Grilled, Bacon-wrapped Filet Mignon

Let me just start off by saying, I do NOT believe in New Year’s Resolutions.  I think everyone should strive to be a better person and work towards personal and professional goals on the reg.  However, that being said, I always feel like I need some sort of a detox after the holidays.

Grilled, Bacon-wrapped Filet Mignon

Every year I choose something to get rid of after that ball drops at midnight.  I’m not talking big goals here people.  Let’s be realistic.  I have a food blog.  I LOVE EATING.  My goals are usually: avoid baked goods a couple weeks, don’t buy that bag of potato chips or peanut m&ms on your lunch break, eat healthier Monday-Thursday so I don’t feel guilty about my weekend gluttony.  You know…just try and get back to the routine I had before Thanksgiving.

Grilled, Bacon-wrapped Filet Mignon

This year we decided to avoid alcohol for 2 weeks.  YES.  2 weeks.  This may not seem like a challenge for most people, but when you live in a city where get-togethers revolve around happy hour deals and you are in your mid to late 20s, avoiding alcohol is difficult.  I’m 3 days into it, and had to decline wine at dinner Friday night and a bloody mary at brunch yesterday morning.  Temptation is everywhere.  I wanted to set a realistic goal of 2 weeks, since I am going back home to Wisconsin mid-January and let’s be honest…reunion with family and friends in the Midwest… goes hand-in-hand with alcohol consumption.

How does the bacon-wrapped filet mignon come into play?  Well if I’m not drinking, I might as well eat like a queen :)  Honestly, I would never order filet mignon at a restaurant because I do not want to pay a fortune for a piece of meat.  This is still a pricier meal to make at home, but for less than $1o a person you get to enjoy steakhouse quality meat.  What’s better than grilled steak?  Wrapping that steak in bacon of course!

Grilled, Bacon-wrapped Filet Mignon

I like my steak medium-rare  so the cooking time below is reflective of that.  You will need to grill a bit longer if you like your meat a bit more on the well-done side.

As always,

Bon Appeteek

Prep time: 35 min
Cook time: 12 min
Servings: 2

The Players: 

2 filet mignon (1 lb total)
4 slices thick cut pork bacon
Sea salt
Cracked pepper
4-6 toothpicks
Non-stick cooking spray (or grilling spray)

The Rules: 

  1. Let the filets come to room temperature, by letting them rest for 30 minutes outside of the refrigerator.  Meanwhile, soak the toothpicks in water.
  2. Clean your grill surface and preheat the grill to 475-500 F.
  3. Wrap two bacon slices around the diameter of each filet.  The bacon should come up around the edges of the filet and the slices will overlap in the middle.  Secure bacon with toothpicks (Note: make sure the toothpicks are inserted far enough into the meat so they don’t burn from the heat of the grill)
  4. Season both surfaces of the filet with sea salt and fresh cracked pepper, be generous with the seasoning.  (Note: this will flavor the meat and form a nice crust)
  5. Spray the grill with non-stick cooking spray.  Place the filets on the grill and close the lid.  Cook for 3 minutes.  Using tongs lift and turn the filets 90 degrees (1/4 circle).  Close the grill lid and cook an additional 3 minutes (Note: this will create the diamond grill marks)
  6. Using your tongs flip the filets over, close the grill lid, and  cook 3 minutes.  Then lift and turn the filets 90 degrees one last time, close the lid, and cook 3 minutes.
  7. Remove the filets from the grill, tent with aluminum foil, allow to rest 10 minutes before serving.  This will allow the juices to settle.
  8. After the meat has rested, remove the toothpicks, and serve warm.

Note: when cooked for 6 minutes per side, as this recipe states, the filet will come out a perfect medium-rare.  If you like your steak cooked more thoroughly you will need to grill longer per side. 

Brussels Sprout and Mushroom Hash

Brussels Sprout and Mushroom HashApologizing in advance for this quick post.  It’s been a whirl-wind of a weekend!  On Friday we celebrated the 2-year anniversary of Andrew trekking across the world to visit me in South Africa (now that’s a story for a differed post).  Saturday was dedicated to family and friends with a morning work out, brunch, dinner and a burlesque show (if you’re ever in Seattle you MUST check out Triple Door theater downtown).  And today was all about errands, house-keeping, and Teek of course!

