The Perfect Surf & Turf Dinner
Table for two for Valentine’s Day? How about a cozy spot in your own dining room for the ultimate romantic surf & turf menu!
If you think preparing this delectable, decadent meal of steak and seafood is beyond the reach for anyone but a highly skilled chef, think again. While the steak part of the equation may not be intimidating, for many people, it’s the seafood—typically lobster tail, but alternatively shrimp, scallops or crab—that might be off-putting for home cooks. But it’s easy when you follow these tips for serving something steakhouse-special for that special someone (or the whole family!).
Believe it or not, aside from the meat and seafood, surf and turf really doesn’t demand any out-of-the-ordinary ingredients. You’ll need things you likely have on hand already—butter, salt and pepper, maybe garlic and lemons—to create your feast. But there are dozens of variations on flavorings and cooking methods online to help you tailor the meal to your own taste.
Traditionally, the “turf” part of the combo is filet mignon. If splurging on this most luscious of cuts isn’t in the cards, you can sub in ribeye, sirloin, or any tender, juicy steak. For help on what cut of steak to pick or tips on cooking them just right follow these tips.
The most important consideration when making this meal is timing—cooking the steak to perfection, then cooking the “surf” while the steak rests for 5 – 10 minutes before serving. A digital meat thermometer is a great tool to help ensure your steak is done just the way you like it. Keep in mind that the meat will continue to cook as it rests, so factor that into your timing using this guide:
- Rare: 130°F
- Medium Rare: 135°F
- Medium: 145°F
- Medium Well: 150°F
- Well Done: 160°F
Now let’s talk lobster tail! The delicious sweetness of lobster meat is the perfect complement to the more robust flavor of steak. A little butter (plain or garlic), salt and pepper and plenty of lemon wedges are all you really need—but you can certainly add any herbs and spices that you like.
- Your lobster tails from Kroger come fresh or frozen— if frozen, simply thaw them overnight in the fridge or in cold water for 30–45 minutes or until you can bend the tail from one end to the other easily. Rinse the lobster under running water and pat dry.
- Next, using a sharp, heavy knife or kitchen shears, cut the shell lengthwise. Do not cut all the way through the meat underneath the shell. Cut until just before you reach the fanned-out tail portion. Gently pry open the two halves of the shell to fully expose the meat inside.
- Now, carefully lift the meat, in one piece, from the bottom of the shell. Be careful—try not to break off any bits of shell. And don’t pull the meat all the way out—leave a small bit of it attached to the tail end. (If you see a dark line down the middle of the meat, remove it.)
- Lay the meat on top of the split shell. You may need to press the two halves together a bit for balance.
- Your lobster tail is now ready for broiling, baking, steaming or grilling—just brush with melted butter and sprinkle with your desired herbs or spices before cooking.
- Cook lobster for approximately one minute per ounce, or until the meat turns an opaque whitish-pink color, or about 140°F on a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the meat.
- Serve with plenty of extra melted butter for dipping, along with fresh lemon wedges to squeeze onto the lobster.
Now set the lobster and steak side by side on a plate. Because their flavors are so rich and delicious, simple side dishes go well with surf and turf. Let the main players be the stars of the show!
You’ve prepared a restaurant-worthy meal, so why not set the mood, too? Light the candles, put on some soft music and toast your wonderful meal and the love that inspired it. Happy Valentine’s Day!