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A Quick Valentine´s Day Menu

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A special meal for two in less than an hour.

Even if you don’t have a lot of time, you can still make dishes that feel special, yet can be pulled off without a lot of prep. The centerpiece of this bistro-inspired menu is a pepper crusted steak, which cooks in less than 15 minutes thanks to the classic restaurant technique of sear-roasting. It’s rounded out with a simple, refreshing herb salad with radishes, and roasted potatoes. For an impressive finish, individual chocolate-espresso soufflés can be prepared days in advance, frozen, and popped in the oven when you’re ready for dessert. 

Menu Timeline

Up to a week in advance:

  • Prepare the chocolate-espresso soufflés but do not bake them. Freeze the filled ramekins for 20 minutes, then wrap well in plastic and return them to the freezer.

Forty-five minutes before dinner:

  • Heat the oven to 475°F.
  • Remove the steaks from the refrigerator.
  • Make the rosemary-lemon-thyme-infused oil for the potatoes.
  • Slice and combine the celery, radishes, and parsley for the salad.

Thirty minutes before dinner

  • Toss the potatoes with their infused oil, arrange them on the baking sheet and put them in the oven to roast.
  • Season the steaks with salt and crushed pepper.
  • When the potatoes are done, remove them from the oven and raise the temperature to 500°F
  • Sear the steak and transfer to the oven to roast.
  • When the steak is done, remove it from the oven, tent with foil, and make the pan sauce.

Just before dinner

  • Dress and toss the salad.
  • Lower oven heat to 400°F. Remove soufflés from the freezer, unwrap, and let them sit at room temperature.

For dessert:

  • Bake the soufflés and garnish them with raspberries. Seve immediately.

Shopping List

Fresh Produce:

  • 1 lb. potatoes (red, yellow or russet)
  • 10 medium or 12 small red radishes
  • 3 large ribs celery
  • 1 large lemon
  • 1 bunch fresh rosemary
  • 1 bunch fresh thyme
  • 1 large bunch fresh flat-leaf parsley

Meat, Eggs & Dairy:

  • 2 New York strip or sirloin steaks (6 to 8 oz. each), 3/4 inch thick
  • 1 large egg
  • 6 Tbs. unsalted butter

Other Groceries

  • 1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. espresso powder or instant coffee granules
  • 2 oz. bittersweet chocolate
  • 1/2 cup red wine (Cabernet Sauvignon or Pinot Noir)
  • 1 Tbs. dark rum or brandy (optional)

Pantry Staples:

  • 5-7 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • Granulated sugar for dusting
  • Kosher salt
  • Table salt
  • Black peppercorns

The Menu

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