Valentines Day Dinner on a Budget

Friday, February 14, 2014
I have a secret - I hate valentines Day and I nicknamed the 14th "Stupid Cupids Day" long long ago. As a teenager, I didn't have many boyfriends (but had plenty of boy "friends"). For many years, I watched my friends receive flowers, teddy bears and find out who their "secret admirers" were.  After years of jealousy, I got my first boyfriend. I will never forget my first valentines day - they called girls names over the PA system in high school so they could pick up their valentines. I received my first bouquet of flowers - long stem roses to be exact. While it was very sweet, I had to carry them around in a box the size of a rifle the rest of the day and I hated the attention it caused. Then they died 3 days later.

Present day, I still scowl at Hallmark's Holiday. We choose not to go out to dinner for the 14th of February - no matter where you go, there is always a wait, then you are rushed through a hectic dinner and it is usually overpriced. Instead, we do dinner at home cooking a meal which would have cost us $$$ if we went out with the masses while enjoying a nice bottle of wine.
photo from Fresh Market
This year, I am cooking Chateaubriand Cut Filet Mignon from Fresh Market and Stone Crab Claws from Whole Foods. Cooking filet at home is very easy with this fool proof recipe:

2 filet mignons 1" to 1 1/4" each
1 tablespoon canola oil
salt and pepper
2 tablespoons butter

Cast Iron Filet Mignon
Preheat oven to 300 degrees
Let the steak get to room temperature, 20-30 min then season with salt and pepper just before cooking
Heat 1 tbl canola oil in a cast iron skillet or large heavy bottomed pan over high heat.
Sear the filets in the skillet, about 2 minutes per side. Turn the heat to low and add 1 tablespoon of butter to each steak.
Place pan in the oven for 5 minutes for Medium Rare
Let rest for 5 minutes before serving.

Here are some specials you can find at your neighborhood store this Valentines Day:

Fresh Market 
Chateaubriand Cut Filet Mignon, 9 oz Premium Choice 2 for $25
Chilean Sea Bass, 7.5 oz Portions, 2 for $25

Porterhouse Steaks $9.99lb
Medium Lobster Tails $7.99

Whole Foods
Coho Salmon fillet – Wild Caught, $12.99lb
Rosa Regali Sparkling Red Wine, $14.99

Trader Joes
Porcini Mushroom & Truffle Triangoli $3.49

Great Wines under $25 a bottle (prices vary per store)
Michael David Petite Petit
Mumm Napa Brut Rose
La Crema Chardonnay 
Santa Margherita Pinot Grigio
Martin Ray Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon

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