This is a dish that was born from the fact that I REALLY DIDNT WANT TO COOK DINNER the other night. Jack had been out of town for a few days, I was sick (and I never get sick), and it snowed for the first time since Halloween (that sounds so weird).
When Jack got home, I was so thrilled to see him. I hate it when he is away, because I love him (I know, don't groan, it's gross), but I hated it even more because we had to put Remy in boarding at doggy daycare in NJ while he was gone. So it was a total family reunion. We were happy, laughing and petting Remy and Jack looked at me and goes "So what are you making for dinner?"
"I think you should cook for me tonight," I said.
What was flowers and roses and unicorns and ponies, turned into a full on 5-year-old temper tantrum, complete with foot stomping and arms flailing (we are 30 years old, mind you). "What do you MEAN I should cook?" Jack asked incredulously, his voice getting higher and higher pitched with each syllable.
"I mean that you never cook for me and I think you should cook for me - I'm sick!"
"No, no, no, no, no!" Jack whined (I am not kidding). "Can't we cook together?"
"Jack, seriously, why do I always have to cook?"
"Because you're the cook!"
"OK, but you can cook, too!"
"But I don't like cooking!" (at this point, his voice was at a high-F).
"If you don't cook, then I guess we're not eating."
I finally got him to agree on cooking and we went to the supermarket to pick up a few things. He wanted scallops and corn, so I suggested adding some filet mignon (I had some in the fridge from the day before) and other accoutrements. We got home, went into the kitchen, and I started cooking.
Yes, you read that right. I started cooking. And it wans't even a conversation. I just started slicing the shallots, pulling out ingredients, and cooking. At least Jack hung out with me in the kitchen while I cooked. That made me happy.
This is why I will never win these arguments. I can't help myself. I don't want anyone else to cook but me.
But let's talk about the dish a little - it was AMAZING. I had no idea what I was doing when I was putting it together, but it came together SO beautifully, and the addition of the filet mignon just REALLY brought this dish to another level. Sweet caramelized shallots mixed with corn, tender bay scallops, juicy filet mignon and a delicious broth just really made this dish one for the books.
This is a perfect Valentine's day dinner that holds a core relationship lesson at its heart - I think? Something about comprimise? Selflessness? Giving back? Maybe?
I still don't get how I ended up cooking.
SURF AND TURF - SCALLOPS WITH FILET MIGNON, CARAMELIZED SHALLOTS AND GRILLED CORN
1 8 oz beef tenderloin, trimmed
1/3 lb bay scallops (or if you want to splurge, diver scallops)
1 tbsp sherry
1/4 cup chicken stock
1/4 cup vegetable stock (you can just use 1/2 cup chicken or veg stock if you don't have both)
1/2 cup corn (I used canned corn (GASP! I know! But it's January!)
3 tbsp heavy cream, divided
2 shallots, sliced thin
3 tbsp butter, divided
1/4 cup diced baby bella mushrooms
2 tsp sweet paprika
chives, for garnish
1 tbsp thyme, chopped
Freshly Ground Black Pepper
Heat butter in a medium skillet over medium heat. Let brown (the butter will smell wonderfully nutty), but be careful not to burn it. Turn heat to medium lower and add the shallots. Cook until caramelized (this takes me about 10 minutes or so), stirring often so they do not burn. Raise heat to medium and add corn, thyme and paprika. Cook for 2-3 minutes, until corn is warmed through, then add 2 tablespoons heavy cream. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside.
In a medium skillet, heat 1 tbsp butter over medium high heat. Season tenderloin well with salt and pepper. When skillet it hot, place tenderloin on skillet and let cook to medium rare (I usually cook it between 4-6 minutes a side, depending on the size of the tenderloin. For an 8-oz, it's usually closer to 6 minutes, but trust your judgement!). Remove from skillet and let rest.
Deglaze pan with sherry, scraping up all of the bits from the bottom. Add stocks and 1 tbsp heavy cream and let come to a simmer. Add chopped mushrooms and reduce slightly. Cook until mushrooms are tender (about 5 minutes). Season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside.
Dry the scallops using a paper towel. Heat 1 tbsp butter in a large pan over medium-high heat. Add scallops and cook until just cooked through, about 2 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Spoon 1-2 tbsp broth in the middle of the dish. Top with 1/3 cup corn/shallot mixture. Slice tenderloin and place 1/2 of sliced tenderloin atop the corn. Top with scallops. Sprinkle with diced chives. Repeat with other dish. Serve Immediately.