Paul and I bought a used copy of Le Cordon Bleu at Home from Half Price Books a few months ago, and ever since we’ve been joking around about how we should do one lesson a week from the book until we’ve worked our way through the whole thing. Some would be review for us, some would be brand new skills, but we figured it would be the quickest way to learn enough to pull off cooking like a pro for our friends and family. So imagine my surprise when I visit Whisk and see that there’s an event, Whisk Wednesdays, dedicated to doing just that.
This week’s dish was Coeur de Filet Henri IV (Filet mignons with artichokes and Berarnaise sauce). I was a little trepidatious because I’m not a huge fan of artichokes (and at $3 each, it would be an expensive failed experiment if we hated them). Rather than doing the full recipe of 6 crappy quality filets, we instead decided to just spring on 2 really good quality tenderloin cuts from Bluescreek.
I seared the steaks (and tried out the infrared searing burner on my new grill at the same time), and then set them aside to finish on a colder part of the grill. In the meantime, Paul was inside prepping the artichokes, and starting the sauce. We were right about the artichokes – I can’t believe there’s so much waste with a single vegetable. The sauce came along swimmingly, and emulsified with no problem. We threw some fries into the deep fryer instead of making them from scratch like the recipe suggested.
And then, after the steaks rested and we got everything plated up, we sat down to eat. Our impressions? The steak was amazing, as filet mignon usually is. Our only complaint with the Bearnaise is that we wish we had made more. I was completely right about eating artichokes – I don’t think we trimmed them correctly so what little I did eat made my throat scratchy, and I hated the stringy texture. I was a little peeved that I wasted some of the amazing Bearnaise by pouring it on those godawful artichokes. The fries were great dipped in the Bearnaise.
Next week uses artichokes again. Not sure how I’m going to get around that one, because I guarantee that an artichoke that doesn’t come out of a can won’t be passing through my lips again anytime soon.
So if you have the book, join us in cooking from it each week! One more week of sauces, then we’re on to soups.