Filet Mignon with Roasted Red Chile Salsa

Makes 4 steaks

It is difficult to describe how good these filets are. If you are a fan of this cut, you must try this method of cooking and then enjoy the insane melding of flavors it presents.


4 medium Filet Mignons
4 cloves garlic
1 chopped onion
5 small to medium tomatoes, charred in a hot broiler
Tbsp. chicken broth

3 dried red chillies, toasted (when they puff up they are done). You will know they are done when the smell of chocolate or coffee rises from them. Allow to cool before removing seeds

Salt and pepper to taste
2 Tbsp. brown sugar
1 tsp. cilantro, chopped lightly
Queso Blanco, or any crumbly cheese from Mexico
4 Tbsp. Avocado relish


Add the broiled tomatoes and the onion into a blender or mixing bowl. Add chicken stock to baking pan to scrape up the flavor and the tomato bits. Add those scrapings and juice to the blender. Remove the seeds from the red chilies and add to the blender. Puree for 30 seconds until smooth yet still thick.

Season with sea salt and freshly ground pepper all sides of each Filet Mignon. Heat a skillet until a drop of peanut oil can barely stay around without vaporizing. Add the steaks. Sear each on high flame or temperature until brown. About 2 minutes per side. Remove from skillet to plate.

In the now empty skillet, add the puree of tomatoes, onions and chilies. Lightly cook on medium heat. Add 1/4 tsp. salt and 1/8 tsp. pepper. Add 2 Tbsp. brown sugar and 1 tsp. cilantro. Put the Filet mignons back into the skillet. Cover with sauce. Cook five more minutes on medium heat for medium rare, or less for rare.

Plate the steaks. Top with sauce from skillet. Add a dollop of Avocado relish to the center top of each steak. Grate or crumble Queso Blanco on and around. Serve immediately.

Inspired by: A hot summer weekend in Mason, Ohio

Boston Cooking School Brownies

From the Fannie Farmer Boston Cooking School, circa 1911. I didn’t know Fannie was from Boston.


16 Tbsp, butter, plus more for greasing the baking pan
4 oz. unsweetened chocolate
2 cups sugar
2 eggs, beaten
1 – 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup roughly chopped walnuts
1 cup flour


Heat the oven to 325 degrees. Grease an 8″ X 8″ baking pan with butter. Line the pan with parchment paper; grease the paper. Set pan aside.

Melt butter and chocolate together in a 2 quart saucepan over low heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon. Remove the pan from heat and stir in the sugar. Add the eggs and vanilla; stir until the batter is smooth. Add walnuts and flour and stir until incorporated.

Pour batter into baking pan and spread evenly. Bake for about 60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let brownies cool for at least 2 hours. Cut and serve.

Inspired or Credited to: Fannie Farmer

Fried Fillets of Swordfish Orly

Orly style deep fried swordfish.

Serves 4

2 pounds swordfish
1/2 cup flour
2 eggs
Bread crumbs
Few sprigs parsley
1 lemon
8 ounces of tomato sauce


Cut the fish into fillets. Season well, and roll in flour; dip in beaten eggs and roll in bread crumbs. Fry in deep fat to a nice brown color. Drain and serve garnished with parsley and slices of lemon, with a sauce boat of tomato sauce on the side.

Blue Diamond Smokehouse Dip

You will love this dip for celery sticks and chips and just about anything you can dip. And it only takes about five minutes to make.

Makes 2 – 2 -1/2 Cups

1 can (3 oz.) Blue Diamond Smokehouse Almonds
1 cup Mayonnaise
1 cup Yogurt, Plain
1 Tbsp. Balsamic Vinegar
1/4 tsp. Black Pepper
1/4 lb. Any Blue-Veined Cheese, softened


Finely chop the almonds using a food processor or a clean coffee grinder. If you don’t clean the coffee grinder you will have a slightly coffee flavored almond dip.

In a bowl, combine the mayonnaise, yogurt, balsamic vinegar, black pepper, cheese and chopped almonds. Mix well and refrigerate for 2 hours before serving.

Serve with raw vegetables or as a dip.

Foster’s Brewsky Marinade for Beef or Pork Ribs

If you can spare a couple of beers, this is a great marinade for beef or pork ribs grilled on a dome top.

Three (12 oz) beers
1 tablespoon horseradish
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon mustard powder
1 large onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, crushed and minced or chopped


Combine ingredients and whisk. If making ahead blend for a short burst in a blender of food processor. Keep refrigerated and coat ribs on both sides to marinate for 4 hours or overnight.

Inspired or Credited to: The Menlo Mansion back garden area

Barbecued Trout Stuffed with Fresh Rosemary

This recipe creates a nice and subtle combination of trout and seasoning

2 teaspoons olive oil
2 boned trout, 8 ounces each (heads on or off, if you can stand looking a trout in the eye)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
4 sprigs fresh rosemary
2 tablespoons fresh parsley
1 lemon, quartered


Place 2 sprigs of rosemary inside of each trout.

Heat coals. Platform heavy duty foil, or meshed fish cooking plate onto hot grill. Soaked wood planks will work as well. Cook 5 minutes per side, or until opaque through to the middle.

Remove and slice down the center, lengthwise. Plate with fresh parsley and lemon wedges.

Goes well with (optional): Lemon quarters and a fresh Pinot Griggio

Inspired or Credited to: 1980 Food Section of the San Francisco Examiner