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The Cross and the Cleaver: Valentine’s Day Dinner!


Valentine’s Day is approaching, and it seems to be our custom that nothing says amore like a dinner and a movie. Steak with butter, and rich, creamy, desert can probably be a fail safe for such an occasion. Unless you happen to be a vegetarian or on a diet, then carrot and cabbage are your friends. If you are not going out, or ordering take-away, I can help with such dinner. Given my taste in movies, you are probably on your own.

When my mother baked her amazing, candied fruit loaded, cheesecake, there was always a corner of the pan that had just cheesecake, without the fruit. Simple. when I cook it, my wife always asks for her to be “un-messed with.” Simple. Marco Pierre White whom I mentioned previously, said once about seasoning food that: “the more you add up, the more you take away.” Simple. Yes, you can grill a steak and follow it by two fingers of scotch and a chunk of quality 75% cocoa chocolate. Simple. But I think we can take the Valentine dinner (or an any other dinner-date) and kick it up a notch.

The steak recipe is my take on a classic Steak Florentine. The dessert is also has my personal twist.

So, let’s put on some romantic tunes, roll up our sleeves and cook! Don’t forget the flowers!

As usual, the ingredients are in bold:

Get your favourite cut of steak, I find 1-inch-thick striploin works well. Let it sit on the counter for approx. 45 minutes before cooking. Heat a non-stick pan to medium. When hot, put in a tablespoon of oil and tablespoon of butter per steak. Once butter is melted and begins to foam, pat the steak dry and season one side with salt and pepper, then put in the pan seasoned side down. Once pink juices (ok … blood😉) start beading on top of the steak, after 3-5 minutes depending on thickness, season the topside with salt and pepper and flip. After flip, put a sprig of rosemary, garlick clove cut in half,and leaf of sage into the oil-butter mixture. Baste gently with the mixture for 3-5 min, basting the steak as well. Remove the steak from pan and loosely cover with tinfoil. While the steak is resting, turn the heat up a bit. When butter starts foaming add a generous splash of dry white wine, let simmer, and evaporate a bit for few min. Add a touch more butter to the pan to thicken the liquid. Finish off with a squeeze of lemon juice. Pour the liquid over steak. Serve.

Now for DESSERT 😊 get a cup of white rice, cup of sugar, cup of full-fat milk and a cup of full-fat coconut milk. Mix, bring to a boil and simmer for 20-30 min until liquid is all absorbed and rice remain creamy-runny, not cement like. Add a can of full-fat coconut cream. If the mixture feels too thick add a little coconut milk. Once simmering again, add a splash of vanilla extract, and a tablespoon of orange zest. Simmer until mixture thickens (approx. 20-30 min). Once thickened, pour into individual ramekins or a bread-pan like dish that was generously coated with butter, and generously sprinkled with sugar. Sprinkle top with sugar and pop in the oven at 350° for approx. 15-20 min or until sugar on top starts caramelising. Serve topped with a touch of fresh orange zest and shaved orange flavoured chocolate. Reading the above I can SMELL THE LOVE!

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