Monday 10 February 2014

Beef Tenderloin Steak with Duxelles & Morney Sauce + A Valentine menu!

Let's surprise your loved one with a romantic dinner at home! Creating a dinner that says, "I love you", with every tender fork full!

Is there anything more romantic than a Valentine's dinner at home? Here's your chance to show off your domestic skills, if only for a day, set a pretty table by the fireplace (if you have one), light the candles, pick the music you both like and plan a simple yet elegant dinner. Doesn't that sound good? A lovely dinner is more appreciated these days than any present you could ever give.  Let's start the plans together! 

Valentine Dinner-think red, white and hundreds of heart shapes!

 Appetizer~ Pancetta Crisp with apple, gorgonzola and agave

Soup~ Easy Tomato Soup with grilled cheese croutons Cut out the crouton in heart romantic. Also, because we are having a beef filet for our main course, lighten up the soup by eliminating the cream or using 2%, whole milk or half and half. Another option is to eliminate the grilled cheese crouton and just cut out and bake a few heart shape croutons of bread.

 Cucumber Salad with Caramelized Shallots

Main Course- I have made this dinner two times in the last couple of months, once for Wee Bear and I, and again for a celebratory Birthday dinner for Sweet One (Amy) on request! The photo's are mixed from both. The recipe looks long but, in reality is very easy and you can do several steps, a day ahead!

Beef Tenderloin Steak with Duxelles and sauce Morney
Adapted from Eva Kenly 


8 tenderloin steaks, 1 1/4-1 1/2 inches thick, about 5 ounces each
salt and pepper
2 T butter
2 T olive oil

Mushroom Duxelle

1 lb mushrooms, chopped
2 T finely chopped shallots
2 T butter
salt and pepper
2 T Madeira wine

Sauce Mornay

2 1/2 T butter
3 T flour
2 c. hot milk
salt  and white pepper
pinch of nutmeg
2/3 c. grated gruyere cheese (2 ounces)

Topping: 1/2 c grated Gruyere cheese

Cut all the fat off steaks, including silver membrane.

Heat 1 T. of butter and 1 T. of oil in a heavy, large saute pan, until very hot. Brown steaks, a few at a time, about 2 minutes on each side. Remove to an ovenproof sided cooking sheet and season with salt and pepper. (I lined my cooking sheet with A Silpat)

Add remaining butter and oil to the pan and brown remaining steaks. If browned ahead of time, make certain that they are at room temperature before finishing dish.

Cook the mushrooms duxelles ~ can be done 1 day ahead, cover and store in refrigerator.

In a large saute pan, heat the butter over medium heat. Add shallots and cook, stirring, for about 2 minutes.

Add mushrooms to the pan, increase heat, and cook until mushrooms look dry. This will take about 5-8 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, add Madeira, and cook until again all the liquid has evaporated. Remove to bowl and cool. Can be cooked 1 day ahead of time.

Make the Mornay sauce ~ can be done one day ahead, covered directly on sauce with plastic wrap and kept in refrigerator.

In a saucepan, heat the butter, add the flour, and cook over low heat for 2 minutes, stirring constantly.

Remove from heat and add the hot milk. Whisk until well blended. Return to heat and cook, Stirring, until sauce thickens and bubbles. Season to taste and stir in the cheese until melted.

If made ahead, cover with plastic wrap, placed directly on top of sauce.

To Assemble~

Preheat oven to 475 F degrees

Reheat the sauce to a boil, adjust seasoning. If too thick, thin with 2-4 T milk.

Top each steak with a thick layer of duxelles. Then spoon a coating of the hot sauce over each steak.

Add 4 T milk to remaining sauce and bring to a boil. Coat each steak again with the thinner mixture to create a smooth coating.

Sprinkle grated Gruyere over each steak and place in upper third of oven.

Bake for about 10 minutes, or until sauce is bubbly and cheese is golden brown. The meat temperature will be about Medium rare for a steak of 1 1/2 inch thick. To be sure of temperature, check with a meat thermometer. 

Extra-rare or Blue (bleu) very red and cold 46–49 °C 115–120 °F
Rare (saignant) cold red center; soft 52–55 °C 125–130 °F
Medium rare (à point) warm red center; firmer 55–60 °C 130–140 °F 145 °F
Medium (demi-anglais) pink and firm 60–65 °C 140–150 °F 160 °F
Medium well (cuit) small amount of pink in the center 65–69 °C 150–155 °F
Well done (bien cuit) gray-brown throughout; firm 71–100 °C 160–212 °F 170 °F

Dessert! Choices with a sensual finish!

 Dark Chocolate Creme Brulee

White Chocolate Coeur le Creme with Raspberry sauce


White Chocolate Mousse with Pomegranite Sauce                                             

Grand Marnier Souffle with Creme Anglaise Sauce

 Double Chocolate Cupcakes with Peppermint Cream Cheese Frosting

If you have children, check out "How to make homemade poppers"! I made these fun poppers for my older Grandchildren, filled them with little toys and candy! They really love them! I even made a tissue paper crown for little Jacob!

Julia and Jacob
This is a beautiful menu might as well be a Valentine's Day card! Give a kiss & hug to your loved ones every time one of you departs or enters the house, as their presence in your life is truly a gift!!!


  1. This looks amazing! The children are adorable with their little valentine shirts and poppers! The menu is decadent and perfect for a special occasion. Thank you for your continued posts, they are well written and thought out. Vog- Jill

    1. Hi Jill! I really love making these little shirts for my little Grand Children! Let me know how it goes when you make a few of these recipes! I appreciate your comments about my writing, and the fact that you notice how thought out each post is. I am approaching my 2 year anniversary soon, and have been on the bubble whether to continue. It's my followers who comment and e-mail and my children who keep encouraging me. Thanks for your comments....enjoy! JJ

  2. Excellent blog! Love all the choices for dessert! Siri- UK

    1. Thank you for commenting Siri! Let me know which one you choose!! Cheers! JJ

  3. Ahhhhh, I must have. I don't cook, just don't enjoy it, but baking... Definitely my dig. Ill be trying the Creme Brulee out today! Delia

    1. Hi Delia! Let me know how it goes today with the Chocolate Creme Brulee! It is so easy and quick! Thanks for commenting! Cheers! JJ

  4. My guests loved the smooth creamy texture of this creme brulee. Josh, had seconds and Margaret asked me to make it for her Birthday!! Everyone loved it! I saw from the reply to Jill, that you may not continue the blog. I am begging you to continue......please.....your blog is the best one out there, and you are not promoting products to get paid. You give a honest suggestion now and then. But, by far the best recipes and they really work. Your writing is excellent! Please don't leave us stranded! Delia

    1. Thank you Delia, Indeed I have not left, I am still writing, cooking, baking and Instant Potting! I am still having some fun doing it! thank you for commenting!


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