This year, we decided to stay in for Valentine’s Day and treat ourselves to a delicious surf ‘n turf – the preparation was fast, and the results fabulous. Perfect for a romantic holiday when we wanted to spend quality time together. To be honest, I usually prefer to dine in The Bistro, and why not stay home? Fabulous choice meat and seafood at a fraction of the price a restaurant would charge us, I know my steak will be a perfect medium rare, my side dishes are always “best supporting actors”, unlike the lifeless offerings you’re likely to find parked next to your entree when you’re dining out, and I don’t have to feel guilty for selecting a nice wine to go with my meal – because at home, I DID get an entire bottle for less than a restaurant would charge us for a couple of glasses.
Of course, the other advantage that we have at The Bistro is that we often work together in the kitchen, which makes it that much more fun. I hope that you share that advantage, at least some of the time. Even if your partner in life doesn’t cook, they can share the prep work, fetch and carry for you and be part of the final product in their own way – even if it’s just keeping you company and refilling your wine glass! You never know…given time and exposure, they just might learn a thing or two – and they might even enjoy it!
This meal had no recipes to speak of – though the directions for the Caprese Salad were posted on the DIY Ristorante a few months back. It is one of our favorite side salads and compliments many things. Knowing how to properly prepare beef and seafood, of course, is a matter of timing. You’ve got to get everything started in the right order and at the appropriate time so that it’s all finished up and rested and ready to serve together. I tend to use simple seasoning – I prefer to let the rich flavors of quality beef, scallops and giant prawns speak for themselves. There are few things more tragic than overcooked, rubbery seafood, though, so pay close attention and remove them to rest as soon as they’re done.
There are some cooks that test their meat for done-ness using a thermometer, while others use a touch test. The best chefs use a combination of these techniques depending on the size and type of meat they’re dealing with. I have added a temperature chart below and here’s a link to a YouTube(R) video on how to do the touch test. The rest of it comes with practice. Best of luck – enjoy!