Saturday, July 20, 2013

Filet Mignon with Grilled Portobello Mushrooms

Some recipes don't require much introduction. I'd put this Filet Mignon with Grilled Portobello Mushrooms in that category! A great cut of steak like this doesn't need much to make for a special meal. One could simply grill it with the rub, but the mushrooms make a nice addition to the flavor. Save this one for a time your looking for a special yet simple summer meal!

cooking oil spray
2 portobello mushroom caps
4 filet mignon steaks, 4 to 6 ozs each
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tbsp balsamic vinegar

for the rub
2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sage
pepper to taste

Combine the rub ingredients in a small ball. Rub both sides of the steaks so that it is lightly coated with the mixture. Heat the grill to medium high, and let the steaks sit with the rub for about 10 minutes.

Spray both sides of the mushrooms, then place them on the grill. After about 5 minutes, flip them over. Put the steaks onto the grill at this time. The mushrooms take about 10 minutes total to get cooked through, they should be nice and tender. Keep an eye on them so they don't shrivel up too much. Remove the mushrooms when done, let them cool a bit on a plate. Slice the mushrooms thinly when cooled slightly, toss them in a bowel with the olive oil and vinegar, along with salt and pepper to taste. Put the bowl of mushrooms at the table to serve on the the steaks.

The filets take about 4 to 5 minutes per side to get to medium rare. Keep a close eye on them, you don't want to overcook filet mignon! Remember they will cook a bit more as they rest. Remove from the grill when cooked the way you like, let stand for a few minutes before serving topped with the mushrooms.

Wine Pairing: I've really enjoyed the Cass Winery Grenache a few times, but Ray at Pairings Wine and Food had told me the 2010 Cass Mourvedre is even better. It's also about $10 more ($35ish total) so I waited to try it with a special meal. The filet mignon definitely qualified! I didn't capture tasting notes but just remember thinking the wine was a real treat and good match for the meal. Cass Winery provides a shining example of the high quality wines produced in Paso Robles, often giving traditional French varietals a tasty twist in the California sun. Cass is part of the SIP Certified network, meaning they use sustainable practices producing their wines; another reason to enjoy them.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Grilled Swordfish with Pineapple Salsa

Grilled Swordfish with Pineapple Salsa served on blue plate
I went to Whole Foods planning to get the tuna on sale to make this recipe. But I couldn't pass up the freshly caught swordfish that was being filleted to order when we got there (and it was on sale, too). I figured the basic approach to the pineapple salsa would work for swordfish too, so I converted the recipe and made Grilled Swordfish with Pineapple Salsa. We really enjoyed it, and also had enough of the salsa to go with some pork chops we had on hand. Double-yum! I generally just link to other folks' recipes I make, but there are enough changes I made--along with helpful tips--to re-blog it here. Not too mention the MyRecipes site was lacking tasty photos! I made another version of pineapple salsa recently for chicken, but grilling the pineapple as done here definitely enhances the recipe.

coring a pineapple

1 cup fresh orange juice
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1/2 pineapple, peeled, cored, and cut into bite-sized chunks* see note below
1 medium red onion, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices
Cooking spray
1 swordfish steak, about 12 ozs
1 tablespoon canola oil
3/8 teaspoon salt, divided
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano (original recipe called for mint, bet that would be good too)
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1 serrano pepper, seeded and minced

Pre-heat grill to medium-high. Boil orange juice in a small saucepan 15 minutes or until reduced to 1/4 cup. Beware: orange juice can quick boil over the sauce pan. Transfer juice to a small bowl; stir in soy sauce. Once it starts to boil, lower to medium high and keep an eye on it. Learned this one the hard way! I'm not a frequent boiler of orange juice.
pineapple and onions in a grill pan

Place pineapple and onion on a grill rack or grill pan coated with cooking spray. Grill 5 minutes on each side or until the onion is tender. Remove from grill; let stand 5 minutes. Coarsely chop, and transfer to a bowl.

Brush both sides of the swordfish evenly with oil; sprinkle evenly with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Place fish on a grill rack coated with cooking spray; brush with half of juice mixture. Grill about 5 to 6 minutes; turn fish over. Brush fish with remaining juice mixture; grill another 5 minutes or until desired degree of doneness. Note your grilling time for the fish will depend on the thickness of the swordfish steak. Mine was about an inch thick.

Add the remaining 1/8 teaspoon salt, remaining 1/8 teaspoon pepper, basil,oregano, lime juice and serrano pepper and next 3 ingredients to pineapple mixture; toss.  Serve the swordfish with a generous topping of the salsa and enjoy! A side of couscous went nicely with this, along with some greens. I served with a Rioja rosé, which I think was the right idea, but the particular wine was a bit big for the dish. Something a bit more delicate and nuanced, but enough heft, like a Bandol perhaps, might be ideal.

*Coring pineapple: you can Google for more details instructions, but as you can see from my photo above, you basically twist the top off, chop off both ends, then start cutting off the sides to reveal the fruit. Cut the fruit off around the core and chop.