Date Night Filet Mignon can lead to happy endings

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Date Night Filet Mignon

A long long time ago when Gammy and were out on our first date I wanted to impress her so I took her to the fanciest, snootiest restaurant that I could find.

Even though she had grown up on a farm she had never heard of “Filet Mignon”. I wanted to impress her with my sophistication and worldly knowledge – yeah  right – so I convinced her to try Filet Mignon. I just told her that it was a “high class” kind of steak that I liked. 

She said, “Ok, I’ll try something new. I’m  here with you aren’t I?”

When the waiter took her order and asked how she would like it she said, “I’d like it rare, please.”

We joked through a few double entendres about “rare” and how she would like it as we enjoyed our wine.

In my efforts to impress her I had ordered a good Italian pinot noir.

“Wow, this is good! I’ve never had wine before. Just beer and sometimes a little bourbon.”

Since that first date we have always shared a bottle of wine with our dinners.

When our filet mignons were served she said, “Oh, it’s beef tenderloin steak”. 

So much for my efforts at making an impression.

Still to this day, almost 40 years later, on our “date nights” we just about always have Filet Mignon accompanied by a good Italian red wine.

I’ve done our Filet Mignon a lot of different ways. From just pan seared with salt and pepper to pizzaiola and everything in between. 

This way has become our favorite. 

What makes this way so good is the butter mixture that you will use to cook the steaks in and also top them with as you serve them.

Take your steaks out of the fridge and let them get closer to room temperature while you put together your butter mixture.

And for that butter mixture cut a half stick of butter into pads and put the pads on your cutting board. 

Mince the garlic, zest the lemon and chop the parsley.

Put the parsley, garlic, lemon zest, dried basil, cayenne pepper and grated parmesan on top of the butter and……

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……using a table knife or a small spatula smash it and mix it all together. Then form it into a kinda mini loaf of bread shape.

I learned this recipe a long time ago working at a fancy restaurant while still in high school. The chef would have me mix up the butter mixture and put it in ice cube trays and freeze them. So then they would be waiting for us during the busy dinner hours.

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Put a skillet on at medium high and swirl in just about a tablespoon of olive oil and plunk in about a third of the butter mixture. 

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While the skillet is getting hot generously salt and pepper both sides of the filets.

When the oil and butter have stopped acting up and leveled out put in the steaks. The butter and oil will foam up again but that’s ok.

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Cook the steaks about 3 minutes a side then test them. When the steaks are just starting to get firm or they read 130° on an instant read meat thermometer they are rare. When they are definitely firm to a poke and read 165° they are well done. The in-betweens will give you medium rare, medium and medium well. I’m sure that your meat thermometer has the temperatures for all of the different meats listed on it.

Serve up your Filet Mignon steaks and top them with pads of the butter mixture and the liquid from the skillet.

 

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Some of Poppop’s easy homemade bread to dip in those juices is just about a must and for old times sake we had a real good bottle of Italian Pinot Noir with our Date Night Filet Mignon.

 

 

 

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Beef tenderloin steaks seared in and topped with butter laced with some herbs and spices.
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Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
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Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
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Instructions
  1. Take your steaks out of the fridge and let them get closer to room temperature while you put together your butter mixture. And for that butter mixture cut a half stick of butter into pads and put the pads on your cutting board. Mince the garlic, zest the lemon and chop the parsley. Put the parsley, garlic, lemon zest, dried basil, grated parmesan and cayenne pepper on top of the butter and using a table knife or a small spatula mix it all together and form it into a kinda mini loaf of bread shape.
  2. Put skillet on at medium high and swirl in just about a tablespoon of olive oil and plunk in about a third of the butter mixture. While the skillet is getting hot generously salt and pepper both sides of the filets. When the oil and butter have stopped acting up and leveled out put in the steaks. The butter and oil will foam up again but that's ok. Cook the steaks about 3 minutes a side and test them. When the steaks are just starting to get firm or they read 130° on an instant read meat thermometer they are rare. When they are definitely firm to a poke and read 165° they are well done. The in-betweens will give you medium rare, medium and medium well. I'm sure that your meat thermometer has the temperatures listed on it or they came with it on paper.
  3. Serve up your Filet Mignon steaks and top with the butter mixture and the liquid from the skillet.
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Shrimp Scampi – Quick and easy – 20 Minutes Max

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Shrimp Scampi….

……..is quick and easy and delicious!

Shrimp Scampi will be at the top of your list of “go to” choices when you want to keep it simple but still would like it to be real good and…..

……for a great game day finger food just forego the pasta and serve your Shrimp Scampi with toothpicks!

