Monday, February 13, 2012

Valentine's Suggestion #2: Pan Seared Rib Eyes

You could head to a local steakhouse, wait two hours for a table and pay $80 for a steak dinner on Valentine's Day just for the "experience" (and what an experience it is, when you both get home at midnight on a work day, tired, tipsy and broke) - or, you could enjoy one at home and impress your lov-ah all with an outstanding pan-seared rib eye. Serve with whatever steak house sides you like, and set the DVR for Teen Mom 2; I know it's the finale, but you can watch it tomorrow.

Valentine's Day Rib Eye Steaks

- 3 tablespoons butter
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- (2) 8 oz. rib eye steaks
- Montreal steak seasoning to coat (I know this is a blog about cooking from scratch, but let's face it, no one wants to combine all the peppercorns, kosher salt, coriander and garlic powder on their own)


Heat butter and olive oil in a skillet over medium high heat. Generously coat both sides of the steaks with the seasoning. Place one steak directly on top of the heated butter/oil in skillet. Cook in skillet for 3-5 minutes per side (3 for rare, 4 for medium rare and 5 for well done). If too rare, drizzle more oil in skillet and sear for another minute per side. Repeat process with second steak.

Let's face it, most men would prefer a steak to pasta or seafood on Valentine's Day. If yours does, impress the pants off him (yup, obviously that's literal!) with these Valentine's Day rib eye steaks.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Valentine's Suggestion #1: Chicken Parmesan

It's a thought, right? A single candle gracing your red and white checkered tablecloth, a bottle of red wine between you and something mood-enhancing cranking from the iPod - Sinatra, maybe? If a homemade Valentine's Day is in the cards this week, consider putting chicken parm on your short list.

I have to ask: When did we start calling it "chicken parm," anyway? I would blame Giada, but I'm not sure it was her. Was it Top Chef? Probably. It's always Top Chef.  

Chicken Parmesan 

4 boneless chicken breasts, pounded to 1/2 inch thickness
1 egg
1/2 cup milk
1 cup bread crumbs (Italian seasoned)
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup olive oil
2 cups mozzarella cheese
12 oz. tomato sauce
8 oz. tomato paste
2 tbs. Italian seasoning
1 tsp. seasoned salt

Whisk together the egg and milk. Combine the breadcrumbs and Parmesan cheese. Dip the chicken breasts in the milk and egg mixture, and then dredge in the bread crumb and Parmesan mixture. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Brown the chicken in the hot oil on both sides until golden, about 4 minutes on each side. Set chicken in a baking dish or casserole.

In a small mixing bowl, combine tomato sauce, tomato paste, Italian seasoning and seasoned salt. Top each chicken breast with 1/4 cup of sauce and sprinkle mozzarella cheese on top. Transfer to oven and bake at 350° for 30 minutes. Save remaining sauce to serve with the baked chicken dish and cooked spaghetti noodles.

Happy V-Day to all! Time permitting, I will manage to make more than one suggestion this week.