Friday, February 18, 2011

Valentine's Dinner 2011

Another year with my special Valentine, and another lovely dinner at home. This year we were joined by Miss Single USA - she's our best friend and single, she needed dinner!

This was a great collaborative dinner. Hubby made tri-tip steaks, Rose made an amazing kale salad, and I made some smashed potatoes and a pie. We also opened a really nice Domaine Drouhin 2006 Pinot Noir. Yum!

For the steaks:
Rub the steaks with your favorite spice mix. Sear in a hot cast iron skillet on the stove top on both sides - just until brown. Put the skillet in the oven and broil about 4 or 5 minutes on each side.

Meanwhile, reduce about a 1/4 cup red wine in a saucepan with some dijon mustard and fresh rosemary.

When the steaks are done, pour off the juices into the saucepan and cook a bit longer while the meat rests. Use the sauce to dress the steaks and potatoes on your plate.

For the Chopped Kale Salad, which was in the Eugene Weekly's Winter 2011 "Chow!":
- large bunch of kale
- 1/2 cup toasted pine nuts
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries (unsweetened)
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (about 2 lemons)
- 1/4 cup good olive oil
- 1 tsp+ honey
- salt and pepper
- 1/4 cup grated parmesan

Remove the stems from the kale and chop it up into ribbons or bite-sized pieces.
Mix the lemon juice, oil and honey in a bowl (heat the honey a little so it mixes better). Toss the mixture with the kale in a large bowl with the cranberries. Let sit for 30 minutes or more (this allows the kale to marinate and break down a bit). When ready to serve, toast the pine nuts and toss them in with the cheese, salt and pepper.

We ate ALL of this. It was SOOOO good.

For the potatoes:
These were super simple. I just cut up one yukon gold potato per person and boiled them until they were nice and tender. Then I tossed them with a mixture of 1/4 cup olive oil, two cloves minced garlic, some chopped fresh rosemary, and salt and pepper. In mixing, they get kind of smashed up.

For the pie:
I've blogged about pie crust before here. I've never bought canned pie filling before, but I did this time. I found a large jar of local cherry-raspberry pie filling to use. I thawed out a cup of blueberries I had picked 2 years ago and added those too. So this was super easy - make the crust, roll it out, pour in the fruit mixture, and top with more crust. Cut some holes in the top for ventilation and decoration. I covered the edges for baking at 400 for 20 minutes, then took the foil off and cooked another 10 minutes at 350. It was delicious!

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