So here we are Valentine’s Day again. I decided this year instead of having a pity party for myself I would celebrate by myself by cooking a fancy dinner. Just because I am single doesn’t mean I should miss out on all the fun! I decided to go with a steakhouse dinner with potatoes, filet and a wilted salad. This is the perfect meal to make for your loved one or just to treat yourself! Steak, potatoes and bacon, as the Barefoot Contessa would say, how bad can that be?
Now this dish does take some coordination since everything has different cooking times but it is so worth it (and worth dirtying 3 pans). We will start with the potatoes.
2 Russet Potatoes (plan one per person)
1 large yellow onion
1 1/2 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon paprika
3/4 cup of beef broth
S&P to taste
These potatoes are inspired by a steakhouse my family used to go to when I was growing up. Unfortunately I didn’t eat “chicken” (I called all meat chicken growing up and generally didn’t like it) at the time so instead of steak I would order French Onion Soup as my meal (which was delish) and steal some of my moms potatoes from her steak plate. How I wish I could go back there now to have a steak but recreating their potatoes will have to do.
Peel your onion and cut it in half. Cut the halves into half inch strips. Coat your pan with evoo and toss in onions. Season with salt and pepper. Wash two russet potatoes and dry. Now I used used two even though I was cooking for one because I want left over potatoes for breakfast tomorrow (more to follow on that…). Cut ends off the potatoes and cut them into half inch disks, about the same size as the onions. You can leave the skin on but if it bothers you, go ahead and peel them. Add the potatoes to the onions. Stir the onions and potatoes occasionally until potatoes start to get a little brown and crisp. Add in cayenne pepper and paprika. Pour in some of your beef broth and cover. Sort of like risotto add some broth, stir and let it cook out. This whole process will take 20-30 minutes or so. Once the potatoes are cooked through you will notice the onion will sort of just melt into the beef broth and that’s when it is done! Cover the pan and turn off the heat, you can warm them up when it’s time to serve.
2 slices of bacon (2 slices per person)
1/4 of an onion, minced
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 cup of chopped iceberg lettuce
This recipe is very special to me because it was something my Pop Pop used to make. It was his favorite side dish to pair with a steak. I think of him every time I make it. In this salad, you use bacon fat as the oil for your dressing and pour it over your greens while it is still warm, causing it to wilt. I have also made many versions of it using different greens and shallots. Now I am pretty sure my Pop Pop didn’t add onions and used white vinegar but it is still close to what he would’ve done.
Cut bacon into pieces and cook in dry pan. Once bacon is crisp remove from pan and put on a paper towel to drain. Turn the heat down to low and add your onion to the bacon fat. Season with salt and pepper. Cook until onion is translucent. Add white wine vinegar to the pan. I like a lot of vinegar so feel free to adjust how much you put in depending on how vinegar-y you like your dressing. Toss lettuce with bacon. Set the dressing pan aside until it is time to serve.
1 6oz filet
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoon of butter
Tons of salt and pepper
I have discovered that the secret to making a great steakhouse quality steak is tons of salt and pepper and butter. This was the first time I have really mastered cooking a filet at home, it really tasted like a restaurant. Season both sides of your filet with tons of salt and pepper. Add butter and olive oil to a cast iron skillet and turn heat on medium-high. Butter will add great flavor to the steak and olive oil will keep the butter from burning. Allow the butter and oil to heat up and bubble. You want your pan to be very hot so that you get a nice crusty sear on your steak. Slowly drop you steak in, you should hear a sizzle. Do not touch it now until it is time to turn. Cook for 3-4 minutes depending on the thickness of your steak. Flip over and add another pad of butter directly on top of your steak. Cook for another 3-4 minutes. Remove steak from pan and allow it to rest for a few minutes before you cut into it to eat.
While your steak is resting turn the heat back onto your potatoes to warm them and heat up your dressing a little bit as well. Pour dressing over the lettuce/ bacon, put a scoop of potatoes on your plate next to your steak and pour yourself a big glass of red wine. Whether you are treating yourself or making this dish for a loved one this is the perfect Valentine’s Day dinner at home! Enjoy!
Happy Valentine’s Day!