Steak Au Poivre (Peppered Filet Mignon)

When it comes to steak, Filet Mignon is king. And when it comes to preparation, I am all about cooktop seared, oven finished Steak au Poivre!
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Steak Au Poivre~ Peppered Filet Mignon #steakaupoivre #filetmignon #whole30 #paleo #keto

Don’t Be Intimidated by The French

“Steak au Poivre” is simply a steak seasoned generously with ground peppercorns and sea salt. It’s actually very easy to make, so don’t let the French make you think otherwise. Fancy doesn’t have to be hard or require any special skill.

Steak Au Poivre~ Peppered Filet Mignon #steakaupoivre #filetmignon #whole30 #paleo #keto

Let’s Talk Steak:

Filet Mignon is the most tender cut of beef there is. So, a simple seasoning of ground peppercorns and sea salt is all that’s needed to add superb flavor. But if you want to enhance this recipe a little more, I offer the option to top with garlic chive butter!

Steak Au Poivre~ Peppered Filet Mignon #steakaupoivre #filetmignon #whole30 #paleo #keto

Tips for Cooking the Perfect Filet!

  1. Allow filets to rest on the counter for 30-60 minutes so they can come to room temperature
  2. Allow the pan to heat for several minutes so that it is very hot when steaks are placed. You should hear the pssshhhhhh sound when that meat hits the pan!
  3. Sear on the cooktop then finish in the oven to perfection! I will give you the timing for perfect ‘done-ness’ in the recipe below.
  4. Allow to rest for five minutes once removed from the oven. This allows the juices to redistribute.

Steak Au Poivre~ Peppered Filet Mignon #steakaupoivre #filetmignon #whole30 #paleo #keto

The Pan I Use:

I use either a cast iron grill pan or my Anolon Tri-Ply Clad 12” Deep Ground Grill Pan. Both generate enough heat to create that caramelized finish you see in the photos below and both are safe non toxic options!

Steak Au Poivre~ Peppered Filet Mignon #steakaupoivre #filetmignon #whole30 #paleo #keto

The Recipe: Steak Au Poivre ~ Peppered Filet Mignon

Tips and what you need: a cast iron grill pan or Anolon Tri-Ply Clad 12” Deep Ground Grill Pan. I love Maldon Sea Salt and buy the tub to save money, You will need either a rolling pin or a coffee grinder (nothing fancy and totally cheap) to grind pepper corns.

5 from 14 votes
Steak Au Poivre~ Peppered Filet Mignon
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
7 mins
Total Time
17 mins
 

Tender, flavorful filet mignon seared on the cooktop and finished in the oven to perfection!

Course: dinner
Keyword: beef, filt mignon, keto, Paleo, steak, whole30
Author: Linda Spiker
Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons whole peppercorns (ground in coffee grinder or crushed with rolling pin until some are roughly ground and others are finely ground)
  • 2 6-8 ounce filet mignon steaks
  • sea salt, to taste
  • 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
Optional for Chive Butter Sauce
  • 4 tablespoons soft butter (or ghee)
  • 1 small clove garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1 tablespoon chives, chopped
Instructions
  1. If possible, remove steaks from fridge 30-60 minutes before cooking and allow to come to room temp. When ready to cook, preheat oven to 425 degrees and place oven rack in center position.

  2. Grind peppercorns in a coffee grinder (or use a rolling pin to grind them) until you have some finely ground and some partially ground peppercorns. Place pepper on plate in a thin layer. Press filets into pepper, turnover and press other side. If you love pepper, don’t be afraid to use a lot. If you are not a huge pepper fan, still use more than you ordinarily would. These are thick cut steaks and you will lose some pepper during cooking.

  3. Sprinkle filets with sea salt, to taste.

  4. Heat an oven safe pan on cook top on high heat for 4 minutes. (To sear the steak the pan needs to be really hot. When you place the steak on the pan, you should hear the pppsssshhhh sound.) 

  5. When pan is hot, pour a good layer of olive oil into pan. Lower heat to medium high. Add steaks to pan and sear for 5 minutes on first side. Using tongs, gently turn steak over, sear for one minute. Then put pan in preheated oven.

How to get the right 'done-ness'
  1. Let steaks cook in oven for 5 minutes for rare, 7 minutes for medium rare, or 8-9 minutes for medium. (note: this is a general guideline. Every oven cooks differently, altitude matters as does what kind of pan you use. Your time may vary, but once you figure out what works in your oven, you'll have it mastered!)

