My favorite way to cook filet mignon at home is to get a bit adventerous and light some cognac on fire, watch my wife’s head nod in disgust and listen to my kids say “daddy is burning the kitchen.”  Oh well, that’s what home insurance is for, right?  If you are going to catch your home on fire, and let’s hope I never do, doing it by cooking Steak Diane is a decadent way to do it.

Fortunately, tonight we all survived.

I downloaded the Food & Wine iPad application a few months back and as part of the download received a free issue (additional issues are $1.99 – a deal compared to newsstand prices.)  In the free issue is a recipe from Emeril Lagasse for his version of Steak Diane.  I decided to give it a try.

The recipe is fairly easy to make and takes about 15 minutes which makes it an excellent gourmet choice for a work night.  I accompanied it with some mashed red potatoes and… can yellow corn. Yes from a can… This is one of the rare moments I use canned vegetables, but I had picked up some canned corn from Trader Joe’s on a recent visit to St Louis (Dallas is supposedly getting them soon.)  The canned corn from Trader Joe’s is like no other I’ve had. It is sweet and tastes nothing like other canned vegetables.  Trust me.

Back to the Steak Diane.

This recipe was good though it lacked the richness of another version I make. It doesn’t mean this recipe is bad, in fact it’s quite good and with the addition of a veal demi glace, I used More Than Gourmet’s version at $3.99 a 1.5 oz size from Whole Foods, it made a flavorful, complex sauce.  The sauce is the star here, but using great cuts of meat and quality mushrooms matter too.

I’m just always suspicious of celebrity chef recipes in magazines or on cooking shows. I highly doubt they give their real recipe. Instead what we get is a slightly modified version that lacks the depth of the chef’s true approach to the dish.  So here is Emeril’s magazine published take on Steak Diane.  It is worth your time and I’m sure you’ll enjoy it. We sure did, especially minus any kitchen fire.

Full recipe: Food & Wine Steak Diane Recipe

Arugula, Tomato, Feta Couscous

On October 30, 2011, in Featured, Recipes, by Chris Baccus
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Every Saturday morning the boys and I head to swim class where they learn to navigate the water and I spend time figuring how I’m going to navigate my cooking for the coming week.  It’s a great 30 minutes to explore new cooking blogs.  One recent find is the blog The Kitchn (Kitchen – minus the “e”, because I’m sure thekitchen.com was already taken.)

I bought some arugula at the Farmer’s Market and was looking for something new to do with it. Thinking I had some orzo pasta at home too the Dinner Quick: Arugula with Orzo and Garden Tomatoes looked like a good choice for lunch today. When I arrived home, I was out of orzo pasta but had some Trader Joe’s Israeli Couscous I decided to substitute. I made a few other tweaks too, including added saute pine nuts.

Arugula, Tomato, Feta Couscous
Serves 4

1 cup Israeli couscous
1 bunch of arugula, large chop
Olive oil
1 Tablespoon dried basil
2 Tablespoons pine nuts
8 ounces cherry tomatoes, halved
2-3 ounces goat or feta cheese, crumbled
Salt and pepper

Cook the Israeli couscous per package instructions. While that is boiling, saute the pinenuts in a little olive oil and salt and pepper. Let them brown, cooking for about 4 minutes, turning often. Empty the pine nuts into a mixing bowl.

Add a little more olive oil to the saute pan that had the pine nuts and cook the chopped arugula till it just starts to wilt. Add it to the mixing bowl. Add some olive oil again and saute the tomatoes adding the dried basil, salt and pepper to taste. Cook for about 3 minutes then add them to the mixing bowl.

Crumble the feta cheese into the mixing bowl once the couscous is ready.  Now add the couscous and add a tablespoon of olive oil and some salt and pepper to taste.

Serve.

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