This weekend Ben and I celebrated Valentine’s Day a little early by making Surf and Turf for Two to share with all of you! Don’t feel like going out next weekend? Stay in and make this incredibly decadent and special feast with your sweetie instead.
These days Ben and I go out to dinner alone very rarely, so we celebrate special occasions at home with fancy meals like Ben’s Surf and Turf for Two. He does this dish better than anyone, so I asked if I could document him making it for the blog. He enthusiastically agreed, though he was less enthusiastic about getting his picture taken for the post. In fact, his exact words were, “ok, what do I have to do to get this over with?” Stand there and smile, sweetie. Click!
First we’ve got the SURF. Many surf and turf combos call for shrimp as the surf, but if you want to go all out, get scallops instead. It’s the right thing to do. Scallops are one of my favorite foods on the planet and are a CINCH to cook. They literally take 3 minutes from start to finish. Scallops have a mild seafood flavor and a fabulous, dense yet silky texture that’s unlike any fish or shrimp you’ve ever had. I could eat them every day!
Next we have the TURF. Since I’m suggesting you make this dish for Valentine’s Day next weekend, splurge and get filet mignon. The creme de la creme of beef cuts. Buttery-soft, melts in your mouth, totally worth the price tag. I’ll show you, or Ben will I suppose, how to cook the steaks so they’re perfectly cooked from the inside out, plus how to make the simple wine and rosemary-infused pan sauce that’s drizzled on top.
Surf + turf + wine + flowers = recipe for Valentine’s Day dinner success. Plus chocolate, of course!
Step 1: Make the Mashed Potatoes
Start by making the mashed potatoes. I don’t know if mashed potatoes are classically served with S&T, but that’s how we roll so that’s how you shall roll too. Boil 1 large peeled and chopped potato until tender then mash with 2 Tablespoons butter, 1 Tablespoon milk, and salt to taste. DONE!
Step 2: Make the Steak and Pan Sauce
Next, the turf. Like I said you guys, filet mignon. Gotta do it. We rarely buy filet mignon because the price tag is so far up there (these were $15/steak,) but sometime you gotta splurge. YOLO! You’ll need 2, 8oz filet mignon steaks that are cut 2″ thick. These steaks were so tender you could press into them with your thumb and the impression stayed. #funwithmeat
Ben’s parents live near a butcher in Washington DC who sells the most incredible spice rub, so Ben tried to replicate it for our steaks and I think he came really close. It’s a mixture of rock salt, peppercorns, fennel seeds, red chili pepper flakes, dried minced garlic, and dried minced onion. Add the spices to a mortar and pestle then coarsely grind. Alternatively you could use a spice grinder, or use your favorite store-bought steak seasoning instead.
Rub both sides of the steaks with a little bit of extra virgin olive oil then generously season each side with the rub. Remember this is a TON of meat so don’t be afraid to really pile it on there.
Add the steaks to a large, oven-safe cast iron or heavy bottomed skillet over medium-high heat with 2 Tablespoons melted butter then sear until a golden brown crust has formed on the bottom, about 2 minutes.
Flip the steaks then transfer the entire skillet into a 400 degree oven and roast for 10 minutes for medium doneness. Again, we had 2″ thick steaks so if yours are smaller or bigger than that, decrease or increase the roasting time accordingly. Transfer the steaks to a plate then lightly tent with a piece of foil. Steaks this size need a good 15 minutes to rest, which is the perfect amount of time to make the pan sauce and sear the scallops!
Place the steak skillet back over medium-high heat (and do remember the handle will be HOT from the oven,) then add 1 Tablespoon minced shallot and saute in the drippings for 30 seconds. Add 1/2 cup red wine (I used cabernet – just don’t use anything sweet,) 1 crushed and peeled garlic clove, and a sprig of fresh rosemary. Once the wine has reduced by half, add 1 cup low-sodium gluten-free beef broth then simmer until the sauce has thickened and reduced, 7-9 minutes. Finish by stirring in 1 Tablespoon butter.
