domingo, 26 de diciembre de 2010

New Year's Eve Dinner for Two

Celebrate the New Year in grand style with a sophisticated menu that features luxurious ingredients, from oysters and crab to filets mignons. When the clock strikes twelve, toast the New Year with Champagne cocktails. These festive sparklers take on a ruby red hue, thanks to the addition of raspberries and crème de cassis.

Wrapping bacon around filets mignons—steaks cut from the narrow end of the tenderloin—is an example of the classic French technique called barding. Covering lean pieces of meat such as these with bacon slices or thin sheets of pork fat contributes flavor and moisture to the finished dish. You can further enhance this special-occasion steak by drizzling it with earthy truffle-infused olive oil.

4 filets mignons, each at least 2 inches thick
and 6 to 8 oz.
2 Tbs. white or black truffle oil, plus more for
drizzling over the steaks
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. freshly ground pepper
8 slices thick-cut lightly smoked bacon
Trim and season the meat
Using a rigid boning knife, trim all the fat and silver skin from the meat. Rub the meat on all sides with the 2 Tbs. truffle oil and sprinkle with the salt and pepper. Put the meat on a plate and let stand at room temperature for 30 to 60 minutes before grilling.

Wrap the steaks with bacon
Preheat an indoor grill to high heat according to the manufacturer's instructions. Lay the bacon slices on the grill and cook until lightly browned but still pliable, 5 to 7 minutes. Using tongs or a fork, transfer the bacon to a plate lined with paper towels and set aside. When cool enough to handle, wrap 2 strips of bacon around each filet mignon and tie them securely with kitchen string.

Grill the steaks
Reduce the grill heat to medium-high. Preheat an oven to 200°F and place a platter in the oven to warm. Arrange the steaks on the grill so that they line up in the same direction (be sure to remember the order in which you put the steaks on the grill so that you will know which one to turn over first). Leave the steaks undisturbed for 2 to 3 minutes to develop good grill marks. Use tongs to turn over the steaks and grill for 2 to 3 minutes more.

Vistalba Corte C, Mendoza, 2008, Argentina
Rich and round, this is a big, mouth-filling red with terrific intensity to its black currant, cocoa and black cherry flavors. Youthful tannins give the palate structure, while a note of eucalyptus emerges on the long finish.

Chef's Tip: Professional chefs can tell when a steak is done by poking it with a fingertip and evaluating its firmness. If it feels soft, the meat is rare. If your touch meets with a little resistance but springs back, it is medium-rare. If it feels firm and has no spring, it is well done.


If the bacon is frozen, thaw in the refrigerator overnight before cooking. Heat a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Place the bacon in the pan and cook, turning once, until browned and crispy, about 3 minutes per side, or until cooked to your liking. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate to drain.


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