–Molly Engquist, WDW Radio Team
Ok, Ok! I know Halloween was just last week, but today is the first day of Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party and we have all started to see photos of the parks all decorated! So now I’m in the holiday spirit!
Did you know that during these parties you can also enjoy a special dinner at two popular sit-down restaurants, Cinderella’s Royal Table and Be Our Guest? That got me thinking about all the yummy food during that time of year.
(Now I’m singing Olaf’s “That Time of Year” and it won’t be going away anytime soon…)
I started searching for a recipe, and searched some more, and still couldn’t find anything I wanted to make from either of the restaurants. So I decided to do things a little differently this time. Instead of finding a recipe from a chef or cookbook, I looked at the menus and picked what I would order, then tried to create that dish in the way I would do it.
I picked the Center-cut Filet Mignon with Yukon Gold Potato Puree and Smoked Tomato Bearnaise Sauce. Here is where I will put my disclaimer: I am in no way a professional chef or claim to be. And for sure French cooking is something I always try to veer away from, but I thought taking on this challenge would be a learning experience for us all. With that being said, it also usually takes me a few times to get the meal right. Follow along on my first try to find out the wins and fails of this dish and maybe ways to make it better the next time.
Let’s get cooking and start with the sauce!
I started with a 24 oz. can of San Marzano tomatoes, whole and peeled, and placed them on my grill pan lined with tin foil. Using the Weber grill with the coals on one side of the grill topped with mesquite wood chips, I placed the tomatoes on the other side to indirect cook them. I let them smoke for about 45 mins on a low heat and rotated the pan halfway through. Once cooled I put them in the food processor to puree them.
WIN: I only needed ½ cup for the recipe so I froze the remainder to use in a sauce later.
To make the infused vinegar, I added the following to a saucepan over medium-high heat for about 20 minutes, then strained the liquid into the food processor.
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon tarragon leaf
1 small shallot, thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
I added two egg yolks and a pinch of sea salt and started the processor. Once it started to blend I added 1 stick of melted unsalted butter slowly until thick and creamy.
FAIL: It didn’t get thick and creamy. Next time I will make sure the liquid reduces to about 1 ½ tablespoon of liquid. I didn’t reduce it enough.
From here I thought I would put it back in a small pan on low heat and add the ½ cup smoked tomato purée to hopefully thicken it up a little. I kept it covered and whisked it every once in a while as I finished the rest of the meal.
While making the sauce, I was also boiling 1 pound of Yukon gold potatoes. I put the potatoes into the food processor to chop up a little, but not too much because they could get gummy. I put them back in a saucepan and added 3 cloves garlic, sea salt, ¾ cups heavy cream (warmed), and ½ stick cold butter. I continued to mash with a potato masher and then whisked until they were creamy.
FAIL: I forgot to peel the potatoes before boiling. So I decided to make them into good mashed potatoes instead of a puree. To make a good potato puree, once the potatoes are cooked you use a ricer then put them in a saucepan on medium heat. Then add a small piece of butter, stir a lot, small piece of butter, stir a lot, etc, etc. Then add the warm cream slowly as you continue stirring until they are nice and creamy. I’ll do this next time. 😉
WIN: The buttery mashed potatoes still tasted wonderful!
The steak was the easiest. First I patted the filets dry and rubbed salt and pepper on each side. Then I seared them on the grill pan on each side. To finish the filets, I put a slice of butter on each and put them in the oven at 350 degrees to cook to the desired medium rare, about 10 mins.
For the vegetable I preferred fresh green beans, but you can do any steamed vegetable you like. Once plated with decorations and a little wine, my version of the Center-cut Filet Mignon with Yukon Gold Potato Puree and Smoked Tomato Bearnaise Sauce looked like a perfect Christmas dinner!
OVERALL FAIL: I didn’t puree the potatoes the correct way, and the Bearnaise sauce needs practice.
OVERALL WIN: The flavors were still wonderful and my wife had no idea what went wrong while cooking. We just enjoyed a nice meal, wine, and company while starting the holiday season just a bit early!
My name is Molly and I live in South Dakota. With my art and design training and love for history, I have helped develop over 80 local history exhibits through the years as a Curator. Disney has been in my blood since I was born. Visiting my Grandparents in California also meant my parents taking us to Disneyland. Since the late 1970s, I have taken many trips to DL and WDW but sometimes it’s too long in between trips. I have always tried to stay connected to Disney from watching “The Wonderful World of Disney” every Sunday night, to movies, books and blogs. Once I found Lou on WDW Radio, it became even easier to dream of Disney in between visits!