Every year for Valentine’s Day Sean and I wait until the weekend after to go out, so I try and make a special dinner for us at home the day of. Usually, this is because everything is a prefix menu, they rush you in and out of the restaurant due to the amount of reservations they take and it cost more to go. Also, it seems like everything I want is not included in the prefix menu. So we wait until the weekend after and this has been so much more enjoyable for us.
We have been going to the same restaurant for the past few years for Valentine’s and it stays decorated all month long. I really love it because this restaurant is named one of the most romantic restaurants in our area. They really decorate over the top for Valentine’s and the restaurant also features private dining booths. Here are a few pictures from previous years.
Since I try and make a special meal every year on the day of I figured I would share what I am making this year for you. Every year there is one thing that doesn’t change – I always make Sean his favorite, chocolate souffle/ lava cake.
This year I am going to replicate a favorite meal we have from a local restaurant. So we will be having coffee encrusted Filet Mignon with red wine demi glace and topped with blue cheese, potatoes and lobster tails – what’s better than Surf n’ Turf?!
I am going to share with you all the recipes I will be following!
Coffee Rub, Meat & Demi Glace
A local restaurant we go to has coffee encrusted steak – the first time I had it, my life was changed. It is so good! The steak is in a coffee, garlic and spice rub – and something about it is just so perfect.
For this portion of the meal we will be having Filet Mignon, but you can use any cut of meat you like.
Coffee Steak Rub
Jen Around The World
- ¼ cup ground coffee — regular or decaf
- ¼ cup packed brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons Kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon cumin
- 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon black pepper
*Mix all ingredients together and rub onto the meat of your choice and cook your preferred method.
I would love to be able to grill my steak, but New Jersey in February isn’t quite “grilling season”. So I will be cooking mine on the stove top. We cook our meat by simply putting in a hot pan with a little butter on the stove to sear about 3-5 mins per side and then finish roasting them in a 425* oven for 8-10 mins – we usually eat our meat medium.
The Red Wine Demi Glace is made from the pan used for searing the meat. I deglaze the pan by adding in about 1/2 cup of red wine and reduce by half. Then add in 1/2 cup of beef stock and once again reduce by half. Then remove the pan from the heat and add in 8 tablespoons of unsalted melted butter.
When plating the meat I pour the demi glace on top and top with fresh blue cheese crumbles. It is fabulous.
4 lobster tails (the small ones)
1 Tbsp fresh parsley, very finely chopped, plus more for garnish
2 garlic cloves, pressed
1 tsp dijon mustard
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp black pepper
1 1/2 Tbsp olive oil
1 1/2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
4 Tbsp unsalted butter, divided
How to Prepare/Butterfly Lobster Tails:
1. Use kitchen scissors to cut through the top shell of the lobster tail, stopping at the base of the tail and snipping through the top portion of the meat as you go.
2. Flip the tail over to the back see-through side of the tail and crack the ribs in the center. This will help open the shell.
3. Open the shell using your thumbs and fingers and loosen the meat from the shell (remove vein if present). Work carefully – shells can be sharp! Lift the meat from the shell, keeping it attached at the base. Press the shell together and set the lobster meat over the top. The bulk of the lobster meat should be sitting over the top of the shell.
How to Make Broiled Lobster Tails:
1.Place rack in center of oven so when you bake, the meaty tops of your lobster tails will be at least 6 inches from the top heating elements. Preheat oven to broil on high heat.
2. In a small bowl, add the marinade ingredients: 1 Tbsp parsley, 2 pressed garlic cloves, 1 tsp dijon, 1/4 tsp salt, 1/8 tsp pepper, 1 1/2 Tbsp olive oil and 1 1/2 Tbsp lemon juice. Stir to combine.
3.Place butterflied Lobster Tails into a 9×13 or 8×12 roasting pan. Divide the marinade evenly over the tops of each lobster tail and dot each tail all over with 1/2 Tbsp of butter cut into smaller pieces.
