3 Romantic Meals for a Stay-at-Home Valentine’s Day

Call me old, but on weeknights I’m too tired to go out.

So any year when Valentine’s Day falls on a weeknight my boyfriend, Brett, knows what I’m thinking.  Don’t get me wrong, we’re really big into the food scene, love going to new restaurants, and are always trying new recipes. But, he gets that sometimes my love for self care trumps my love for a night out even when it’s for a fancy restaurant and a romantic holiday.  

As a Valentine’s gift to ourselves this year, we’re going to Boston for a long weekend. So, I suggested we stay in the day of Valentine’s Day so I could prep for the trip while he cooked something incredible. He was so down. What a saint. For the homebodies like me, he came up with three recipes for Valentine’s Day that you can cook at home.  

So if you’d rather cuddle up in pajamas with your boo thang, these main dishes will make your night in still feel like a holiday.

The Classic: Surf & Turf

Ingredients

2 5-oz Pieces of Steak (preferably Filet Mignon)

2 Tbsp Olive Oil

Salt & Pepper to taste

5 Sprigs Thyme

2 Sprigs Rosemary

4 Cloves of Garlic, Smashed

2 Tbsp Butter

2 8-oz Lobster Tails

1 Tbsp Salt

½ Tbsp Pepper

½ Tbsp Paprika

¼ Cup Butter, Melted

Directions

For the Steak

  1. Let the steaks rest for a half hour to come to room temperature
  2. Season the steak liberally with salt and pepper. NOTHING ELSE. We want a nice black pepper crust on this steak and for that to power through.
  3. Heat a cast iron or oven-safe skillet on high heat and add 2 tbsp. of olive oil.
  4. Once smoking, add steak to the pan and cook for 2 ½ minutes without touching. Turnover and cook for another 2 ½ minutes.
  5. Turn heat down to medium and add thyme, rosemary, and garlic. Cook until fragrant.
  6. Add butter to pan and baste the steaks, turning every minute or so.
  7. Remove steak from pan and let rest with herbs and garlic on top for 10 minutes.
  8. Done.

For The Lobster

  1. Preheat the broiler
  2. Combine melted butter, salt, pepper, and paprika.
  3. Split lobster tails in half, lengthwise. With kitchen shears or with hands, pull meat away from shell.
  4. Place lobster tails on a baking sheet and brush with the seasoned butter.
  5. Broil the lobster tails until lightly brown and cooked through, about 10 minutes or so.
  6. Done.

The Bold: Osso Buco

Ingredients

2 1-lb. Bone-In Shanks (Beef, Veal, or Pork)

2 Sprigs Thyme

2 Sprigs Rosemary

2 Bay Leaves

All Purpose Flour, for coating shanks

¼ Cup Neutral Oil (Canola or Vegetable)

1 Medium Onion, chopped

2 Carrots, chopped

2 Stalks Celery, chopped

5 Cloves of Garlic, smashed

1 28-oz can Whole San Marzano Tomatoes, peeled and squeezed by hand

1 Cup White Wine

1 Cup Beef Stock (or Chicken Stock)

Salt & Pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Season shanks with salt & pepper liberally. Coat with flour and pat to get excess flour off.
  2. Cut all of your vegetables into a rough chop. (I like big chunks of vegetables for this dish, but you can dice if you’d like)
  3. Heat your dutch oven on medium-high heat. Add shanks when oil is hot. Cook shanks for about 2 minutes each side or until brown. Remove when brown on all sides.
  4. Add onion, celery, and carrot to the dutch oven and turn heat to medium. Saute until fragrant. Then add garlic. Saute until lightly brown.
  5. Add white wine and reduce. Once reduced, add chicken stock and crushed tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper.
  6. Add thyme, rosemary, and bay leaves; stir to combine. Add shanks back to the dutch oven and cover with lid. Simmer on low for for about an hour. Check every 15 minutes or so and turn shanks and add chicken stock if needed.
  7. Remove shanks from dutch oven carefully, they will be fall off the bone tender, so try to keep them intact.
  8. Plate the shank, pour over braising liquid and garnish with fresh parsley.
  9. Done.

The Healthy: Pesto Salmon

Ingredients

1 Cup of Basil Leaves

1 Tbsp Pine Nuts (or sub Walnuts)

¼ Cup Olive Oil

¼ Cup Grated Hard Italian Cheese  (I like using Grana Padano, but you can also use Parmesan or Pecorino Romano)

2 6-oz. Salmon Filets

½ Cup of Homemade Pesto

1 Lemon

Salt & Pepper to taste

For the Pesto

Directions

  1. Add basil leaves and pine nuts to a food processor and run processor until finely chopped.
  2. While the food processor is running, drizzle the olive oil slowly until combined
  3. Add the grated Italian cheese and pulse until combined.
  4. Done.

For the Salmon

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  2. Season salmon with salt and pepper. Once seasoned, add pesto to the salmon and rub pesto into the filets. Put seasoned filets on a baking sheet and squeeze lemon over them.
  3. Once preheated, place the baking sheet in the oven and cook for 15-20 minutes. You want your salmon to flake easily.
  4. Remove from the oven, and plate. Garnish with lemon wedge.
  5. Done.
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