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When temperatures peak and the thought of a smoking barbecue makes you break a sweat, stay cool and comfortable indoors and try some new summer fare. Seared Filet Mignon with Blue Cheese and Sweet and Spicy Walnuts offers a hearty meal of savory flavors, while saving home chefs the hassle and heat of outdoor grilling.
Created by Chef Rob Stevens of The Inn at Tres Pinos near San Bautista, Calif., Seared Filet Mignon with Blue Cheese and Sweet and Spicy Walnuts is an easy recipe offering a unique, gourmet flare. First, the filet mignon is seared to seal in its natural juices, cooked in the oven, and topped with a rich demi-glaze. A separate recipe for Sweet and Spicy Walnuts completes the entrée. Coated with cayenne pepper and sugar, the crisp and caramelized walnuts are mixed with the strong flavor of melted blue cheese crumbles to add a soft crunch to accompany the tender cut of beef. Seared Filet Mignon with Blue Cheese and Sweet and Spicy Walnuts is a satisfying meal with a range of textures and flavors!
SERVES 4; one serving = 1 filet
4-8-oz. Filet mignons
1/4 cup Blue cheese crumbles
1/4 cup Sweet & Spicy walnuts (recipe below)
Juice of 1 lemon
1/2 cup demi-glaze*
1/4 cup butter, whole
Salt & pepper to taste
Season the filets with salt and pepper. Preheat the oven to 400ºF.
Heat a cast iron skillet (or other heavy bottomed pan) to very hot. Add a tiny bit of olive oil to the pan, swirl to coat the bottom of the pan, and add the filets. Sear until well caramelized on both sides, and then finish cooking in the oven to the desired temperature.
Gently mix the sweet & spicy walnuts and cheese together, and divide evenly on top of the filets. Return the filets to the oven just until the cheese is melted.
Arrange the filets on a serving platter and reserve. Deglaze the cooking pan with the lemon juice, scraping all the brown bits up from the bottom of the pan.
Add the demi-glaze and bring to a boil. Whisk in the butter quickly and remove from the heat. Season if necessary with salt and pepper.
Arrange the filets in the center of the plate and spoon the demi-glaze over the top.
* Demi-glaze is a combination of Espagnole or brown sauce, beef or veal stock and Madeira or sherry, which is reduced by half. The common alternative is a stock quickly thickened with cornstarch. Also available in grocery stores.
SWEET AND SPICY WALNUTS
Makes 4 servings; 1 serving = 1/4 lb. Sweet & Spicy Walnuts
1 lb. California walnuts, halves and pieces
2 egg whites, lightly beaten
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons cayenne pepper
Toss walnuts with egg whites. Mix sugar with cayenne pepper and toss with the walnuts and egg whites.
Spread walnuts on a baking sheet that has been sprayed with cooking oil. Bake in a 350ºF oven for about 10 to 12 minutes or until walnuts are crisp and caramelized. Let cool and enjoy.
Serve with Seared Filet Mignon with Blue Cheese, or as a snack.
The Inn at Tres Pinos recipes courtesy of Chef Rob Stevens for the Walnut Marketing Board - www.walnut.org/
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