You will wow your sweetheart this Valentine’s Day with this step-by-step 30-minute recipe perfect for a romantic dinner for two.
Sure it’s nice to go out and be waited on, but those fancy dinners can add up, and they’re not very personal. Instead, I like to prepare a private dinner for my honey. We turn the TV off, turn on some jazz music, light the candles and pour the wine.
But it’s no fun to slave away in the kitchen, so I wanted to share a recipe that could go from fridge to table in 30 minutes…and the dishes…well they can wait till morning.
Steak au Poivre is a classically Frech dish. It’s simply steak crusted in black peppercorns served with a creamy cognac sauce. I added a Zestuous twist by making the steak portions smaller and wrapping them in bacon.
I traditionally like Gratin Dauphinois (French scalloped potatoes) with my steak au poivre, but they take more than an hour to prepare. I managed to get the same flavor by making noodles with Gruyère cheese. I used an alfredo technique and used the Gruyère in place of parmesan.
To complete the plate, I pan-seared some fresh asparagus spears with shallots.
Whether you want to impress a new sweetheart or the love of your life, I promise this meal will do the trick.
Steak au Poivre, Gruyère Noodles and Asparagus Spears
2-3 tablespoons shallots
1 bunch asparagus spears
2 ozs. Gruyère cheese
1 lb. beef tenderloin
4-6 slices bacon
1 ¼ tsp. kosher salt
1 T. plus ¼ tsp. course ground black pepper
4 ozs. thin spaghetti noodles
6 T. butter
2 T. olive oil
½ cup cream
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper (optional)
2 T. cognac
First 5 minutes ~ Prep your ingredients
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
Grate the cheese.
Chop the shallots.
Remove the woody ends (1-2 inches) from the asparagus spears.
Cut the tenderloin into 1-inch cubes.
Cut each slice of bacon in half and wrap it around the cubes of meat.
Using 1 teaspoon kosher salt and 1 tablespoon course ground black pepper, season the meat on both sides.
Next 5 minutes ~ Get the pans going
Place water in a saucepot and turn the heat to high to boil your noodles.
In a large oven-proof skillet, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil and 2 tablespoons butter over medium-high heat.
Place another skillet on the stovetop with 2 tablespoons of butter (but don’t turn that burner on yet).
Next 5 minutes ~ Start cooking
Place the noodles in the boiling water.
Place the meat in the skillet that has the melted butter and olive oil and sear for 5 minutes.
Next 5 minutes ~ Keep on cooking
Flip the meat and sear for 5 more minutes.
Check the noodles. If they are done, drain them to remove all the water.
Turn the other skillet on medium-high heat to melt the butter. Then add 1 tablespoon shallots and sauté. Add the asparagus spears and toss to coat with butter.
Next 5 minutes ~ You’re almost done
Place the meat skillet in the oven. I like to loosely place a piece of foil on top so it doesn’t splatter all over my oven.
In the noodle saucepot, melt 2 tablespoons of butter. Stir in ¼ cup cream, the shredded cheese, ¼ teaspoon kosher salt, ¼ teaspoon course ground black pepper and 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional). Stir until the cheese is melted. Add the noodles back to the pot and reduce the heat to low.
Stir the asparagus and reduce the heat to low.
Last 5 minutes ~ Ready for the wow factor?
Remove the meat from the oven. Place the meat on a pan or plate and cover with foil.
Place the meat skillet back on the stovetop over medium-high heat. Add 1-2 tablespoons of shallots. Sauté until tender. Add in 2 tablespoons of cognac. Cook for about 1 minute. Add ¼ cup cream and cook until the sauce thickens.
Dinner is ready!
It’s time to plate up your romantic masterpiece.
Grab two dinner plates, and add half of the noodles and half of the asparagus to each plate. Place the meat alongside the noodles and ladle on the creamy cognac sauce. Serve with a robust glass of red wine and let the fireworks begin.