Love is in the Fare

You’re working long hours, no time to plan. You come home and the last thing on your mind is being romantic. You just want to de-stress. But wait — it’s Valentine’s Day! On a Tuesday? Fret not, my friends. In this recipe, I show how passive time and simple ingredients can be used to wow your sweetie (or angel, sugar bear, etc.) as if you had it planned for weeks. You did, didn’t you?

You may have some of the necessary fare already in your refrigerator.

The end result? Seared filet, caramelized brussels sprouts, and a fluffy twice-baked potato. For dessert ideas, check out some of my other recipes on 

What you’ll need: 
• 2 beef tenderloin filets (taller works better for rare to medium, shorter for medium to well-done)
• Kosher salt, cracked black pepper, and minced garlic
• ½ pound brussels sprouts
(one stalk makes 4 to 6 servings)
• 1-2 sticks of butter
• 2 baking-sized potatoes
• Sour cream
• Shredded cheese of your choice

Instructions: Begin by pre-heating oven to 350 degrees. Prep potatoes by washing and giving both a good coating of olive oil and a sprinkling of salt. Poke several holes with a fork to allow moisture to escape. Bake for one hour. The potatoes will not be quite done at this point. Carefully move them to a cutting board and cut them in half, lengthwise. Spoon the bulk of potato flesh into a small bowl. Leave enough of the skin to keep the shape intact. Mash the potato flesh together with ½ cup sour cream, half stick of butter, and a generous helping of shredded cheese. Spoon this mixture back into the potato skins and top with a bit more shredded cheese. Place potatoes back in the oven and set timer for 20 minutes.

For the brussels sprouts, melt 2 to 3 tablespoons of butter in a large skillet over medium heat, and season with salt. Cut each sprout in half and place them flesh side down in the skillet.

Meanwhile, season the filets with a generous amount of salt, fresh pepper, and minced garlic. Use a little olive oil to help evenly distribute the seasoning.

Prep a second small skillet with 2 to 3 tablespoons of butter over medium heat. Add seasoned filets. Searing 3 to 4 minutes per side gives a solid medium-rare with a delightful crust on each end. I recommend not serving filets past medium, as they tend to dry out and lose tenderness. However, if you prefer a more well-done filet, searing each side 8 to 10 minutes provides the desired result. When you flip filets, turn off the heat for the brussels sprouts, but leave them on the burner; the residual heat will finish cooking them without burning the flesh.

This preparation should allow for each part to finish at approximately the same time, letting you serve everything together, fresh and hot. Enjoy.

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