Valentine’s Day. One of those holidays that I have always sarcastically said was created by the greeting card companies so they could make some money in between Christmas and Mother’s Day. Although it does give you time to focus on your significant other and spend some quality time together. And I am DANG thankful for mine and will gladly celebrate him any day! Clearly they should already know how you feel, but sure a card says a good bit. Of course, I am known for getting a funny card more than a mushy card. Gotta keep Adam on his toes!
Thankfully this year the day fell on the weekend and we were able to do things during the day that we wanted to do and then spent time cooking together in the kitchen, which was huge. Most of the time for these posts I am the one cooking, but it was a lot of fun to spend time in the kitchen together cooking for each other.
We debated all weekend on what we wanted to cook, because we knew that was going to be the better option. Trying to go out to eat on Valentine’s Day in my opinion is just absolutely insane and ain’t nobody got time for that. This was a meal that I have been wanting to cook for a while and wanted to save it for a night that wasn’t just a typical day. Perfect opportunity if you ask me.
We cooked a Seared Flank steak with Chimichurri sauce (recipe from Bev Cooks), Baked Polenta with Garlic (from Epicurious), and then had a strawberry spring mix salad with Easy Strawberry Vinaigrette (from allrecipes). We both could not stop eating and said at the same time that this was the best meal that I will have posted yet. So read on because you are going to want to make it.
Starting with the flank steak, I just made a marinade of olive oil, soy sauce, salt, and pepper. It only marinaded for a few hours as I wasn’t able to get it until midday Sunday. After Adam tenderized it, it was ready to stew for a while.
When we started getting the rest of the meal ready, we started with the Baked Polenta. The recipe is very easy and you just begin by bringing some water, chicken broth, milk, and garlic to a boil. You will notice we didn’t use the rosemary it called for, we had so many other herbs in the meal we chose not to. Then you slowly add in the polenta and let it simmer until the liquid is absorbed. Once it is cooked, the recipe called for parmesan cheese to be added (which Adam did for this 🙂 ) and I opted to just put mine in a dish. Then they both baked for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, we did get the steak out of the fridge and grilled it to perfection while preparing the rest of the meal!
The chimichurri sauce was super simple to use (once we got the food processor to work). Haha it did not want to cooperate to begin with and I had no idea why. Talk about frustrating. For the sauce, it took just a bunch of cilantro and parsley, a little oregano, garlic, some red pepper flakes, and olive oil. Once you process all the herbs and they are minced, you slowly add in the olive oil to make the sauce. I secretly have always wanted to make this stuff since I discovered it and felt so accomplished when it was done. Even though it was so easy I’m pretty sure a 7 year old could do it.
The Strawberry Salad with Easy Strawberry Vinaigrette was also something easy. We just used some spring mix, candied some pecans, and sliced up some strawberries. Adam made the vinaigrette and he said it was simple and you can see that below.
I would easily eat this meal once a week. It was that good. And I am not just tooting our horns because we did a good job cooking it :P! You should definitely try this soon and let me know what you think!
Seared Flank Steak & Chimichurri Sauce
for the steak:
– 1 pound flat iron steak (flank and skirt work, as well)
– 2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
– 2 Tbs. soy sauce
– pinch of salt and pepper
for the chimichurri:
– 1 bunch parsley
– 1 bunch cilantro
– 5 garlic cloves
– 2 Tbs. fresh oregano (2 tsp dried)
– 1 tsp crushed red pepper (or a little less for less heat)
– 2 Tbs. white wine vinegar
– pinch of coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
– 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1. Place the steak in a large sealable plastic bag and add the remaining marinade ingredients.
2. Seal and chill for at least two hours.
3. Place all the chimichurri ingredients (minus the oil) in a large food processor.
4. With the motor running, slowly add the oil in a thin stream until you get a nice loose chimichurri consistency. (don’t tell the chimi I called it loose – from original recipe post of Bev’s but so funny I had to keep it there haha!)
Baked Polenta with Garlic
2 3/4 cups canned low-salt chicken broth
2 cups water
1 1/2 cups milk
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups polenta
8 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese (about 1 1/2 ounces)
1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
2. Butter 2-quart soufflé dish.
3. Bring first 6 ingredients to boil in heavy large saucepan.
4. Gradually add polenta, whisking until smooth.
5. Reduce heat to low; cook until polenta is very soft and mixture is thick and creamy, stirring occasionally, about 12 minutes.
6. Remove from heat; stir in 6 tablespoons Parmesan cheese.
7. Season with pepper.
8. Transfer to prepared dish.
9. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons Parmesan over polenta.
(Can be made 1 day ahead. Cool. Cover and chill.)
10. Bake polenta until heated through and golden on top, about 30 minutes.
Easy Strawberry Vinaigrette
8 ounces strawberries sliced
2 tbsp honey
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 tbsp olive oil
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1. Blend strawberries, honey, apple cider vinegar, olive oil, salt, and black pepper together in a blender until smooth.