  2. (optional) While steaks are in oven, make chive butter sauce by using a fork to mash butter (or ghee) with garlic and chives

  3. When steaks are ready, remove from oven, plate and top with chive butter sauce. Let rest for 5 minutes to redistribute juices. (note: steaks continue to cook while resting, so trust the process and try not to cut into steak to check 'doneness'. Serve!

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Slow Cooker Lemon Chicken with Rosemary

I love crock pot meals any time of year. In colder seasons slow cookers make the most comforting savory meals, and in warmer months they create lovely lighter meals without heating up the kitchen, plus they help with time management! And who doesn’t love prepping early and coming home to a beautiful, warm meal and a house that smells divine? No one, that’s who. When it comes to amazing crock pot meals, this slow Cooker Lemon Chicken with Rosemary ranks way up high on our list of family favorites
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Slow Cooker Lemon Chicken with Rosemary #crockpot #chickendinner #paleo #whole30 #slowcooker

Making this Meal:

I made this meal with my Cuisinart Multicooker. It browns/sautés, steams and roasts! So instead of having to brown the chicken and sauté the veggies in a separate pan and transfer to the crock pot, I browned the chicken, sautéed the veggies, and slow cooked it all in the crock pot. Only one dish to clean! That said, if you have a regular crock pot you can certainly brown the chicken and onions in a pan and transfer to the slow cooker.

Slow Cooker Lemon Chicken with Rosemary #crockpot #chickendinner #paleo #whole30 #slowcooker

Only Three Steps: Dredge, Brown, Cook!

I followed one of the recipes in the  Cuisinart Multicooker cookbook…and by ‘follow’ I mean I changed it…because that’s how I roll. I added carrots and instead of using all thigh meat I added one chicken breast because my husband is a breast man (yep, I said that). I spent a little time prepping in the morning and six hours later I had a healthy dinner!

Slow Cooker Lemon Chicken with Rosemary #crockpot #chickendinner #paleo #whole30 #slowcooker

Make This Recipe Gluten or Grain Free:

To keep this recipe gluten free, simply dredge your chicken in your favorite gluten free flour, I recommend Jovial Gluten Free Pastry Flour. To make this recipe Paleo/Whole30/grain free, I use cassava flour. No matter which you choose, this meal will be gorgeous, light, lemony and fall off the bone tender!

Slow Cooker Lemon Chicken with Rosemary #crockpot #chickendinner #paleo #whole30 #slowcooker

The Recipe: Slow Cooker Chicken with Rosemary and Carrots

You will need a  Cuisinart Multicooker  (or regular crock pan and a good quality pan, preferably cast iron for good browning) sea salt, freshly turned pepper and chicken broth (<—my recipe) To make this recipe gluten free I recoemmend Jovial Gluten Free Pastry Flour. To make this recipe Paleo/Whole30/grain free, I use cassava flour or almond meal.

5 from 4 votes
Summer Slow Cooker Recipe~ Lemon Chicken with Rosemary
Prep Time
30 mins
Cook Time
6 hrs
Total Time
6 hrs 30 mins
 

I adapted this recipe from the Cuisinart Multi Cooker Cookbook. If you are using a regular slow cooker you will need to brown the chicken and sauté the onions and garlic in a separate pan. Instructions for both included below.

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: easy dinner recipe, slow cooker recipe, summer recipe
Author: Linda Spiker
Ingredients
  • 1 T olive oil, butter, ghee or coconut oil
  • 4 pounds bone in skin on chicken thighs (I always throw in a breast, you can even use a whole cut up chicken)
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup of your favorite flour (Gluten free use GF flour, grain free peeps use garbanzo bean or cassava flour)
  • 3 large yellow onions, peeled, halved and thinly sliced
  • 8 carrots, thinly sliced (1/8" thick)
  • 6 cloves garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 3 springs fresh rosemary
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 3/4 cup chicken broth
  • 1 T lemon zest
  • 1 lemon thinly sliced
Instructions
  1. Trim chicken of extra fat, sprinkle generously with salt and pepper and dredge in your choice of flour, set aside.

  2. Slice onions, carrots (carrots should be thin or they won't cook through, about 1/8") chop garlic, zest lemons, then squeeze lemon juice, set aside
  3. Put butter, ghee, coconut oil or olive oil in Multicooker and set to brown/sauté at 400 degrees (or place in a cast iron pan on medium high heat)
  4. Once the pan and fat are hot, add half the chicken skin side down and brown six minutes per side. Remove and repeat with second batch of chicken. Set all chicken on a plate.
  5. Add garlic and onions to crock pot (or pan) and sauté until softened and slightly browned (about 8 minutes)
  6. Add rosemary, a pinch of sea salt and a few turns of pepper.
  7. Add lemon juice, scraping brown bits from pan with wooden spoon or silicone spatula. Let juice come to a boil and reduce by half (about 2 minutes)
  8. Add broth and lemon zest, stir. (If using a traditional crock pot add all to veggies to crock pot now)
  9. Add sliced carrots, and nestle browned chicken on top, then lemon slices. Place lid on multicooker and set to slow cook on low for 6 hours.
  10. Serving suggestions: I love it as is but you can serve it with salad, steamed broccoli or over rice, barley, quinoa or couscous.