Shrimp Scampi is a basic simple Italian dish of just a few ingredients that you will not mess up.

In fact any fancy Italian restaurant has to keep it simple to have it turn out well and they cannot make it any better than you are going to.

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Put a pot of salted water on for the pasta and if the shrimp have to thaw out put them in a bowl of water.

While the coming to a boil and the thawing out are going on lets put together a salad for tonight’s veggie and chop up the garlic. Caprese Salad would be our choice for our Italian mood dinner.

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The salad is ready, the shrimp have thawed out and the pasta water is boiling.

Put the pasta in the pot of water and stir it right away to keep it from sticking together. Remember to stir it a few times as it cooks.

Put on a skillet that is large enough to handle all the shrimp laid out flat. Set the burner at medium and add the olive oil and 1/2 of the butter. When the butter has melted put in the garlic.

 

As soon as you get the fragrance of the garlic cooking add the salt, pepper, parsley and red pepper flakes.

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Stir it all together and lay the shrimp out in the skillet. Give the shrimp just half a minute to a minute a side depending on their size.

Then put in the rest of the butter, squeeze in the lemon juice and add the white wine. Oh, and a splash of the pasta water

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Stir it all together and just a minute or so after it comes up to a simmer…….

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……..enjoy your quick and easy, homemade, better than a restaurant Shrimp Scampi!

Bon Appetito!!

Oh yeah and a chilled bottle of Pinot Grigio or Soave will complete that “sitting in a restaurant” feeling.

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Shrimp sautéed in butter, garlic and white wine.
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Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
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Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
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Rating: 5
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Instructions
  1. Put a pot of salted water on for the pasta and if the shrimp have to thaw out put them in a bowl of water. While the coming to a boil and the thawing out are going on lets put together a salad for tonight's veggie and chop up the garlic. Caprese Salad would be our choice for our Italian mood dinner.
  2. The salad is ready, the shrimp have thawed out and the pasta water is boiling. Put the pasta in the pot of water and stir it right away to keep it from sticking together. Remember to stir it a few times as it cooks. Put on a skillet that is large enough to handle all the shrimp laid out flat. Set the burner at medium and add the olive oil and 1/2 of the butter. When the butter has melted put in the garlic. As soon as you get the fragrance of the garlic cooking add the salt, pepper, parsley and red pepper flakes.
  3. Stir it all together and lay the shrimp out in the skillet. Give the shrimp just half a minute to a minute a side depending on their size. Then put in the rest of the butter, squeeze in the lemon juice and add the white wine. Oh yeah, and a splash of the pasta water.
  4. Stir it all together and just a minute or so after it comes up to a simmer enjoy your quick and easy, homemade, better than a restaurant Shrimp Scampi!
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Chicken Piccata with Roasted Vegetables – Quick and Easy – 30 Minutes – Gluten Free

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Chicken Piccata…..

……..is an easy dish to prepare and it’s delicious! It’s one of those meals that we don’t order in a restaurant because we can make it better at home and so can you!!

Today’s tip……When you chop up onions or garlic chop up a good bit more than you need and put the extras into zip-lic bags. Store them in the freezer to make your future quick and easy meals even quicker and easier.

Now,, back to your Chicken Piccata with Roasted Vegetables. Set the oven at 400°F. Line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil and cut up whatever veggies that you want to have in the mix. Potatoes, onions and peppers are the basics but after that just go with whatever strikes your fancy. As you can see we also had on hand some brussels sprouts, carrots and zucchini. Put the veggies onto the cookie sheet and generously drizzle with the extra virgin olive oil. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, garlic powder and dried basil. Mix it all together by hand and spread it out. Into the oven for about 15 – 20 minutes.

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Poke a potato with a table fork to check if they are done. When the potato is as soft as you want it everything else is done too. If the veggies are done  before the Chicken Piccata is just turn off the oven and they will stay warm for you.

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Put a skillet on at medium high and add some olive oil and half of the butter. Mix the flour, salt and pepper in a shallow dish and dredge the chicken filets in the flour mix and put them in the skillet. About 3 -5 minutes each side depending on how thick they are. When they are firm or read 165°F  on an instant read meat thermometer remove them to a dish that will catch the drippings. Add the rest of the butter, chopped garlic, capers, parsley flakes, lemon slices and parmesan cheese to the skillet. Stir it up with a wooden spoon getting the bits off the bottom of the pan.

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Add the white wine – or chicken broth – and bring it up to a fast simmer. Then reduce the heat just enough to maintain the simmer.

