Welcome to the fourth installment of “Valentine’s Day Dinner Ideas.” We have a real winner for you today. There is a steakhouse in Chicago called Wildfire. They have pretty good steaks but it’s the parmesan crust that I love. I’ve always wanted to know how to make the crust but I could never figure it out. A few years ago the Chicago Cubs put out a cookbook. I, of course, bought it. Many of the players contributed recipes from their own collection and some of them contributed recipes from local restaurants. Derek Lee contributed Parmesan Crusted Filet from Wildfire. To be honest, it’s the only recipe I have made from the book! But I have made it many, many times!
My favorite place to buy filet mignon is Costco. They are a little expensive but worth it in my opinion. I used to cook one each for Cliff and I but it was just too much! Now we split one. So, that should give you an idea of how big they are. We don’t make filet mignon very often but it is nice to have for special occasions. Make sure you cover the filet with the crust because you will want a little crust with each bite of filet! Instead of going out for an expensive dinner at a restaurant for Valentine’s day, make a fancy dinner at home.
4 filet mignons
¼ cup unsalted butter, softened
¼ cup panko
¼ cup parmesan cheese, grated (I actually used romano)
2 cloves garlic, minced
sprinkle of salt
sprinkle of pepper
Prepare the crust at least 3 hours in advance. Combine all the crust ingredients and mash together to form a ball of “dough.” Place the ball into the center of a sheet of plastic wrap. Wrap the ball and form it into a log. If you plan to use it that day refrigerate it, otherwise freeze it.
Begin heating your cast iron pan on high heat. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Sprinkle the filet on both sides with a little salt and pepper just before cooking. Grill in cast iron pan 2 minutes per side. I usually use my cast iron grill pan for this but you can also use a regular cast iron pan. Once you get a nice sear on both sides put the steak in the oven for 6 minutes. After 6 minutes remove from the oven and top with ½ inch slices of the crust. Place under broiler about 2 minutes or until browned.
Note: My filets were about 2 inches thick and I like to serve them medium rare. Adjust the cooking time to your liking.