Friday, February 15, 2013

Blue Cheese Crusted Filet

Before baby girl was born, Jon and I would often make Saturday night our date night at home. We'd get a nice bottle of wine (or two) and pick a fancy menu - usually something time consuming - to cook together. More often than not we preferred these nights over nights out at a restaurant. These days we make dinner a bit earlier so we can all eat together, and while we aren't spending an hour or two cooking together, we are still putting some really good food on the table.

Good food doesn't have to mean hours in the kitchen, and that's exactly the thought I had when I read the recipe I was assigned in this Special Occasion Recipe Swap hosted by A Taste of Home Cooking. I was given this recipe for Blue Cheese Crusted Filet from the blog The Jey of Cooking. From start to finish, including prep and resting time, this recipe only takes 15-20 minutes, but tastes like something you would order at a steakhouse.

I have topped filet mignon with blue cheese before - after it would come off the grill I'd just put a spoonful on top and let it melt while the meat rested. This recipe from Jey makes a nice mixture out of the blue cheese, garlic, bread crumbs, and a few other ingredients. The result is a topping that creates a nice crust, and has more texture to it than just a few crumbles of cream cheese.

I served the filet with roasted asparagus and Garlic-Parmesan Risotto.

Jey, thanks for sharing this recipe in the swap - I loved it!!

Blue Cheese Crusted Filet
Source: The Jey of Cooking

  • 2 Filet Mignons, at room temp, seasoned to your liking (I always use salt and pepper - that's enough for a filet!)
  • 1/4 Cup Blue Cheese, crumbled
  • 1/4 Cup Seasoned Bread Crumbs (I used plain - it's all I had)
  • 2 Garlic Cloves, minced
  • 2 Tbsp. Fresh Parsley, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp. Whole Milk

  • Preheat oven to 450
  • Heat a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat (I don't have one so I used my stainless pan with some olive oil in it. I also added just a touch of olive oil to the steaks)
  • In a small bowl, combine the blue cheese, bread crumbs, garlic, parsley and milk and mix until it achieves a paste-like consistency; set aside.
  • Add the steaks to the skillet and sear on each side for one minute. (tip - don't flip the steak until it releases from the pan on its own - you shouldn't have to tear it off the bottom of the pan)
  • Place the skillet with the steaks in the oven and cook for 4-5 minutes for medium rare, depending on thickness (I left them in for about 8 minutes and they were just medium). Remove from oven and turn the broiler on.
  • Top each steak with the blue cheese mixture and place under the broiler for 2 minutes (keep watch so it doesn't burn) until the crust starts to become golden.

    Monday, February 4, 2013

    Panko Crusted Chicken with Horseradish Cream Sauce

    Horseradish is something I really didn't eat until my late 20s. I always saw my grandmother and dad eating it in things like Borscht Soup and on Kielbasa, but I never tried it. I regret it now because my grandmother always made her own horseradish! I think I'll have to try my hand at that someday.

    Now that I like horseradish, recipes incorporating it always catch my eye, and I like experimenting with it in things like sauces and marinades. I tagged this recipe for Panko Crusted Chicken with Horseradish Cream Sauce a while back, and finally got around to making it a few weeks ago. I baked my chicken instead of frying it, and it came out nice and crispy from using the Panko and turning on the broiler at the end.

    The horseradish cream sauce had a nice amount of heat, but was mellowed out from the cream and dijon. I wouldn't call it spicy as the heat from horseradish hits you differently than say a jalapeno - it's not that tongue burning heat but it will still definitely make your eyes water!

