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Filet Mignon with Blue Cheese

INGREDIENTS:4 8-oz. filet mignons
¼ cup blue cheese crumbles
¼ cup sweet & spicy walnuts (see recipe)
1 lemon, juiced
½ cup demi-glace
¼ cup butter, whole
to taste, salt and pepper

Sweet & Spicy Walnuts:
1 lb. California walnuts, halves and pieces
2 egg whites, lightly beaten
½ cup granulated sugar
3 Tbsp. cayenne pepper DIRECTIONS:For sweet & spicy walnuts: Toss walnuts with egg whites. Mix sugar with cayenne pepper and toss with walnuts and egg whites. Spread walnuts on baking sheet sprayed with cooking oil. Bake in a 350°F oven for about 10-12 minutes or until walnuts are crisp and caramelized. Let cool.

Season filets with salt and pepper. Preheat oven to 400°F. Heat a cast iron skillet (or other heavy-bottomed pan) to very hot. Add a tiny bit of olive oil to pan, swirl to coat bottom of pan, and add filets. Sear until well-caramelized on both sides, then finish cooking to desired temperature in oven. Gently mix sweet and spicy walnuts and cheese together, and divide evenly on top of filets. Return filets to oven just until cheese is melted. Arrange filets on serving platter and reserve. Deglaze cooking pan with lemon juice, scraping all brown bits up from bottom of pan. Add demi-glace and bring to a boil. Whisk in the butter quickly and remove from heat. Season if necessary with salt and pepper.

Per order: Arrange filets in center of plate and spoon demi-glace over the top. SERVINGS:4 servings From:Chef Rob Stevens, Inn at Tres Pinos, Hollister, Calif. PHOTO CREDIT:Photo Credit: WALNUT MARKETING BOARD

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