FOOD: DRUNKEN HONEY HERB CRUSTED FILET MIGNON

Westchester Food Finders, I have a great New Year’s Eve entrée for you!

My Drunken Honey Herb Crusted Filet Mignon is easy to prep and even easier to cook. You can have your decadent and rich meal in the comfort of your own home at a fraction of the high end restaurant prices.

Start out by sourcing your filet mignon. If you have a butcher you like to use regularly, give them a call as ask for a filet mignon roast. They will peel, clean and tied the roast for you.

Some super markets and farm based grocery stored will peel, clean, and cut or tie your filet mignon as long as you purchase the entire tenderloin. The filet when bought whole, is usually priced attractively, so take advantage of buying the whole tenderloin and have them cut some steaks for you to save for another day. Have them prepare the roast to your preferred size.

If you are feeling inspired, you may buy the whole tenderloin and clean it yourself. Remember that you want to remove all of the excess fat. Most importantly you will want to peel off the silver looking lining that wraps the tenderloin. This lining cooks tough and is not something you want to serve yourself or your guests. Tie your tenderloin with two to three inches of spacing. The ties will keep your filet firm while cooking and cutting.

The “trick” to cooking a delicious filet mignon roast is that you have to over season the roast. Since you are cooking a large piece of meat and cutting once cooked, you want the mixture of herbs and spices to be absorbed by your filet.

I like to place all of my favorite herbs and spices in a bowl and add my liquor of choice and some honey to create an herb paste. The paste gets thick and sticky and makes it easy to layer on your roast.

Please follow this list of herbs loosely, as this is your chance to customize the flavor of your roast and make it “yours”.

I like to use a combination of parsley, basil, roasted chopped garlic, pink sea salt, chili powder, black pepper, red pepper flakes, coriander, cumin, paprika,  fennel seed, and chopped sage. I add three parts liquor to one part honey. I prefer a rye, whiskey or bourbon. Some brands actually offer a honey variety which works best in my opinion.

Now if you are like some of my friends, you are scratching your head over the list of herbs and thinking where do I even find fennel seed, and when will I ever use this stuff again. If that is you, pick up a pre-mixed steak seasoning. Something like a Montreal steak or steak house seasoning will do. Add your parsley and basil, and anything flavorful in your liquor cabinet will do just fine!

Place your roast in a pan of choice and wrap your filet in your herb paste. (No shame in using an aluminum pan when your hosting. They cut down your clean up and they can be fully recycled) Cover your roast either with a lid or with aluminum foil and place in the center of your oven’s top rack. Cook at 400 degrees.

Now since not all roasts are created equal, you will have to use a thermometer to test for doneness. I prefer my filet mignon medium-rare. So I cook my roast to an internal temperature of 140 degrees.

Test your roasted every 20 minutes. You will want to uncover your roast once your internal temperature hits 100 degrees and you will test every 10 minutes from that point on. Uncovering the roast will dry your herb mixture slightly and give you the “roasted” texture to the outside of the meat.

Once your roast is cooked. Remove from the roasting pan and plate. Let the roast rest for 10 minutes and carve table side. Plate with your favorite sides and you will have wowed yourself and your diner guests.

Enjoy and Happy New Year!

 

 

FOOD: PEAR SPARKLE

Hello Westchester Food Finders!

With the Holidays approaching one of our readers reached out and asked If I could share a quick and easy cocktail that she can serve at a small party she is hosting.

Aimee from Bedford, let me introduce you to the Pear Sparkle.

Grab a pitcher or simply leave out the champagne flutes; The Pear Sparkle is easy to prep in bulk or a la carte, which makes it a great cocktail for entertaining.

Ingredients:

Pear Liquor or a pear flavored Cognac or Brandy

Pear of choice, Sliced. (Pear needs to be hard. Too soft and the pear will fall apart when you soak it in the liquor)

Prosecco, Champagne, or sparkling wine of choice.

Directions:

Slice your pear and place the slices in a container with one ounce of liquor for each slice. Soak your pear for 2-4 hours. Too short of a soak, and the liquor will not have enough time to take on the added flavor. Too long of a soak and you end up with a mushy pear!

Add a slice of “marinated” pear and one once ounce of the soaking liquid into a champagne flute. Top with bubbly of choice, mix and serve.

