Sunday, August 19, 2007

Date Night in Our Kitchen.... Filet Mignon with a Red Wine Sauce, Celery Root, and Sauteed Spinach

Saturday night is usually our date night, and tonight we had our date in our own kitchen. Jon suggested getting some nice wine and cooking something new and different. That works for me!

So what to make? My good friend and business partner went to an event at the Four Seasons Hotel in Philadelphia a few months ago, and afterwards, the chef shared his recipes with her. Recipes from the Four Seasons kitchen for date night sounded perfect! I don't have links to the original recipes since they are in an email, so I'll note where I made any changes.

The menu:
Homemade Bruschetta followed by Filet Mignon with a Red Wine-Garlic Sauce accompanied by Celery Root and Sauteed Spinach

My bruschetta recipe can be found
here, except tonight I used tomatoes and basil from my garden. The spinach was sauteed for 2 min in 1 tsp of olive oil. The other recipes are below.

We had so much fun and enjoyed some good wine in the process. Tonight Jon chose a 2004 Joseph Phelps Cabernet Sauvignon. We had this wine on our anniversary a few months ago and absolutely love it. It's around $50 a bottle and has great depth and flavor.


Filet Mignon

  • The recipe called for prime aged sirloin steak; we used filet mignon instead
  • Heat an oven-proof saute pan until oil is smoking
  • Sear beef for 4 minutes on both sides (to rare). If you want it cooked longer, put it in a 425 degree oven for 3 minutes per additional temperature (3 min for medium rare, 6 min for medium, etc.)
  • Put beef on a plate to rest (keep covered)
  • To prepare the sauce - add 1 chopped shallot and 1 clove of garlic to the pan in which steak was cooked, scraping the caramelized meat bits on bottom of the pan to incorporate into the mixture.
  • Deglaze with 12 oz red wine (recipe called for Barolo, we used a dry Merlot), and simmer uncovered until reduced by 90%
  • Add drippings from the steak plate and whisk in 2 oz of softened butter. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Plate it - put one steak on each plate and pour sauce over top. Jon also drizzled some steak around the edges of our plates.


Celery Root

We had both never had celery root but have been wanting to try it. Here is what it looks like when you buy it and then after you peel it -

The original recipe was for a Celery Root Carbonara, but we didn't have or want prosciutto, so I skipped that step.

  • Peel and finely julienne the celery root. If you do this beforehand, keep the celery root covered in water so it does not turn brown.
  • In a saucepan on medium heat, saute prosciutto in 1 tsp oil until crisp (we didn't do this)
  • Add 2 cloves finely chopped garlic and saute (we used 3 cloves)
  • Deglaze with 4 oz white wine and reduce until pan is almost dry
  • Stir in celery root and 1 tsp fresh thyme (we used drid thyme). Let wilt for 3 minutes.
  • Add 4 oz heavy cream and cook for 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.


The steak was perfect and we loved the sauce. It was really easy to make, too. Next time I'd add a touch more garlic. The celery root was interesting....I think it would have been better if I grated it or used much smaller pieces. The celery root itself was a bit bitter, however the flavor of the thyme went perfectly with the red wine sauce.

Dinner was followed by enjoying the rest of the wine on our deck and then a game of Scrabble (I finally won a game). Even though we had to clean up our mess, I think we had more fun cooking at home together than we've had at restaurants we've visited recently. A perfect date night!

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1 comment:

  1. Sounds like a great night! Some of my favorite date nights are those spent in our own dining room! :)