Step 3: Make the Scallops
While the sauce is simmering away, prepare the surf – again we used 6 large scallops. Pat the scallops dry between layers of paper towels then season the tops with salt and pepper.
Heat 1 Tablespoon each butter and extra virgin olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat then add the scallops seasoned side down and sear for 90 seconds. Season the second side with salt and pepper then flip and sear for another 90 seconds.
NOTE: Usually you’ll get a beautiful crispy crust on the scallops but between Ben trying to cook, me trying to photograph the steps, and both of us trying not to trip over Lincoln, it was a busy, chaotic kitchen and somehow the burner under the scallop skillet got turned off while we were cooking these. The scallops in these photos were wonderful and perfectly cooked through, but they didn’t get the crispy sear like yours will.
All together now! Scoop the mashed potatoes onto two plates then top with the steaks and three scallops a piece. Drizzle the pan sauce on top then pour a glass of wine, if you please, and dig in. I hope you love this luscious, restaurant worthy dish – enjoy!
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Surf and Turf for Two
Surf and Turf for Two with sea scallops and filet mignon with rosemary-wine pan sauce is an elegant, decadent dish to make with a loved one at home!
- For the mashed potatoes:
- 1 large russet potato, peeled then chopped
- 2 Tablespoons butter
- 1 Tablespoon milk
- salt, to taste
- For the steak and pan sauce:
- 2, 8oz filet mignon steaks, cut 2" thick
- 3/4 Tablespoon rock salt
- 1-1/2 teaspoons black peppercorns
- 1/2 teaspoon dried minced garlic
- 1/2 teaspoon dried minced onion
- big pinch fennel seeds
- small pinch red chili pepper flakes
- drizzle extra virgin olive oil
- 2 Tablespoons butter, divided
- 1 Tablespoon minced shallot
- 1 garlic clove, crushed and peeled
- 1 sprig fresh rosemary
- 1/2 cup red wine, like cabernet
- 1 cup low-sodium gluten-free beef broth
- For the scallops:
- 6 large scallops
- salt and pepper
- 1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 Tablespoon butter
- Place steak on a plate on the counter to warm up for about 20 minutes before starting to cook. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Add potatoes to a large pot filled with cold water then bring to a boil and cook until tender. Drain then mash potatoes with butter, milk, and salt and then set aside.
- For the steak: Add rock salt, peppercorns, dried garlic, dried onion, fennel, and red chili pepper flakes to a mortar and pestle then coarsely crush seasonings. Alternatively you could use a spice grinder or use your favorite store-bought steak rub instead. Drizzle tops of steaks with extra virgin olive oil then generously sprinkle on spice rub and rub into steaks. Repeat on the other side.
- Heat a large, oven-safe cast iron or heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-high heat then add 1 Tablespoon butter. Once melted add steaks then sear until steaks have formed a golden brown crust on the bottom, 2 minutes. Flip steaks then place entire skillet into oven and roast for 10 minutes for medium (adjust roasting time up or down depending on how thick your steaks are - ours were 2" thick.) Remove steaks to a plate then tent a piece of foil on top and set aside to rest.
- Place skillet back over medium-high heat then add shallots and saute for 30 seconds. Add rosemary, garlic, and wine then simmer until wine is reduced by half, and then add beef broth and simmer until sauce is thickened and reduced, 7-9 minutes. Add remaining Tablespoon butter, taste and add salt and pepper if necessary, and then set sauce aside.
- For the scallops: While the pan sauce is reducing, melt butter and extra virgin olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Pat scallops dry between layers of paper towel, season with salt and pepper, and then place seasoned side down in hot skillet and sear for 90 seconds. Season tops with salt and pepper then flip and sear for 90 more seconds.
- Scoop mashed potatoes onto plates then add steaks and scallops. Drizzle with pan sauce then serve.
- Use store bought steak seasoning instead of the seasonings above if you don't have a mortar and pestle or spice grinder.
This recipe is courtesy of Iowa Girl Eats, http://iowagirleats.com.