Filet Mignon Appetizers with Tomato Chutney
We recently hosted a formal dinner partiy and I wanted every single dish to taste extraordinary, so I prepared over-the-top filet mignon appetizers to start the evening. I layered the bite-sized starters with puff pastry, Indian-inspired tomato chutney, ash-ripened chèvre and the pièce de résistance: a decadent slice of medium-rare filet mignon.
My favorite part was to see the reactions of my guests during the party. You don't need to use a whole lot of the sophisticated meat; a thin, dainty slice of the steak is enough to impress your crowd. I sealed the deal with a good glass of red wine and carried on with the (I hoped!) eye-popping menu.
Yields: 18 servings1 (10-ounce) filet mignon steak
1 cup tomato chutney (click on the link for the recipe)
1 teaspoon cayenne powder
½ teaspoon black pepper, coarsely ground
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 teaspoon sea salt (or regular salt)
1 sheet puff pastry, cut into 18 (3")-disks
6 ounces ash-ripened chèvre
2 sprigs fresh dill, for garnish
Preheat the oven to 375°F.
For the puff pastry: Place the miniature puff pastry disks on a baking pan lined with parchment paper. Spread each disk with a layer of tomato chutney. Bake for 10 minutes at 375°F; lower the temperature to 350°F, open the oven and top with a thin slice of goat cheese. Close the oven and bake for another 2-3 minutes. Remove from the oven.
For the filet mignon:
Remove the beef from the refrigerator so it returns to room temperature. Pat dry the meat using a paper towel. On a large platter, coat the beef with 1 tablespoon oil. Rub with cayenne powder and black pepper.
Preheat the oven to 450°F.
Pat the meat dry one more time. Season one side with salt. With a brush, grease a flat cast iron frying pan and heat until it's really hot, almost to the smoking point. Using tongs, place the beef (salted side down) in the pan (still on high heat) and cook for 2-3 minutes. It's important that you do not pierce the meat so it stays moist and tender. Season the top with salt and flip the meat on the other side. Pan-sear for another 3 minutes. Immediately transfer the pan to the oven and roast the beef for about 7-8 minutes for medium-rare), or a bit less or more, depending on how pink you like the meat.
Remove the pan from the oven. Sprinkle with sea salt. Cover with a piece of aluminum foil. Let the meat sit for at least 10 minutes before slicing. Transfer the beef to a platter.
Note: Make sure to slice the steak against the grain, so the meat remains tender.
Cut each slice in half crosswise to fit the appetizers.
Top the chèvre appetizers with a slice of filet mignon and garnish with dill.
There are other cuts of steak that are likely to produce tender results, as opposed to those cuts that won’t. Sirloin, filet, porterhouse, T-bone or New York strip will all make a tender steak cooked this way, whereas things like flank steak or other more fibrous cuts would not.
I used ash-ripened chèvre. The goat cheese provides creaminess and the crust a subtle saltiness. I bought it at a local market, the Milk Pail in Mountain View in California.
Published By: on March 4, 2014.