Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Japan 1-2

Hub cooking for me, so sweet!
I love Asian cooking ! Love it. Growing up as a child in a cultural city like Montréal, I was fascinated by our trips into China Town. My parents made me discover great dishes and a world of flavor. As a teenager, I went to Culinary school only a stone throw away from China Town and I spent most of my time there, eating and buying Anime related junk. I ate enough Pho and Dim Sums for a lifetime but I'd do it all over again. Now as an adult, my husband introduced me to the unholy horrors of "Chinese" food buffets, two side of a coin, but I turned it around by introducing him to the real thing, and eventually we found love in a sushi restaurant near by where we spend most of our anniversary.

My husband, this mythical creature, half American, half computer nerd. I remember the first time we met, he promised me his famous "Sun Dried Tomatoes and Pesto Sandwiches", I don't remember if we ever ate them but he had me at the maple-soy salmon on the grill. The guy loves to cook and just like me, he cooks out of love. There is no better pleasure in life than to watch the one you cook for, smile as he eats your meal. Saturday, out of the blue, I get a couple random text and suddenly I get " Ooh you're in for a treat for tonight's dinner :)"

I knew then, that I was in trouble. Filet Mignon with a brown butter shiitake ginger sauce.

Well now. He's mine and you can't have him, got it?

French Inspired Japanese cuisine? Yes please. Chef Morimoto would be pleased. I found out after this delicious meal that most Japanese recipe involves some kind of sweetener. Sugar and mirin making for the sticky and delicious balance of flavor. I was very sad, I perused a few cook books that I own and got myself a bit depressed. But fear not, Japanese Inspired dishes won't be disappointing, I assure you.

Filet Mignon with Ginger-Shiitake Brown Butter
Serves 2
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cooking Time 10 minutes+5 minutes

4 x 4 oz filet mignon (22.99/lb)
salt and pepper to taste
2 tbsp olive oil

1/2 cup + 3 tbsp unsalted butter
2 tbsp of minced fresh ginger
1 tbsp minced garlic
1 cup of thinly sliced fresh shiitake mushrooms
1/2 tsp salt
3 tbsp of sake
2 tbsp mirin (or 2 tbsp of sake + 2tsp of sugar)
1 tbsp of green chives, minced
  • Oven at 400, Also heat up a oven-safe pan on the stove to a medium-high heat. (Hello Cast Iron)
  • Rub the filets with the oil and salt and pepper. Sear the steaks on both sides 2 minutes per.
  • Transfer to the pre-heated oven for 6 minutes for rare, 7-8 for medium and 10 for well done.
  • Remove the steaks from the hot pan and place in a plate covered in foil to rest while you finish the sauce.

  • Meanwhile the steaks are cooking, melt 3 tbsp of butter in a sauce pan over medium heat.
  • Stir in the garlic and ginger, cook for about 2 minutes. 
  • Add the shiitake mushrooms and 1/2 tsp of salt. Cook for a good 3-4 minutes. 
  • Pour in the sake and mirin and let simmer till it reduces by half, It should start taking a nice brown color.
  • Stir in the remaining 1/2 cup of butter, once melted, reduce the heat to medium low and continue cooking until it reaches a dark golden brown color. Around 6-8 minutes but no need to rush it. 
  • Season to taste with salt and pepper, add the chives and serves on top of the steaks.
This makes for a great Valentine's day meal if you're not into cooking very often. It's a bit expensive, a bit fancy and totally delicious if you're looking to wooooo someone special. Or heck, just make it for yourself an enjoy. The sake doesn't have to be expensive but a $10 bottle can be a nice treat since you HAVE to drink the rest after you're done cooking. Enjoy!
So good, I cried.

Your Chefs and Hosts
Hungry Julie and Hungry Chris

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