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  1. Filet Mignon & Shrimp Cocktail Happy B-Day Meal I have been on the road for a couple of weeks and Mrs. Smokehowze has a b-day approaching. For a long while she had been wishing for filet mignon. Costco has some really pretty ones in the case today and in the cart they went as a surprise meal. I decided to go all out and build a high end celebration meal for two with a touch of a surf and turf theme. A Happy Birthday Meal A Perfect Cook The Seafood Part – Chilled Shrimp Cocktail Started off with brining some peeled shrimp for the cocktail in a modified New Orleans crab boil mixture using Rex powdered crab boil, some Emeril’s Essence and Louisiana brand hot sauce. After brining for a hour or so, I took the shrimp out the mixture and used the liquid to cook the shrimp in for 2 minutes after it came to a boil. Quickly removed shrimp to a bowl with ice cubes and added just enough of the boiling liquid over the ice and shrimp. Set in fridge to chill and to mature the flavor. Shrimp out of the Boil While the shrimp were chilling, I constructed an amended remoulade style sauce with mayo, ketchup, avocado oil, fresh chopped cilantro, a squirt of lime juice and Crystal hot sauce. Set it in fridge to also mature the flavors. My Remoulade Variant Served the chilled shrimp in a martini glass with a base of shredded lettuce, some chopped green onions. A Tasty Shrimp Cocktail The Sides - Fresh Sautéed Spinach and Maple Glazed Carrots Very slowly heated on the stove a thin sliced onion and several toes of garlic thin sliced in olive oil using very very low heat for about 30 minutes until onions and garlic were well softened and oil was infused with the flavors. Sweated Onion and Garlic Cooked the rinsed fresh spinach on Big(Red)Joe in my Lodge enameled cast iron with a bit of olive oil in the pot since the fire was nearly at the temps for cooking the steak and was perfect for the sauté. When spinach was ready, I added squirts of Lea and Perrins Worcestershire sauce (because I could not find my Peychaud’s bitters) and the onion/garlic/ oil mixture. Top with fresh ground black pepper. Spinach Started on Big Joe Spinach is Done! While the onion and garlic was softening, I also fixed some boiled carrots with a simple and light touch maple syrup glazing tightened up with some butter and cornstarch. Maple Glazed Carrots The Filets The filet mignons had been set out to reach room temperature and were cooked at around 550 degrees direct on Joe with just kosher salt and fresh black pepper, turning every few minutes. They took on a nice exterior crust and a perfect juicy interior. A bit of butter on the steak coming off the grill and ready to serve after a brief set. The Filets Just Kosher Salt and a Fresh Grind of Pepper Nicely Cooked and Finished with a Float of Butter Filet Mignon and the Sides - Let’s Eat! All in all, a great and happy birthday meal with just the wife and I relaxing together at the dinner table enjoying each other’s company – and a pleasant Kamado cooked meal.
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