I felt like fairies came in and cooked for me while I went about my busy day! I hope you will try using your slow cooker this summer. It really does make life easier and more tasty!

Slow Cooker Lemon Chicken with Rosemary #crockpot #chickendinner #paleo #whole30 #slowcooker

Easy Chunky Guacamole

Guacamole…what is there to say other than it makes just about everything taste better. Being from California, we eat guacamole like other people eat butter, we slather that stuff on everything including toast. And this Easy Chunky Guacamole is always our family favorite!
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Easy Chunky Guacamole #guacamole #whole30 #paleo #keto

Easy and Full of Healthy Fats!

An avocado a day keeps the doctor away, that is a fact. Or not, I will let you decide. But mash an avocado with a little garlic, pico de gallo, olive oil and a little sea salt and I promise no one, not even the doctor will want to stay away:)

Easy Chunky Guacamole #guacamole #whole30 #paleo #keto

How to Pick a Ripe Avocado:

Generally speaking, you want an avocado that is firm (not hard) but has a little ‘give’. But when it comes to making guacamole, avocados can be a bit softer. If you can’t wait for avocados to ripen on the counter naturally, place them in a paper bag with an apple or banana to speed up the process. Learn how to core and slice an avocado here.

Easy Chunky Guacamole #guacamole #whole30 #paleo #keto

Use Store Bought Pico de Gallo or Homemade!

This easy recipe requires nothing more than tossing chunks of ripe avocado with a little olive oil, garlic and pico de gallo. You can use store bought or my homemade version! Either way your guacamole will be a hit!

 

Serving Suggestions…

Serve with fish tacos, pulled pork tacos, butternut squash tostadas, sweet potato fries, or these caramelized veggie quesadillas!

 

The Recipe: Easy Chunky Guacamole

What you need: a good knife! Click to learn How to Handle a Hot Chili Pepper.

5 from 1 vote
Easy Chunky Guacamole
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
5 mins
Total Time
10 mins
 

Less is more! Keep it simple and fresh!

Course: Condiment
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: crowd pleaser, kid-friendly recipes
Servings: 6 servings
Author: Linda Spiiker
Ingredients
  • 3 avocados peeled and diced
  • Juice of half a lime
  • ½ cup Traditional Pico de Gallo (you can use store bought or my recipe linked above) recipe above
  • 1 ½ teaspoons chopped garlic
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon Serrano chili minced (optional)
  • Sea salt to taste
Instructions
  1. Squeeze lime juice over diced avocados. Add traditional pico de gallo, garlic, oil, sea salt and gently toss.

Farmhouse Eggs Benedict on Zucchini Fritters! (Paleo-Whole30 option)

Have I mentioned that we are moving from Southern California to Gig Harbor Washington? As a lifelong Californian I truly have no idea what to expect. And in the last few months we have been making the most of the sunny Cali weather by taking weekend trips to many of our favorite local destinations, Ojai being one of them. Our favorite Ojai eatery, Azu, serves the most amazing Farmhouse Eggs Benedict on Zucchini Fritters. I came up with my own version so we can enjoy a favorite breakfast after the move!
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Farmhouse Zucchini Eggs Benedict! (Paleo-Whole30 option) #eggsbenedict #whole30eggsbenedict #paleo #whole30 #whole30breakfast

Ojai: Go If You Can!

We just love Ojai. It’s nestled in the mountains, just 20 minutes from the beaches of Santa Barbara and has a small town charm that is a mix of cowboy country and yoga retreats. The main street has the most charming shops, a gorgeous park, and truly fabulous food! We also love to visit Frog Creek Farm every summer for lavender cutting and the fresh produce.

Farmhouse Zucchini Eggs Benedict! (Paleo-Whole30 option) #eggsbenedict #whole30eggsbenedict #paleo #whole30 #whole30breakfast

 

This Breakfast: Options, Options, Options!

