During the first couple of years of our married life, Roy and I tried to celebrate Valentine's Day by eating out at a restaurant. What a hassle! I remember long waits, hurried service, and an unrelaxed atmosphere. We soon wised up and realized that trying to dine out on Valentine's Day was just as bad as going out on Mother's Day for brunch. It was so much easier to stay home and cook a nice meal. Later, after we had the three girls, we celebrated the day with a special family meal which included small little gifts at each place setting. It was always fun to try to duplicate a restaurant meal such as an expensive steak house. The menu here has a lighter version of creamed spinach and turkey bacon in the salad.
Steakhouse Beef Tenderloin Filets
Beef Tenderloin Filets, prepackaged or from the butcher case
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
A tablespoon pat of butter for each filet
A sprig or two of parsley
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Tie each filet around the outside with cooking twine so it stays together. Clip any extra twine that is dangling after the knot is made. Brush each filet with olive oil. Sprinkle the top, bottom, and sides of the filets with some of the salt and pepper. I go easy on the salt and a bit heavier on the pepper. Heat an oven proof skillet to medium high. When the skillet is hot, brown both sides of the filets, about 2 or 3 minutes per side. Put a tablespoon pat of butter on each filet. Place the skillet into the oven, close the door, and bake for 8 minutes for a warm, pink center. The time can be adjusted less or more, according to your family's preferences. After taking the meat out of the oven, let it sit at least five minutes before serving. Cut off the string. Spoon some of the cooking juices that accumulated in the pan over each filet. Garnish with parsley.
Almost Like Steakhouse Creamed Spinach
1 (10 oz.) package of frozen spinach
3 tablespoons butter
1 clove garlic, put through a press
3 tablespoons flour
2 cups skim milk
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/8 teaspoon grated nutmeg
Extra Parmesan cheese to sprinkle on top
Cook the spinach in the microwave for 9 minutes. While it is cooking, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the garlic and sprinkle in the flour. Whisk the mixture together and cook 1 minute.
Whisk in the milk a little at a time, keeping the pan over medium heat. Keep whisking until it is smooth, then stir with a wooden spoon until it becomes thick. Add the salt, pepper, nutmeg, and cheese and stir in well.
Take the white sauce mixture off the heat. Transfer the spinach to colander and with the back of a spoon, press any water out of the cooked spinach. Add the spinach to the pan and stir until it is mixed in.
Transfer the creamed spinach into a greased or buttered baking dish. Sprinkle with the extra Parmesan cheese. Bake for 20 minutes or until the mixture is bubbling and brown on top.
Wedge Salad with Blue Cheese Dressing
Iceberg lettuce, cut into wedges
Diced cucumber pieces
Diced tomato pieces
Crumbled bacon, turkey or regular
1 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese
1/4 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons white vinegar
1 garlic clove put through a press
Whisk together mayonnaise, blue cheese, sour cream, vinegar, and garlic. Place a lettuce wedge on serving plate. Drizzle the dressing over the top of the wedge. Sprinkle with pieces of cucumber, tomato, and bacon.