Even though I don't celebrate Father's Day, I know many people who do, so we're going to take it from there.
Last year at an employee BBQ, I had the most delicious steak I've ever had - Bacon Wrapped Filet Mignon. I asked my boss, Roger, how he managed to grill such a wonderful steak. He gave me all the details, which I will give to you, right here, right now.
Bacon-Wrapped Filets Mignons
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
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.
4 filets mignons, each at least 2 inches thick and 6 to 8 oz.
2 Tbs. Canola oil
1 teaspoon Johnny’s Seasoned Salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
8 slices Applewood 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 tablespoons canola 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 securely them with toothpicks.
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.
Test the steaks for doneness
Insert an instant-read thermometer into the thickest part of the meat, or cut into the center. If you like your steaks rare, they should register 120°F or be deep red.
For medium-rare, wait until they register 130°F or are deep pink. If the steaks aren't ready, cover the grill and let them cook, undisturbed, for 1 to 2 minutes more per side and test again.
Let the steaks rest
Transfer the steaks to the warmed platter, cover loosely with aluminum foil and let them rest for about 5 minutes. This resting period gives the meat's juices, which rise to the surface during cooking, an opportunity to settle and redistribute themselves throughout the meat. The temperature will also rise about 5°F while the steaks rest.
Serve the steaks
Using kitchen scissors or a knife, cut off the string and discard it; the crisp, cooked bacon will hold its shape on the meat. Drizzle each steak with a little truffle oil and serve immediately. Serves 4.
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.
This recipe brings a "simple sweetness" to the meal.
1 pound fresh whole baby carrots
In a large pan, cover the carrots with water and cook until tender. Drain.
To the pan, add the butter and 1/4 of a cup of brown sugar. Toss to coat. Serve.
I LOVE asparagus and think it's great done in the oven. Here's the recipe:
2 1/2 to 3 pounds asparagus, trimmed and peeled
2 tablespoons Canola oil
Johnny’s Seasoned Salt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a large Ziploc bag, combine the asparagus and the canola oil. (you may have to do this in 2 batches). Close the bag (leaving the air in) and shake it until all of the asparagus pieces are coated. Place the pieces on a PAM coated cookie sheet. If you have more asparagus to do, do it just like you did it and add it to the cookie sheet pan.
Once all the asparagus is on the cookie sheet, sprinkle on the Johnny’s Seasoned Salt. Put on as much or as little as you like. I don’t put the seasoned salt on both sides as I don’t want it too salty. I do the front side only.
Put the cookie sheet in the oven for 30 minutes. Take the pan out and with a fork test one piece of asparagus to see if it’s done. If it is, take it out. If not, put the pan back for 15 minutes and then check it again. Keep doing that in 15-minute intervals until the asparagus is done.
Place the asparagus on a platter and serve.
Now comes the BEST PART of the meal. DESSERT!!
I LOVE the Barefoot Contessa, Ina Garten. She has the most delicious chocolate cake in the world and I think it would be a great finale to this Father's Day meal. Here it is:
Beatty's Chocolate Cake (Serves 8)
Barefoot Contessa at Home by Ina Garten
Butter for greasing the pans
1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pans
2 cups sugar
¾ cups good cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup buttermilk, shaken
½ cup vegetable oil
2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup freshly brewed hot coffee
6 ounces good semisweet chocolate such as Callebaut
½ pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 extra-large egg yolk, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1¼ cups sifted confectioners’ sugar
1 tablespoon instant coffee powder
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter two 8-inch round cake pans. Line with parchment paper, then butter and flour the pans.
Sift the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and mix on low speed until combined. In another bowl, combine the buttermilk, oil, eggs, and vanilla. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry. With mixer still on low, add the coffee and stir just to combine, scraping the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Pour the batter into the prepared pans and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean. Cool in the pans for 30 minutes, then turn them out onto a cooling rack and cool completely.
Place one layer, flat side up, on a flat plate or cake pedestal. With a knife or offset spatula, spread the top with frosting. Place the second layer on top, rounded side up, and spread the frosting evenly on the top and sides of the cake.
Chop the chocolate and place it in a heat-proof bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Stir until just melted and set aside until cooled to room temperature.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium-high speed until light yellow and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the egg yolk and vanilla and continue beating for 3 minutes. Turn the mixer to low, gradually add the confectioners’ sugar, then beat at medium speed, scraping down the bowl as necessary, until smooth and creamy. Dissolve the coffee powder in 2 teaspoons of the hottest tap water. On low speed, add the chocolate and coffee to the butter mixture and mix until blended. Don’t whip! Spread immediately on the cooled cake.