4. Broil lobster tails on high 10-11 minutes (or according to the lobster tail size – see chart below). When done, lobster meat should be opaque and white in the center and register 145˚F on an instant read thermometer. Transfer lobster tails to a serving platter and garnish with fresh parsley if desired.
5. To make the Garlic Lemon Butter: drain drippings from the roasting pan into a small saucepan and combine with remaining 2 Tbsp butter, bring to a simmer and remove from heat. Pour over lobster tails or divide into small ramekins and use as dipping sauce.
Broiling Times for Lobster Tails:
Smaller (3 to 4 oz) lobsters 6 to 8 minutes
Medium (5 to 6 oz) lobsters 10-11 minutes
Larger (7 to 9 oz) lobsters 12-15 minutes (with rack in middle of oven)
Broil lobster meat until opaque and white in the center, or 145˚F.
Usually I make mashed potatoes, but this year I found the recipe for the cutest heart shaped roasted potatoes so I will share both recipes with you.
I love using my Kitchen Aid stand up mixer for mashed potatoes, it makes it so easy!
5 lb Potatoes- peeled, diced
3 Tbs salt
1 stick Unsalted butter
1/4 to 3/4 C Milk
1 C Sour cream
Put potatoes in a large pot. Fill with enough water to cover potatoes by at least 1 inch. Stir in salt. Place pot over high heat, bring to a boil and cook potatoes until tender and heated through, 12 to 15 minutes.
Drain potatoes, place in mixer, add butter and a splash of milk. Mash potatoes until creamy and smooth. Add milk to desired creaminess. Stir in sour cream, place in a bowl and serve.
Roasted Heart Shaped Potatoes
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 to 2 tsp kosher salt
- freshly ground pepper
- 2 tsp caraway seeds
- 1/2 tsp paprika optional
- Preheat oven to 400F.
- Line baking sheet with aluminum foil, spray with non-stick spray or brush with oil.
- Fill a pot with about 1quart -2quarts of water, add 1tbl salt, bring to boil, then reduce heat to gentle simmer.
- In the meantime peel potatoes, slice them, using a small metal cookie cutter cut out as many hearts as you can. Reserve scraps in water, you can also par-cook scraps or make mashed potatoes
- Cook potatoes in the simmering water for 3 minutes, drain potatoes and let cool slightly.
- Combine all the ingredients for the marinade : olive oil, salt, caraway seed, pepper, paprika.
- Pour marinade over potatoes, stir and let sit for 5 minutes.
- Spread marinaded potatoes evenly onto the baking sheet.
- Roast potatoes for 20-25 minutes, in halftime using an off set silicone spatula carefully turn the potatoes (don’t forget to use oven mittens when handling hot baking sheet!).
- If your oven has a broiler, broil potatoes for additional 5 minutes or until they are golden on brown
Focused on the Magic
If you have ever eaten at California Grill in Disney World this is the exact recipe of their chocolate souffle – and it is so so good!!
2 sticks of butter
5 egg yolks
4 whole eggs
3⁄4 cup sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
- Preheat oven to 375°F. Lightly butter sides of 6 individual (3⁄4 cup) ramekins. Lightly coat with sugar, shake out excess.
2. Melt chocolate and butter in top of double boiler set over simmering water. Stir until smooth. Remove from over water and cool for 10 minutes.
3. Beat egg yolks and whole eggs together in a large bowl; add sugar and beat until thick and light, about 2 minutes.
4. Fold in chocolate mixture.
5. Sift flour, then fold into batter, mixing until smooth.
6. Divide batter among prepared cups, filling 3⁄4 full.
7. Place on a baking sheet and bake about 35 to 40 minutes or until sides of cake are set and middle is still soft.
8. Using a small knife, cut around sides of cakes to loosen. Invert onto plates and serve with your favorite ice cream.
Do you have any special Valentine’s Day traditions? Let me know in the comments!