Thursday, February 28, 2013

Date Night: Steakhouse Salad with Seared Filet Mignon on Mixed Heirloom Greens Tossed in a Maple-Mustard Vinaigrette with Candied Pecans, Dried Cherries, Sliced Apples, Apple Chips, Crumbled Bleu Cheese, & Crispy Shallots, Drizzled with a Red Wine-Balsamic Caramel

Steakhouse Salad with Seared Filet Mignon on Mixed Heirloom Greens Tossed in a Maple-Mustard Vinaigrette with Candied Pecans, Dried Cherries, Sliced Apples, Apple Chips, Crumbled Bleu Cheese, & Crispy Shallots, Drizzled with a Red Wine-Balsamic Caramel 
It's been a long, long, longgggggg time since I have last posted a Date Night recipe. And this meal will surely make up for the lost time! As many of you know, I am an avid lover of all salads, my Mountain Man, on the other hand, doesn't get that yearning for a big ole' pile of frilly greens like I do. But, his mind can quickly be changed when a hearty steak is added into the mix. Oh, and crispy fried shallots don't hurt it either. This bad boy of a salad is loaded with a bunch of yummy ingredients... sweet dried cherries, fresh apple slices, crunchy apple chips, crumbled bleu cheese, & candied pecans. The base of it all is a mix between heirloom greens, frisee lettuce, and baby arugula. Then, they are all tossed in my go-to Maple-Mustard Vinaigrette, which perfectly complements the other components of the dish. I like all of the balance of these different greens put together for a lot of variety and then the acidic-sweet dress that is dressed in. Now, here's where it all comes up to you... We love our filet mignons to be crusted in fancy fleur de sel and coarsely ground peppercorns. It is super hearty and extremely flavorful. But, most importantly, we prefer our steaks to be cooked to a bright red medium rare. It has such a deep, complex meatiness that way and it literally just melts into your mouth. But, I know that not everyone feels the same way we do, so please cook your meat according to your preferences. After every thing has been assembled, you have to garnish it off with a heapin' mouthful of crispy shallots. Life don't get much betta than this, y'all!! Enjoy :)

Beautifully Cooked Filet Mignon + Red Wine-Balsamic Caramel Drizzle
Crispy. Shallots. Are. My. Life.

Dried Cherries, Crumbled Bleu Cheese, Crispy Shallots, Apple Chips,  & Apple Slices

For the Red Wine-Balsamic Caramel:
½C Red Wine
1C Balsamic Vinegar
1T Dark Brown Sugar

For the Maple-Mustard Vinaigrette:
2T Olive Oil
2T Apple Cider Vinegar
4T Maple Syrup
2t Dijon Mustard
2T Grainy Mustard
2t Garlic, Minced
Salt & Pepper, To Taste

For the Candied Pecans:
1 ½C Pecans, Toasted
½C Sugar
Pinch of Salt, Cinnamon, & Cayenne (or to your taste, I did a large pinch)

For the Crispy Shallots:
4 Large Shallots, Thinly Sliced
½C Buttermilk + 2T Hot Sauce
AP Flour, For Coating
Vegetable Oil, For Frying

For the Steakhouse Salad:
Mixed Heirloom Greens, Frisee Lettuce, & Baby Arugula (or your favorite salad greens)
Prepared Maple-Mustard Vinaigrette, For Dressing the Salad
Prepared Candied Pecans, Roughly Chopped
1-2C Dried Cherries
1 Fuji Apple, Thinly Sliced
Apple Chips
Crumbled Bleu Cheese
½C Red Onion, Finely Minced
2T Freshly Parsley, Minced
Seared Filet Mignon, Cooked to your Preference & Sliced
Prepared Red Wine-Balsamic Caramel, For Drizzling
Crispy Shallots, For Garnishing

1. For the Red Wine-Balsamic Caramel: Place red wine in a small saucepan and simmer over medium heat until reduced to about 1 tablespoon. Add the balsamic vinegar and boil until the vinegar has reduced to about ¼ cup and is very syrupy and big shiny bubbles are forming at the surface. Watch the mixture very closely at this point — it will burn very easily. If it appears too thin, be assured that it will thicken upon cooling. Remove from the heat and stir in the brown sugar until dissolved. Pour into a clean jar and let it thicken before drizzling over the salad.
2. For the Maple-Mustard Vinaigrette: In a mixing bowl, whisk together all of the ingredients until combined. Season it with salt & pepper to taste. Refrigerate the dressing until ready to toss the salad.
3. For the Candied Pecans: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and spread the pecans on a baking sheet and bake for 5 minutes until just toasted. Remove from the oven and let it cool. Meanwhile, pour the sugar into a medium saucepan and cook on medium heat, stirring with a wooden spoon while the sugar melts. Keep stirring until the color turns a medium amber color. Once that color is reached, add in the pecans to the pan and quickly stir to coat. As soon as they are coated, spread them onto a baking sheet and sprinkle with the salt, cinnamon, and cayenne. Let them cool completely before adding them to the dish (after they have hardened, you can chose whether or not you want to chop them up or leave them whole).
4. For the Crispy Shallots: In a mixing bowl, whisk together the buttermilk and hot sauce until combined. Add in the thinly shaved shallots and toss them in the spicy milk mixture until they are thoroughly covered. Let these onions soak for roughly an hour. When you are ready to fry, heat some vegetable oil up to 350 degrees. While the oil is heating, drain the shallots from the milk, and then lightly coat them in some AP Flour, shaking well to remove any excess flour. Fry the shallots in the hot oil, in small batches, until they are crispy & golden brown, about 3-5 minutes. Once cooked, strain from the oil onto a paper towel-lined plate and sprinkle with some salt and pepper. Repeat with the remaining shallots. After they have all been fried, set them aside until you are ready to garnish the salad with them.
5. For the Steakhouse Salad: In a large mixing bowl, place the mixed greens and lettuce in a bowl, along with the candied pecans, dried cherries, apple slices, apple chips, crumbled bleu cheese, minced red onion, and parsley. Toss them together until all of the ingredients are incorporated throughout. Next, pour some of the Maple-Mustard Vinaigrette over the salad and gently toss until just combined (don’t overdress the salad or it will be soggy). Lay the slices of the filet mignon on top of the dressed salad, and then generously drizzle some of the Red Wine-Balsamic Caramel over the steak and the salad. Garnish the salad with a big pile of crispy shallots. Enjoy immediately with a big glass of red wine!

1 comment:

  1. There are so many wines to choose from when serving a meat dish for a date. What to serve with a lovely lamb or beef?

    Cook for a date