Thursday, August 18, 2011

Special Days are Birthdays

In my family, birthdays are always a special occasion. My favorite part is that you can decide where you want to go eat on that day. This was always a very special time for me because I could choose an expensive restaurant because this was my birthday present from my parents. For my 17th birthday, I was an Emeril fan and so I wanted to go to his restaurant Emerils in New Orleans. I loved the experience! I even had the chance to tour the kitchen which I was so fascinated by.

For my 18th birthday, I went to the Royal Sonesta's restaurant in New Orleans for their Sunday brunch. This place became a favorite birthday spot for my other family members as well. I could have skipped the breakfast/lunch items and could have dove into the desserts right away. The presentation of the desserts is what fascinated me. I especially loved their banana fosters, eclairs, and pecan pralines.

Ok so enough about me. My dad's birthday was yesterday and I asked him where he wanted to eat for his birthday, in the back of my mind I already knew his answer. He told me that he wanted me to cook for him. Me- What do you want me to cook?
Dad- I love your Mexican egg rolls
Me- Ok but that can't just be the meal. (He loves these things and I never make them.) I will do that for an appetizer.
Dad- You are the Masterchef. Surprise me with the rest of the meal.
Me- Ok sounds good

So, I call my mom.
Me- Mom what do you think dad would want for dinner.
Mom- He loves to order steak when we go out to eat.
Me- Ok I will prepare filet mignon. (I am also thinking to myself now Mom are you saying steak because you like it too. ha ha!)
Mom- sounds great!

Luckily I am in Hattiesburg because my small town does not offer filet mignon in its grocery stores. I go by the Lil' Butcher Shop and pick up my dad a 10 oz. filet and also 2- 8 oz. filets and a 5 oz. filet. I decided to marinade the filets in my Miracle Marinade (recipe found in my cookbook- Modern Hospitality: Simple Recipes with Southern Charm). I let them soak for a hour in the refrigerator. I then pat them dry so that I could get a good sear on the filets. You want to make sure you begin with a hot grill pan. (I used a Lodge castiron grill pan. I found it for $20 at Target) I preheated my pan on medium-high and drizzled canola oil in the pan to coat the bottom. Sear each side of the filets for 2-3 minutes, depending on thickness. I then put the grill pan in a preheated 400 degree oven. Again the cooking time depends on the size and thickness of the filets. For the 5 oz. filet, it took about 4-5 minutes. This produced a medium filet.
To serve the filet mignons, I caramelized onions and sauteed baby bella mushrooms.
He was a very happy man. I might as well have put a candle in his filet because he was too full for birthday cake.

1 comment:

  1. i saw that your gonna be in greenville sc in sept well after waiting for you to get close and wanting my book signed , and the fact i live 16 miles on a mountian from there " perfect" not no tickets and no way to get in waitlist " sold out " that awesome so as a competitive cook i just wanted to say im so happy for you !! us southerners have got the food world by the horns ! yeppie ! good luck in all you do ! hate not being able to meet you but i will be getiing redy at the time for fall cook -offs , maybe next time when your close