1. Remove the steaks from the refrigerator and let them rest at room temperature for 30 to 60 minutes.
2. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
3. Prepare a charcoal or gas grill or preheat the broiler and position a rack 4 inches from the heating element. Lightly spray the grill rack with vegetable oil cooking spray. The coals should be medium-hot for the charcoal grill. The burners should be on high for the gas grill.
4. Season the filets lightly on both sides with the seasoned salt.
5. Lay the bread slices on a work surface. Using a
3-inch-wide round cookie cutter or water glass, cut out 12 rounds. Transfer the rounds to a baking sheet. Bake, turning once, for 5 to 7 minutes, or until the croutons are light golden brown and crisp. Watch them carefully; they brown quickly around the edges. Cool on wire racks.
6. Lower the oven temperature to 300°F.
7. In a large skillet filled about halfway with boiling water and set over medium-high heat, blanch the asparagus spears for 2 to 3 minutes, or until fork-tender. Cut each asparagus spear in half crosswise and then split each half lengthwise. Lay the split spears in a single layer around the perimeter of an 11 x 17-inch baking pan. Place the crabmeat in the center of the pan. Heat the asparagus and crabmeat in the oven for 8 to 10 minutes, or until heated through. Remove from the oven and cover to keep warm.
8. Meanwhile, if using a charcoal grill, grill the steaks for about 5 minutes. Turn, using tongs, and grill the other side for about 5 minutes for medium-rare, or until the desired degree of doneness. If using a gas grill, grill for about 5 minutes. Turn, using tongs, and grill the other side for about 5 minutes for medium-rare, or until the desired degree of doneness. If using the broiler, broil 4 inches from the heat source for 8 minutes. Turn, using tongs, and broil the other side for 7 to 8 minutes for medium-rare, or until the desired degree of doneness.
9. Cut each filet in half against the grain and put each portion, cut side up, on a crouton. Put two croutons on each serving plate. Put four asparagus pieces (two with tips) on top of each filet half to form a squared crosshatch (#) design. Divide the crab evenly among the plates, resting it on the asparagus. Spoon Béarnaise Sauce over each serving and pass any extra sauce on the side.
Although it may seem like overkill, if you want to embellish the already extravagant Hollandaise Sauce, turn it into Béarnaise with the addition of shallots and tarragon, white wine, and white wine vinegar. Delicious! We particularly like it with swordfish, and of course it's a natural with filet mignon and prime rib.
Makes about 2 cups
1. In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the vinegar, wine, tarragon, and shallots. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, or until enough liquid evaporates so that it barely coats the bottom of the pan.
2. In the top of a double boiler set over simmering water, heat the Hollandaise Sauce, whisking to keep it from separating. Add the vinegar-shallot mixture and continue whisking. Season to taste with a little salt.
Hollandaise is a lovely, rich, slightly tangy sauce that complements beef as well as vegetables such as asparagus and artichokes. While itŐs not an everyday accompaniment, it can be the pièce de résistance of a special meal. Some home cooks fear making hollandaise because it has the tendency to break (curdle). Our method is as close to foolproof as you can get. Make the sauce shortly before serving; it does not hold well.
Makes about 2 cups
1. In the bottom half of a double boiler, bring about 2 inches of water to a boil over high heat. The water should not touch the bottom of the top portion of the double boiler. Reduce the heat to medium so that the water is simmering.
2. Put the egg yolks and 2 tablespoons of water in the top of the double boiler and set over the simmering water. Whisk the eggs continuously for 2 to 2½ minutes, or until the eggs are thick and foamy and their color lightens. Watch the eggs carefully; they must not scramble and cook. Remove the top of the double boiler from the heat.
3. In a small saucepan, heat the butter over medium-low heat. Very gradually add half of the warm butter to the eggs, whisking constantly. Add 1 tablespoon of water and continue to whisk as you add the rest of the melted butter and the sauce emulsifies.
4. Stir in the lemon juice, Worcestershire and Tabasco sauces, salt, and pepper. Return the top of the double boiler to the heat over the simmering water (add more water to the bottom of the double boiler if necessary). Cook gently until the sauce registers 110° to 120°F. on an instant-read thermometer. Serve warm.
To view the Clarkson Potter catalog, visit ClarksonPotter.com.
Click here to visit the archive of all the Potter Recipe Club E-newsletters.