Saturday, February 11, 2012

A Valentine's Day Dinner for Two - Surf & Turf

For Valentine's Day, the husband and I decided to cook ourselves a romantic dinner. Our local grocery store was offering a surf & turf - two lobster tails and two New York Strip steak. YUM! (We had this last Valentine's Day and decided to do it again this year.)

For the steak, we prepared it our favorite way...nice and simple.  All I did was drizzle a bit of extra virgin olive oil on the steak. Then, I sprinkled it with a good amount of coarse sea salt and fresh cracked pepper. Because we have about 3 inches of snow or more and it is in the low 20s outside, we grilled the steak on a grill pan on the stove. It turned out quite tasty!

For the lobster tails, we split them with scissors and gently pulled the meat from the shell. Leave the meat attached to the base (narrow end) of the tail. Baste the tails in the following: 1 cup of extra virgin olive oil, 2 tbsps lemon juice, 1/4 tsp pepper, 1/4 tsp garlic powder, 2 tsps salt. Wisk together and brush all sides of the tails. Broil the tails, meat side down for 4-5 minutes. Baste again and flip them over. Cook for another 4-5 minutes. Repeat until the tails are cooked. (The meat will be opaque and firm to the touch.)

We served this with a romaine salad topped with tomatoes, carrots, green olives, and green onions. I made a Parmesan vinaigrette. The recipe was from my Joy of Cooking book. Whisk together in a small bowl: 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar, 3 tbsps grated Parmesan cheese, 1 1/2 teaspoons black peppercorns (lightly crushed - I used a mortar and pestle for the crushing), 1 garlic clove (minced), salt and pepper to taste. To this, stream in 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil while whisking. You can make the dressing in advance, just store it in the refrigerator. However, if you make the dressing ahead of time, be sure to whisk it prior to dressing the salad. It tends to separate as it sits. 

Did I enjoy it? Yes, we really did. This was a relatively light meal packed with flavor. The tails and steak were cooked perfectly and didn't need any additions. The tails didn't even need melted butter, that is how delicious and delicate they were. The salad was refreshing and the dressing was not heavy. However, I don't think I will use the whole peppercorns in the dressing next time. If you bit into one of them, it was a bit strong. I'm just going to use some cracked pepper (pepper mill) instead.

Would I recommend it? Absolutely! It was a romantic meal...the most romantic part was cooking it together. 

Will I make it again?  Yes, we will. Hopefully before next Valentine's Day.

If you make it, let me know what you think!

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