February 17, 2011

Romance on a Plate: Surf and Turf

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Love is a funny thing isn’t it? It grabs a hold of us when we are least expecting it, causes us to do things that most of us normally would not do, and that most of us would rather not admit to doing. Yet, it seems to encapsulate our entire beings and be the driving force of the majority of our daily activities.

For me? It’s brushing my hair. Kidding! … OK. So I’m only kidding about that part of my life a little bit.

Honestly, there is no better way to express love than through making a meal for your loved ones. That is the reason I put so much time and effort into putting a great dinner on the table. Pour l’amour! Ah, oui! C’est magnifique, non?

Many say that poetry is the fruit of love. But I would like to think that fruit is really the fruit of love. (And vegetables, and fish… and meat… and starches, obviously!)

The old adage that “the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach” is so dead-on that I can’t stand it. Especially in the case of my husband: the man’s an eater.

There’s no better way to impress than through a wonderfully romantic dinner, especially when the price tag is so small that will cause your loved one to *thunk* have his or her jaw hit the floor. You’ll be amazed with ShopRite! (Go on, help your snuggle bear husband get his jaw off the floor)

I was incredibly excited when ShopRite sent to us a $25 gift card with a challenge to create a romantic dinner. Mostly because, it was not a challenge at all! (Aren’t they just the best kinds of tasks!)

What is most wonderful about ShopRite is their pricing. They make it possible for one to afford to make a surf and turf dinner for 2 for $25. Don’t believe me? I did! The great reason is because so many of the ingredients are already in your cupboards!

Go on and extend the Valentine’s Day romance throughout the year by surprising your schnookems your loved one with this romantic dinner tonight!

Surf and Turf: Filet and Crab Cakes over Sautéed Spinach and Spicy Tomato Potatoes
Crab Cake recipe adapted from: Mark Bittman, How to Cook Everything
Spicy Tomato Potato recipe adapted from: Eating Well Magazine, March/April 2011

Ingredients – For the turf:
½ cup dry red wine (substitute for a vinegar, if you prefer to omit)
½ cup olive oil
2 beef tenderloin boneless filets
Salt and pepper to taste

Ingredients – For the surf:
2 cans lump Crab meat (found in the canned section)
2 to 4 TBS ShopRite Bread Crumbs- Italian Style with Romano Cheese

1 red bell pepper, chopped
2 scallions, chopped
1 egg
¼ cup sour cream
1 TBS Dijon mustard
Salt and pepper to taste
1 cup of All-Purpose flour, for dredging
2 TBS unsalted butter
2 TBS extra-virgin olive oil

Ingredients – For the sides:
2 Russet potatoes, skins on, cut into 1 inch cubes
1 (15oz) can ShopRite crushed tomatoes
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 TBS paprika
1 tsp cayenne pepper
Salt and Pepper to taste
2 cups fresh spinach
5 TBS extra-virgin olive oil


For the turf:
1. Marinade your steaks in red wine and olive oil up to 6 hours.
2. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
3. In a skillet over medium, heat olive oil. Cook steaks 2 minutes per side. Place onto a greased baking sheet and put into the oven and cook for 10 minutes for medium to medium rare.

For the surf:
1. With a fork, in a medium sized bowl, mix together the crabmeat, egg, bell pepper, scallion, sour cream, mustard, and some salt and pepper. Add enough breadcrumbs to bind the mixture just enough to form into cakes, begin with 2 TBS and increase by the tablespoon until it sticks together.
2. Refrigerate the mixture until you’re ready to cook, approximately 30 minutes, or use right away!
3. Add salt and pepper to the flour. In a large skillet over medium heat, add the oil and butter and heat for approximately 30 seconds to a minute. Shape the crabmeat mixture into 1-inch-thick cakes, dredge each in the flour, and cook, adjusting the heat as necessary and turning over only once, and oh so gently, until golden brown on both sides, about 3 to 5 minutes per side.

For the sides:
1. In a large sauté pan, heat 2 TBS olive oil over medium heat. Add the potatoes, stirring occasionally, cooking until browned, approximately 15 to 20 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, in a saucepan, cook 1 TBS olive oil over medium, add the garlic and cook for a minute. Add the tomatoes and spices. Bring to a boil, and then lower heat and simmer until it has thickened like ketchup. Serve over the potatoes.
3. In another saucepan, heat the remaining olive oil over medium and add spinach, cook for approximately 5 minutes.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: As a POTLUCKTM blogger, I received a $25 ShopRite Gift Card from ShopRite for free.