May 07, 2013

Filet Mignon with Creamy Goat Cheese Sauce

So Joe and I are pretty poor.  I mean we pretend we're not because we get "paid" our loan overpayments at the start of each semester so we can do things like eat and pay rent.  Now that things like my impending graduation and the necessary period of at least two months between me graduating and taking the NCLEX, and then between taking it and getting my scores so I can apply for jobs are becoming more of a reality we're trying to be a little more budget-conscious.  But then again, you still have to celebrate now and then!

I took a standardized test yesterday morning that I did quite well on (yay!) and then had our syllabus day for one of my summer courses and realized that apparently that is our ONLY day of class other than presentation days (double yay!) and that I have 13 days before I even have to go back to school for anything (triple yay!) so I was in a very good mood.  I texted Joe on the way home to grab some cans Old Style at the store because it is a day for day drinking and corn hole (a.k.a. Bags, as they call it in IL)!  But that's for another post...

After some lazy afternoon drinking, we headed over to Trader Joe's to pick up some groceries.  Several beers deep, we picked up a successfully strictly-to-the-list bag of groceries and headed home to cook!  As I had reason to celebrate and Joe is on spring break (that lucky duck!), we splurged a little on some filet mignon and schemed about a sauce to go on top. Bleu cheese is a little overpowering for such a scrumptious steak, so we opted to invent a goat cheese sauce (Hannah- you'd be in heaven, I swear).

Our final menu consisted of:
Creamy Goat Cheese Sauce
Green Beans
Roasted Potatoes

Okay so at this point I segue over to Joe for the meat expertise, cause it's basically a foreign language to me.

So this evening I wanted to splurge a little bit, so what better way than a Filet Mignon.  To cook steaks in a pan, it is important to pat dry the steaks so that you get that good seared side to the steaks.  After drying the steaks, I got the seasoning ready.  I put a generous amount of salt and pepper onto a plate (a little garlic pepper too) and coated the top and bottom of the steaks with the salt and pepper mix.  

While I was seasoning the steaks the pan was getting hot.  The pan is simply a regular pan (cast iron is best, if you have one) with a good bit of olive oil in the pan.  You know the pan is ready for the steaks when if you put a drop of water in the oil and it sizzles.  Once heated I cooked the steaks on medium heat.

Plop those steaks right on into the pan.  Depending on your desired doneness and thickness of the steaks, about 6-8 minutes a side is good.  A little trick I got, but unfortunately have no idea where from, helps tell when a steak is cooked. The idea is that when you make the "OK" sign the meat of your thumb will be the same firmness as a rare steak.  If you put your middle finger to your thumb, the meat of your thumb will be medium rare.  The ring finger to your thumb will be medium, and the pinky finger to thumb will be well-done.  I like cooking this cut of steak to the rarer side of medium.  


Now for the sauce!
Turn your burner to Low, and heat up a little bit of butter:

And add some milk (a little more than the total amount of sauce you want):

Add that delicious delicious goat cheese:

 Keep your burner on low.  It's fine to bubble a little, as long as it doesn't go crazy and boil/burn stuff on you.

It'll get thicker as you cook it, but you can always add flour or more cheese to thicken it up if you're nervous or impatient.  Add more milk if it's too thick for your liking.

I also added some freshly shredded parmesan.  Joe threw in a little bit of the sauce in the bottom of the steak pan.


I got a bag of mixed red white and blue potatoes, chopped them into bits, and threw them in a pyrex dish with olive oil, coarse salt, garlic pepper, and some sage.  Season to your liking- they'd be yummy with rosemary, Old Bay seasoning, or fresh garlic too.

These take the longest (45+ minutes) so start these first.  I set my oven to 350 and turned it up to 375 or 400 as I got hungry and impatient (that seems to be the theme on this post).  Once they're browned to your liking just turn off the oven and leave them in there to stay warm until everything else is done.

raw potatoes.

 partially cooked potatoes.

Take them out periodically and stir them around.  


Green Beans!

This is the easiest.  I cut off both sides because I'm convinced they sauté better that way.  I always cook mine in bacon fat, because it's the most delicious perfect thing to cook them in.  It makes them crispy on the outside and fresh and crunchy on the inside.We save ours in an old washed out pasta jar in the fridge.  For not strange people, just use some butter or olive oil.  But try it some day, it's worth it!

I season with coarse salt, garlic pepper, and garlic salt when I have it. Set your stove top a little above medium and try not to shake them up too often or they'll take forever to brown.

 Our little kitchen was very busy.  No stovetop goes unused!

And while I'm looking at that yummy red wine- I can't help but share this.  

Joe and I are very short people.  In the vicinity of 5'3"- short.  Our apartment has gorgeously high ceilings and several built-in shelves including a kitchen hutch.  Unfortunately, there are not one but two unreachable shelves in it.  Somehow my wine glasses got set back too far so I couldn't reach it.  I was going to get the step-stool, but as neither of us likes to use a step-stool in our grown-up home (I usually just climb on things).  Joe was adamant he could reach it-  and he did- with the savvy assistance of a banana.

And to think, that's not even the top shelf.  That's why it always comes in handy to room with opposite sized people!  My college roommate, Ellie, and I had each other's backs- I would crawl under bed for dropped items and she could reach all the top-shelf items.  Perfect!

Anyways... back to the dinner!

And with the sauce:

Joe was smart and put the goat cheese sauce on everything on his plate:


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