Valentine's Day or any other day, this makes a romantic dinner for two. On Valentine's Day, try cutting some heart-shaped vegetables using a small heart-shaped pastry cutter and your vegetables of choice - butternut squash, carrot, white turnip, are all easy to use for this type of vegetable preparation. Simply slice the vegetable (use a Japanese mandoline if you have one) approximately one-eighth thick. Blanch in boiling, salted water for 60 seconds. Remove; cool down immediately and then cut out the heart shape vegetables. It is far easier to cut the vegetables with a heart-shaped cutter when they have been blanched. Toss them in a little melted butter in a non-stick pan for a couple of minutes. Season with salt and pepper, sprinkle with chopped parsley and arrange on your plate.
- In a fry pan over medium high heat, add a splash of olive oil and half a teaspoon of butter.
- Season the beef tenderloin with salt and pepper and add to pan.
- Add the clove of garlic and sprig of fresh thyme.
- Slowly roast the beef tenderloin on all sides, turning routinely every 2 to 3 minutes.
- To cook the beef tenderloin medium, this should take approximately 10 to 12 minutes.
- Once roasted nicely, golden brown, remove the beef tenderloin and keep warm off to one side.
- Pick out the garlic and thyme, return the pan to the heat, and add a splash of cognac and flame so as to allow the alcohol to burn off.
- Add the chicken stock and reduce by two- thirds, then add the cream and simmer gently to reduce and thicken by half.
- Season with salt and pepper and keep sauce warm on one side.
- Using a clean fry pan, over high heat, quickly sauté your choice of assorted mushrooms that have been picked over and cut into hazel nut size pieces.
- Sauté in a splash of olive oil and butter.
- Season with salt and pepper; this should take 3 to 4 minutes for the mushrooms to soften and release some juices.
- Arrange beef tenderloin& mushrooms on your plates, then drizzle sauce around the mushrooms and a little over the tenderloin.
- Sprinkle with chopped parsley and serve.