Brussels Sprout and Mushroom Hash

Fast-forward to this recipe.  It’s quick, comforting, simple, yet has a complex flavor profile.  AND IT HAS BACON.

Brussels Sprout and Mushroom Hash

Brussels sprouts and bacon is a classic combination. Usually I roast the brussels sprouts, which requires more time than sauteing them.  Another perk of this recipe: you can use one pan to do all your cooking = minimal clean-up required. Cha-ching! It’s an amazing side to your favorite protein or if you’re anything like me you will just eat it by the forkful out of the pan :)

Brussels Sprout and Mushroom Hash

As always,

Bon Appeteek

Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
Servings: 4

The Players: 

3 pieces of bacon
12 oz brussels sprouts
1 C sliced crimini mushrooms
1/3 C poppy-seed dressing
sea salt and cracked pepper to taste

The Rules: 

  1. Cook the bacon in a medium sauté pan according to instructions.  Remove bacon from the pan and place on paper towel to absorb excess oil.  Keep the reserved bacon fat in the pan.
  2. While the bacon is cooking, remove stems from brussels sprouts, slice in half, and rinse.  Transfer to food processor and pulse until shredded.  Leave some pieces of brussels sprouts larger.
  3. Transfer the sliced mushrooms to the sauté pan and cook for 2 minutes.  Then add the shredded brussels sprouts, continue cooking for 7-10 minutes over medium heat, stirring occasionally (the mushrooms should be cooked at this point).  Remove pan from heat.
  4. Crumble the cooked bacon.  Add the bacon and poppy-seed dressing to the pan, ensure that vegetables are coated evenly in dressing.  Serve warm.

The ULTIMATE Breakfast Sammy  

DSC_0833

Okay let’s talk about breakfast sammies.

For starters, they are AMAZING. They are EASY to throw together. You do NOT need to pay a small fortune to make a damn delicious breakfast sammy at home.

Are you sold on the idea of re-creating some of your favorite breakfast sandwiches at home? The recipe I have below is for my ideal breakfast sandwich. Obviously everyone has different must-haves and that is the great thing about this breakfast dish you can customize it to different people’s palettes or to whatever you scrounge up in the refrigerator.

To make the ultimate breakfast sandwich you have to start with a great foundation—the bread. I cannot get enough of rustic bread so I tend to grab ciabatta rolls. Next is the secret to my sammy, are you ready for this? After I toast the bread in the oven, I rub a garlic clove into the crust. The garlic melts into the mayo you smother on top and forms a garlic aioli –type flavor and really boosts this sandwich to a different level. You are welcome in advance for this life-changing foodie tip.

The ULTIMATE Breakfast Sammy   

Then it comes down to the fixins’ –I have a LOVE-LOVE relationship with bacon and avocado. Any salad or sandwich can and SHOULD have bacon, cheese, and avocado on it. No questions from my official taste-tester on this matter either. Andrew would love me more if I was a human avocado (sorry for the weird visual). I also like to sauté up whatever veggies I have on hand (peppers and onions are a must) and serve my eggs over-easy, but you can make them however you prefer.

The ULTIMATE Breakfast Sammy   

Seriously, I don’t even know why you’re still reading this post. Go make the ULTIMATE breakfast sammy and start or end your day on a high note. Yep, I am an advocate of brinner (breakfast for dinner for you folks that have not tried it yet).

P.s. this is not the cleanest breakfast ever, but you will be thankful that you can lick those fingers clean after your last bite of the sammy ;)

The ULTIMATE Breakfast Sammy   

As always,

Bon Appeteek

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 2

The Players:

2 ciabatta rolls
2 garlic cloves, peeled
2 t mayonaise
2 T diced, sun-dried tomatoes in oil
1/2 avocado, sliced
2 eggs
2 slices bacon (I use turkey bacon)
1/4 C red onion, sliced
1/4 C green bell pepper, sliced
1/4 C red bell pepper, sliced
2 slices of cheese (I use gruyere)

The Rules:

