We decided to stay at home for Valentine's Day this year, mostly because we failed to make reservations and our other plans fell through. Plus, I knew I could cook a really nice dinner for a fraction of the price we'd pay at a nice restaurant. Here's our dinner:
I. Steak - purchase steak that has been aged, if possible (aging improves flavor and tenderness). And if you're buying conventional beef, go with something that grades choice.
Heat a tablespoon of oil in a large, ovenproof skillet over medium heat. Season steak with coarse salt and freshly ground pepper; place in skillet:
Turn after steak has seared 3-5 minutes. Tip: if meat sticks to skillet, it is not ready to be turned. When the surface of the meat has been caramelized appropriately, it will turn relatively easily:After searing on both sides, place entire skillet in a 350 degree oven. Bake approximately 15 minutes, or to desired doneness. Remove from oven. Allow steaks to rest 5 minutes before serving.
II. Rock Salt Potatoes - Before starting the steaks, make rock salt potatoes. Haven't tried rock salt potatoes? What are you waiting for? They are slightly crispy on the outside and tender and fluffy inside - absolutely perfect. And not salty . . . unless you don't brush off the salt and you eat the skin. To make rock salt potatoes:
Wash potatoes, dry and rub lightly with oil, then puncture several times with a knife. Place a layer of rock salt (find it near the ice cream makers and ingredients) on the bottom of a baking dish. Place potatoes on top of salt and cover entirely with rock salt. Bake at 425 degrees for approximately 1 1/2 hours. Be careful when removing the potatoes - the salt gets hot! Brush off salt before serving. Rock salt potatoes, ready to be covered, before baking:
These cherries have nothing to do with a steakhouse dinner . . . I just found them at the grocery store yesterday. "Cherries with romance!" AND a heart-shaped container? I couldn't resist . . .I served roasted asparagus and a french baguette with our steak and potatoes . . . Overall, a very nice meal - with no crowds, no going out in the cold, no worries.