Valentine’s Dinner for Two

The Dude Diet is taking a brief hiatus until next week (in writing, not in practice) because I don’t have the heart to make fun of Logan so close to Valentine’s Day. Since I’m feeling uncharacteristically warm and fuzzy this close to February 14th, I would just like to say that despite his nutritional idiocy, Logan is the funniest, smartest, most wonderful person that I know (other than myself). When he’s not snoring, watching football, or eating pigs in a blanket, he’s the best boyfriend/roommate a girl could ask for. I would also like to thank him for being my Dude Diet muse and allowing me to publicly skewer him on a weekly basis. His journey towards a wonderland body has done wonders for my blog traffic, and for this I will be eternally grateful.

valentines-dinner-for-two
The night we met. A story for another time…

We all know that Valentine’s Day is about showering your significant other with love and affection, and there’s no better way to do that than by cooking a delicious dinner for two. Ladies, dudes appreciate a woman with some serious kitchen skills, especially when such skills are put to use while wearing revealing clothing. Dudes, there is nothing hotter than a man that can cook. You better believe that cooking a delicious dinner will melt a woman’s heart faster than you can say “Justin Beiber.” For the record, most women would much prefer a home-cooked meal to a tacky piece of jewelry on Valentine’s Day. (I’ve never heard of a single kiss actually beginning with Kay.) Making dinner together is also an excellent idea for Valentine’s Day, even if one of you is just drinking cocktails by the stove.  It’s all about togetherness.

This V-Day, I suggest you try Filet Mignon with Red Wine Sauce and Cauliflower Puree with Parmesan and Chives:

filet-mignon-with-red-wine-sauce-and-cauliflower-puree-with-parmesan-and-chives
XOXO

Nothing says I love you (or “I like you a lot”) better than a perfectly cooked steak. And I can’t say enough good things about this cauliflower puree. It’s a little bit cheesy, a little bit spicy, and a lot awesome. Scared of making a red wine sauce? Don’t be. This version is incredibly easy to whip up, and it’s the perfect red-tinged touch to a kick-ass Valentine’s dinner. And despite looking and tasting incredibly decadent, this Dude Diet-friendly feast won’t weigh you down for whatever romantic activities you have planned later on.*

I am fully aware that Valentine’s Day is tomorrow, and that those of you who were planning to stay-in probably already have a delicious menu in mind. Good for you! Just to be safe, I suggest you keep this recipe in your back pocket, since the entire meal can be ready in less than 40 minutes. (I’ve learned never to enter the kitchen without a plan B.) So, on the off-chance that you attempt something overly ambitious tomorrow evening that turns into a kitchen disaster, don’t panic and call Dominos immediately. (Dominos should always be plan C.) Try this idiot-proof recipe instead. Crisis averted.

What’s that? You have dinner reservations tomorrow night? Well, I’m certainly not going to tell you to cancel them in favor of staying in, lighting some candles and having an amazingly romantic home-cooked meal with the potential love of your life. Going out on Valentine’s Day is the best. I love waiting hours for my table, being seated on top of other PDA couples, and having my server ignore me on one of the busiest restaurant days of the year! If you’re really lucky, maybe you’ll even get to see someone propose, which is never awkward. I’m sure you’ll have a great time at whatever establishment you’ve chosen, but just in case you change your mind about going out, this recipe will be hanging out here…

If you are currently cursing your computer because you don’t have a significant other to cook for, get over yourself. Obviously, this is also a great meal to make for a friend or roommate, and you know I’m a die-hard advocate of cooking for one. Being single is awesome. You won’t be alone forever, and when your prince/princess charming comes along, you’re going to miss having your own bathroom and being able to starfish in your bed. Trust me. In the meantime, a delicious steak and cauliflower puree will make your single-ass feel like a million bucks, so get cooking! At the very least, you’ll need some protein to soak up all the booze and sugar you’re going to consume tomorrow.

Happy Valentine’s Day, lovers! May it bring you all of the candy and compliments that you deserve.

*Get your mind out of the gutter, I was referring to eating Crack Brownies in your pajamas together…

Filet Mignon with Red Wine Sauce: (Serves 2)

Ingredients;
2 filet mignon steaks (approx. 6-8 oz each)
2 tbsp olive oil
Salt
Fresh ground pepper
For the sauce:
1 tbsp olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
1 large shallot, minced
2 cups full-bodied red wine
1 tsp soy sauce
1 tsp sugar
Salt and pepper to taste

 

Preparing your Filet Mignon with Red Wine Sauce:

-Pat the steaks dry and season both sides with salt and fresh ground pepper.

-Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a cast-iron skillet (yes, a regular pan is also fine). When hot, add the steaks. Cook for approximately 6 minutes on each side for medium-rare, depending on the thickness of the steaks.

-Remove the steaks from the pan and cover loosely with aluminum foil.

-Add another tbsp of olive oil to the same pan and add the minced garlic and shallots. Sauté for 1 minute until the garlic is fragrant.

-Add the red wine (I used a Cabernet Sauvignon because it was what I happened to be drinking, but you can use any kind you like), the soy sauce, and the sugar. Allow the sauce to reduce at a low boil until it becomes thick and syrupy. This should take about ten minutes.

-Strain the sauce to remove all the solids. Season with a little salt and pepper if needed (you made a sauce!) and drizzle over the steaks before serving. Bon appétit!

filet-mignon-with-red-wine-sauce
Feel free to get weird with your saucing.
filet-mignon-with-red-wine-sauce-and-cauliflower-puree-with-parmesan-and-chives
Or go minimalist chic…
Cauliflower Puree with Parmesan and Chives: (Serves 4)
Ingredients:
1 head cauliflower, core removed, cut into florets
1 quart skim milk
1 clove garlic, minced
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp white pepper
2 tbsp grated parmesan cheese
3 tbsp chopped chives

 

Preparing your puree:

-In a large pot, combine the skim milk, minced garlic, salt and pepper. Mix well and add the cauliflower florets.

-Bring to a simmer, cover with a lid and continue to simmer for 12 -15 minutes until very tender. Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly.

-Strain the cauliflower, reserving the cooking liquid.

-Puree the cauliflower with 1/3 up of the cooking liquid in a blender or food processor until smooth. (If it’s too thick, add a little more of the cooking liquid. Duh.)

-Pour the puree into a pot or bowl and mix in the parmesan cheese and chopped chives. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm. Healthy, impressive, and delicious!

cauliflower-puree-with-parmesan-and-chives
You know you want them.

Filet Mignon with Red Wine Sauce

Yield: 2 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 filet mignon steaks (approx. 6-8 oz each)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • Salt
  • Fresh ground pepper
  • For the sauce:
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 large shallot, minced
  • 2 cups full-bodied red wine
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Pat the steaks dry and season both sides with salt and fresh ground pepper.
  2. Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a cast-iron skillet (yes, a regular pan is also fine). When hot, add the steaks. Cook for approximately 6 minutes on each side for medium-rare, depending on the thickness of the steaks.Remove the steaks from the pan and cover loosely with aluminum foil.
  3. Add another tbsp of olive oil to the same pan and add the minced garlic and shallots. Sauté for 1 minute until the garlic is fragrant. Add the red wine (I used a Cabernet Sauvignon because it was what I happened to be drinking, but you can use any kind you like), the soy sauce, and the sugar. Allow the sauce to reduce at a low boil until it becomes thick and syrupy. This should take about ten minutes.
  4. Strain the sauce to remove all the solids. Season with a little salt and pepper if needed (you made a sauce!) and drizzle over the steaks before serving.
http://www.domesticate-me.com/valentines-dinner-for-two/

Cauliflower Puree with Parmesan and Chives: (Serves 4)

Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 head cauliflower, core removed, cut into florets
  • 1 quart skim milk
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp white pepper
  • 2 tbsp grated parmesan cheese
  • 3 tbsp chopped chives

Instructions

  1. In a large pot, combine the skim milk, minced garlic, salt and pepper. Mix well and add the cauliflower florets. Bring to a simmer, cover with a lid and continue to simmer for 12 -15 minutes until very tender. Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly.
  2. Strain the cauliflower, reserving the cooking liquid.
  3. Puree the cauliflower with 1/3 up of the cooking liquid in a blender or food processor until smooth. (If it’s too thick, add a little more of the cooking liquid. Duh.)
  4. Pour the puree into a pot or bowl and mix in the parmesan cheese and chopped chives. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm.
http://www.domesticate-me.com/valentines-dinner-for-two/

  • http://www.sarcasticcooking.com/ Stefanie

    I totally agree with you. Steak is for dinner tonight. Forget all that sweet crap. Give me a nice medium steak!

  • http://www.mommyproof.com/ Mommyproof

    Just discovered your blog! Hi. The steak looks delish. I do have a lovely sig. other but also a lovely baby who has zapped any energy I ever had for cooking. Sadly, our Valentine’s Day involved ordering takeout we were almost too tired to pick up – at least it was an excuse to get sushi :)

    http://mommyproof.com/worst-valentines-ever-or-best-est/