The Free Motion Quilting Project: Cracked Pepper Filet Mignon Quilting

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Cracked Pepper Filet Mignon Quilting

It's Anything Goes Thursday, and it's Josh subbing for Leah today.

Leah continues to apply the finishing touches on her design studio and sewing room. We're almost there. Leah wanted to film a quick progress report yesterday, but we simply didn't have the time. Rest assured, however, that we will shoot a video tour as Leah is quite proud of her new space, as well as all the excess unneeded items she's purged.

Tomorrow, October 8th, is Leah's birthday. I've finally convinced her to take a week off--she has been so busy lately with the studio remodel, the emotional baggage of Sinkhole, the new book and DVD, and a revamping of our online store that she needs some time off.

So what's going to happen with the Free Motion Quilting Project all next week?

It will continue! I'll be posting regular updates which will include filler designs and some new fun things. I may just sneak up on Leah or rifle through some of her older projects and do a little "Behind the Scenes" DVD extras. And I may just give you a tour around my fish tanks and show exactly what inspired such filler designs as Elodea and Brain Coral.

But for today I wanted to do something both Leah and I have wanted to do for some time. We're both avid cooks and have some pretty good, tried-and-true and almost-fully-perfected recipes under our belts. For instance last night we made beer battered Alaskan cod. The secret is to cut your cod into 1-2 inch pieces and marinate in the fridge for an hour in your liquid portion of the batter, the beer (I use a whole bottle or can), an egg, salt (very important because it has a mild brining effect) and Louisiana hot sauce. Then roll them in the dry mixture of flour and seasoning and pan fry in some olive oil.

Tomorrow for Leah's birthday I'm making a filet mignon pepper steak. Below I've embedded the video instructions for how to make this steak. Do not let the "foolproof" name of it throw you off; this is indeed easy but that does not take away from its stellar taste.

Click here if the video does not show up

We have not tried the sauce in the latter part of the video--it seems a little culinarily questionable to me. Instead we saute some onions and portabello mushrooms with a little wine.

Throughout the week, I plan to offer several of my favorite recipes. These are all recipes I've literally tried at least a dozen times, some many more, so I'm confident in their quality. Some I've filmed when I was doing a little youtube cooking show last year.

One thing both Leah and I have been so curious about is learning your favorite recipes, especially those of you not living in the United States (though all and any shared recipes are appreciated!). We love trying new things, especially foods from other countries.

So please comment with some of your favorite recipes! It's so interesting shipping orders from our quilting store and seeing all the places in the world quilters live. Denmark, The Netherlands, Australia, the United Kingdom, Germany, and of course Canada are the most common nations we see. Lately, though, we've been getting orders from Brazil and Bulgaria. I would love to learn a recipe from either of those countries!

Leah and I appreciate your readership and support of this project so much. Thank you again for commenting, spreading the word about free motion quilting, and just keeping up with the blog.

I'll see you tomorrow,

- Josh


  1. One of my very favorites: Keema (Pakistani dish)-basically Indian taco meat.
    1 lb ground beef (use ground turkey if you want to taste the spices more)
    2 tomatoes
    1 onion (large size)
    6 tbs. oil
    6 whole black pepper
    6 cloves
    1 black cardamom
    1/4 tsp. cumin seeds
    1 tsp. coriander ) powder
    1 tsp. salt (according to taste).
    ¼ tsp. turmeric powder
    ¾ tsp. chili powder
    2 serrano peppers, seeded and chopped
    1 tsp. ginger paste (or about 1 tbsp fresh ginger squeezed thru a garlic press)
    1 tsp. garlic paste
    Finely chop the onion (I like it julienne style) and sauté in oil with garlic and ginger until light brown.
    Add all the spices and finely chopped tomatoes.
    Cook on medium heat till water is almost dried. Add meat and dry the water again.
    Serve with naan (Indian flat bread - you can use pita bread instead)
    Serving: 4 to 5 persons.

    You can tear the pita bread and use like pinchers to pick up the keema, or make a burrito or however you want to eat it. Also, I like to add one box of frozen spinach to the meat mixture - yummy!!! But warning - it can be spicy, so feel free to decrease the hot stuff to taste.

  2. crazy we had beer batter fish last night too!

  3. Tomorrow is my birthday too!! Hurrah for the Oct 8th Libras! Seriously, all the best and thank you for all the great quilting information here on your blog!
    Best wishes!

  4. Happy evening before your b-day, Leah!

  5. I have tried this recipe (Cooks Magazine, America's Test Kitchen) with great success. Also hot fudge, their garlic bread, cut oats, brisket (fantastic), and oatmeal scones. Maybe it is the chicken available in Utah, but brining has not been my favorite method. There are so many great things to say about America's Test Kitchen methods and recommendations.

  6. Oh what a delightful post! One of these days I will post a Polish recipe (old family favorite)- I didn't think your blog site could get any better....but it just did!
    Thanks, Sandy

    PS Happy cake day tomorrow!

  7. Happy birthday to Leah! [It's Oct. 8 already here.:)] I'd love to see a tour of your fish tanks, Josh.

  8. This may soon become my favorite! A new recipe I tried on my family tonight and loved it. I found it on another favorite blog...Your Home Based Mom and change it up just a little bit! It was yummy!

