Monday, July 9, 2012

Bacon Wrapped Filets & Red Velvet Cupcakes for Dessert

The beginning of July always seems to fly by with celebration after celebration. Not only do we have the fourth of July at the beginning of the month, my birthday follows on the 6th and then Chris's is on the 9th. We continued to eat, drink and celebrate (probably for to long).  It was a week spent with good friends, hiking lake Dorothy and taking beautiful bike rides through the mountains.

For my birthday Chris decided to surprise me and make a delicious steak dinner.  He did it all on his own and I can't stop thinking about it!

Filet Mignon
8 oz filet from your local butcher shop (room temperature)
Olive oil
Montreal steak seasoning
Center cut dry aged bacon

1. Wrap strip of bacon (or strips depending on how thick the filet is) around the circumference of the filet

2. Glaze the top and bottom of the filet lightly with olive oil, then sprinkle Montreal steak seasoning over the oil to coat the faces of the filet

3. Heat a skillet with a small amount of olive oil over medium heat. Place a long wooden spoon across the middle of the skillet, balancing the ends on the rim. Lay the filet on its side, browning the bacon around the filet. Place another wooden spoon on the other side of the filet so that it does not fall over. Let the bacon brown for 45-60 seconds and rotate 90 degrees around the filet axis to brown another section of the bacon. Keep rotating until the bacon is brown around the filet

4. Turn the grill on to max heat. You will know the grill is at the right temperature when you can't keep your hand 2 inches above the surface for more than 5 seconds. Leave the grill at max heat for the duration of cooking, do not turn the temperature down.

5. Place filet on grill and leave for 2 1/2 to 3 minutes, depending on size of filet (I recommend using a timer). Then rotate the filet 90 degrees to create the hatched grill lines that make the steak look just as good as it will taste. 2 minutes after rotating, flip the steak on the other side. Repeat this sequence to create the same appearance on the other side. You will only want to flip the steak once, so pay attention to your times.

6. Let the steak rest for 5 minutes, serve with mashed potatoes and grilled veggies, and bon apetit!!

Red Velvet Cupcakes
For Chris's birthday I asked him what kind of cupcakes he wanted and you would have think I asked him how earth was created. I gave him one of my favorite books Martha Stewart's Cupcakes and told him he had to let me know prior to the night of his party. The problem he had, which I have to admit I have as well when looking through this book is that every cupcake looks amazing. After some pressuring, he decided on Red Velvet - a good choice. 

2 1/2 cups cake flour, sifted
2 tablespoons unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
2 large eggs, room temperature
1/2 teaspoon red gel-paste food color
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 
1 cup buttermilk
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons distilled white wine vinegar

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners. Whisk together cake flour, cocoa and salt. 

2. With mixer on medium-high speed, whisk together sugar and oil until combined. Add eggs, one at a time scraping down bowl as needed. Mix in food color and vanilla.

3. Reduce to low speed. Add flour in three batches, alternating with two additions of buttermilk. Stir together the baking soda and vinegar in a small bowl (it will foam) ; add mixture to batter and mix on medium speed for 10 seconds. 

4. Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling each three-quarters full. Bake rotating tins halfway through and cake tester comes out clean - approximately 20 minutes. Let cool on wire rack. 

Cream cheese frosting:
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
12 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
4 cups confectioner's sugar, sifted
3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

With mixer on medium-high, beat butter and cream cheese until fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Reduce to low speed. Add sugar, 1/2 cup at a time and then vanilla mixing until smooth. If not using immediately frosting can be refrigerated up to 3 days in airtight container. Before using bring to room temperature. 

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