Growing up in a family who loves to cook is the primary reason why I’m so passionate about cooking and baking. My brother Andy is a self-taught cook, having taken only a couple of cooking classes in his life. It was his knack of gourmet cooking and plating that inspired me to follow in his, and my mom’s, footsteps. Therefore, I decided to feature Andy as one of my guest bloggers.
Andy received The Cakebread Cellars Napa Valley Cookbook as a gift and decided to make a few of its recipes for my family.
For the main course, he chose the recipe for filet mignon with grapes, watercress and blue cheese. The dinner turned out absolutely fabulous. The sweetness of the soft, sautéed grapes were delightful when paired with the perfectly cooked and tender filet and somewhat bitter watercress. It’s such a treat when my brother cooks for us—we’re always guaranteed a gourmet, beautifully plated and scrumptious meal.
2 tbsp. vegetable oil
1 tbsp. unsalted butter
4 (6 oz.) filet mignon steaks
Freshly ground black pepper
1 cup red seedless grapes
3/4 cup red wine
2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
4 oz. watercress leaves
1 head Belgian endive, coarsely chopped
2 oz. blue cheese
Heat a stainless steel skillet over high heat. Add the oil and butter and cook until the butter stops foaming. Season the steaks with salt and pepper and add to the skillet. Cook 1 to 2 minutes per side, until the steaks are seared. Transfer the steaks to a warm plate. Discard the oil from the skillet.
Add the grapes to the skillet and cook for 1 minute over high heat. Add the wine and vinegar and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, until reduced to a light sauce. Pour any juices that have collected from the meat into the pan. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes.
Combine the watercress and endive in a small bowl. Divide among 4 plates. Place a steak slightly off center over each steak of greens. Spoon some grapes around the plate and crumble equal amounts of the blue cheese over the top of the meat. Spoon the sauce from the pan over the steak and greens and serve.