    Panko Crusted Chicken with Horseradish Cream Sauce
    Source: Adapted from Becoming Pigzilla

    • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
    • 1 egg
    • 1/4 cup milk
    • 1 tsp garlic powder
    • salt and pepper
    • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
    • 1 cup panko bread crumbs
    Horseradish Cream Sauce:
    • 1 tbsp butter
    • 1 tbsp flour
    • 2 cups milk (I used 1 c light cream)
    • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
    • 2 cloves garlic, minced
    • 1 tbsp prepared horseradish (adjust to personal taste)

    • Preheat oven to 400 degrees and spray the bottom of a baking dish lightly with cooking spray.
    • Pound chicken breast to 1/4 inch thickness and season lightly with salt and pepper.
    • Set up three bowls - bowl 1: flour; bowl 2 - egg mixed with milk; bowl 3 - Panko mixed with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. 
    • Dredge chicken breasts in flour, shaking off excess, then egg mixture, and finally Panko, making sure to completely coat the chicken. If you want extra crispy chicken, dredge in flour, egg, then flour again, then egg again, and then the Panko mixture.
    • Cook the chicken approximately 15-20 minutes, flipping once and turning on the broiler at the end. Make sure the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 170 degrees. Let rest a few minutes before serving.
    • While the chicken is cooking, make your sauce. Heat butter over medium eat in a small sauce pan. Whisk in the flour until combined. Once combined, slowly add the milk or cream, whisking constantly. Once milk/cream has warmed and flour and butter are incorporated, increase heat to medium high and bring mixture to a boil, whisking occasionally. Keep a close eye so it doesn’t burn or boil over. Once sauce has thickened, add Dijon mustard, garlic, and horseradish. Whisk until incorporated and sauce reached desired thickness. Salt and pepper to taste.
    • Spoon sauce onto plate and top with panko crusted chicken. Serve.

    Friday, February 1, 2013

    Graham Cracker Chocolate Chip Muffins

    Over the holidays I tried my hand at some holiday baking - I had some successes, one major failure, but all in all I had a good time! Now I'm not going to become a baker by any stretch, but I have gotten over my fear of baking, I guess you could say!

    So when I was given the blog Cookies on Friday in the most recent Taste of Home Cooking Recipe Swap, I didn't have the same reaction that I did the first time I had this blog in a swap. I decided to do something with chocolate chips since I had a bag of chips left over from holiday baking, so that's how I narrowed down my choices (and wow, are there a lot of great choices in this blog!!).

    I made cookies the first time I had this blog in the swap, so this time I decided to try muffins.

    These Graham Cracker Chocolate Chip Muffins sounded really interesting, looked easy, and I actually had all of the ingredients on hand. Now don't let the word "muffin" fool you - they definitely aren't breakfast muffins (to me anyway). They were very sweet and ate more like a dessert... a dessert that I enjoyed a few days in a row! I took a bunch of them to work too and they disappeared with rave reviews.

    Graham Cracker Chocolate Chip Muffins
    Source: Cookies on Friday

    • 2 cups flour
    • 1 tablespoon baking powder
    • ½ teaspoon salt
    • ½ cup sugar
    • 1 cup graham cracker crumbs (this was about 3/4 of a sleeve; I used cinnamon graham crackers)
    • 1 cup milk
    • ⅓ cup vegetable oil
    • 1 egg
    • 2 teaspoons vanilla
    • ¾ cup milk chocolate chips
    For the topping:
    • ¼ cups flour
    • ¼ cup brown sugar, packed
    • ¼ cup graham cracker crumbs
    • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
    • 3 tablespoons butter, melted

    • Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line muffin tins with paper liners. This recipe made 18 muffins for me. 
    • In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt, sugar, and graham cracker crumbs until blended.
    • In a separate small bowl, whisk together the milk, oil, egg, and vanilla.
    • Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until just combined.
    • Stir in the chocolate chips by hand.
    • Fill each muffin cup about 2/3 full.
    • Make the topping: in a medium bowl mix the flour, brown sugar, graham cracker crumbs, and cinnamon. Add the melted butter and mix well until crumbly and looks like wet sand. Divide the topping between the muffins.
    • Bake for 16-19 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Allow to cool in the pan for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.