Saturday "morning" I ran out to pick up some groceries, flowers, and a few other things. ;) Which I managed to smuggle into the house without DC seeing them. Around 4, he left to take a friend of ours who is trying to get her driver's license out for a practice drive. I told him not to come home before 7, and that I would leave him instructions as to what to do then. He looked at me funny, but agreed, and drove off.
I then spent the next hour madly dashing around the living room and kitchen, clearing the surfaces of all the clutter and putting all that stuff back where it belonged. Before I knew it, it was 5:30, and I realized I had not done thing 1 on getting dinner ready yet, and DC would probably be home around 6:45, if I know him. Yikes!
I kicked it into overdrive. Luckily, I had chosen a pretty simple menu, and had purchased a romantic dessert (mousse au chocolat for him, vegan chocolate mousse for me). I finished just in the nick of time. Sure enough, at 6:45 I heard the automatic garage door opening. I went into the downstairs bathroom to complete my toilette. Once that was done, it was a simple job to cook the meat, set a romantic table, light the candles, and set out the shrimp cocktail. (I had reduced the wine sauce for the meat ahead of time.
Here is our menu:
Roasted Shrimp Cocktail (Barefoot Contessa)
Bison Filet Mignons with mushrooms and Port Wine sauce (a combo of Tyler Florence and a recipe from Gourmet)
Twice-Baked Potato (half of a large baker for each of us, DC's half including a generous amount of goat cheese, which he adores)
Sauteed cherry tomatoes
Spinach Salad with mandarin oranges, caramelized walnuts, and bacon bits with raspberry vinaigrette
Chocolate/vegan chocolate Mousse
It was a total success! DC absolutely loved it. Although he was surprised to be served his salad after the main course. I couldn't FIND my camera (it turned up later) so sadly, I have no beautiful photos to share with you. To drink, I bought some hard cider, thinking a little alcohol would be romantic. Wine tends to give both of us headaches.
Here is my combo recipe for
Bison Filet Mignon with Mushrooms and Tawny Port Dijon Sauce
2 (8-ounce) filet mignon bison steaks
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 bacon strips
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 pound assorted mushrooms, such as shiitake, crimini, and chanterelle, stemmed and halved
1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic
3 tablespoons minced shallot
1/3 cup Tawny Port
2/3 cup dry red wine
1-2 cups beef broth
1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon style mustard
Beurre manie made by kneading together 1 tablespoon softened unsalted butter and 1 tablespoon allpurpose flour
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Season both sides of the filet mignon generously with salt and pepper. Wrap a piece of bacon around the sides of each steak and secure with butcher's twine. In a large heavy, ovenproof skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat until almost smoking. Place the steaks in the hot pan and cook until well seared on 1 side, about 3 minutes. Turn the steaks over, there should be a nice crust on top. Add the mushrooms, garlic, and rosemary; give everything a good stir. Transfer the pan to the oven. Roast for 10 to 12 minutes or until the steaks are cooked medium-rare. Remove the steaks, and mushrooms to a platter; cover loosely with foil to keep warm while you prepare the sauce.
In the fat remaining in the skillet cook the shallot over moderately low heat, stirring, until it is softened, add the Port and the red wine, and boil the mixture until it is reduced by two thirds. Add the broth, boil the mixture until it is reduced by half, and strain the mixture through a fine sieve into a small saucepan. Whisk in the mustard, bring the mixture to a boil, and add the beurre manie, a little at a time, whisking until the sauce is smooth. Simmer the sauce, whisking occasionally, for 2 minutes, whisk in any juices that have accumulated on the cutting board, and season the sauce with salt and pepper. Remove the butcher's twine from the steaks and serve with a generous portion of mushrooms and sauce.
After dinner we played Trivial Pursuit... with a few rules of my own tossed in. It was a very fun date night.