Kate Heyhoe

Kate's Global Kitchen

by Kate Heyhoe


Valentine's Main Course:
Petit Filet & Lobster Tail

The Valentine's appetizer, Purse with Oysters, Spinach and Tomato Coulis, should have gotten your juices flowing. Here's another heart-healthy recipe any would-be lover would surely fall for. Serve this Petit Filet with Lobster with a Bouquet Salad and Chocolate Profiteroles, all recipes from The Rittenhouse Cookbook by Jim Coleman (Ten Speed Press).


Rittenhouse Cookbook Valentine's Dinner:

Petit Filet with Lobster, Brown Rice,
Red Peppers, and Roasted Vegetables


This recipe combines two of the most popular Valentine's Day menu items—beef filet and lobster. This is a decadently rich but delightful combination. If you can't splurge on this special day, then when can you? This dish adapts the classic carpetbag steak recipe that was created in mid-nineteenth-century San Francisco during the days of the gold rush and has remained popular ever since. Named after the bulging item of luggage, the steak was stuffed with oysters, which were far more plentiful back then than now. Steaks can be stuffed with all kinds of ingredients, but it's important that the stuffing be precooked; otherwise, by the time it cooks, the meat will be incinerated! The roasted red bell peppers provide the Valentine's Day color. The long-grain brown rice is not as starchy as its short-grain counterpart, and it's healthier than white rice. Note that the brown rice should be soaked for at least two hours, and preferably overnight, before cooking.

Serves: 4


1 head garlic
2 carrots (about 8 ounces), peeled and cut into 1-1/2 inch slices
1 red onion, sliced
2 tablespoons unseasoned rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper to taste


4 lobster tails, about 2 ounces each
4 center-cut beef filets, about 4 ounces each
1 tablespoon finely minced garlic
1 teaspoon chopped fresh dill
Freshly ground black pepper to taste


1/2 cups long-grain brown rice
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 onion, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 cups Low-Sodium Chicken Stock
1 tablespoon ground cumin
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/4 cup seeded and finely diced red bell pepper
1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley

Soak the rice in water for at least 2 hours, and preferably overnight.

Preheat the oven to 400F.

To prepare the vegetables, wrap the garlic in aluminum foil and roast in the oven for about 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool. Squeeze the garlic from the bulb by firmly pressing on it from the bottom. Set the soft garlic aside.

Place the carrots and onions in a roasting pan and toss with the vinegar and olive oil to coat evenly. Transfer to the oven and roast for about 1 hour tossing every 15 minutes. Stir in the garlic for the last 15 minutes of cooling time. Remove the vegetables from the oven and season with the black pepper. Let cool to room temperature. (Leave the oven set to 400F as you'll need it again.)

Drain and rinse the rice under cold water until the water runs clear. Heat a saucepan coated with nonstick cooking spray, add the olive oil, onions, and garlic, and saute over medium-high heat for 2 to 3 minutes, until the mixture turns a light golden brown. Add the rice and stock and bring the mixture to a boil. Stir in the cumin and black pepper, reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook for about 20 minutes, until the rice is tender and all of the stock has been absorbed. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the bell peppers, tarragon, and parsley. Keep warm.

Place the lobster tails on skewers to prevent them from curling during the cooking process. Bring a saucepan of water fitted with a steamer basket to a boil. Place the lobster tails in the steamer basket and cook for 4 or 5 minutes, until cooked through. Remove from the steamer and let cool. Remove the lobster meat from the shell, discarding the shell.

Using a sharp boning or paring knife, cut a pocket in the center of each filet just large enough to fit the lobster. Season each of the lobster tails with the garlic, dill and black pepper. Stuff one tail into each filet.

Heat a nonstick saute pan coated with nonstick cooking spray. Add the filets to the hot pan and sear over high heat for 2 to 3 minutes on each side. Transfer the seared fillets to a rack placed on a baking sheet and finish in the oven for about 4 to 5 minutes for medium-rare. Transfer the stuffed filets to serving plates and serve with the rice and vegetables.

Notes: Lobster was so plentiful in the 1800s that it was used as bait for cod and bass! Lobster has no saturated fat, so in moderation it is acceptable as part of a low-fat, low-cholesterol diet.

Ounce for ounce, brown rice has double the iron found in white rice, three times the fiber, niacin, and Vitamin B6, and five times more thiamin and vitamin E. Presoaking brown rice cuts the cooking time in half.

Nutritional information per serving:

Total Calories: 406
Total Fat: 13 gm
Saturated Fat: 4 gm
Cholesterol: 105 mg
Sodium: 291 mg
Fiber Rating: 3 gm

The Rittenhouse Cookbook
by Jim Coleman
Ten Speed Press, $29.95 cloth
234 pages; 1997
ISBN: 0-89815-864-8
Recipes and photos reprinted by permission.

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This page originally published as a Global Gourmet Today column in 1998.

Copyright © 2007, Kate Heyhoe. All rights reserved.

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This page modified January 2007

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