Steak and scallops on a plate

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 for the holiday? Stay in and make this decadent and special feast with your sweetie instead.

Overhead photo of a plate of surf and turf for 2

Why Do They Call it Surf and Turf?

Surf and turf is the delicious combo of surf – ie seafood – and turf – ie beef. It’s special and elegant and oooo such a treat! My recipe for Surf and Turf for Two makes just enough for, you guessed it, two people to help celebrate any special occasion.

First we’ve got the SURF. Many surf and turf combos call for shrimp as the seafood portion, but if you want to go all out, get scallops instead. It’s the right thing to do. Scallops are one of my very favorite foods and cook in literally 3 minutes. They have a mild seafood flavor and a dense yet silky texture. For this recipe you’ll want to use large sea scallops.

seared scallops sliced in half on a plate

Next we have the TURF. I suggest you splurge and get the creme de la creme of beef cuts: filet mignon. Buttery-soft, melts in your mouth, and totally worth the price tag. I’ll show you 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.

Medium done steak sliced in half on a plate

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Surf and Turf Variations

Although Ben and I adore filet mignon and sea scallops, feel free to customize this meal to fit YOUR tastes!

  • Surf ideas: lobster tails, jumbo shrimp, lobster ravioli, king crag legs, bay scallops.
  • Turf ideas: ribeye steaks, T-bone steaks, lamb chops, Tomahawk steaks, prime rib.

Step 1: Season and Cook the Steaks

Start by letting 2, 8oz filet mignon steaks that are cut 2″ thick rest at room temperature for about 30 minutes. We want to take the chill off from the refrigerator so that the steaks cook evenly.

filet mignon steaks on butcher paper

You can of course use a pre-made seasoning mix, but my homemade steak seasoning is INSANE. Add rock salt, peppercorns, fennel seeds, red chili pepper flakes, dried minced garlic, and dried minced onion to a mortar and pestle then coarsely grind. Alternatively you could use a spice grinder.

Surf and Turf for Two #glutenfree | iowagirleats.com

Rub both sides of the steaks with a little bit of extra virgin olive oil then generously season each side with the seasoning mix. Remember this is a TON of meat so don’t be afraid to really pile it on there.

seasoned filet mignon steaks on butcher paper

Preheat a large, oven-safe cast iron skillet over medium-high heat until very hot then add 2 Tablespoons butter and let melt. Add the steaks then sear until a golden brown crust has formed on the bottom, about 2 minutes, and then flip.

filet mignons searing in butter in a skillet

Transfer the entire skillet into a 400 degree oven then 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 cutting board to rest for 10-15 minutes.

Steak Temperatures for Doneness

  • Rare (cool red center): 125 degrees
  • Medium rare (warm red center): 135 degrees
  • Medium (warm pink center): 145 degrees
  • Medium well (slightly pink center): 150 degrees
  • Well done (little or no pink): 160 degrees

cooked filet mignon steaks in a skillet

Tips for Achieving the Perfect Steak

  1. Let the steaks sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before searing to ensure they cook evenly.
  2. Ensure your skillet is screaming hot before adding the steaks to get that perfect sear.
  3. Rest the steaks for 10-15 minutes before slicing so the juices don’t run out.

Perfectly cooked filet mignon on a plate

Step 2: Make the Pan Sauce

While the steaks are resting, place the skillet back over medium-high heat (remember the handle will be BLAZING HOT from the oven,) then add 1 Tablespoon minced shallot and saute in the drippings for 30 seconds. Add 1/2 cup red wine, 1 crushed and peeled garlic clove, and a sprig of fresh rosemary. Once the wine has reduced by half, add 1 cup low-sodium beef broth then simmer until the sauce has thickened and reduced, 7-9 minutes. Finish by stirring in 1 Tablespoon butter.

wine pan sauce in a skillet for steaks

Step 3: Make the Scallops

While the sauce is simmering away, prepare the surf – again we used 6 large sea scallops. Pat the scallops dry between layers of paper towels then season the tops with lots of salt and pepper.

Surf and Turf for Two #glutenfree | iowagirleats.com

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat then, once very hot, add 1 Tablespoon each butter and extra virgin olive oil to the skillet. Add the scallops seasoned side down then sear for 90 seconds. Season the second side with salt and pepper then flip and sear for another 90 seconds.

Surf and Turf for Two #glutenfree | iowagirleats.com

Step 4: PLATE!

Transfer the rested steaks to two plates then pair with three scallops each. Drizzle the red wine pan sauce on top then dig in!

What to Serve with Surf and Turf

Surf and Turf for Two on plates with wine

Surf and Turf for Two

5

Description

Surf and Turf for Two is an elegant, decadent dish that WOWS. I'll break down the seasoning, sauce, and timing for you!

Ingredients

serves 2

  • For the steaks and seasoning:
    • 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
  • For the pan sauce:
    • 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 beef broth
    • 1 Tablespoon butter
  • For the scallops:
    • 1 Tablespoon butter
    • 1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
    • 6 large sea scallops
    • salt and pepper

Directions

  1. Place steak on a plate on the counter to warm up for about 30 minutes before starting to cook. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. For the steaks: 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.
  3. Heat a large, oven-safe cast iron or heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-high heat until very hot then add butter. Once melted, add steaks then sear until a golden brown crust has formed on the bottom, 2 minutes. Flip steaks then place entire skillet into oven and roast for 10 minutes for medium doneness (adjust roasting time up or down depending on how thick your steaks are - ours were 2" thick.) Remove steaks to a plate to rest while you prepare the rest of the dish.
  4. For the pan sauce: Place hot 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. Add beef broth then simmer until sauce is thickened and reduced, 7-9 minutes. Add butter, taste then add salt and pepper if necessary, and then set aside.
  5. For the scallops: Pat scallops very dry between layers of paper towels then season with salt and pepper on both sides. Melt butter and extra virgin olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat then add scallops and sear for 90 seconds. Flip then sear for 90 more seconds.
  6. Plate steaks and scallops on two plates then drizzle pan sauce over steaks and serve.

Notes

Variations: 

  • Surf ideas: lobster tails, jumbo shrimp, lobster ravioli, king crag legs, bay scallops.
  • Turf ideas: ribeye steaks, T-bone steaks, lamb chops, Tomahawk steaks, prime rib.
Steak Temperatures for Doneness:
  • Rare (cool red center): 125 degrees
  • Medium rare (warm red center): 135 degrees
  • Medium (warm pink center): 145 degrees
  • Medium well (slightly pink center): 150 degrees
  • Well done (little or no pink): 160 degrees
Tips for Achieving the Perfect Steak:
  • Let the steaks sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before searing to ensure it cooks evenly.
  • Ensure your skillet is screaming hot before adding the steaks to get that perfect sear.
  • Rest the steaks for 10-15 minutes before slicing so the juices don’t all run out.

This recipe is courtesy of Iowa Girl Eats, http://iowagirleats.com.

photo collage of surf and turf for 2