Valentine’s Day is this weekend and if you haven’t prepared a nice evening for your special someone, that’s ok, we’re here to tell you that it’s not too late to cook up something special, both on and off the plate. It will take some effort on your part but it will be worth it in the end!
For many homes, any flat surface becomes a magnet for clutter. The first thing you’ll want to do is tidy up the clutter. Cleaning up an area can help it feel more open and relaxing. The added bonus is that just cleaning and decluttering an area will always be something your significant other absolutely appreciates.
Now that the setting is clean, you can begin to plan your special evening.
Setting a theme can help you maneuver through the planning process. What do you plan to cook? What do you plan to drink? Wine? Cocktails? Are there any special dietary guidelines that you need to be aware of? All of these questions have a wide array of possible answers that will be unique to your situation. We’ve prepared a sample dinner below with some basic instructions on how to prepare.
Many people don’t know where to start when it comes to setting the table, but if it helps, remember that simple is beautiful. A nice tablecloth with candles and dim lighting can create an intimate environment even from the comfort of your own kitchen.
Preparing the meal will be the most work-intensive part of the evening, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be easy or fun. It is for that reason we chose to prepare a dish that allows us to create a five-star meal despite our less than five-star knowledge of cooking. With that in mind, we’ll be avoiding the hearty ribeye and going with the filet mignon, a smaller and more tender cut. We’ll pair the steak with roasted mixed vegetables on top of brown rice. For our drinks, we’ll have a glass of ice water and pop the cork on a bottle of our favorite merlot. The low tannins in a merlot mean you’re getting a much sweeter wine without sacrificing the complexity of flavors.
Cooking a steak can seem like a daunting task. If you follow these steps for our sample Valentine’s Day home-cooked dinner, you’ll look like an accomplished chef in no time.
Step 1: Preheat your oven to 400 and place your vegetables on a baking sheet with parchment paper on top. Season to taste with olive oil and whatever herbs and spices the both of you enjoy. Make sure there is an even coating among all your vegetables. Once the oven is preheated, place your baking sheet inside and let it cook for 30-40 minutes, continue to check on them while preparing other aspects of the meal. The vegetables should just be beginning to char on the tips when you pull them out of the oven. Let the steak warm to room temperature during this time.
Step 2: Measure out between ⅔ and 1 cup of rice and rinse. Using a ratio of roughly 2 cups of water to every one cup of rice, measure out how much water you’ll need and combine both into a medium-sized saucepan. Add in a tablespoon of olive oil, bring the water to a boil, then cover and reduce heat until rice is ready, about 40 minutes give or take.
Step 3: Turn one of your burners to high heat and after coating a skillet in either butter or olive oil, allow the skillet to heat up. Season your steak with salt and pepper. Once you’ve seasoned your steak and the skillet is nice and hot, place the filets as close to the center as possible. Flip after two minutes, ensuring there is a nice sear on each side.
Step 4: Place steaks in the oven on a baking sheet and finish to your liking (rare, medium-rare, medium, etc..).The rarer you prefer your steak, the lower your time in the oven should be, no more than 5-8 minutes.
Step 5: After removing the steaks from the oven, let them sit on a cool plate and rest for 5-7 minutes. While they are resting, you’ll be plating. Start with the rice first, then the vegetables on top of the rice. For added color, squeeze a lemon wedge onto the vegetables and rice. Place a lemon wedge garnish, then add the steak.
(Optional): A store-bought house salad with a light vinaigrette can serve as a perfect appetizer.
Remember, don’t forget to wrap-up with your favorite choice of dessert!
We hope you have a safe and enjoyable Valentine’s Day this year.