Cookbook Profile

Debbie Allen and Norm Nixon's
Apple-Smoked Filet Mignon
with Ginger-Snapped String Beans

Serves 2


Most people know Debbie Allen from movies like Fame and Norm Nixon as a legendary basketball player with the Los Angeles Lakers. This husband-and-wife team loves to entertain. Here's a recipe they both enjoy, a special meal that is both down-home and sophisticated in its flavors and preparation.


1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 Granny Smith apple, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 4-ounce filets mignons
2 slices apple-smoked bacon or turkey bacon

Ginger-Snapped String Beans
1 cup peanut oil
1 handful long string beans (at least 20)
1 roasted red pepper thinly sliced
3 julienne strips fresh gingerroot
1/4 teaspoon salt


For the filets mignons:
In a medium glass bowl, combine vinegar, salt, pepper, apple, and oil and mix well. Add the filets and rub with the marinade. Cover and refrigerate at least 6 hours.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Heat a medium ovenproof skillet over high heat and add the filets. (Reserve the apples from the marinade.) Sear filets 10 seconds on each side and remove to a plate. Wrap a bacon strip around the outside of each filet and secure with toothpicks. Roast 10 minutes. Place the marinated sliced apples over the filets and roast 10 to 15 minutes or to the desired doneness. Serve filets with their juices.

While filets cook, prepare beans:
In a medium skillet, heat peanut oil over high heat. Add string beans and cook 3 minutes. Drain on paper towels.

Drain oil from skillet and add the beans, red pepper, ginger, and salt. Mix well. Serve with the filets mignons.


Buy the Book!


Cooking with Heart and Soul
By Isaac Hayes
G. P. Putnam's Sons, November 2000
Hardcover, $27.95
ISBN: 0-399-14656-3
Recipe reprinted by permission.


Cooking with Heart and Soul



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This page created April 2001