Seven and three fourths years of marriage and three children later, J and I have learned to love a good date-night in. In fact, more often than not we prefer cooking a nice dinner at home once the kids go to bed than going out to dinner. With three kids under 5, it is easy to put the kids to bed at 7:30pm and then enjoy a date night at home. Our favorite date night in includes enjoying a nice bottle of wine and cooking filet mignons while dancing around the kitchen usually while listening to Frank Sinatra.
Date Night In
Over the years we have realized that the best way for us to stay connected is to have regular date nights, but with each kid we added the more difficult it became. Once we instituted the date night in, it quickly became a staple to our monthly date nights. While we try and have at least two date nights a month, one of them almost always becomes a date night at home where we cook together. In fact, we enjoy it so much that we pretty much always cook the exact same thing: filet mignons, mashed potatoes, asparagus and we usually have some type of appetizer that changes. We always open a good bottle of wine to enjoy and indulge in a yummy dessert too.
After a couple of years of doing this, I rarely order a steak out anymore because every time I do I think, “Josh’s steaks are better.” For many years, we got the steaks from the local butcher, sat them on the counter until they got to room temperature, sprinkled with meat tenderizer and Josh would put them on the grill and they were perfect… well, so I thought. Then my friend Brooke shared with us how to make the most perfect cast iron filets and now they are truly the best steaks… better than the restaurant! We still get them from the local butcher and follow these instructions (note: although I am a health and fitness blogger, I do practice moderation. These steaks are not what I call “healthy”, but are great for a special occasion like a date night.)
Brooke’s Cast Iron Filets
Let the steaks rest on the counter to come to room temperature for at least 30 minutes before cooking. Preheat the oven to 425°F. Spray the steak lightly all over with olive oil, then season both sides generously with kosher salt……NO PEPPER for now, save that for later.
When the oven is ready, heat the skillet over high heat until the pan is screaming hot. When hot, add the steaks and cook, without moving for 2 to 2 1/2 minutes. Turn over and cook an additional 2 to 2-1/2 minutes. Place the steaks in the oven for about 4 to 5 minutes, then check them with a meat thermometer inserted into the side of the steak. Remove when the steaks read 125° F for Medium Rare, or 130° F for medium. As soon as they come out of the oven, season with pepper and give each steak a nice pad of butter (see note*). Let them rest 5 to 10 minutes before serving (meat temperature will rise 5 to 10 degrees after it is removed from the oven).