Sunday, February 15, 2009

Our Valentine's Day Steakhouse Dinner

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.

1 comment:

Leah said...

You have to tell me about this cooking in rock salt! I have heard of it regarding steak...what does it do for the potatoes? Looks so fancy! I'm glad you guys had a good night!