad.¬† But there is definite room for improvement!

I purchased some grape tomatoes and I sliced them in half.  On a baking sheet add the tomatoes, pieces of garlic, drizzle with olive oil, season with salt and pepper then bake at 300F/150C.

Filet with Oven Roasted Tomato 1 2014

Bake for about 45 minutes.¬† Unfortunately the garlic didn’t cooporate and for some reason they came out hard as rocks.¬† So I chopped up more garlic, added some more olive oil into a skillet then sauteed this with the tomatoes.¬† Meanwhile broil the beef seasoned with salt and pepper to medium rare.¬† For meat that is 2 inches thick do 5 minutes on each side.¬† Mine was thinner so I did it for less.¬† Then rest the meat for at least 5 minutes.¬† While the meat is resting, add a handful of shredded basil to the tomatoes and a squeeze of lemon juice.

Filet with Oven Roasted Tomato 3 2014

Top the beef with the tomato mixture and serve.

Filet with Oven Roasted Tomato 4 2014

It was such a lovely evening catching up with my husband.¬† I miss him when he’s gone and there is always so much to share.¬† Of course I had to step back to make room for the homecoming the dogs gave him!¬† Goodness me it was like a pair of dolphins leaping about, quivering with excitement.¬† He was licked within an inch of his life!¬† LOL.


Filet Mignon with Sauteed Mushrooms and Onions

Occasionally as a special treat we’ll cook up some Filet Mignon when it’s just the two of us.¬† And we did this the other night.¬† I do wish the grocery store had all natural Filet Mignon but they can’t get the antibiotic/hormone free cuts.¬† They usually have a small selection of beef that is all natural which is good.

I start off by seasoning the meat with salt and pepper then I set aside while the oven heats up the broiler.

For cuts this thick we usually do 5 minutes a side and it comes out medium rare which is what we prefer.  I like mine a little rarer than Rich but this usually works for both of us.

Then I slice some onions and mushrooms to top the beef.¬† I decided to try something a little different.¬† I¬† started with olive oil then I added a bit of the veg bouillon I like to use with some cognac to make a sauce.¬† I did add a bit of water as well.¬† This allowed the mushrooms to brown a bit when it was time to serve. I do need to adjust the next time I make it as all the flavours were there but because it reduced so much it wasn’t really a sauce.

Once the meat was cooked I let it rest a few minutes while I finished the rest of the meal.  I served this with corn and potatoes.  This took me less than 30 minutes to make and it is a real treat for us.