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Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Countdown to Boca Bacchanal - Get Ready to Revel!

This week marks the official countdown to the Boca Bacchanal, one of my favorite Florida food & wine events! For the next week, I'll be featuring recipes from "Savor the Moment" paired with fabulous wines from the 2010 Boca Bacchanal Vintners.

The festivities kick off Friday, March 19th with Vintner Dinners taking place in private homes in Boca Raton, followed by the Bacchanal and Auction on Saturday night. The Bacchanal and Auction is an extravaganza of sensational food and wine created by some of the world’s most accomplished chefs and internationally acclaimed vintners as well as fabulous silent and live auctions! The weekend concludes Sunday with a Wine Seminar given by Instructor Charlie Arturaola followed by The Grand Tasting taking place at the Centre for the Arts at Mizner Park Amphitheatre featuring food prepared by 30 top local restaurants and an exceptional presentation of 140 featured wines. If you are in the area, attending one or all of these events is a MUST!

Today's dish is a delicious Filet Mignon with Shallot Sauce (pg. 149) - probably one of my favorite recipes so far! I paired the dish with a 2006 Bodegas Arzuaga Ribera del Duero Crianza. This red wine from the Ribera del Duero region of Spain is a blend of 90% Tempranillo, 5% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 5% Merlot. The term "crianza" means the wine has spent at least a year in oak barricas and then aged for some time in the bottle; it isn't released until its third year. With aromas of cherry, pepper and black licorice the wine had flavors of black cherry, plum and chocolate with nice, firm tannins and a delightful, juicy acidity - yummy!

I first served the wine with a wedge of Manchego cheese. Also from Spain, this creamy, nutty sheep's milk cheese mellowed the tannins in the wine beautifully - a fabulous pairing! Next time guests are coming for cocktails, treat them to this delicious duo. The wine also paired very nicely with the filets which also mellowed the tannins in the wine and complemented the flavor of the caramelized shallots. I served the filets on a cozy little bed of garlic mashed potatoes with some lightly steamed, beautiful green asparagus. I grilled the steaks for a portion of the cooking time but, because they were so thick, I finished them off in the oven for about 5 minutes until they reached a perfect medium rare. Delicious!

Filet Mignon with Shallot Sauce (pg. 149)
1/2 cup thinly slices shallots
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1 cup chicken stock or canned broth
1 cup beef stock
2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme, or 2 teaspoons dried thyme
salt and pepper to taste
4 (8-10 ounce) 1-inch beef filets
Saute the shallots in the heated olive oil in a skillet over medium heat for 15 minutes. Add the sugar and cook for 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Add the vinegar and cook for 1 minute or until reduced to a syrupy consistency. Stir in the chicken stock and beef stock. Boil for 10 minutes. Season with the thyme, salt and pepper.
Season the steaks with salt and pepper. Grill until done to taste. Serve with the shallot sauce.
Note: The shallot sauce can be prepared up to 1 day in advance and reheated to serve. Serves four.

At the Friday night Vintner Dinners, the wines of Bodegas Arzuaga will be paired with the cuisine of Chef Gerry Klaskala of Atlanta's Aria restaurant and Chef Lee Hillson of Phoenix's Royal Palms Resort. Yet another perfect pairing! For more information on the Vintner Dinners or any of the events please visit I hope you enjoy this recipe and look forward to seeing you at the Bacchanal - Cheers!

***Wines for this blog kindly provided by Republic National Distributing Company, presenting partner of the 2010 Boca Bacchanal.


  1. I came from AglioOlioePeperoncino where I ate scrambled eggs; now, the main course. Perhaps dessert is around the corner. Lovely.

  2. Okay, now I know what we are having for dinner!

    You temptress you!

  3. Oh wow, the filet looks amazing!! My mouth is watering at that lovely sight.

  4. Stephanie,
    Thank you for finding and following my blog. I've signed up to follow you too. What a great idea for a blog. I'm looking forward to reading your future posts.

  5. This looks like a luxurious meal that deserves to be accompanied by a good red wine.

  6. Ciao Stephanie,

    I love that shallot sauce! I cook tiny Borrettane (button) onions using the same brown sugar+balsamic vinegar syrup technique, and I love the way they pair to rare meats. Did you read about the onion sauce I posted a few days ago? It's an interesting spin-off.

    As far as which kind of truffles I use for my debauched scrambled eggs, well there's no question: white. Unfortunately I only had a black one for the photo I later uploaded of the finished dish.

    Ciao and thanks for the follow! I'll be coming here often myself. Looking forward to your next recipe.


  7. Ooooh, let me at it!!!! Gorgeous!
    *kisses* HH

  8. Dear Stephanie, I just joined yours too! This meal looks amazing and I look forward to trying it soon. My husband will love it. Neighbors of our just returned from the food festival in South Beach and really enjoyed it again this year. Two years in a row I have missed it :/ Maybe next year! I look forward to future post. ~LeslieMichele

  9. Isn't it funny how so many of us girls don't like beer? It was difficult in college, ball games etc.
    I'm sure your're thrilled now that Boca Bacchanal has will be an exciting week for all of us, but especially for you! Looking forward to your conclusions on the wines.

  10. This could be one of my favorite recipes too. I know my husband would really love it!

  11. Great idea for a blog - I love all the wine and food pairings.


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