Can you believe it’s almost Valentine’s Day? I can’t! Chances are, celebrating this year will look a little different. Many are opting out of their usual dinner reservations due to the ongoing global pandemic. So why not seize the opportunity again in this new world, and snuggle up with someone special and have a quiet Valentine’s date-night-in?
We collected some of our choice favorites into this restaurant worthy Valentine’s date-night dinner menu just for you! You can even print the menu to seem REALLY fancy!
Salad: Blackened Caesar Salad
Here’s a way to make a simple recipe (salad) seem special: grill it! The char infuses a fantastic flavor in this unique recipe. It’s definitely one of our favorites and a must-have if you’re looking for a restaurant experience Valentine’s date-night-in.
Also, check out my instagram post for shortcut if you’re looking for an even simpler Caesar!
Soup: French Onion Soup
We love French Onion Soup, and this innovative take uses potatoes as a topping. They’re creamy, and crunchy – without the need for bread or cheese. I love this as a pairing with steak! Alternatively, if you can’t do potatoes, we also love this Baked (not) Potato Soup which pairs perfectly with steak!
Main Entrée: Restaurant Steaks
We make this steak at least once a month- and by we, I mean Matt makes this steak for me when I’m feeling down or deficient in iron. Food has always been a language of love for us, and making this steak for me is one of the many ways Matt shows he loves me. In honor of your Valentine’s date-night-in, here is our foolproof method for cooking steaks:
- 2 (2 1/2-inch-thick) rib-eye steaks
- 2 tablespoons lard or butter
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat the oven to 350°F, and preheat a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat.
- Melt the lard in the skillet.
- Pat the steaks dry and liberally sprinkle each side with salt and pepper.
- Sear the steaks for about 3 minutes on each side, until a brown crust forms and it easily releases to flip.
- Once both sides are browned, transfer the skillet to the oven and cook until medium-rare (135°F), about 9 minutes.
- Allow the steaks to rest for at least 5 minutes before serving.
To check the doneness of steak (or any meat) without cutting it open, you can either 1) use a meat thermometer or 2) touch the meat. If using a meat thermometer, use the general guidelines for the type of meat being cooked on page 412 of Real Life Paleo (if you have it). If using the touch method, with the pad of your finger, try to bounce the center of the steak. If it has a lot of give (like uncooked meat would), it’s still too rare; if it is very sturdy and doesn’t move when pressed, it is well-done. A medium-cooked steak will have a slight give and bounce when pressed, similar to the way the meaty part of your palm feels. The more often you do this and see what the meat looks like inside, the more you’ll know what the different cooking temperatures feel like.
Dessert: Hot Chocolate Fallen Souffles
Finally, what dinner-date is complete without dessert? And these mini-cakes are sure to be a favorite! They may look special, but they are quick to whip up. Perfect for an over-the-top romantic evening with an easy dinner-date at home. What’s so neat about these treats is how the puffed up cupcakes fall like souffles as they cool. This creates the perfect crater to fill with a topping of your choice- like big ol’ marshmallow!
We hope you love these Valentine’s date-night-in recipes as much as we do. However you plan to celebrate this year, may it be safe and happy Valentine’s Day- from our family to yours!
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