If you want to make a kid friendly or alcohol free version, simply add a sliced pear soaked in simple syrup to your flute and top off with a half seltzer, half apple cider mixture.

Enjoy!

 

 

FOOD: ORANGE CREAMSICLE MARTINI

Orange Creamsicle Martini

Orange Creamsicle Martini!

Food Finders, bring back some of your favorite childhood memories one refreshing flavorful adult sip at a time!

Our Orange Creamsicle Martini is easy to make and even easier to share with your friends at your next dinner party or BBQ. It is a perfect blend of citrus and sweet cream. Call over some friends and share some tonight!

2 ounces whipped cream flavored vodka (You may substitute 1 ounce of vodka in lieu of flavored vodka if you prefer your martini less sweet)

2 ounces orange liquor (Use orange flavored cognac for those who want more kick!)

Shake with ice and garnish with a few orange rinds.

ENJOY!

 

 

FOOD: CHEESE STUFFED BURGERS

My Favorite Cheese Stuffed Burger

Before I start on my quest for the best Westchester burger, I think it’s only appropriate to share my favorite burger with our readers. My burger is a blend of three meats, and cheese stuffed and seasoned from within. I finish it with a melted cheese topping and sautéed onions and BBQ sauce. It may not take first prize in my quest for the best, as I hear the competition is fierce. If I can make it in my kitchen, you can recreate it in yours, and then you can be the judge.

 

Ingredients List

1 Part 90% Ground Beef

1 Part 80% Ground Veal

1 Part Ground Pork

Favorite cheese cubed

Second Favorite cheese sliced

Burger Bun of your choice

1 Large Onion

Favorite BBQ Sauce

6 Pack of your favorite cold beer (optional)

I like to start with three different types of meats. Start with equal parts 90 per cent beef, 80 percent veal, and ground pork. Start mixing using your hands; fold the meats until you feel like you have a nice blend. Separate the blend into portions that work for you. Once you determine your portions, split the portions into equal sizes. Take approximately 1/3 of the portion and flatten. Take the other 2/3 of the blended meat and flatten as well. Repeat the process with the rest of your portioned meat. Cut up some of your favorite cheese. I prefer a spicy chipotle Gouda. Place your cheese in the middle of your flattened 2/3portion. Salt and pepper your cheese. As the cheese melts it will flavor your burger from the inside out.

Place the meat in the palm of your hand and place the smaller flattened 1/3 portion on top. Round the meat and seal the cheese in the center. Flatten slightly. Salt and pepper your meat combo. I prefer a combination of black and red pepper and like pink salt, but any salt and pepper will do. I’ve added some illustrations below.

flat with cheeseBurger

Place your burgers aside. Chop your onion and place in a pan coated with non-stick spray. Sweat them and reduce the heat. Pour in your BBQ sauce and keep at a slow simmer. Your BBQ sauce will reduce and your unions will caramelize.

Grill or broil your burgers. I have my grill ready all year round and it’s my preferred method. Preheat your grill or oven, and drop on your burgers. You want a nice sear on the outside. The searing will lock in your flavors as well as the delicious melted pocket of cheese and seasoning you created. It’s my responsibility to tell you to cook your burgers to the recommended temperature. Keep in mind the different type of meats used. Place your sliced cheese on top of your burger 30 seconds before your burgers are done to get a nice melt. I like to use a Havarti as my sliced cheese option. I find the Havarti and chipotle Gouda are complementary, but I recommend mixing and matching to find your favorite combination.

WARNING: DO NOT OVER FLIP YOUR BURGERS. Those of you guilty of being over flippers know who you are. Sear for a few minutes, flip and let the burgers cook. Use this time to grab an option beverage, and relax. Pat them for doneness, use a thermometer, or time yourself if you have to, just don’t keep flipping. You can break your cheese pocket and all of your hard work will be wasted.

Toast your bun or roll if you prefer. I unfortunately was short on time, and refused to use 8-pack buns on this burger. As in my example, your favorite variety English muffin will do just fine. I also have an example of a bun-less mozzarella stuffed burger for those instances where I feel like skipping the carbs.

cooked

Place your burger on the bottom piece of the muffin(or simply plate if you go bun-1less). Spoon some of your sautéed BBQ caramelized onions on top. Drizzle some more BBQ to taste and top you burger.

Grab a cold one and enjoy.

 

bunlessburger with bun