Sunday, May 9, 2010

Beef Tenderloin Medallions and Potato "Risotto"

Planning a date with a man can be slightly daunting. It's typically their job to woo you the first couple weeks, but it gets to a point when it is time to reciprocate his hard planning and money spending. Cooking for your guy is a pretty inexpensive and yet impressive date option. Plan in advance, buy good ingredients, wear a low cut shirt and apron, and heels if you have the dexterity. This is really all it takes.

There is nothing more manly than meat and potatoes. Men love steak. It makes them feel manly, eating a manly steak and all. I swear some guys order steak all the time just to make them appear manlier. So to impress your guy, I suggest a hearty steak and potato meal. The other blogger and I made beef tenderloin medallions and potato “risotto” for Valentine’s Day, and he agrees this dish could surely win a man’s heart over.

If you are still in the process of making a guy believe you know a thing or two about "guy things" (sports and the like), start out with one of the following lines:

"Did you see the game last night??"
"Do you think Tim Tebow will ever start a game?"
 "Do you think Tiger will win a tournament this year?"
"I'm not wearing any panties."

Okay, maybe you should hold off on the last one, but I guarantee it will at least grab his attention if you are losing his interest during conversation.

Time to pour a glass of wine for yourself and a beer for your man (or if he is mature or pretending to be, pour him a glass of wine as well). Gather the ingredients below and start cooking!

Serves 2, because it’s a date of course.
Recipe from Bon Appetit

Beef Tenderloin Medallions
2 6-ounce beef tenderloin steaks (each 3/4 to 1 inch thick) **If you tell your butcher you need enough beef tenderloin for 2 people, they will know how much to give you. We really like the beef tenderloin from Whole Foods, though we must warn you it can be expensive.**
1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
Salt and pepper
1 tablespoon (or more) olive oil

Potato “Risotto”
1 tablespoon butter
1 cup finely chopped onion
1 pound Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled, cut into 1/8-inch-thick slices, then 1/8-inch cubes
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Coarse kosher salt
1 1/2 cups (or more) low-salt chicken broth
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh chives

For the potato risotto:

1. Melt butter in heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion; cover and cook until soft and translucent, stirring occasionally, about 7 minutes.

2. Add potato cubes and cayenne pepper; sprinkle with coarse salt and pepper.

3. Add 1 1/2 cups chicken broth; bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer until potatoes are almost tender, adding more chicken broth by tablespoonfuls if dry (mixture should be creamy with some sauce, not dry), about 8 minutes.

4. Add cream and simmer until potatoes are tender but still hold their shape, stirring often, about 10 minutes. Stir in cheese and chives.
**This can be made 2 hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature. Rewarm over medium heat, stirring often.**

For the beef tenderloin medallions:

1. Sprinkle steaks with coarse salt and pepper, then chopped thyme (be very generous!).

2. Heat olive oil in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add steaks and cook to desired doneness, adding more oil as needed, 3 to 4 minutes per side for medium-rare. Try not to move steaks around too much, until you decide to flip them.
**Unless you are really scared of meat, we recommend you cook this medium-rare. It has the best flavor and texture.

3. Let the steak “rest” on a plate or cutting board for 2-4 minutes. This allows the heat inside to continue cooking the meat, and prevents the juices from spilling out.

4. Slice each medallion into several slices.

Arrange potato risotto and steaks on a plate like in our picture (we plated it several different ways, and find this the most appealing). Garnish with additional chopped scallions to make it look pretty.

This meal goes really well with milk chocolate souffl├ęs.

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