Petite Filet with rhubarb, smoked grits and portabello-leek straw

All the wine went in the sheet pan.
No sips. I swear.
The sun is out again today! I have to admit that every sunny Spring day in Seattle I secretly believe that it will now be that way the rest of the year. Yes, my 52 years of personal weather data in the Northwest tells me otherwise…  But at least it brings Rhubarb.
At Sugar Mountain, we recently held a fundraising dinner to help out the Mercer Island Boys & Girls Club (you can see pictures on my facebook page). We put together a number of courses for the event, but the petite filet with roasted rhubarb was a particular hit.  So, we chose it to be this week's special at Bennett's and the featured recipe here on the blog.

This recipe has several parts, but don't get discouraged by the components. It turns out to be pretty simple.

The chopped rhubargb
Makes 6 servings

Ingredients:
3 stalks of rhubarb
1 cup plu 3 Tbsp sugar
1-750ml bottle redfruit-forward red wine
1 Tbsp unsalted butter
1 large head of celery
8 tsp canola oil
3 1/2 tsp kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

4 cups water
Cut & dressed celery
1 cup grits
6 oz smoked flagship, grated
1/2 tsp chile powder
1/4 Tbsp garlic powder
1/4 Tbsp celery salt
6-6oz petite filets
1 portabello cap - gills removed
1 leek (1 1/2 inches diameter)
1/2 cup flour

Directions:

Preheat to 375 degrees F. 
Glistening, roasted rhubarb
Cut the rhubarb into similar 3 1/2 inch pieces, reserving trim. Place the 3 1/2 inch pieces onto a sheet pan and sprinkle liberally with one cup of sugar. Pour the red wine into the sheet pan, being careful not to wash the sugar from the rhubarb. Roast the rhubarb for approximately 15 minutes, until barely softened. Remove the rhubarb to a separate bowl and leave the wine in the sheet pan. Place the rhubarb trim onto the same sheet pan, add the remaining sugar and return the pan to the oven for 10 minutes, until it's not quite a syrup. Transfer the mixture to a saucepan over medium heat, whisk in unsalted butter and reduce to a syrupy consistency while stirring.
Roasted celery

Increase the oven heat to 450 degrees F.
Clean and trim the celery into 3 1/2 inch pieces. Toss with 2 teaspoons canola oil, 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt and a couple grinds of black pepper. Place the celery on sheet pan and roast for approximately 15 minutes, until the celery has softened a little and has a small amount of brown. Reserve as a garnish.

Boil the water in a saucepan with a teaspoon of salt, and slowly stir in the grits. Cover, reduce the heat to low, and cook for four minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the cheese and cook until the grits have reached your desired consistency (about 1 to 2 additional minutes).  A little “texture” is preferable.

Mix the remaining canola oil,the remaining salt, chile powder, garlic powder, celery salt and a pinch of black pepper, and rub the mixture into the petite filets. Sear filets in large a pan over high heat for about 1 1/2 minutes a side, until brown.  This step can be done as much as a day ahead.

Place the steaks on a grill over high heat, cover, and cook to temperature. Let the steaks rests for several minutes.
The Portabello-Leek Straw
Slice the bottom half off of the portabello cap to remove gills. Ideally using a mandolin, cut into very thin straws, about 2 1/2 inches in length. Clean the leek and cut into pieces identical to the mushroom straws. Toss each separately with just enough flour to make them dry to the touch. Fry briefly in canola oil at 385 degrees F in a pan or a fryer. Straws should be lightly brown and crispy. Salt to taste while still warm.

For plating, I recommend a rectangular dish. Scoop grits into the center. A Tablespoon of  the rhubarb reduction under the steak. Cut steak on a diagonal to create three triangular pieces to be arranged on the sauce. Lay a piece of roasted rhubarb against the other side of the grits and cross it with a piece of roasted celery. Top with a hefty portion of the portabello-leek straw.

Voila!
The staff at Bennett's really liked the way this one turned out too. You can see more pictures of the process on Bennett's facebook page. Love to hear what you think!


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