Earlier in the day, hubby and I were discussing dinner plans. Should we go out or just stay in? We both felt like staying in tonight, so I thought it would be nice to cook a somewhat fancy din-din.
After glancing through my Cooking Light cookbook, I found a meal plan that sounded delicious. The title of this post pretty much says it all. There was a green bean recipe with it, but I didn't have time, and just used up a green beans steamer.
This meal was fan-frickin-tastic. And not just because I was super hungry, since I didn't eat much for lunch and we didn't eat until after 7. It was just really good. When we get steak I usually only eat half. Today I ate my whole steak. =)
I loved the sauce, and I know it doesn't make much but you really don't need too much because it's so thin. And the original recipe called for filet mignon, but we decided the rib-eyes looked better.
The orzo is a kind of pasta, if you've never had it. It was my first time using pine nuts, and they added a nice little crunch to the pasta.
If I could find all these ingredients in my little hometown store, you can totally prepare this meal. I wanted to do a rough estimate of how much this cost, and here's the breakdown of a couple ingredients- I already had some of the stuff, like green beans, butter, chicken broth and Parmesan cheese.
red wine: $3.99 - cheaper the better!
beef broth: $2.69
pine nuts: $2.99
fresh basil: $3.49
Total: $27.89 or $13.95 a piece
Compared to what a similar meal would cost at a restaurant? Much cheaper. You could even make this meal much cheaper with a different cut of meat (and smaller cuts) and you don't really need the fresh basil, the orzo would be good without the basil. Yes, I know, the reason you go out to eat is so you don't have to prepare food, but this was actually pretty easy, and took less than 45 minutes to make everything.
Here are the recipes courtesy of Cooking Light:
Peppercorn-Crusted Filet Mignon with Port JusYIELD: 4 servings (serving size: 1 steak and 1 tablespoon jus)
- COURSE: Main Dishes
- 2 teaspoons cracked black pepper
- 4 (4-ounce) beef tenderloin steaks, trimmed (1 inch thick)
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup port or other sweet red wine
- 1/2 cup fat-free less-sodium beef broth
- 1 tablespoon chilled butter, cut into small pieces
Heat a cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Rub pepper evenly over the steaks. Sprinkle salt over bottom of pan. Add steaks to pan; cook 2 minutes on each side or until browned. Remove steaks from pan; set aside.
Stir in port and broth, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Reduce heat to medium. Return steaks to pan; cook 2 minutes on each side or until desired degree of doneness. Remove steaks from pan. Reduce liquid to 1/4 cup. Remove pan from heat. Add butter to pan; stir with a whisk until melted. Drizzle sauce over steaks.
Creamy Parmesan OrzoYIELD: 4 servings (serving size: 1/2 cup)
- COURSE: Side Dishes/Vegetables
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 cup orzo
- 1 1/4 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
- 1 1/4 cups water
- 1/4 cup (1 ounce) grated fresh Parmesan cheese
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 4 teaspoons pine nuts, toasted
Heat butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add orzo, and cook 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Stir in broth and water; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer until liquid is absorbed and orzo is done (about 15 minutes). Remove from heat; stir in cheese, basil, salt, and pepper. Sprinkle with the pine nuts. Serve immediately.