filet mignon wish asparagus, fois gras, and salad

Filet mignon

filet mignon wish asparagus, fois gras, and salad

filet mignon wish asparagus, fois gras, and salad

filet mignon wish asparagus, fois gras, and salad

filet mignon wish asparagus, fois gras, and salad

When I eat beef I want the flavour of beef, not side dishes, not sauce, not aromatics. These are pan seared on the highest heat — timed three minutes each side with salt and pepper.** There’s balsamic vinegar and horseradish on the table, but not for my plate.

About fois gras, how do you like it? I prefer to put a piece of wax parchment on a small skillet and heat slices of it with a dribble of cognac. It hovers between a solid and liquid unaffected by any other flavours in the pan.

Someone complained that adding the salt when searing the steaks burns the pepper. In this case, it’s on purpose and borrowed from a technique called blackening.


18 Comments on “Filet mignon

  1. You are indeed one interesting person and from the looks of it an amazing chef. I gather this is what you do to make a living? I love the pictures you add with the step by step cooking instructions; this is what I look for in a cookbook, though I hardly ever cook out of a cookbook. Thanks again for the great posts.


    • Thank you.

      I wanted to be a chef when I was in high school but when they told me I’d be working 16 hour days and on weekends I waved my hand goodbye and went to work in Hollywood. 🙂


      • Maybe I should have listened to them when they told me I would be working a zillion of hours as a teacher, though now that I’m a substitute teacher, I don’t take my work home with me anymore. How did you end up in Japan?


      • Well, after working with several studios I got turned off of mainstream Hollywood and interested in art film. I was accepted into The School of Visual Arts, NY. I didn’t want any student load debt, so I came to Japan to ‘teach English’. I really enjoyed it here, deferred the school another year and eventually decided this is where I would rather be.


        Actually, our jobs may be similar. I work in the public high school system here. One day I’ll have to do a post on my kids.


      • You are one talented guy. It was wise to avoid student loans. It cost me thirty thousand for a master’s in teaching nine years ago, almost ten, and I am still paying. Cost me another ten thousand to become a reading specialist. It costs so much but pays so little. You plan on staying in Japan?


      • Oh, yeah. Japan is wonderful. And my working situation couldn’t be better — 3 month paid vacation a year. 🙂

        I plan to live a long life, so this is one of many stops along the way. I do want to live in Europe at some point. I would also really like to green and rural one day.

        30,000 just for the Masters? Wow, that’s nuts. But, in the end, if it allowed you to do what you love, then it was/is money well spent — I know too many people who are unhappy with their work.


      • I don’t know anything about what it would be like living in another country. I gather you are fluent in Japanese. I liked it when I was paid for the three months of vacation, but now I am a substitute. For now I choose to spend my summers gardening. The weather is perfect, not too hot. Not much precipitation. Once Spring rolls around, I can’t wait to dig and plant and weed. By the first signs of fall, my attention is on other things. Lately I have been investing more and more time blogging, reading blogs that are following me or responding to bloggers who are replying to my comments. Each day I seem to invest more and more time. I think this is good, but even though yesterday was a gorgeous day I never went outside, and this can’t be a good thing.
        I can’t imagine living in another country. The move from Boston to Eugene, Oregon, seemed far enough away. I sacrificed seeing my nieces and nephews grow up, and now I am missing seeing their kids grow up. I don’t go back there very often.
        When you say you want to green and rural one day does this mean you want to live in the country and garden? I have not heard that phrase before.
        Yes, life is too short to do things that don’t create happiness. Teaching creates happiness. I don’t mind working as many hours that it takes to get the job done since my life and teaching become each other. I don’t really like substitute teaching because I am all over the place, and it is hard to get to know the kids. I also don’t like being at the whim of the teachers who don’t seem to care about having the same sub back. Getting jobs seem to be the luck of the draw. How long have you been in Japan? By the the way, what is your name? There is no s or steven in Cteavin.


      • Well, the Cteavin was a good way to get a short email address. 🙂 It’s an amalgam of all the mistakes. It was only a placeholder when I started here. I didn’t expect, or want, it to be visible, but I get a lot of feedback on it, so I’m keeping it for the moment.
        I’ve been here for 15 years — and I’ve only been back to the states twice since then. The last time I left two days before 9/11. I had a hunch I wasn’t going to want to come back after that. When you watch what’s happened to the US from outside, well, for me it was a good choice. Besides, it’s a huge planet with so many places to visit. Living here I’ve been able to see all of Asian and most of Europe, and a bit of Africa.
        And you’re right about getting back to nature. As I love food, I would very much like to be near it’s production. I have a veranda garden. If my plants could speak they might call me The Herbanator, but I really enjoy watching them grow. I’m glad that you’ve found something you love to do.
        I don’t have any family, so living abroad there is none of the sacrifice you’ve had. I tend to meet my friends on holiday when I travel.
        It sounds like you need to find a balance between blogging and gardening. It’ll come. You have a new toy. You’re going play, play, play with it until you tire and then go back to it when you need it.

        So what are you growing and how large is your garden.


      • Fifteen years is a long time, though as I age, it doesn’t seem as long as it used to. I’ve been in Oregon for thirty years.
        Even though I made sacrifices of not being near my family, it’s been worth it. I have a good life. I have a partner of 25, almost 26 years, a fantastic dome house. I love the property where the dogs have a lot of romping room. I have a very large garden. I don’t really know how big it is, but it’s plenty big to grow anything, things like corn which takes up a lot of room I tend to have about four rows. I’m a fair weather gardener. Once the freezing temperatures come, I abandon my garden; it’s in a sad state of affairs right now, plants and squash and pumpkins that weren’t picked are returning to the earth. I’m horrible when it comes to putting the garden away. I’m okay with it. Once the garden becomes a chore, a have-to, it probably will be time to do something else. I grow everything that I can.
        Well, I’ve not done my Zero to Hero Assignment for the day, so I best get to it. You never did answer my question about your name. Is it Steven?


      • Oh, sorry about that. Yes, my name really is Steven Santos.

        I am surprised to read you’re not at all about cold weather. I would think being from the North East winter in Oregon would be a summer day. 🙂

        I haven’t done my Hero To Zero work, either. I’m a bit behind. I never imagined it would take me as long as it does to write a single post — the photos are killing me. 🙂 The three beats it takes to ready the camera is life and death in the kitchen.

        So, you’re into sports, right? Do you get to play much? Since I started this blog that time has — Abracadabra! — gone. My partner left my gym bag by the door this morning. Japanese people will never say what’s on their mind directly. 🙂


      • Moving from the Northeast to the Northwest does have its advantage in that I know what cold is, and the Northeast sure is experiencing their fair share this year. The cold is different. It’s a wetter cold. We’ve been getting into the 50s, and that’s been so wonderful. Went out with the dogs and enjoyed some romping in the sun with them.
        I did do my zero to hero work, though tweaking things only made me realize how much I don’t know when it comes to menus. I’ve only been doing this for a month, so I’m going to patient with myself. I use my camera phone a lot.
        In my youth I used to be into a lot of sports. ice hockey, soccer, lacrosse. The only thing I do is bowl, and I don’t do that as much as I used to. I am an avid Red Sox and Patriot fan. I enjoy watching football and watching the Red Sox when they are on.
        There are probably a lot of cultural differences that you have learned. If your gym bag is at the door, does this mean you can’t exercise there anymore?


      • Oh, no. I didn’t mean that at all. It was a subtle hint to go to the gym or earn a nickname. (Most likely ‘Muffintop’) lol

        I’ve been obsessing on Whoopie Pies the past week or so — and they’ve been gathering around my middle.


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