How to Cook a Romantic Restaurant-Quality Meal at Home and on a Budget
By: Monica Stockbridge, Frontière Natural Meats
When was the last time that you sat down to a romantic steak that you made yourself, complete with a glass of wine and flickering candlelight? Well, we’re here to tell you that it’s possible and that you — yes, you! — can cook a steak worthy of any special occasion.
When was the last time you sat down to a romantic dinner at home? If you’re like us, it may have been a while. Chances are, it’s been even longer since you enjoyed a romantic, special occasion meal that you prepared yourself (or that your loving partner or spouse prepared). Don’t even get us started on enjoying that meal with a nice glass of wine by flickering candlelight.
Don’t worry. We get it. In today’s hectic world of work, family, bills and Netflix shows to binge-watch, sitting down for a quality dinner at home together can feel just as unusual as a fancy dinner out at an expensive restaurant.
Yet, making a quality, romantic dinner at home is possible — and almost certainly more affordable.
With Valentine’s Day coming up, we’ve listed a few suggestions for creating a restaurant-worthy steak dinner at home.
Start with quality ingredients
First things first: begin by sourcing quality ingredients. If you want to create a memorable, delicious meal, it’s worth going for great products that will taste wonderful and make the meal feel special.
If you’re a carnivore, then it makes sense to build the meal around your choice of protein. For this blog, we’re focusing on preparing a romantic steak dinner. Now, there are plenty of different cuts of steak that you can choose from, including t-bones, tenderloins and sirloins. But for a special meal, not much beats an tenderloin on sale now. Much like a filet mignon, which is a smaller cut also taken from the loin, this cut of steak is one of the most tender there is, making it perfect for a romantic meal on a special occasion. Plus, it takes no time at all to cook, and it can be enjoyed simply or dressed up with a sauce to your liking.
Now that you’ve found the cut you want, where will you source it? Sometimes running out to a specialty shop can be time-consuming, especially if you don’t have a butcher you trust.
We love ordering online for its simplicity, and we admit we’re a little biased. Ordering from Frontière Natural Meats is easy and fast. Simply choose the type of meat you’d like (Angus, organic, or bison), place your order, and wait for your romantic dinner to arrive at your door.
Plan the rest of your meal
You don’t have to step too far outside your comfort zone to create a lovely meal at home. In fact, our recipe for pan-seared tenderloin for two keeps it pretty simple: steak, potatoes and asparagus with a savory red wine sauce.
However, you can easily swap out the potatoes for potato wedges, wild rice or quinoa salad. Choose a vegetable you love, and even change up the sauce if you like — or skip it completely! The key here is to choose ingredients that are easy to cook and come together for a meal that won’t stress you out so you can focus on getting to the “gazing into your love’s eyes” part.
Consider preparing certain items ahead of time
Even with a smaller meal for two, preparing portions ahead of time can take some of the stress away from preparing everything on the night of.
For instance, mashed potatoes can easily be prepared a day or two ahead of time and reheated for your meal when you’re ready. Put on a pot of boiling water while you’re washing dishes or doing laundry a night or two before. When the potatoes are tender, drain, add the butter and sour cream and mash away. It’s actually a nice way to de-stress from a day. Let cool then refrigerate in a sealed container until you’re ready to serve.
Items like steak and asparagus are best served right away after cooking, but here’s the good news: they each only take a few minutes.
Don’t forget the special touches
When you think about your favorite romantic dinner out, consider what you remember about the atmosphere. Maybe the lights were dimmed and there was a candle on the table. There was likely a pretty table setting or tablecloth on the table. Maybe there was soft music playing in the background.
These are little touches that you can achieve at home, too, with just a little thought. That silk tablecloth you inherited from your aunt? Bust that baby out and dress up your everyday dinner table. Got a candle on the mantel or by your bedside? Relocate it to the center of the table, just for tonight. Think about putting some jazz on your Bluetooth speakers, or if you’re old-school like us, select a favorite record or mixed tape with meaningful songs that will give you a nostalgic conversation piece during the meal.
Give yourself some credit
If you cook at home a lot, then creating a special meal probably won’t feel like a big deal. However, we know that it takes some guts to try a recipe you’re not as familiar with, or take time to really relax and reflect with someone you love.
Our advice? Take a breath, and pat yourself on the back. By cooking a meal to share with a loved one, you’re doing something kind and meaningful that come straight from the heart. Plus, learning to cook a great meal is a skill that will serve you later in life as well — especially if you’re still trying to woo the girl or guy of your dreams.
Ready to try your hand at a restaurant-quality steak dinner? Try our recipe for Pan-Seared Beef Tenderloin for Two!
ABOUT FRONTIERE NATURAL MEATS
Frontière Natural Meats is a family-operated business dedicated to an all-natural, hormone-free farming process. Our animals are free-range and raised under strict guidelines in accordance with USDA requirements. We hold our values to the same high standards you set for yourself when it comes to guaranteeing healthy, savory nutrition for your loved ones. Connect with us on Facebook for more healthy products, cooking tips and recipe ideas.
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