    1 16 oz. spaghetti – cook in salted water, Drain, & rinse in hot water (keep
    1 to 2 pounds polish sausage, sliced (used Johnsonville New Orleans Style
    Andouille - not sure I spelled that right - style sausage)
    6 Tbsps. olive oil
    2 cloves garlic, pressed
    1 red bell pepper, cut in cubes
    1 green bell pepper, cut in cubes
    1 medium onion, cut in wedges
    3-4 small (hot dog size) zucchini, cut in strips
    4 tsps. chicken bouillon granules;
    2 tsps. basil
    2 tsps salt (or less)
    2 dashes cayenne pepper (I left this out but used coarse ground black pepper)
    Heat oil; add sausage and stir fry. Add onion & red pepper; spinkle in
    remaining spices & stir fry.
    Add zucchini last so that it does not overcook. Onion and red pepper take a
    time to cook. Toss with pasta. Serve warm.

  9. Ok here's a recipe from New Zealand (between Australia and Antartica) it's kind of our national dessert.

    6 egg whites
    2 cups of sugar
    2 tablespoons of boiling water
    2 teaspoons of brown vinegar
    2 teaspoons of vanilla essence

    mix egg whites with a fork and let sit for 20 minutes.

    then add all other ingredients to bowl and beat with electric beater till really stiff.

    grease an oven tray with a little butter or line with a baking sheet.

    gently place mixture on to oven tray in a round shape, (try to make it 2-3 inches high).

    put in oven pre-heated to 160 Celsius/ 320 Fahrenheit. After 20 minutes turn the oven off, but leave the Pavlova in the oven until cool.

    Decorate by adding whipped cream on top and arranging strawberries or kiwifruit slices on top, or chocolate chips, etc etc. The Pavlova should be hard on the outside like a meringue, but soft in the centre.

  10. Score!! The new quilter in Texas has posted a dish that my office mate Nizam used to eat after sunset during Ramadan, but had no idea how it was made. I can tell from the ingredients, this is it!

    I like the recipes mixed in with the quilting. In fact, Judy Laquidara asked what folks were looking for from the perfect quilting magazine, and recipes (esp. for crock pots) kept coming up.

  11. Great job Josh - I'm looking forward to seeing what you've got for us over the next week - Happy Birthday Leah (1 day after my Mum's) - I'll have a think and see if there's a recipe I can share with you from the UK

  12. Happy birthday, Leah!

    Enjoy your time off.

  13. Love that Leah is getting some much deserved time off! Looking forward to your posts, Josh. Can't wait to see the fish tank!
    Happy Birthday, Leah! WOOT WOOT!

  14. Josh and Leah love the post! Cooking and quilting! Love it...
    Leah I hope you have a wonderful birthday and enjoy your much needed time off. Can't wait to see pictures of your updated quilt room! Josh enjoyed yesterdays post, thinking of what to cook. Hope the two of you have a great weekend, thanks for all the hard work and sharing it with me!

  15. Oooh I love sharing my signature dish recipe! It's for Mulligatawny soup (pronounced "MULL-i-ga-TAWN-ee), and it's claim to fame is that the 'Soup Nazi' used to make it on Seinfeld. I have altered the recipe over the years, and here is my pefected one.

    (This can be converted to vegan by using margarine/oil instead of ghee. )


    Jo's Magic Mulligatawny Soup


    (you will need a hand blender for this dish)

    some olive oil
    some butter (ghee)
    2 onions (chopped)
    2 sticks of celery (chopped)
    1 tbsp coriander
    1 tbsp curry
    1 tsp black fresh ground pepper
    2 tbsp garam masala
    1 tsp cumin
    3 tbsp flour
    6 cups vegetarian soup broth
    2 carrots (chopped)
    2 potatoes (chopped)
    2 tomatoes (chopped)
    half a can of lentils
    half a can of coconut milk
    juice of half a lemon

    1. Heat the oil and the butter in a soup pot. Substitue all oil for butter if you want this recipe to be vegan.
    2. Brown the onions and the celery. Feel free to add some garlic, too, if
    garlic is your thing.
    3. Add all the powders (curry, coriander, garam masala, cumin, pepper and
    flour to this mixture. Stir it to a paste. Add the 6 cups of soup base and
    mix (before it burns!! HA)
    4. Add the lentils, chopped carrots, diced potatos and diced tomatos. Simmer until veggies
    soften. Stir periodically. Probably 20 minutes tops.
    5. Take the pot off the stove, and use a hand blender to blend all
    ingredients. Sometimes a stray carrot or two won't blend. This is good, as guests think they are eating jumbo shrimp. HA!
    6. Simmer about 10 more minutes.
    7. Remove from heat and add (in this order) the lemon juice (stir), the
    coconut milk (stir) and the chopped cilantro. Serve with brown or wild rice.

  16. haPPY BIRTHDAY Leah, I hope you have a wonderful day and a great vacation you do so much. I sometimes do not realize how much you offer to the blog it most be exhausting.


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