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Add the chicken and the drippings back to the skillet. Turn the filets over a few times as the liquid reduces and thickens up. Top it all off with some parsley and grated parmesan and enjoy your better than a restaurant Chicken Piccata with Roasted Vegetables. Bon Appetito!!

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Santa Margarita Pinot Grigio goes along great!

 

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A traditional Italian Sautéed chicken filets recipe with lemon, garlic and capers flavors.
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Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
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Chicken Piccata
Roasted Veggies
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings
Ingredients
Chicken Piccata
Roasted Veggies
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Instructions
Roasted Veggies
  1. Set the oven at 400°F. Line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil and cut up whatever veggies that you want to have in the mix. Potatoes, onions and peppers are the basics but after that just go with whatever strikes your fancy. As you can see we also had on hand some broccoli, carrots and zucchini. Put the veggies onto the cookie sheet and generously drizzle with the extra virgin olive oil. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, garlic powder and dried basil. Mix it all together by hand and spread it out. Into the oven for about 15 - 20 minutes. Poke a potato with a table fork to check if they are done. When the potato is as soft as you want it everything else is done too. If the veggies are done before the Chicken Piccata is just turn off the oven and they will stay warm for you.
Chicken Piccata
  1. Put a skillet on at medium high and add some olive oil and half of the butter. Mix the flour, salt and pepper in a shallow dish and dredge the chicken filets in the flour mix and put them in the skillet. About 3 -5 minutes each side depending on how thick they are. When they are firm or read 165°F on an instant read meat thermometer remove them to a dish that will catch the drippings. Add the rest of the butter, chopped garlic, capers, parsley flakes, lemon slices and parmesan cheese to the skillet. Stir it up with a wooden spoon getting the bits off the bottom of the pan.
  2. Add the white wine - or chicken broth - and bring it up to a fast simmer. Then reduce the heat just enough to maintain the simmer. Add the chicken and the drippings back to the skillet. Turn the filets over a few times as the liquid reduces and thickens up. Top it all off with some parsley and grated parmesan and enjoy your better than a restaurant Chicken Piccata with Roasted Vegetables. Bon Appetito!!
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One Skillet Chicken Dinner – 25 minutes or less

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One Skillet Chicken Dinner – You will have the whole meal done and on the table in 25 minutes or less.

Put a skillet on at medium high and add enough olive oil to coat the bottom. Using a dishwasher safe cutting board cut up the chicken breast or tenders into about 1″ chunks. Add them to the skillet and stir them around a little. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, garlic powder and dried basil.

One Skillet Chicken Dinner-2-poppopcooks.com

Stir the chicken around a few times as it cooks. While it is cooking rinse the string beans, trim off the stumpy ends and cut them in halves or thirds. Chop up the onion.

One Skillet Chicken Dinner-3-poppopcooks.com

Add the veggies, the gnocchi and the tomatoes to the skillet.

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Mix it all together. Bring it up to a fast simmer and lower the heat just enough to maintain the simmer. Light up the broiler. Stir everything in the skillet a few more times as it all cooks. When the pasta – gnocchi – has softened to the nibble test top it all off with a layer of shredded mozzarella then a layer of grated parmesan. Some dried parsley and even some red pepper flakes if want.

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Put the skillet under the broiler until the cheese has cooked to the point that YOU want it.

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Then serve up your One Skillet Chicken Dinner.

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With a nice Sangiovese or Chianti. Bon Appetito!

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Chicken, veggies and pasta all in one skillet.
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Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
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Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Servings
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Instructions
  1. Put a skillet on at medium high and add enough olive oil to coat the bottom. Using a dishwasher safe cutting board cut up the chicken breast or tenders into about 1" chunks. Add them to the skillet and stir them around a little. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, garlic powder and dried basil.
  2. Stir the chicken around a few times as it cooks. While it is cooking rinse the string beans, trim off the stumpy ends and cut them in halves or thirds. Chop up the onion.
  3. Add the veggies, the gnocchi and the tomatoes to the skillet.Mix it all together. Bring it up to a fast simmer and lower the heat just enough to maintain the simmer. Light up the broiler. Stir everything in the skillet a few more times as it all cooks. When the pasta - gnocchi - has softened to the nibble test top it all off with a layer of shredded mozzarella then a layer of grated parmesan. Some dried parsley and even some red pepper flakes if want.
  4. Put the skillet under the broiler until the cheese has cooked to the point that YOU want it. Then serve up your One Skillet Chicken Dinner.
    One Skillet Chicken Dinner-8-poppopcooks.com
Recipe Notes

You can use any kind of pasta instead of gnocchi. Gnocchi cooks in like 2-3 minutes and pasta in 8-10 minutes.

 

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