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Culinary Wednesday: Valentine's Day!

February 13, 2013 - Kristy MacKaben
There are balloons and stuffed animals waiting for Julie and Johnny when they wake up in the morning. There will be heart-shaped pancakes and strawberry milk in their lunch. And, they will enjoy a day filled with school Valentine's parties, candy hearts and sugar cookies with red sprinkles. But, tomorrow night Scott and I won't forget about each other on Valentine's Day. We don't have a special date night planned, but I plan to make a special meal just for him...something I know he will love. We're lucky our kids are pretty good eaters because they will like the meal I'll make too. On the menu? Filet mignon topped with blue cheese with a side of roasted asparagus and garlic mashed potatoes.

Check out the recipe for a perfectly scrumptious filet mignon:

1 tablespoon butter, 1/2 cup minced white onion, 3 cloves garlic, minced, 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme, 3/4 cup low-sodium beef broth, 1/2 cup port wine, 1 tablespoon vegetable oil, 4 filet mignon steaks (1 1/2 inch thick), 3/4 cup crumbled blue cheese, 1/4 cup panko bread crumbs

Directions: Melt butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic and thyme. Cook, stirring constantly, until onion is tender. Stir in the beef broth, scraping any onion bits from the bottom of the pan, then stir in the port wine. Bring to a boil, and cook until the mixture has reduced to about 1/2 cup. Set aside. This may also be made ahead of time, and reheated. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Heat oil in a cast-iron or other oven-safe skillet over high heat. Sear steaks quickly on both sides until brown, then place the whole pan into the oven. Roast steaks in the oven for about 15 minutes for medium rare - with an internal temperature of 145 degrees F . You may adjust this time to allow the steaks to finish just below your desired degree of doneness if medium is not what you prefer. Remove from the oven, and place on a baking sheet. Stir together the panko crumbs and blue cheese. Top each steak with a layer of this mixture. Preheat the oven's broiler. Place steaks under the preheated broiler until the cheese topping is browned and bubbly. 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from the oven, and let stand for at least 15 minutes before serving. Serve with warm port wine sauce.


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