Sunday, August 10, 2008

Dinner in Dwelling

There is nothing better than cozying up on the couch with a good bottle of Pinot Noir and catching up with your "stories" on the tube after a previous long night out with friends. Add great food, a boyfriend, a dog, a playmate, a sidekick, a partner or just a delusion to the picture and you've got yourself a perfect date-night in.

I have been making this salad every weeknight to go along with whatever I am having for dinner. It seems to compliment everything from an Amy's Roasted Vegetable Pizza (to die for, by the way!! No cheese, organic whole wheat crust, shitake mushrooms, roasted peppers, marinated artichoke hearts and sweet onions!) to my Turkey Meatballs, to a fillet of fish. I absolutely crave it, but I didn't realize how amazing it was until I make it for others and they are just dying for the recipe?? I spice things up as seasons change and use what is fresh and in-season, but for summer I stick to these basic ingredients:

Simple Summer Salad

Mixed Greens or Baby Romaine
Avocado (pitted and diced)
Tomato medley - Cherry, Exotic, Grape, Mini Plum, etc. (halved or quartered)
Pine Nuts
Grated Parmesan
Brianna's Real French Vinaigrette
Fresh Cracked Pepper (to taste)

Nothing fancy. No slavin' away in the kitch. Literally toss to your liking and enjoy! The sharp Parmesan cheese and the creamy avocado mixed with the simple dressing creates an appealing texture that you have just to try for yourself...

This week I ventured out and made a filet mignon to go along with my salad and used the help of Tyler Florence to create a savory Pinot Noir sauce. As I am sure you can gather, I don't eat beef too often...but I crave the occasional steak and this one was totally tasty!

Filet Mignon with Mushroom and Pinot Noir Sauce

2 filet mignon steaks
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 Tbsp olive oil
Assorted mushrooms, halved or quartered
1 Tbsp finely chopped garlic
2 cups Pinot Noir
2 Tbsp unsalted butter

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Season both sides of filet mignon generously with salt and pepper. In an oven-proof skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Place the steaks in the hot pan and sear one sides, about 3 minutes. There should be a nice crust. Add the mushrooms and garlic. Transfer the pan to the oven and roast about 10 minutes, or until steaks are cooked to your liking.

Remove the steaks and mushrooms and cover. Bring the pan back to the stove over medium-high heat. Add the wine and scrape the pan, getting up all of the good bits. Place the steaks and mushrooms back in the pan, coat in the sauce and add the butter for extra richness.

Plate the steaks and mushrooms again, topping with the sauce to serve.


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