While the Farmhouse Eggs Benny at Azu is gluten free, it does have dairy and traditionally made Hollandaise Sauce. My version can be made with regular or gluten free flour, or can be made grain free by using cassava flour. Cassava flour is a miracle! It allows this recipe to fit the Paleo/Whole30 lifestyle while not compromising on taste or texture! And to make this recipe Keto friendly, use almond flour, just know it won’t bind quite as well as other flours.

Farmhouse Zucchini Eggs Benedict! (Paleo-Whole30 option) #eggsbenedict #whole30eggsbenedict #paleo #whole30 #whole30breakfast

Let’s Talk About Poached Eggs…

Poached eggs are very easy to make, but a few tips can really help. First, use really fresh pastured eggs (NOT pasteurized eggs…very different!) Second, use a small pot and add a little white vinegar to the water, this prevents your egg from getting slimy. Third, use the vortex method! Wait what??? The vortex? Don’t sweat it, I have a video tutorial that shows you step by step how to do it.

Farmhouse Zucchini Eggs Benedict! (Paleo-Whole30 option) #eggsbenedict #whole30eggsbenedict #paleo #whole30 #whole30breakfast

 

The 90 Second Blender Hollandaise Sauce:

Hollandaise sauce is usually made with butter, and you are certainly welcome to use a lovely grass fed butter in this recipe if you aren’t on Whole 30, but my W30 peeps will be happy to know my sauce is made with ghee, so it’s completely compliant, and honestly I think it’s just as delicious as when butter us used!

Farmhouse Zucchini Eggs Benedict! (Paleo-Whole30 option) #eggsbenedict #whole30eggsbenedict #paleo #whole30 #whole30breakfast

The Recipe: Farmhouse Eggs Benedict on Zucchini Fritters! (Paleo-Whole30 option)

Tips and what you need:  I recommend a cast iron pan for this job. You will also need a food processor or box grater for grating zucchini. I use arrowroot powder for thickening to keep this recipe Paleo/W30. If you have no dietary restrictions you can use corn starch) Flour options include gluten free flour or to make this recipe Whole30/ Paleo I use cassava flour.

5 from 15 votes
Farmhouse Eggs Benedict on Zucchini Fritters! (Paleo-Whole30 option)
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
10 mins
Total Time
20 mins
 

A fun, fresh take on traditional Eggs Benny this Farmhouse Eggs Benedict is served on Zucchini Fritters, has a touch of basil and offers Paleo-Whole30 and keto options! 

Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: American
Keyword: breakfast, eggs benedict, gluten free, keto, Paleo, whole30
Servings: 2 servings
Ingredients
For Fritters:
  • 2 medium zucchini, grated (makes about 2 1/2 cups)
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons your favorite flour, I use cassava to keep this recipe W30 and Paleo (keto use almond flour)
  • 2 teaspoons arrowroot powder (or cornstarch if you aren't Paleo?w30)
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 6 basil leaves, chopped
  • 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
For Hollandaise Sauce:
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 cup warm melted butter or ghee (use ghee if w30)
For Poached Eggs:
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees (to keep fritters warm)

For fritters:
  1. Grate zucchini, place in colander. Sprinkle with sea salt and toss well. Place colander in sink and allow to sit for 10 minutes.

  2. While zucchini rests, chop basil and measure out other ingredients

  3. After zucchini rests, place between paper towels and squeeze out excess moisture (or wring out in a clean dish towel) The more moisture you eliminate the crispier your fritter will be, you may need to do this several times with fresh paper towels.

  4. Place zucchini in a large bowl.

    Add egg, your choice of flour, arrowroot or cornstarch, pepper, and half the basil (reserving the rest for garnish). Mix well.

  5. Heat an oven safe pan on high heat. Add olive oil, coat pan evenly . When oil is very hot turn heat to medium. Use a measuring cup to add 1/3 cup zucchini mixture to the pan. Use the bottom of the cup to press the mixture into a patty about a 3/4 inch thick

  6. Cook until golden brown (about 3-4 minutes) gently turn patties over, and cook the second side until golden brown (another 3 minutes or so) place pan in oven to keep warm while you poach eggs and make sauce

For Eggs and Sauce:
  1. I recommend watching the video linked above for a quick egg poaching tutorial.

