As a show of my love for Ally, I have agreed to attempt cooking one meal a week for us. It’s a huge sacrifice I know. Not just for me and my very important time but for Ally because God knows my food probably won’t be that good. I’m a man (I use that term loosely) who makes a few things well, but I’ve also ruined my fair share too; my crowning achievement being instant pudding that somehow ended up tasting like play-doh. And really, the play-doh probably tasted better. It’s also a great excuse for me to eat some red meat which has become a delicacy in our house.
Well, last night was my first attempt at a meal as per our agreement, and I drew my inspiration from Sportscenter of all places. Several months back, they did a feature piece on Arizona Cardinals All-Pro wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald’s off-season activities. One of them happens to be cooking. He and Italian celebrity chef “Chef Steff” (I couldn’t find his last name for the life of me) made Spaghetti with Filet Mignon Bolognese. The idea sounded and looked amazing and pretty original. So when I said I drew my inspiration from this story, I meant that I took that dish and made it myself. And in my defense, they did not provide instructions so the cooking part was actually my doing with advice from a few people who actually know what they’re doing in a kitchen.
I started with two six ounce filets, hit them with a little salt and pepper, diced them into manageable bites and gave them a light flour coating.
I cooked them on the stove top in a little bit of olive oil until they were browned all the way around and took them off the fire. Keeping the same pan over the heat, I added one diced yellow onion, three cloves of garlic (Ally’s a garlic guru) and a handful of chopped mushrooms.
After everything had caramelized, I added a cup of red wine for flavor and to deglaze the pan. I used a wonderful, subtle Cabernet Sauvignon known as “Two Buck Chuck.”
Seriously though, for an actual retail cost of $5, it’s really not that bad. Ally and I both highly recommend Trader Joe’s wines if you have access to them. Anyway, after the wine had reduced, I added one 35 oz can of Italian peeled tomatoes that I crushed by hand of course.
The last step was to add the meat back to the sauce to finish cooking. After simmering for another ten minutes or so, it was finished.The sauce turned out great. I was really pleased with the sauce and with myself. We put it over whole wheat spaghetti and enjoyed it with a side salad.
Through this agreement, maybe I actually can be molded into a decent cook or maybe last night I got incredibly lucky. Either way, I had fun doing it. There really is a sense of satisfaction in cooking a nice meal for yourself (and for someone else). So even if you are like me and not confident in the kitchen, it is worth it to get in there and give it a shot. You never know; you might just surprise yourself.