Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Express Yourself

Sorry for not posting on Valentine's Day but I don't consider myself a lovey dovey guy so I didn't see the sense on faking it.  Although I am always amused by people who feel like they have to go out to dinner for Valentine's Day. Now I can surely appreciate not wanting to destroy the kitchen, and letting someone else do the cooking for one night.  Although by cooking at home you can express how you feel so intimately, a plate of food that says more than you could ever say in a card or roses.  

Expressing love with food seems to have been demonized lately because of the growing obesity epidemic that is cribbling America.  But love can be expressed on plate without stacking it a mile high.  For instance if you know your partner like scallops then don't just take them to Red Lobster.  But what if you went to the store or market and selected the best scallops available.  Then went home and delicately cooked them, maybe basted with brown butter, to the point where they stop just being food but an expression of how you feel and love that other person.  

Food is personal, food is life, and food can say a lot about how you see yourself.  I know people who starve themselves without food, and those drowned themselves with food.  To understand food you don't have to spend a million dollars each week at whole foods.  Understanding how ingredients affect others is the key to developing flavors and building those layers to the point of ecstasy.  This is not hard and trust me it can be done with little knowledge.  Here are some PDF files that can help you become a ninja in no time:

Fish/Chicken 
Meat
Non Meat/Pantry Essentials

I believe expressing your love towards someone with food is one the most intimate experiences you can share with the one you love.  Of course some wine can always help things along, or at least get you the nightcap.  When it gets to that point you are on your own.

Here is a recipe that is easy, but I think has that sexy factor built in:

Filet Mignon with Mushroom-Wine Sauce

Ingredients:

2 tbsp. butter, divided
3 tbsp. shallots, minced
1/4 C. fresh shiitake mushrooms, cleaned and stems removed
3/4 C. dry red wine, divided (Cabernet is nice)
5 fl. oz. beef consomme
fresh ground black pepper, to taste
2 (4 ounce) filet mignon steaks
1/2 tbsp. soy sauce
1 tsp. cornstarch
1 tsp. dried thyme
fresh thyme (garnish)



Filet Mignon with Mushroom Sauce
Instructions:

In a nonstick frying pan, saute shallots and mushrooms in 1 tbsp butter for about 4 mins, til tender.

Add 1/2 cup of red wine and 3 fl. oz consomme. Simmer for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove the mushrooms from sauce, set aside.

Boil wine mixture over high heat until reduced to 1/4 cup.

Combine sauce with mushrooms in bowl. Set aside. In another bowl, combine combine soy sauce with cornstarch. Set aside.

Sprinkle filets with pepper to taste. Saute steaks in remaining 1 tbsp butter over medium heat, about 3 minutes per side for a 1-inch thick steak.

Reduce fire to medium-low heat; cook steaks until desired level of doneness. Remove from pan, keep warm.

Add the rest of the red wine and beef consommé to the skillet, scraping to deglaze pan and incorporate tasty steak bits into the sauce. Bring to a boil. Boil for one minute. Add mushroom/sauce mixture, cornstarch/soy sauce mixture, and the thyme. Boil one minute, stirring constantly, until thickened.

Place steaks on plate and pour sauce over. Garnish with fresh thyme.

 

4 comments:

mindysmouthful said...

I couldn't find an email address for you, so I thought I'd leave this random comment. A few Kentucky food bloggers are putting a group together to be able to connect with each other on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/home.php#!/home.php?sk=group_154501454604863&ap=1. Feel free to join!

Eventually, we'll have a fan page for all of us (with links to our blogs), but we're just trying to get the group together now to see who is interested and to touch base with each other. We'd love to have you!

Ken said...

Hi Mindy, my email is durbin.ken@gmail.com. Email with the details.

Fiona said...

I couldn't agree more about Valentine's Day. My husband and I have never gone out on Valentine's Day, or our wedding anniversary for that matter. I can think of fewer things less romantic than sitting in a crowded restaurant with dozens of other couples. Since I love to cook, I would much rather cook something very special for the two of us to enjoy.

Ken said...

Thank you Fiona for your comment and reading my blog. Follow my blog I will be trying to post again soon. Take care.