We didn’t have much planned for Christmas Eve, just good food, maybe some movies, and definitely plenty of chit chat. So when I went to Wegmans to pick out the variables to play with, there wasn’t much of a plan. Except to do small plates of great tastes (since I could not make a decision!), cause why have one dish when you can try many! Quick sidebar – I often times can’t sleep in on days when I don’t have to get up for something if I know I’ll be making special food later that day because I get so excited about it! Hope that wasn’t TMI! Anyhoo, the pickings at Wegmans were a plenty, as were the people, on Christmas Eve.
I took my time so as not to be frustrated by the crowd and selected a lovely little filet mignon, two gigantic scallops, and some sushi-grade fresh salmon. All of which I picked out personally – the perfect size steak, two equally large scallops, and the exact right amount of salmon I wanted cut just for me! Princess shopping! I already had a few awesome cheeses in the fridge at home from when I went on a bender the other day in the cheese department. And that’s what we began with, a lovely little cheese plate, along with what I had left of an awesome Cabernet Franc by Clos du Val from the night before.
This was just a mini cheese board, but the three cheeses (a blue, a parm, and an aged Gouda), maple cashews, truffle salami, fresh blueberries, dried apricots, olives, and bourbon barrel maple syrup really made it special as our first course. We leisurely cheesed and chatted over it.
I was having trouble deciding what to drink next as we prepped the salmon tartare, since traditionally that wouldn’t go with red, but after that was the filet, for which red pairs best, so it was quite the dilemma. Champagne problems, right??
We decided to prep the salmon and just open another bottle of a great red – a Petit Verdot, also by Clos du Val, while we continued picking at the cheeseboard. Not many wineries do a straight Petit Verdot, as it’s usually used in good red blends, but Clos du Val does and it’s excellent if you can get your hands on it.
I did a very simple prep of the salmon tartare. Basically, if you have a trusty place for raw fish, you’re set. I diced up cucumbers and the salmon and mixed in a little wasabi, soy sauce and plenty of fresh lime juice and then plated in little spoon shaped cups along side seaweed salad (already made by the sushi bar at Wegmans) and radish slices as the chips for the tartare.
I let it chill in the fridge while we walked a little of the cheese board off, then we enjoyed our second course.
After another little break, I began making my idea for the steak come together. I started by crisping up some oyster mushroom petals with truffle oil, salt and pepper.
Roasted them on 400 til they were crispy. This would be the base for the filet mignon with a chocolate wine sauce! I got the chocolate wine reducing in a sauce pan.
As the mushrooms crisped, I lightly seasoned a nice chunk of filet mignon with just a little salt and pepper.
The butcher asked if I wanted him to trim the fat off the edge. Funny guy. “I said why would I want you to do that? I’m gonna sear the shit (pardon my French, but he was young and I felt it appropriate) out of that edge to make it crispy and keep the inside rare.” He professed his love for me over the meat counter at Wegmans. I speak meat, I guess that was pretty sexy!
Got my new sauté pan hot for a good sear on each side.
I got that fatty edge very nicely crisped up, holding that edge against the pan with my tongs to really sear it good.
I’ve recently learned that nonstick pans actually work better without oil, so I’ve been trying that lately. Got a great sear on this steak! I first plated the crispy mushrooms. Mmm!
Then I let the steak rest a minute and made thick slices to lay atop the shrooms. Letting the steak rest off of the heat before cutting locks in the juices so they don’t immediately run out, and it makes your steak even more succulent!
Perfect rareness! Finally, I poured the reduced chocolate wine sauce over the plate. Not much to this deliciousness – just a good cut of steak, wine (chocolate wine made it really cool, but any good red would still be great, I’m sure!), salt and pepper!
But oh how it sang in my mouth!! Exquisite! We realized we were too full to do the scallops so we decided to do them for breakfast in the morning! It was between the steak or the scallops to do as breakfast and considering how awesome the chocolate wine steak came out, I was very pleased with our decision.
For breakfast, we kind of Benedict-ed things. Using the giant scallops as the protein sounded like a great idea!
I roasted up some veggies as the base – roasted tomatoes, asparagus, and potatoes with some black pepper and a veggie spice blend.
Then I got a great sear on the scallops with a little browned butter in a sauté pan.
Make sure your scallops are dry before putting them in the pan, sprinkle on a little salt and pepper, then let each side sear in the browned butter on a mid-high heat for about 1.5-2 minutes – this makes for a perfectly browned crisp.
We got a homemade hollandaise going with egg yolks, fresh lemon juice, butter, and salt and pepper. Heat and stir over a simmering pot of water, careful not to cook the egg.
Instead of poached eggs, I just used the egg whites to make a simple omelette fold-over to go under the scallops.
I plated the roasted tomatoes and then the egg whites and scallop on top.
Then doused heavily with hollandaise. Who doesn’t love a lemony, buttery sauce atop anything??
Garnished with some blackberries and a dash of the vegetable seasoning blend, and viola! A delicious Christmas breakfast!!
I hope you’re having a wonderful holiday season with amazing eats and drinks!!