Filet on a Weeknight?
I know you’re thinking “filet on a weeknight?” well before you get too upset at my extravagance, I will tell you that this was leftover (uncooked) from Christmas. I finally took over Christmas dinner from my mother about 5 years ago. We always have filet and we always have over 20 family members. When I first started hosting this meal my parents would buy the filet for me. They would wait and buy it on sale, wrap and freeze it (up to one month before), and bring it to me defrosted and ready to cook the day before Christmas. When my mom passed away two years ago, I informed my father that I could handle this filet thing on my own now. I was all grown up at 37. I was convinced that only old people with WAY too much time on their hands searched to find meat on sale then took the time to freeze AND defrost it. Who has that much time anyway? So, of course, I waited and bought the meat full price 2 days before Christmas, see how easy! Much to my dismay, I spent a small fortune on my Christmas filet that year (enough to buy over 1000 meals for children in need at www.fmsc.org ). Now I may still make more than I need, I am italian afterall, but needless to say, I now spend about 60% less on my Christmas filet. Why are mothers always right? Is it possible, can your mother still teach you a lesson even if she is gone? Yup.
- Rub butter, salt and pepper all over your 4-5 lb. filet (of course, it’s Ina afterall)
- Cook on 500 for 25 minutes for medium-rare
- Take out of the oven and tightly cover with tin foil at room temperature for 20 minutes.
- Meat should be about 140 degrees.
BAKED SWEET POTATOES: I always microwave my potatoes for about 2 minutes before preparing them for the oven. It speeds the cooking time a lot! These are so easy and sooo delicious!
- Wash potatoes vigorously and poke 3-4 times with fork for ventilation.
- Microwave for 2 minutes each (you can cook 2 at a time, 4 mins.)
- Place each potato on a piece of tin foil. Pour a drop of olive oil and kosher/sea salt on the potato and roll it around.
- Bake in the oven with your meat at 500 for 25 minutes (test for doneness)
- Cut in half and serve with butter
SPINACH w/ shiitake mushrooms:
- Pull the tough stems of some of the spinach leaves (only if necessary)
- Heat some EVOO and fresh garlic (if you have it) in a large pan
- Add a little chicken broth and white wine and mushrooms and simmer for a few minutes (wine will cook off)
- Add spinach to pan, stir and cook about 5 more minutes until soft
- Boil or microwave broccoli in a little water
- Drain and top with butter and salt (so simple, yet sooo good)
- Put lid on to stay warm until rest of dinner is ready
How the Kids Can Help
- Slather butter all over meat with hands (teach them about raw meat and washing hands)
- Add butter to broccoli (what is butter made from? Just cream and perhaps salt)
- Roll sweet potato in oil on tin foil, sprinkle kosher salt
- Set table, take drink orders
- Write place cards (Mia does this fancy with markers sometimes and other times just writes the names on a piece of paper and rips them out of her notebook – great to help with writing letters)
- Memory Matching Activity Game: http://www.crayola.com/free-coloring-pages/print/memory-matching-game-coloring-page/
- Food Word Search: http://www.crayola.com/free-coloring-pages/print/food-word-search-coloring-page/
Did You Know:
- Filet means “petite fillet” or “dainty fillet” in French. Mignon means “small” in french.
- The sweet potato has been ranked #1 in nutrition of all vegetables (http://www.foodreference.com/html/sweet-pot-nutrition.html AND http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=64