If you’re anything like me, I love a good reason to splurge on an elegant meal. I don’t do it that often, but occasions like birthdays, anniversaries, and Valentine’s Day definitely warrant a little bit of pizazz! The one awful part of Valentine’s Day is that everyone else seems to have the same idea. And it doesn’t matter what day the holiday falls on – every good place in town will be crowded. If it falls during the week, half the city goes out on the weekend while the rest waits until the day of.
I’m personally a fan of celebrating the day of, and sometimes going out to a fancy dinner on a work night just isn’t possible. So, I thought it would be neat to bring the fancy dinner home! And, as always, I try to keep the ingredients on the light and fresh side… save the naughty foods for dessert!
Below are my top 5 personal favorites for Valentine’s Day, or any special occasion with your sweetie pie. Enjoy! ❤️
- 1 lb – 1.25lb Flank Steak (or flat, thin steaks that can be rolled up easily)
- Salt and pepper
- 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/3 cup grated Provolone cheese
- 1/3 cup Italian breadcrumbs
- 1 T Italian parsley
- 2 cloves pressed or finely chopped garlic
- 2 T butter
- 3 cups tomato sauce
- Pre-heat oven to 300 degrees. Grease a casserole dish and set aside.
- If your steak isn’t thin, use a mallet to pound it out and make it thinner. Then season both sides with salt and pepper.
- Mix the two cheeses, breadcrumbs, parsley, and garlic together in a bowl. Spread them out evenly on the top of the steak.
- Roll up the steak, and tie it closed with 3-4 pieces of butcher’s twine or stab it with toothpicks.
- Melt butter in a skillet over medium high heat, and brown the steak on all sides.
- Once the steak has been browned, transfer to casserole dish and top with tomato sauce.
- Roast in the oven for 45 minutes, basting the steak every 15 minutes with tomato sauce.
- Remove steak from the oven and allow to rest for 10 minutes before slicing it. Remove the butcher’s twine/toothpicks as you slice. Serve immediately, spooning some of the tomato sauce on top.
Chili-Rubbed Steak with Maple-Bourbon Butter
- 1 T cacao nibs
- 1 T chili powder
- 2 tsp brown sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp smoked paprika (optional)
- Black pepper
- 2 (1-pound) boneless ribeye steaks
- 1 T bourbon
- 1 tsp maple syrup
- 4 T butter, very soft
- Grind the cacao nibs into a powder using a spice grinder or food processor. Combine with the chili powder, brown sugar, salt, smoked paprika, and black pepper. Use a fork to whisk the spices together.
- Sprinkle both sides of steak generously with the spice mixture, and use your hands to rub the spices into the meat. Allow to marinate for at least 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, whisk the bourbon and maple syrup together with a fork. Combine with the butter in a small bowl and use the fork to mash together. As the butter softens further, move from mashing to whisking. Scrape the butter onto a square of wax paper. Roll it up and twist the ends. Refrigerate until you’re ready to serve the steaks.
- To cook the steak, position a rack about 6 inches below the broiler element in your oven. Grease a baking sheet and place the steaks on it. Cook for 8-10 minutes in the oven, then (very carefully!) pull out the pan and flip the steaks. Return to oven and cook for 2 more minutes. At this point, the steaks should be about medium. Cook in additional 1-minute intervals for more well-cooked steaks.
- Remove the steaks from the oven and transfer to a cutting board. Tent with foil and rest for 5 minutes.
- To serve, slice the steaks against the grain into thick slices and arrange on a plate. Top with maple-bourbon butter and enjoy immediately.
Filet Mignon in Mushroom Wine Sauce
- 4 T unsalted butter, divided
- 2 T olive oil, divided
- 8 oz baby mushrooms, sliced
- 1 small or 1/2 medium yellow onion, finely diced
- 4 medium garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tsp dry thyme
- 4 (6 oz each) filet mignon steaks
- 1/2 cup merlot
- 1 1/2 cups low sodium beef broth
- 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
- Salt and pepper to taste
- In a skillet over medium-high heat, melt in 2 tablespoons butter. Add sliced mushrooms and onions; cook about 5 minutes until soft. Stir in garlic cloves, then season with ¼ tsp salt, ¼ tsp pepper, and thyme. Cook another 2 minutes, stirring constantly until garlic is fragrant.
- Season steaks with ¼ tsp salt and ¼ tsp pepper.
- Add seasoned steaks to skillet and sauté, turning over once with tongs about 3-5 minutes per side for medium-rare (cook 5-6 minutes medium doneness).
- In the final few minutes of cooking, add merlot and boil until reduced by half (3 min), scraping the bottom of the pan to deglaze.
- Add broth and continue to boil until about ⅔ cup liquid remains.
- Add cream and boil until sauce thickens slightly.
- To serve, spoon onions and mushrooms over top steak with creamy wine sauce.
Garlic & Goat Cheese Stuffed Chicken
- 4 oz. soft goat cheese
- 1/2 lemon, zested and juiced
- 1 tsp Italian parsley
- 2 cloves garlic
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 4 medium bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts
- Olive oil, optional
- Preheat the oven to 425°F. Grease a baking sheet and set aside.
- Mix the goat cheese with the lemon zest, juice, parsley, and garlic until well blended. Season the mixture lightly with a pinch of salt and fresh black pepper.
- Loosen the skin on the chicken breasts by running your fingers underneath it, leaving it attached at the edges. Cut a deep slit — about 3 inches long and an inch and a half deep — into the breast.
- Divide the goat cheese mixture into fourths. Stuff a fourth of the goat cheese mixture into the slit in one of the chicken breast, pushing it as deep as possible into the slit. Repeat with stuffing the other chicken breasts.
- Season breasts liberally with salt and pepper. Place on baking sheet and cook about 20 minutes, or until the skin is brown and crisp and an instant read thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the breast reads 165°F.
- Serve immediate with a green salad or vegetables.
Shrimp Scampi Risotto
- 3 T butter
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 cup Arborio rice
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 4 cup low-sodium chicken broth
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 1 lb. medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 1 T parsley
- 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
- In a large deep-sided skillet or pot, melt 1 tablespoon butter over medium heat. Add onion and cook until soft, about 5 to 6 minutes. Then, add 1 clove garlic and cook until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes more.
- Add rice and stir until combined, then season with salt.
- In 1/2 cup batches, begin adding broth. Make sure broth is fully absorbed before adding the next batch.
- Once broth is done, add wine and simmer, stirring occasionally until fully absorbed.
- Meanwhile, melt butter in large skillet over medium heat. Add remaining garlic, lemon juice, parsley, and crushed red pepper flakes; stir for 2 minutes.
- Add shrimp and season with salt. Cook shrimp until pink, 3 to 4 minutes.
- Bring to a simmer, then add shrimp and Parmesan to risotto.
- Stir until combined and creamy.
- Serve immediately with additional parsley for garnish.
❤️ PDF Printable version of recipes can be found here ❤️