We are definitely steak eaters, and filet mignon has always been my absolute favorite cut of steak. Filet mignon is cut from the very small end of the tenderloin, which is non-weight bearing and is never toughened through exercise. This is what makes it so tender. It is also the most expensive cut, because there is only about 1 pound or about 500 grams per tenderloin. That just may have something to do with why it is my favorite. I love good food, and I seem to always gravitate to the most expensive food item on the menu, or at least so I’ve been told. 🙂 If cooked right, filet mignon seems to just melt in your mouth, like butter, which may also be one of the reasons why I love it so much, because you all know how much I love my butter. The name filet mignon, as you have probably already guessed is French. It is translated to mean a cute and dainty thick and boneless cut of the tenderloin that is usually cut into medallions or rounds.
We don’t eat filet mignon to often, but when we do, we savor every bit of it. We had company for dinner the other day, and I made a surf and turf dinner with bacon wrapped filet mignon and shrimp, served with my leftover cilantro-pistachio pesto sauce Southwestern Pesto Chicken and spicy sweet potato-latkes. I also served it with corn on the cob, which most definitely would not have been my first choice with such a meal ordinarily, but we are using up as many vegetables as we can before leaving on our trip to Spain. Normally I probably would have have served it with asparagus.
I marinated the steaks in just a simple marinade for about 3-4 hours, more for flavor than anything, since the meat is already super tender. Then I seared in a hot skillet with olive oil, browning all sides. It only takes a couple of minutes per side.
I par-cooked some bacon and after the bacon was ready, I wrapped it around the steaks and held it in place with a toothpick. I finished cooking the filets on the grill. In my opinion, the absolute best way to eat a filet mignon is medium rare.
Meanwhile, I prepared some spicy sweet potato latkes. I had a HUGE sweet potato that made nine latkes.
1 sweet potato, peeled and shredded
1/3-1/2 bell pepper – your choice of color or colors, diced small
1/3 cup sweet red peppers, chopped fine – optional
1 jalapeno, seeded and diced fine
salt & pepper to taste
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp allspice
1-2 TBSP hot sauce
1/4 cup green onions, chopped fine
3/4-1 cup flour
2 TBSP cilantro, chopped
Shred the sweet potato then mix in all the other ingredients and incorporate well. I find mixing it all together by hand works best. Once everything is mixed together, scoop a bunch and form into a patty. Continue until the mixture is gone, and place the patties on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Flatten them out with your hand or a spatula. Place the tray in the refrigerator for at least 1/2 hour to set. When you are ready to cook them, place them in a skillet with about 1″ of hot oil and pan fry until they are crispy and golden. You can also bake them, but I prefer them pan-fried.
I used our Caribbean hot sauce that is made with ghost peppers that we got on one of our many Caribbean trips. Believe me, a little goes a long, long way. We have had this bottle for a long time, and I am only about 1/2 way through with the bottle. And we love spicy foods too. So this is an indicator of how far just a little bit will go.
I pan fried some shrimp and then started plating everything up. I like to layer my foods, so I started with the sweet potato latke, then added a dab of my cilantro- pistachio pesto. The filet mignon was next, with a dab more cilantro-pistachio pesto on top. Then I but a few more dabs around the plate and topped each one with a shrimp.
As you can see, I was using up what I had, but I was still having fun with everything too. 🙂 the cilantro-pistachio pesto was a good choice for this meal. All the flavors just came together and popped. Our friend Jim was a very a happy camper indeed.