  2. Set a small pot of water with 1 tablspoon white vinegar to boil. Crack three eggs into three small dishes

  3. When water in pot is boiling, use one hand to hold the egg dish and use a spoon in the other hand to stir water quickly, forming a 'vortex'. While water is vigorously spinning drop egg gently right into the center of the vortex, then very quickly add the next two eggs. (I usually recommend poaching no more than two eggs at a time, but since we are doing three I say go for it:)

  4. Cook eggs 2 1/2 -5 minutes: 2 1/2 minutes makes for a runny yolk, five minutes cooks them all the way through. I recommend runny of course

  5. While eggs cook, make 90 second Hollandaise sauce:

  6. Melt ghee (or butter) in a small pan until very warm but not simmering and set aside. While ghee melts add add yolks, lemon juice, dijon and spices to blender

  7. Blend for 30 seconds, then slowly drizzle in melted ghee (or butter) and blend for 30-60 more seconds. It should thicken immediately

  8. When eggs are done to your liking use a slotted spoon or fish spatula to remove them from water and set on a paper towel.

  9. Place eggs on zucchini fritters, pour Hollandaise sauce over eggs, sprinkle with sea salt and pepper, garnish with remaining basil. Serve!

 

 

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One Pan Braised Chicken and Vegetables

We spent this week cozied up in our little cabin in Sundance, Utah. The snow was halfway up the house and the temperatures hovered right around 20 degrees. These circumstances call for for some healthy comfort food, for sure, and what’s more comforting than One Pan Braised Chicken and Vegetables?
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Let’s Talk About Braising…

Braising is a cooking method that uses both wet and dry heats: typically, the food is first sautéed or seared at a high temperature, then finished in a covered pot or pan at a lower temperature while simmering in liquid. Braising gives you the best of both worlds, beautifully browned meat and veggies that are also tender and flavorful from being simmered in broth and wine which forms a beautiful sauce!

Making This Recipe Gluten or Grain Free:

This recipe does call for 2 teaspoons flour. To make this recipe gluten free, use your favorite gluten free flour. I recommend Jovial Gluten Free Pastry Flour for GF cooking. To make this recipe grain free, I use cassava flour. It works very well!

Fancier Than Your Usual Meat and Potato Meal…

I love the idea of serving this elegant meat and potato meal for colder weather dinner parties. Just keep in mind that when it comes to braising you shouldn’t go “too big”. Instead of doubling or tripling this recipe and cooking in a really large pan, I like to make 2-3 recipes at the same time but in 2-3 separate pans. It just seems to work out better, at least for me.

The Recipe: One Pan Braised Chicken and Vegetables

Tips and what you need: I make this braised chicken in a 12″ cast iron skillet with lid, but you can also use a Dutch oven. As always you need a good knife. To make this recipe gluten free, I recommend Jovial Gluten Free Pastry Flour.. To make this recipe grain free, I use cassava flour.

5 from 16 votes
One Pan Braised Chicken and Vegetables
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
20 mins
Total Time
30 mins
 

Made in one pan, this rich, savory dinner takes about 30 minutes to make! To make this recipe gluten free, use your favorite gluten free flour. To make grain free use cassava flour. Note: my husband loves cauliflower, so on occasion I will steam some and toss it in (as pictured) this is optional but I didn't include it in the recipe. 

Course: dinner
Keyword: braised chicken, chicken dinner, dairy free, gluten free, grain-free
Servings: 2 servings
Author: Linda Spiker
Ingredients
  • 10 ounces boneless, skinless chicken thighs or breasts, cut into three strips
  • sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 3/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 organic yellow or white onion, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 6 ounces yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into wedges (1/2 thick)
  • 6 medium sized carrots, peeled and cut into 3" pieces
  • 3 teaspoons flour (of your choice, recommendations in blog post above)
  • 2/3 cup white wine
  • 1 1/4 cup chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped, for garnish
Instructions
Prep and cook chicken
  1. Sprinkle chicken strips generously with paprika, sea salt and pepper. Heat skillet on high heat for 60 seconds, when hot add 2-3 tablespoons olive oil (enough to coat bottom of pan) Allow oil 30 seconds to heat.

  2. Add chicken strips to pan, cooking 4 minutes a side or until golden brown but not cooked through. While chicken cooks, prep vegetables:

  3. Peel and cut onion, potatoes and carrots. When chicken is golden but not cooked through, set on a plate and set aside. 

  4. If needed add more oil to pan, turn heat to medium, add onions and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add potatoes and carrots. Sprinkle with sea salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently for 10-12 minutes, until veggies begin to soften and edges turn golden. 

  5. Add flour and stir for one minute. Then add wine, broth and chicken. Turn heat up and bring to a simmer. 

  6. Once simmering, turn heat down (low but still simmering), cover and cook for 10-12 more minutes, or until chicken is cooked through and veggies are soft enough to easily poke with a fork but still a little firm. While chicken is cooking, prepare thyme and parsley. 

  7. Add thyme to pan a few minutes before chicken is done.

  8. remove from heat, garnish with parsley, serve.

xo

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