  1. Preheat your oven onto the low broil setting.
  2. In a medium-size sauté pan, over medium-high cook the bacon as directed on the package. Remove bacon from the pan onto plate lined with paper towel.
  3. In the same pan, sauté onion and pepper in bacon fat until onion is translucent (~3-5 minutes).  Set the veggies aside.
  4. Slice the ciabatta rolls in half, length-wise.  Place them face up in the oven (directly on the rack).  Bake until golden brown (~3 minutes).
  5. While the ciabatta is toasting, in a small non-stick pan or omelet pan, over medium heat, crack your eggs. (Note: if you are not comfortable cracking the egg directly into the pan, you can crack it over a flat plate and then slide the egg into the pan).
  6. Cook the eggs until the egg-white is solid (~3 minutes), using a spatula or large spoon flip the egg over, taking care not to break the yolk.  Remove the pan from the heat.  (Note: this will allow the egg yolk to stay runny)
  7. Remove the bread from the oven, rub the garlic on the inside face of each roll.
  8. To assemble the sammy: spread mayonnaise on the inside face of each roll, spoon sun-dried tomatoes onto one half of each roll, add sauteed veggies on top of tomatoes, then add piece of bacon, add egg, and top with slice of cheese.  To the other ciabatta roll half spread avocado.
  9. Place the halves with the egg and cheese back in the oven (high broil setting) on a baking sheet until the cheese melts (~2 minutes).
  10. Remove the open-faced sammy from the oven and top with the other half of roll, containing avocado.  ENJOY this yummy toasted, eggy perfection.

Balsamic, Bacon, Brussels Sprout and Sweet Potato Hash

Balsamic, Bacon, Brussels Sprout and Sweet Potato Hash

If you haven’t caught on by now I enjoy cooking with bacon, balsamic, and sweet potatoes.  A co-worker of mine once told me that the trick to making the best potato salad is adding bacon grease.  FYI adding bacon grease to anything, pretty much makes it the best “fill-in-the-blank” ever.  My college town of Madison, WI even had an infamous bacon night at a local bar.  Yes, we were served free, fried bacon with the purchase of a PBR tall boy.  How Wisconsin can you get?

Balsamic, Bacon, Brussels Sprout and Sweet Potato Hash

The fact that it is fall in the PNW means even more yummy veggies that I can roast.  Brussels sprouts are a great vegetable that you can roast, steam, or pan fry.  I prefer to roast my produce because a) the apartment smells fantastic b) I love when the vegetables get caramelized.  Something I have never understood is why there is such a stigma for brussels sprouts?  Pretty much every movie or tv show growing up always had kids begging not to eat brussels sprouts.  I bet if the brussels sprouts had been smothered in bacon grease, roasted, and drizzled with a balsamic glaze, those child actors from my youth would be BEGGING for a bite.

ADDED BONUS: This is an easy recipe because the sweet potatoes and brussels sprouts roast for the same duration.  It’s a one pan dish essentially and since I always line my baking pans with aluminum foil…clean up is a breeze.  Oh yeah the deal just got sweeter.

Balsamic, Bacon, Brussels Sprout and Sweet Potato Hash

After we devoured dinner, I had the idea that the next time I make this side it might be fun to add a burst of fresh, fruity flavor and sprinkle some pomegranate seeds into the mix.  Perfect for the holiday season and can you imagine how pretty those pictures would be???  I will keep you all posted if I try this variation and what the outcome is!

Balsamic, Bacon, Brussels Sprout and Sweet Potato Hash

P.s. This dish was so delicious that I did not do it justice with the pictures.  I just wanted to enjoy it–I will try and post some better photos soon, but at least you know that it was just that good I could not even pause to get artsy with the camera ;)

As always,

Bon Appeteek

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4

The Players:

1 large sweet potato
15-20 brussels sprouts
3 pieces of bacon
1 T coconut oil, melted
1 sprig of rosemary, minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
sea salt and cracked pepper to taste
2 T balsamic glaze

The Rules: 

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 F and line large baking pan with aluminum foil.
  2. Pan-fry bacon according to package.  Set bacon aside on paper towel to absorb extra grease and reserve bacon grease that is in the pan.
  3. Prepare the veggies: rinse the brussels sprouts, remove the stem and cut in half lengthwise; rinse the  sweet potato and cube into pieces similar in size to the brussels sprouts. Place veggies in a large mixing bowl.  Add the bacon grease, coconut oil, rosemary, salt and pepper to the bowl.  Mix until veggies are coated evenly.
  4. Transfer veggies to baking pan and roast for 15 minutes.  Remove from oven flip brussels sprouts and potatoes over, sprinkle was garlic and continue roasting for an additional 15 minutes.
  5. Transfer roasted veggies to a serving bowl.  Chop bacon and sprinkle on top, then drizzle with balsamic glaze.  Serve warm.