Saint Valentine’s Day Dinner.

As another mean cold bug hit, extravagant valentines plans were out the window. Not that I wanted to go out to a super crowded, slow service dinner then an over packed movie in the first place, but plans had to change. Evan and I decided to stay home, make a tasty dinner and watch movies in the luxury of our home.

We wanted a juicy dinner that we don’t have every night so we opted for grilled New York strip steak, baked Parmesan asparagus, and home made garlic bread on the barbecue. Do southerns only say ‘grill’ when referring to grilling? Up north in Michigan, we used to say ‘barbecue’, so that’s what I mean. To each is own, right?

While saying ‘nice dinner that we don’t have every night’ is true, it could all change since this was an easy dinner to put together even if it wasn’t both of us working in the kitchen. With prep time and cooking, it didn’t take more than 30 minutes.

Evan fired up the grill while I prepped everything else. In our house, grilling is his game. I’ve had some scary experiences so any chance I get to not grill, I’ll take!

STEAKS

I’m not an expert on steak, but I guess New York strip steak is a less fatty steak and super simple to prepare. About 30 minutes before grilling we took the steaks out of the refrigerator and let them sit out. We turned the grill on high to heat up. Then Evan poked them lightly with a fork. Next he rubbed about 1 teaspoon of Worcestershire sauce on each of the steaks, followed by a dry rub of salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Lastly, he drizzled and rubbed a little olive oil on each side.

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Once the steaks were prepared, grill for 5-6 minutes on each side for medium rare. We bought 1/2 in. thick steaks, but if you buy thicker ones grill steaks for 7-8 minutes or until desired redness. Once they are done, set each steak on individual plates and top with 1/2 tablespoon of butter. Cover the steaks with foil for a couple of minutes to let the flavors and juices set.

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 GARLIC BREAD

Oil: In a small saucepan heat up 1 tablespoon olive oil, 2 tablespoons butter, and 2 cloves grated garlic. I used a hand held metal garlic clamp, this makes it extremely easy to squeeze out all the good stuff! Stir until all melted together. Set aside.
Bread: Buy a large french baguette and slice it in half long ways. Then cut into about 4 or 5 smaller pieces. Now spread garlic oil evenly onto pieces of bread.

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During the last 5 minutes of grilling the steaks, arrange bread faced down on the top rack of grill. Cover for 2 minutes, then flip the bread and cover for 1 more minute. Keep an eye on these pieces as they can burn very easily. I like mine more on the charred side, but you may want to keep them on for a shorter period of time.

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ASPARAGUS

Can’t have a dinner without a green on your plate! That’s my rule of thumb, and I try to stick to it for every meal. These yummy green sticks have a lot of nutrients, so they were a perfect addition while I am sick. First, preheat oven to 375ºF. To prepare asparagus I first cut or break off the thicker woody bottoms. If you bend them one at a time, they tend to snap off where the woody part becomes too thick. This is how I have always prepared them, and you don’t even need a cutting board! Next I rinsed the greens, and pat them dry with a paper towel and spread them out onto a baking sheet. Using extra virgin olive oil, drizzle a couple tablespoons over the stalks and mix them with your hands to ensure full coverage. Sprinkle salt and pepper over top, and place in the oven for 7-9 minutes.

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Once then have softened, take them out of the oven, turn on the broiler, and sprinkle a couple tablespoons of shredded Parmesan cheese, and place back into the oven for 2-3 more minutes. Keep an eye on the asparagus so it doesn’t burn. Remove and set aside to cool.

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Needless to say, this was a juicy, well balanced Valentine’s dinner for two. The best part was that I got to spend time with my loved ones. I feel that the kitchen brings people together is all sorts of ways, if you don’t believe me, try it! Next time you want a break from your original date nights, stay in, pick a different meal to make and challenge yourselves. It is more fun that you might think. Here is the finished product!

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Also, my parents stopped by the house and dropped off mounds of chocolates, wine and presents. My mom goes all out for valentines day, so it didn’t surprise me. Love her!

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Of course, I can’t forget the beautiful earrings from Evan. Let’s just say I felt the love this Valentine’s day.

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Enjoy as much as I did, and Stay creATEive.

Grilled Steak, Roasted Parmesan Asparagus, and Garlic Bread. 


Serves 2

Ingredients

For the Steaks: 

  • 2 Steaks at about 1/2 lb each
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter

For the Bread:

  • 1 baguette french bread
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 cloves garlic

For the Asparagus:

  • 1 lb asparagus
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons shredded Parmesan cheese

Instructions 

Steaks:

  1. Turn on grill to high heat.
  2. After the steaks have been sitting out of the refrigerator for 30 minutes, gently poke them with a fork on each side. Rub Worcestershire sauce on each side and sprinkle dry ingredients. Drizzle and rub olive oil on both sides.
  3. Grill on each side for 5-6 minutes, or until desired redness.
  4. Remove from grill onto warm plate, top with butter and cover with foil until ready to eat.

Garlic Bread: 

  1. Over medium heat in small saucepan, heat up oil, butter, and garlic. Set aside for 1 minute to slightly cool.
  2. Spread a little butter on pieces of bread, then drizzle garlic oil over bread.
  3. Place bread faced down on top rack of grill. Close and grill for 2 minutes. Turn bread, and grill for another minute or until desired crisp.
  4. Remove from grill and set on plate.

Asparagus: 

  1. Pre-heat oven to 375ºF.
  2. Cut or snap off woody bottoms of asparagus.
  3. Rinse well and pat dry with paper towel.
  4. Spread onto baking sheet, drizzle and cover with olive oil. Sprinkle on salt and black pepper.
  5. Bake for 7-9 minutes. Remove sheet from oven, and turn on the broiler setting. Sprinkle over with Parmesan cheese and place back in the oven for 2 more minutes. Remove when done, set out to cool for a minute and serve hot.

Serve with a bold glass of wine and some love.

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