Sexy Steak Dinner for Valentine’s Day2013-02-05
Celebrate Valentine’s Day with the sizzle of a sexy steak dinner. Luxurious and hearty, this filet mignon menu actually requires very little effort in the kitchen. Crushed peppercorns bring piquant flair to buttery, tender beef that’s served with classic steakhouse sides. Balance this rich dinner with a romantic red wine and a light berry Pavlova for dessert.
This luxurious cut of beef doesn’t require much dressing up in the kitchen. Seasoned simply with salt and coarsely ground pepper, this steak is pan-seared to perfection.
Filet mignons are often sold with a string tied around them to help keep their shape while cooking. Otherwise, tie them loosely with cotton kitchen twine yourself. (Be sure to remove strings before serving.)
- 2 (5 to 6 ounces each) filet mignons (about 1 1/2 inches thick)
- Coarse salt and very coarsely ground pepper
- 2 teaspoon(s) olive oil
Red Wine Sauce (optional):
- 1 cup(s) red wine
- 2 tablespoon(s) cold butter, cut up
- Coarse salt
- Season filets very generously on both sides with salt and pepper (especially pepper), patting in firmly.
- Heat oil in a small skillet over medium-high. Cook filets until desired doneness, 3 to 5 minutes per side (depending on thickness) for medium-rare.
- Remove strings from filets, and serve with Red Wine Sauce, if desired.
- To make Red Wine Sauce: Place wine in a small saucepan; boil until reduced to 1/4 cup, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from heat; add cut-up butter, and swirl pan until butter is melted and sauce is thickened, about 1 minute. Season with coarse salt.
The perfect steakhouse complement to juicy Pepper-Crusted Filet Mignon, this creamed spinach rounds out a meal in style.
- 1 pound(s) curly spinach, well washed, thick stems removed, water still clinging to leaves
- Coarse salt and ground pepper
- 2 tablespoon(s) butter
- 1 shallot, minced
- 1 tablespoon(s) all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup(s) milk
- Place spinach in a large saucepan (3 to 4 quarts) over medium heat (it will be extremely full), and season with salt. Cover and cook, tossing occasionally, until wilted, 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a colander, and rinse under cold water until completely cooled; squeeze out as much liquid as possible. Set aside.
- In a medium saucepan, heat butter over medium-low; add shallot, and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring, until soft but not browned, 3 to 5 minutes.
- Add flour; cook, stirring, 1 minute (do not let brown); add 3/4 cup milk. Simmer gently over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until thickened, 1 to 2 minutes. Thin with additional milk, if necessary. Remove from heat; stir in spinach. Season with salt and pepper. Serve.
Slow Roasted Tomatoes
Roasting plum tomatoes brings out their natural sweetness, offering a delicious counterpoint to the savory steak and spinach.
- 3 plum tomatoes, halved lengthwise
- 1 tablespoon(s) olive oil
- 1 teaspoon(s) fresh thyme leaves or 1/4 teaspoon dried
- Coarse salt and ground pepper
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Place tomatoes on a rimmed baking sheet, cut side up. Drizzle with oil, and sprinkle with thyme leaves; season with salt and pepper.
- Roast until tomatoes begin to collapse, brushing occasionally with pan juices, about 90 minutes.
These Pavlovas feature raspberry meringues topped with a dollop of enriched, sweetened whipped cream and tart raspberry curd.
For the Pavlovas:
- 10 ounce(s) frozen red raspberries, thawed in bag
- 2 large egg whites
- 1/2 cup(s) sugar
- Pinch of salt
For the Filling:
- 2 large egg yolks
- 1/4 cup(s) sugar
- 2 1/2 tablespoon(s) unsalted butter
- Pinch of salt
- 1 cup(s) heavy cream
- Make the Pavlovas: Put raspberries into a fine sieve set over a medium bowl. Let drain, reserving 2 1/2 tablespoons juice; set juice aside. Press raspberries through sieve into bowl (you should have 3 to 4 tablespoons puree); discard solids, and reserve puree for filling.
- Put egg whites, sugar, and salt into the heatproof bowl of an electric mixer set over a pan of simmering water. Whisk until sugar has dissolved, about 2 minutes. Attach bowl to mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Add reserved raspberry juice. Beat on medium-high speed until soft peaks form, 2 to 4 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 175 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with a nonstick baking mat or parchment paper. Using a spoon or a rubber spatula, form meringue into six 3 1/4-inch rounds on prepared sheet. Use the back of a spoon to make an indentation in center of each round. Bake until centers are just set and edges are crisp, 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Let cool completely on sheet on a wire rack.
- Make the filling: Whisk egg yolks, 3 tablespoons reserved raspberry puree, and the sugar in a small saucepan. Cook over medium-low heat, whisking constantly, until thickened, about 4 minutes. Remove from heat; whisk in butter and salt. Transfer to a small bowl; place plastic wrap directly on surface of curd to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate curd at least 1 hour (up to 1 day).
- Put cream into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat on medium-high speed until soft peaks form. Serve Pavlovas topped with raspberry curd and whipped cream.