One-Plate Wonderland: Filet Mignon Christmas Dinner

filet-mignon-dinnerOne thing I hear repeatedly from all my favorite chefs on Food Network is that entertaining doesn’t have to be hard work. This didn’t settle with me at first because I always associated the party’s success by the amount of effort you invested in preparing the supper, but I decided to take the advice from the experts and prepare a simple dinner for Christmas this year. This approach worked out perfectly because I had to work on Christmas Eve (boo) and I really didn’t have time to prepare a grandiose dinner. My boyfriend arriving early from work and helping me with the preparation made all the difference in the world. This was truly a collaboration 🙂

I began the Christmas celebration with this little appetizer of sesame crackers, goat cheese brie, cucumber slices, smoked salmon and lemon wedges. I meant to get the regular goat cheese for tanginess but picked this one by accident (Trader Joe’s was just jammed packed all last week!) but it turned out as delicious as the original recipe. I make this appetizer at every opportunity I get because I just love the combination of soft cheese, refreshing cucumber and salty smoked salmon together in my mouth.  And they’re so colorful and fun to eat.

smoked-salmon

The second appetizer was Portobello mushrooms stuffed with sautéed garlic, onion, pistachio, panko breadcrumbs, flavored with cayenne pepper, salt and pepper, and topped with Parmesan shavings. I like serving stuffed mushrooms for starter so the guests can start enjoying wine before dinner and they go so well together.

portabello-mushroom

Next up was a very simple salad of baby arugula, sliced red onion and cannellini beans, with homemade vinegarette dressing — my favorite!

salad

Ever since my epicurean journey to the Northwest, I’ve been fascinated with the beauty of one-plate dinner where the plate becomes the chef’s canvas. I was dying to try something like that myself, so this was the perfect opportunity.  So for the main course, I decided to decorate the plate with festive Christmas colors of green, white and red.

For green, I sautéed and roasted zucchinis, which served as the base of the decoration. Next, to replicate snow, I made herb (thyme, rosemary and oregano) and garlic mashed potatoes, which sat in the center of the plate. I sauteed the spinach with balsamic vinegar for a little texture and additional green.  For red, I made a balsamic reduction to accompany the beef by cooking the vinegar with twigs of herbs for about 10 minutes until the liquid reduced to half.

The life of the party was definitely the filet mignon. My boyfriend was in charge of the meat (it’s a guy thing) and he made them simply divine. He seasoned each beef with salt and pepper, and rubbed minced garlic and chopped herbs (again, thyme, rosemary and oregano). He infused the olive oil with garlic wedges first and seared the meat for a few minutes on all sides, before putting them in the oven at 375 degrees for about 15 minutes. What came out was a perfectly juicy medium rare steak. Mmm. (oh, did I tell you that he’s close to being a professional chef?)

Christmas is such a special time where friends and family come together to enjoy their company. I hope you all have a merry Christmas and a prosperous 2008!

table

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8 thoughts on “One-Plate Wonderland: Filet Mignon Christmas Dinner

  1. OMG! I was THERE! It was 200% better than what you see on the photos… it was one of the best dinners I’ve EVER had. Thank you so much for preparing such special meal!
    I loved the stuffed mushroom, salad & dressing was amazing (please give me your Italian dressing recipe), and the goat cheese was totally ok (I didn’t react!) and of course, the filet was cooked to PERFECTION! I loved all the sides too. Perfect amount, perfect taste, perfect everything. THANK YOU THANK YOU! P.S. I enjoyed the leftovers as well. YUM!

  2. Hi One Food Guy! Thank you so much for your comment and kind words. The table setting was all my mother .. hee hee. She’s a Japanese version of Martha Stewart when it comes to decorating, without the slammer thing, of course : – )

    Happy holidays!

    Hirono

  3. Hi Saori,

    It was so nice to see you for dinner and I’m so glad you enjoyed the food as much as I enjoying cooking for you. So good to hear that you liked the leftover too! It was such a fun night, wasn’t it? Thanks for all the great gifts too! I can’t wait to start using that lovely Laura Ashley journal!

    Oh, I love the salad dressing too. It’s so easy and flavorful. It’s just a mixture of olive oil, red wine vinegar, Dijon mustard, minced garlic, salt and pepper. Ever since I figured out this Italian dressing recipe, I haven’t bought the bottled one. Try it sometime at home!

    Hirono

  4. wow that’s all it was for the dressing? sounds pretty simple.
    by the way, have you ever made your own pesto sauce? i want to try your style of pesto pasta sometime. can you make it sometimes? (my italian friend told me it’s just a bunch of basil, olive oil, permasan cheese, salt and pinenuts). am i so obnoxious for requesting? 😛

  5. Pingback: Barking Over Fantastic Christmas! « Time for Dinner

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