Fresh water buffalo cheese melted over filet mignon is a classic dish of Soure, Brazil; mozzarella is a perfect substitute. This recipe first appeared in our June/July 2012 issue along with Neide Rigo's story Passage to the Amazon.
- 4 (8-oz.) filet mignon steaks
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- ¼ cups olive oil
- 3 tbsp. minced cilantro
- 7 cloves garlic
- Canola oil, for frying
- 2 russet potatoes, peeled, thinly sliced, rinsed, dried
- 1 (8-oz.) ball fresh mozzarella, cut into 4 slices
Season steaks with salt and pepper, and rub with oil, cilantro, and garlic; let marinate at room temperature for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, pour oil to a depth of 2" in a 6-qt. Dutch oven; heat over medium-high heat until a deep-fry thermometer registers 375°. Working in batches, fry potatoes until golden brown, about 2 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to paper towels; season with salt.
Heat a 12" skillet over high heat. Add steaks; cook until browned on bottom, about 3 minutes. Flip steaks; place 1 piece mozzarella over each steak, and cover skillet. Cook until cheese is melted and steaks are cooked to medium-rare, about 3 minutes. Serve with fried potatoes.