His Name is Mike.

At least that’s what I think his name is. The guy at Saks Fifth who suggested us to go to Smith and Wollensky on Third Avenue for a good steak. It was there I had my first Steak with Roquefort sauce. It was delicious!


This is not your every day steak. This is your special event steak. The kind of steak you do for someone worthy of you storming the kitchen. The kind of steak worthy of a main course on special occasions.

One day not so long ago, when internet didn’t work and all I had is Food Network and BBC Lifestyle, I watched Ina made this wonderful dish. Effortlessly. I managed to recreate the entire plate but not without making a big mess in my kitchen. But hey, the things you do for love, right?

All recipes are courtesy of Ina Garten and occasionally adapted to yield two.

FILET MIGNON WITH ROQUEFORT CHIVE SAUCE
serve 2

2 (280gr each) filet mignon – see note below
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tbsp fleur de sel
1 tbsp coarsely cracked black peppercorns
2 tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
Roquefort Chive Sauce, recipe below

  • Preheat the oven to 200 C.
  • Heat a large, well-seasoned cast iron skillet over high heat until very hot, 5 to 7 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, pat the steaks dry with a paper towel and brush them lightly with vegetable oil. Combine the fleur de sel and cracked pepper on a plate and roll the steaks in the mixture, pressing lightly to evenly coat all sides.
  • When the skillet is ready, add the steaks and sear them evenly on all sides for about 2 minutes per side, for a total of 10 minutes.
  • Top each steak with a tablespoon of butter, if using, and place the skillet in the oven. Cook the steaks until they reach 48 C for rare or 51 C for medium-rare on an instant-read thermometer. (To test the steaks, insert the thermometer sideways to be sure you’re actually testing the middle of the steak.)
  • Remove the steaks to a serving platter, cover tightly with aluminum foil and allow to rest at room temperature for 10 minutes. (See note below)
  • Serve hot with Roquefort Chive Sauce on the side.


Note:
~ My filet mignon obviously weighed less than the recommended size, and yet we’re stuffed. If possible, use the best cut for this dish (here it costs 45 usd/kg). Don’t compromise too much, else it is not worth to go all the trouble.
~ If you’re not so keen on Roquefort, substitute it with blue cheese (it’s less pungent), but I don’t know how the fragrance and the taste will change.
~ I don’t like seeing juicy blood seeping out of the steak and ruining the presentation. Next time, I would not put the steak immediately on the plate, while I finish up the rest.

****

ROQUEFORT CHIVE SAUCE
adapted to yield 2 servings

2/3 cups heavy cream
25 gr French Roquefort cheese, crumbled
salt
freshly ground black pepper
handful chopped chives – I used green onions instead

  • Bring the heavy cream to a boil in a small heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook at a low boil, stirring occasionally, until the mixture has become thick and creamy, about 20 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat, add the cheese, salt, pepper and chives and whisk rapidly until the cheese melts.


SAUTEED WILD MUSHROOMS
adapted to yield 2 servings

300-400 gr mixed wild mushrooms, such as cremini, shiitake, porcini, and portobello
1/4 cup good olive oil
1/2 cup chopped shallots 
2 tbsp (1/4 stick, 50gr) unsalted butter
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 cup flat leaf parsley, chopped

  • Brush the caps of each mushroom with a clean sponge. Remove and discard the stems. Slice the small mushrooms thickly and cut the large ones in a large dice.
  • Heat the olive oil in a large Dutch oven or saucepan. Add the shallots and cook over low heat for 5 minutes, or until the shallots are translucent. Add the butter, mushrooms, salt, and pepper and cook over medium heat for 8 minutes, until they are tender and begin to release their juices, stirring often. Stir in the garlic and cook for 2 more minutes. Toss in the parsley, sprinkle with salt, and serve warm.

****

FRIED ONION RINGS
adapted to yield 2 servings

1 large yellow onion – I used red onion
1 cups buttermilk
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2/3 cups all-purpose flour
2-3 heaping tbsp yellow cornmeal
vegetable oil, for frying

  • Peel the onions, slice them 1-1.5 cm thick, and separate them into rings.
  • Combine the buttermilk, 1/2 teaspoons salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper in a medium bowl. Add the onion rings, toss well, and allow to marinate for at least 15 minutes. (The onion rings can sit in the buttermilk for a few hours.)
  • In a separate bowl, combine the flour, cornmeal, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Set aside.
  • (Skip this step if preparing small quantity) When you’re ready to fry the onion rings, preheat the oven to 80-90 C. Line a baking sheet with paper towels.
  • Heat the oil to 180 C in a large pot. Working in batches, lift some onions out of the buttermilk and dredge them in the flour mixture. Drop into the hot oil and fry for 2 minutes, until golden brown, turning them once with tongs. Don’t crowd them!
  • Place the finished onion rings on the baking sheet, sprinkle liberally with salt, and keep them warm in the oven while you fry the next batch. Continue frying the onion rings and placing them in the warm oven until all the onions are fried. They will remain crisp in the oven for up to 30 minutes. Serve hot.

Voila. You now have an idea on what to cook for your special someone(s).

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