This will be my first of three menu ideas for a romantic Valentine’s Dinner menu, and it happens to be my favorite! My husband and I love dining out at steakhouses but with the hefty price tag I set out to make the same thing at home. Strip steaks cooked in a cast iron skillet topped with a garlic rosemary butter served with grilled asparagus and mashed potatoes, this will impress your date without keeping you in the kitchen all night! One thing I would highly suggest is cooking these outside on the burner of a grill if at all possible. We made them inside and the smoke was kind of overwhelming so I learned two things: if you are going to cook them inside then just unplug your smoke detector and know that as soon as they steaks go in the oven the smoke will dissipate quickly.
Make the compound butter the night before to allow for it to set up before making your meal. Cut the 1 stick unsalted butter at room temperature into small pieces and put in the bowl of an electric mixer. Beat on medium speed until it is creamed, then grate in a clove of garlic. Chop up a couple sprigs of rosemary and add it in with a pinch of salt. Drop the butter into the middle of a piece of plastic wrap and then roll it until it forms a log. Tie the ends and keep in the refrigerator overnight.
When you’re ready to start cooking your meal, start with the asparagus. Bend the stalks in half and they will break off where the bad part ends and the good part begins. I didn’t do anything else to the asparagus I just laid them out flat on our indoor grill and kept turning it while I worked on the steaks. I filled a pot with boiling water and added white potatoes and cooked until I could pierce them with a fork.
Take your steaks out of the fridge about 15 minutes before you’re going to start cooking. You’ll need two well marbled New York strip steaks Put your cast iron skillet on a burner over the highest heat your stove top goes to.Preheat your oven (or grill) to 450 degrees. Pat the steaks dry and then brush them very lightly with extra virgin olive oil. Season with a coarse kosher salt and fresh ground pepper. Test your skillet to make sure it’s hot enough by dropping a drop of water into it. If it “dances” for a few seconds before evaporating, you’re good to go. Place the steaks in the skillet and wait while they sear for two minutes. It’s really important to wait the whole two minutes and not turn them over…. even if you feel like they’re burning, I promise they’re not and if you flip them too soon you’ll miss out on the amazing crust that will form on the outside of the steaks.
After the two minutes, flip the steaks and sear on that side for two minutes more. While you’re waiting for these two minutes to pass, cut two pats from your compound butter. After this two minutes (four minutes total so far) top each steak with a pat of butter. If you like your steak rare then you can stop here… take the steaks out of the skillet and let rest on a cutting board. If you prefer more doneness then transfer your skillet to the preheated oven. I like my steak medium so I put a thermometer in the steaks and removed them around 130 degrees which only took a few minutes in the oven. Once removed from the oven the butter will have melted around the steaks caramelizing and adding a while new layer of flavor. Let the steaks rest about 5 minutes for the juices to settle before cutting.
Once the potatoes are cooked to the point where they can be pierced with a fork, drain the water and transfer potatoes to a large bowl. I just used a potato masher and smashed the potatoes… I didn’t add any butter or milk, simply because I gave them a little pat of the compound butter and a sprinkle of chives once on the plate and they were perfection!
I’ll include this recipe in the Valentine’s Day tab in the page’s upper menu and in the next couple weeks leading up to it I’ll have two more menu ideas… one with chicken and one with fish!