Let's count the reasons why you need an impressive meal for two up your sleeve:
There's a good lookin' special someone in your life.
Your boss wants to stop by and get to know you outside of work.
Your best girlfriend wants to stop by and drink a bottle of wine.
This is a meal you can pull together all the while wooing your new love, carrying on a conversation with your boss and listening to your girlfriend relay all the reasons a certain cute boy isn't calling her.
While your cast iron skillet is preheating, mash up the butter and bleu cheese, and take the asparagus out of the freezer. Wrap the steaks in bacon, and sear just a few minutes on each side.
When the meats come out of the pan to rest, toss in the asparagus spears.
This meal is so good, though, that sometimes I make it for myself and use the leftover steak the next day in a salad. A bacon-wrapped filet is like the little black dress of the world: Dress is up, or dress it down - it's always delicious.
- 2 5-ounces beef filet mignon
- 2 slices bacon
- black pepper, coarsely ground
- 4 tablespoons butter, softened
- 1 1/2 ounces bleu cheese
- 1/2 pound asparagus
Begin by preheating a cast iron skillet on high heat.
While the pan is heating, wrap each filet with bacon and secure with a toothpick.
Dry off both sides of the filets and season with a heavy pinch of salt and pepper.
The pan is ready to cook when you can barely hold a hand 3" above the surface for more than a few seconds.
Add 1 tablespoon of the butter and allow to melt.
Sear the steaks on one side for 1-2 minutes (watch for burning).
Flip the steaks and sear for another 1-2 minutes. This takes extra effort, but I think it's worth it: hold each steak with a pair of tongs to sear the bacon on the edge of the steak. When done, turn off the heat (but keep the pan on the burner) and tent the pan with aluminum foil.
Meanwhile, mash together the butter and blue cheese in a small bowl. Add a big pinch of pepper.
After the steaks have been resting in the pan for 5-7 minutes, move them to a plate and recover with foil.
Turn the heat back on the pan and sear the asparagus very quickly--3 minutes should produce char spots and a perfect crisp-tender texture.
Remove the toothpicks, and serve the steaks and asparagus spears topped with dollops of the bleu cheese butter.
Tip: If you like your steak more on the medium-well side, lower the initial heat slightly and sear for 3-4 minutes on each side. Lower the heat as necessary to prevent burning. Don't omit the 5-7 minute resting period, however.
- The bacon is optional.
- I used a buttermilk bleu from Wisconsin for my cheese.