Sunday, October 11, 2009

Miso & Wasabi-Crusted Filet Mignon

Filet mignon is usually prepared with just simple seasoning of salt and pepper and seared to a medium rare temperature. Very simple yet delicious. For this dish, I decided to put an Asian twist on the filet mignon by adding traditional Japanese flavors to it. Here we have 2 petite 5oz. filets crusted with miso and wasabi paste and topped with black and white sesame seeds. Let me take you through the steps on how to prepare this dish.

Start off by preparing the paste. Mix a tablespoon of miso paste (red or yellow are both acceptable) with half a teaspoon of wasabi powder (or paste) and a teaspoon each of mirin and sake and a dash of sugar. The amount of wasabi depends on how "up-you-nose-spicy" you want to get with the filets. Mix thoroughly and set aside for the moment. Make sure that the mixture is not too liquidy. It must have a pasty consistency in order to stick onto the filet's surface.

Next, season the filets ever so slightly with just a little salt and pepper. Remember that the miso is already salty. Heat up a skillet and sear the top and bottom surfaces of the filets just enough to lightly brown them. At this point, the temp of the filets are probably more to the rare than medium rare side. Remove the filets from the skillet and generously lather both surfaces of the filets with the miso mixture paste. Set your oven to 350F and start cooking the filets for about 5 minutes or so, checking the doneness of the meat every 2 minutes or so. Remember, you don't want to overcook your filets. As soon as they get to a medium rare temp, put the filets under a broiler to brown the miso paste and create a crust. At this point, you can also sprinkle the sesame seeds onto the top surface of the filets. As soon a the miso start to brown, remove the filets immediately. Let the meat rest for 5 minutes or so.

For the sauce, I pureed roasted red peppers, shallots, ginger and garlic and cook the puree with a couple of tablespoons of worcestershire sauce. Season with salt and pepper and you are ready to go. Simple. For the rest of the dish, I grilled some asparagus spears, cooked some sliced mushrooms with garlic and shallots and made some sushi rice. You can garnish the plate with chopped scallions.

As you can see, it's not that hard to cook this dish even though it may look and sound pretty intimidating. You just need the right ingredients and some organization and planning. Good luck!

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