Before you know it, Valentine’s Day will be here and you will want that awesome dinner to go just right for your favorite guy or gal. So let’s take a stroll over to the meat department for some ideas to cook up for that perfect romantic meal!
Of course, the number one seller during the week of Valentine’s Day is usually the tenderloin steaks or better known as filet mignon. Having the most tender steak available on the market is great, but with quality comes cost. Be on the lookout at your local meat department for the “half in the bag tenderloins” usually on sale for the week of Valentine’s Day. This is basically the whole tenderloin, cut in half and cryovac sealed. You can purchase the half tenderloins and request your local butcher to cut it to your desired quantity and thickness. Again, it’s a bit pricey, but you cannot beat the taste and tenderness of a filet mignon to serve to your loved one.
Another great steak and my personal favorite for this lovely day is what we call a sweetheart steak, in the meat department. Let me explain. A sweetheart steak is a one inch cut, boneless ribeye that is butterflied down the middle and once laid open, after butterflying and a little trimming at the top of the ribeye, it takes on the shape of a perfectly shaped heart if done correctly. Now, in the end, it is always about the flavor and tenderness of a ribeye that is a winner every time; but having a heart shaped ribeye for your significant other just puts you a “cut” above the rest of the guys.
If the steak idea sounds good, but you want to kick it up a notch for that special dinner, how about a surf and turf dinner? I have discussed a few options on the steaks so let’s get to the surf side!
A great choice to go along with a great steak is 4 ounce lobster tails. It makes a perfect size in proportion to any surf and turf meal, along with being delicious and tender at the same time. Some people tend to over-think and over-cook lobster tails. In fact, it really is a pretty easy task when done correctly. Here is the easiest way to cook your 4 ounce lobster tails and have it come out as tender as your steak. You will want to boil your lobster tails. Set your pot of water to a boiling point, then reduce the boil to a medium boil. Once you are ready to drop the lobster tails in, you may want to take some skewers to slide through the length of the tail. This will keep the tails from curling up as it cooks and will lay flat and even on your plate when done. You will want to add a bit of sea salt and boil your 4 ounce lobster tails for about 5 minutes. After removing the tails from the boiling water, you may want to run them under a little bit of cool, fresh water to keep it from overcooking. Once the cooking process is complete, the shell is easily removed while warm and just add your butter or sauce of your choosing. Now along with that steak, you will have an awesome surf and turf meal to enjoy for a wonderful evening!
If lobster tail isn’t on the menu for a surf and turf dinner, how about some large raw shrimp? Another great flavored meal that really doesn’t take that long to prepare. Use a medium size saucepan, fill it with lightly salted water and bring it to a boil, just add the shrimp (carefully) to the boiling saucepan for about 3 minutes. When the shrimp is cooked through, they should appear to be pinking white in texture. Remove the shrimp and run under fresh water for a few seconds and plate as desired with your butter or your favorite dipping sauce. I must admit, it doesn’t get much better than a juicy steak with a side of delicious buttered shrimp, toss in some garlic bread and you have a meal fit for a king…or queen!
My last suggestion for a great valentine’s dinner would be a baked pork tenderloin. It takes a few steps but will be worth every minute once it is being served for dinner. You will need to pre-heat your oven to 425°, next you will need an oven safe skillet. Coat the skillet with olive oil and use medium to high heat on your stove top to brown the outside of the pork tenderloin which will only take a few minutes. Once browned, place the oven safe skillet in the oven for about 15 to 20 minutes adding your favorite marinade or glaze to the tenderloin. Once cooked through, let it sit for about 5-10 minutes before slicing. Add a twice baked potato and you and your loved one will not be disappointed in this meal.
I hope to have shared a few ideas that you may use, be it for a great valentine’s dinner or for another occasion, and from this butcher to the readers, I wish all of you a very special happy Valentine’s Day!