Writing a cookbook has been my dream for the past 10 years. Throughout my career, I’ve worked as a private chef, recipe tester, food stylist, food and travel writer, and cookbook editor, but above all else, I’ve had one burning desire: to inspire people to cook simple, healthy meals, and to spend more time with friends and family around the table.
The Cookbook Diaries is a 20-week blog series documenting the creation of a cookbook in my fifth-floor walkup apartment in New York City. I committed to blogging five days a week – from October 2013 to March 2014 – and to share recipes, photos, and stories of the ups and downs of the cookbook process. During those five months I developed, tested, and shot nearly 100 recipes (working with the amazing food photographer Signe Birck), and I’m partnering with sommelier Jean-Luc Le Du (of Le Du’s Wines) to create simple wine pairings for each recipe.
I’m planning to self-publish the cookbook this fall, and will be pre-selling copies in the coming months via Kickstarter. You can continue to follow the process on my blog, The Yellow Table.
Here’s a recipe from Day 30, Pan-Roasted Filet Mignon with Blue Cheese:
2 (4-ounce) filet steaks, about 1-inch thick
Salt and pepper
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 large sprig rosemary
1 medium garlic clove, peeled and smashed
2 ounces blue cheese, crumbled
Chopped parsley, for garnish
Remove the steaks from the refrigerator 20 minutes before cooking so they come to room temperature.
Preheat the oven to 425 F. Season the steaks with salt and pepper on both sides.
Melt the butter and olive oil in an oven-proof pan over medium-high heat and add the rosemary and garlic. Saute for a couple of minutes until fragrant. Add the steaks and cook for 2-3 minutes per side or until a nice dark-brown crust has formed. Remove the garlic and rosemary, spoon some of the butter and oil over the steaks and crumble blue cheese on top. Place the pan in the oven and cook for an additional 2 to 5 minutes or until it reaches desired doneness.*
Remove the steaks to a plate and let rest for 5 minutes. Drizzle the steaks with any accumulated juices, sprinkle with chopped parsley, and serve it medium-rare with roasted potatoes, a simple salad of mixed greens, and a good bottle of red wine. Then light some candles and pretend you’re in France. Bon appétit!
*The best way to test a steak’s doneness is with a meat thermometer (I especially like the digital ones): for medium-rare steaks (bright pink interior) the internal temperature should be at 130 – 135 degrees F. For medium steaks, (slightly pink) you want 140 – 145 degrees F, and for medium-well (no pink), you want 150 – 155 degrees F. I like mine medium-rare, so I usually sear 3 minutes the first side, 2 minutes the second, and finish in the oven around 3 more minutes.
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