In Suzi's Words

A little bit of laughter, inspiration, & encouragement

A Romantic Valentine’s Day Dinner at Home

depositphotos_5055231-Stamp-happy-valentines-day-and-i-love-you.

Often times a nice quiet dinner at home is much more romantic than a busy, noisy restaurant.  Set up a small table for two in front of the fireplace, keep the table-scape simple yet elegant, keep the lighting low, and the meal easy to prepare but dazzling and melt-in-your-mouth delightful.

If you have a black thumb when it comes to cooking, I’ll bet right about now you are thinking what you’d rather make for your sweetie is reservations, don’t be intimidated – this dinner is so easy to make, even rookie cooks can come out looking like Cordon Bleu graduates!

Valentine’s Day Menu

Peggy Crandall’s Sirloin Steak with Cognac Cream Sauce

Sautéed Asparagus and Peas

Patty Johnson’s Garlic Mashed Potato Casserole

(Yes garlic, it’s OK if you both eat it!)

Barefoot Contessa’s Chocolate dipped Strawberries

(Because every girl loves a little chocolate)

A bottle of your favorite red wine

Sirloin Steak with Cognac Cream Sauce

 4 Sirloin steaks, 3/4 – 1 inch thick, 8-10 oz. each

2 T. unsalted butter

2 T. vegetable oil

1/4 cup cognac

1/4 cup half and half

4 T. Dijon mustard

Salt and Pepper to taste

Remove steaks from the refrigerator 30-45 minutes before cooking and set aside. Just before cooking, pat dry w/ paper towel and season w/ salt and pepper to taste.

Heat the butter and oil in a large cast-iron or heavy skillet over moderately high heat until hot, but not smoking.  Add steaks and cook to the desired doneness, about 4 minutes per side four medium rare. Transfer to a warm platter and cover loosely with foil.

Remove the skillet from the heat and add the cognac.  Using a wooden spoon,  scrape up any flavor bits that are stuck to the bottom of the pan and stir for 20-30 seconds or until the liquid has reduced by half.

Reduce the heat to medium and return the skillet to the stove top.  Taste the sauce for seasoning. Add the cream, mustard and salt and pepper, if needed, and whisk well.

Simmer, so that bubbles just break the surface, for about 1 minute or until the sauce thickens.  Stir in any meat juices that may have drained from the steaks onto the warm platter.

To serve, place each steak on a plate and spoon the sauce over it and the potatoes.

red string of hearts

Sautéed Asparagus and Peas

2 T. unsalted butter

1 ½ lbs. medium-thick asparagus

1 pkg. (10 oz.) frozen peas, thawed

Coarse salt and ground pepper

Trim the tough ends from the asparagus by holding the stalk at each end and snapping at the natural bend, then cut on the diagonal into 1 ½ inch lengths.

In a 12” skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Add asparagus; cook, stirring occasionally, until bright green and slightly softened, about 5 minutes.

Add the peas; cook, stirring, until the asparagus are tender and peas are heated through, about 5 minutes; season with salt and pepper.

red string of hearts

Patty Johnson’s Yummy Garlic Mashed Potato Casserole

4 large Idaho baking potatoes peeled & cubed

4 oz. cream cheese

½ cup sour cream

1 t. garlic salt

½ t. pepper

2 T. butter

Paprika

Boil the potatoes in a 5-quart saucepan until tender.  Drain and mash well; set aside.

With an electric mixer, beat together the cream cheese and the sour cream; gradually incorporate this mixture into the mashed potatoes with the garlic salt and pepper and beat until smooth.

Turn the potatoes into a shallow, buttered casserole dish.  Dot the potatoes with the butter and sprinkle with paprika.  Cover and bake in a 400° oven for 50 minutes, or until heated throughout.

Note: This dish can be assembled and refrigerated up to 3 days before baking, but do not dot with butter or sprinkle with Paprika until just before baking. Also, be sure to bring the casserole to room temperature before baking.

red string of hearts

Barefoot Contessa’s Chocolate-Dipped Strawberries

1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips

6 T. heavy cream

12 long-stemmed strawberries (organic if possible)

Wash the strawberries and gently dry with a paper towel; set aside.

Melt the chocolate chips and cream together in a large glass bowl that is set over a saucepan of simmering water until just melted. Mix well and remove from the heat.

One at a time, hold the strawberry by the stem and dip each one in the chocolate covering only half of the strawberry so some of the red berry is exposed; set aside on waxed or parchment paper to dry. Chill at least 15 minutes to set the chocolate.

red string of hearts

All of these recipes serve four, reheat and repeat – you romantic you!

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2 thoughts on “A Romantic Valentine’s Day Dinner at Home

  1. Pingback: 3 Steps to Making This Year’s Valentine’s Day the Best Ever « In Suzi's Words

  2. Thanks for the link love!

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