My original plan for Valentine’s Day dinner was a pretty exotic one. When we lived in Palo Alto, we used to go to this Italian restaurant and Cliff always ordered a dish with squid ink in it (yes, it was black). It didn’t make the dish overly fishy, I think the ink was used just for the black color. I found a dish that was similar to this in Jamie Oliver’s Cook with Jamie cookbook. It involved either squid ink, or black pasta and scallops. Sounded delicious and fun!
I went to Whole Foods thinking they could possibly have squid ink, if not, hopefully black pasta. They didn’t have either. When I asked the guy behind the seafood counter if they had squid ink, I think he thought I was talking about some exotic fish or something…not actual squid ink. I had to explain that yes, I did mean what a squid shoots out when they’re angry…the black stuff. Clearly no one has asked him for this before.
Apparently, they used to carry black pasta…but I guess no one asks for that either so they discontinued it. I stopped at a few other stores hoping to find the pasta somewhere (giving up on the ink) but there was none to be found. Time to implement Plan B: Sirloin Steak dinner.
The ingredients for this dish I could find. They were pretty basic. I also found this recipe in Jamie Oliver’s book.
Pan Fried Sirloin Steak with Butter Sauce and Olive Oil Mash
For the mash:
- 14 oz. potatoes, peeled and halved. I actually used 4 potatoes just because that’s how many I bought. I decided left over mashed potatoes couldn’t hurt.
- small handful grated parmesan cheese
- knob of butter (whatever that means?)
- generous amount of olive oil
- dash of salt and pepper to taste
For the steaks:
- 2-7 oz. sirloin steaks (or one giant one like the one I bought)
- dash of olive oil
- 2 shallots- peeled and finely choppped
- 2 knobs of butter
- 1 large wineglass full of red wine-original recipe says Chianti but I didn’t have that and wasn’t going to buy it…so I used some good, red wine I already had opened.
- teaspoon of dried thyme. You could also use a few sprigs of fresh thyme. Oddly enough, the grocery store didn’t have any fresh thyme on hand.
I started on the potatoes first since they took the longest. I peeled the potatoes then cut them in half. I filled a pot with salted water and waited for it to boil. Then boiled the potatoes for about 25-30 minutes, or until they were easy to penetrate with a fork.
Next, (using my masher) I mashed the potatoes up. I poured a generous amount of olive oil in the potatoes and the “knob” of butter. Once mixed up, I added the parmesan cheese. I felt like I was adding quite a bit of everything, but to be honest, the tastes weren’t really that noticeable. I can only imagine how much butter, cheese, etc. is added to mashed potatoes in restaurants when you can really taste those flavors!!
The potatoes were done. Now onto the main course: sirloin. I bought one giant sirloin steak at the grocery store since that’s all they had. I thought about getting filets but they were obviously picked through (I guess lots of people had the same idea: make a romantic dinner). So, I went with one ginormous steak.
I heated up a cast iron skillet first with some olive oil until it started to smoke a little (I did this purposely I swear). Then, I brushed the steak with olive oil on both sides and seasoned with salt and pepper. I cooked the steak (flipping it every minute or so) for about ten minutes. We like our meat (I always want to insert a “like I like my men” joke here….but it doesn’t really work in this case) medium rare.
Once the meat was done, I left the juices in the cast iron pan and added the chopped up shallots to fry.
I added the thyme to the shallots and cooked for a couple minutes. Then I added the red wine and 2 knobs of butter. I didn’t take any pictures of this part because honestly, I was over taking pictures at that point. I kind of wish I had though…
I also made some peas to go along with dinner. Cheesy peas to be exact. I cooked about a half a bag of frozen peas and when they were done, added a knob of butter and handful of parmesan. That’s it! Pretty good stuff.
It turned out pretty good! The sauce was perfect for the steaks. It didn’t look quite as pretty as Jamie Oliver’s…but still tasted great!
After dinner, we opened presents which included some sweet treats! Cliff got me this mini cake from whole foods. I don’t know if it’s actually considered a “cake”….maybe more of a ganache…or moussey thing. Whatever it is, it’s amazing.
The cake is so decadent and delicious. Luckily, we have leftovers today!
We also ended up getting each other the same type of chocolate bar…
I got him the small one (I also got him a plantain flavor….basically because I want to try it) and he got me the big bar. I guess we really do like pork…even in our chocolate.
He also got me some beautiful flowers a couple days ago that are starting to bloom now. They look great in our living room!
Another great Valentine’s Day! Hope you all had a wonderful day too!