Create an easy romantic dinner party for two or Valentine’s Day dinner? Do you have a new man or woman in your life? I have 7 foolproof steps for a Romantic Valentine’s Day Dinner Party for Two. These steps will work for any romantic dinner for two at your place.
Okay well, you say you have had several lunch and dinner dates and a movie date too. You seem to click so well and…you have caught yourself thinking that this one, might be “The One.” You want to invite this special person in your life into your home for a lovely dinner. You have discovered that your date’s favorite meal includes a medium rare tenderloin steak. I have a seven-step foolproof plan to make this romantic evening a success. However, to make this work, you will need to be the kind of person who believes fun can be romantic. And it helps if your date feels that way too.
Step 1: Prepare and Cook a Tenderloin Steak and Salad dinner
What’s that you say, you are not a very good cook and even worse at grilling? Don’t give up! Fortunately, I have a very easy recipe for how to prepare and cook the perfect tenderloin steak dinner.
Step 2: The Couple Who Cooks Together Stays Together
Set the stage for a relaxed romantic atmosphere by letting your date know that you will be preparing the meal together. Be sure to have a women’s apron and/ or a men’s apron, one for you and one for your date. Now you have successfully arranged to make your first dinner date at home together a relaxing and romantic evening of sharing and fun.
Step 3: Give Yourself Plenty of Lead Time to Prepare for This Special At-Home Dinner Date
You don’t want to be rushed and appear nervous and tense. Decide what you will wear and have your outfit all ready for you to slip into shortly before your date arrives. If scheduling a maid service to come by the day before will take some of the stress off of your shoulders, then by all means make arrangements for that to happen. Now take a deep breath…because you are almost home free.
Step 4: Make a List and Go Grocery Shopping Two Days Prior to the Date Night
Review the recipe ingredients in Step 6 below, and be sure to have everything on hand that you will need to prepare the steak and dinner salad. Maybe even check with your favorite local meat market a week beforehand to ensure the tenderloin steaks you need will be available. Try to have an alternate meat market in mind just in case.
Step 5: I am Going to Give You a Surprisingly Simple Recipe for Cooking Tenderloin Steaks Perfectly
First you will need to have all the items listed below on hand in your kitchen. If you are missing anything, add it to your grocery shopping list.
- Cast Iron Skillet – If you don’t own a well-seasoned cast iron skillet, borrow one, or purchase a new pre-seasoned cast iron skillet. I will provide a link for one below; and if you have an Amazon Prime account they can usually deliver your purchase in only two days.
- Olive Oil – It’s great if you have a no drip olive oil dispenser
- Sea Salt
- Lettuce-I prefer Boston lettuce, but choose your favorite or your date’s favorite, if you know it.
- Salad Ingredients-Add salad ingredients as desired. I like peeled and sliced cucumbers, tomato wedges. For a real treat, add frozen blueberries that you have washed, dried and frozen a few days ahead of time.
- Salad Dressing-You should probably know your date’s favorite salad dressing by now since you’ve had several dinner dates. If not, plan to have a few popular selections on hand. You might even whip up a vinaigrette dressing.
Step 6: This is the Perfect Time to Turn on some Ambient Romantic Music to Invoke an Atmosphere of Relaxation and Romance
Light the candles on the dinner table on which you placed a lovely romantic table setting. Uncork that nice bottle of Bordeaux wine, let it breathe a little…then fill the wineglasses. Mmm, sounds nice, no? Yes. Ah, what a lovely feeling of pleasurable contentment. Now is the perfect moment to don and tie up each others’ aprons. Together you will create that wonderful steak and salad dinner together.
2 (2 – 2 1/2 inch-thick) tenderloin steaks (set the steaks out at least 20 minutes ahead of time)
2 tablespoons olive oil
coarsely cracked black peppercorns
You and your date can don your aprons and have fun preparing the salad. Wash your salad and spin dry in a high quality salad spinner. I can personally highly recommend the OXO Good Grips Green Salad Spinner. You can work together peeling and slicing the cucumber and slicing the tomatoes into wedges. And if your date likes blueberries you can share a kiss and a couple of blueberries, or maybe share a blueberry and a couple of kisses too. Once you have added all your salad ingredients, place the salad in the fridge to keep it nice and cold and crisp.
Okay, here we go!
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Heat a large cast-iron skillet over high heat (do this about 10 minutes before adding the steaks to the pan). Turn on and set your stove-top hood fan on high for ventilation.
While the skillet is heating, use paper towels to pat dry the tenderloin steaks. Brush the steaks with olive oil, using more or less as necessary (adding the oil directly to the steaks will mean less smoke in the skillet). Salt and pepper the steaks on both sides. Don’t be afraid to go a little heavy with the salt and pepper as the searing process will cause some of the salt and pepper to remain in the skillet and not on the meat.
When the skillet is extremely hot, add the steaks and sear evenly on all sides (top, bottom, and edges) for about 3 minutes per side and about 30 seconds per edge. This searing process should take about a total of 8 minutes.
If you have seared the steaks in an extremely hot cast iron skillet for 8 minutes or so, you should now have rare steaks.
If you prefer your steaks more well done, turn off the stove, grab an oven mitt and place the skillet with the seared steaks in the preheated oven on the center rack.
Cook the steaks for:
4 – 6 minutes for medium-rare (your date’s preference)
6 – 8 minutes for medium well
8 – 10 minutes for well-done (not recommended)
Once you have cooked the steaks to the desired done, remove the skillet from the oven and place the steaks on a board or plate. Tent a piece of aluminum foil over the steaks and let them rest for at least 5 minutes. Remember that the cooking time will vary according to the thickness of the steaks.
In the meantime, remove the salad from the fridge and place it on the dinner table. Uncover the steaks and place them on the table and enjoy what you have created together.
There you go, a very simple, but very satisfying steak and salad dinner. All you need to do is add the ambiance and romance.
Step 7: Enjoy the rest of the evening, because this tenderloin steak and salad recipe provides the added ingredient of an easy cleanup.