My new motto, “Make Dinner…Not Reservations!” What better way to show someone you care about them, than to make them a homemade meal. I have this vision in my head of two lovers in the kitchen, whipping up this meal together. A little wine or a few champagne cocktails…definitely my version of the perfect date night, or to celebrate Valentine’s Day! This meal is hearty enough to satisfy, without weighing you down!
Local to Charlotte? Head on over to The Carolina Meat & Fish Co. and take advantage of their Valentine’s Day Surf and Turf Special…Fresh, cold water Maine Lobster tails and filets from Meats by Linz! While you are there, grab a few briny oysters (Canadian Beausoleil or Malpeque)…the ultimate aphrodisiac!
This meal begins and ends with strawberries. To start, the most perfect oysters drizzled with a mignonette of diced strawberries, champagne vinegar, shallots and black pepper. To end, a few super fancy chocolate covered strawberries from SAS Cupcakes, my favorite cupcake shop in Charlotte. Did you know they can ship? Get your orders in now! While you are at it, pick up a few treats there for your fur babies!
Start with the oysters. Have your fishmonger shuck, or shuck them yourself. Try to keep as much of the oyster liquor in the shell as you can. I like to line the dish with ice cream salt, so as you shuck, you can position them on the salt to stabilize. In a small bowl, combine the rest of the ingredients for the mignonette. I diced my strawberries super tiny. Allow the mixture to rest for about 10 minutes or so. Place a spoonful of the mixture on top of each oyster and ENJOY! There are not the exact words to even describe to you the flavor profile…think of a pinch of sweet meets salty, spicy and tang! You just may want to make extra! You can enjoy these amazing oysters with my signature Champagne Cocktail as you are preparing the rest of the meal!
In order to time everything just perfectly, start preparing the Parmesan Risotto. Click here for recipe. This will take at least thirty to forty minutes to get the perfect consistency. Low and slow is key! I did forgo the garlic in all of my recipes here…no one wants to have garlic breath on Valentine’s Day! As the risotto is cooking, you can easily finish the steak and lobster tails. I also roasted a bunch of asparagus just prior to broiling the lobster tails. You can place back in oven to heat up just prior to serving.
When you have used up about half of the chicken stock for the risotto, start preparing the lobster tails and filets. I have the perfected lobster tails…seriously! I give you step-by-step instructions and photos. So super easy…and they only take about eight minutes to broil. Click here for the how to!
I enjoy all of my steaks cooked to a very medium-rare. One key is to make sure you take the steak out of the fridge at least a half hour or hour prior to cooking and allow to come to room temperature. This helps with the searing. Heat a cast iron pan to medium-high. Drizzle a bit of olive oil onto the steaks. Season the entire steak with kosher salt and black pepper. Place steaks in pan and sear all sides. Reduce heat to medium. Cover and allow to come to your desired temperature. Only a few minutes for me. Click here for my recipe to make the most perfect steak! Don’t forget to top the steaks with a pat of butter to finish!
Valentine’s Day Dinner is DONE! Plate and ENJOY each other and your creation! Don’t forget to finish the meal with one, or two of these gorgeous and decadent chocolate covered strawberries from SAS Cupcakes…you may even want to throw in a few cupcakes or cake pops!
As an alternative to the above, you may be feeling a little PASTA! Check out some of my amazing pasta recipes! Click here!