Valentines Day Dinner Made for Two
Seared Steak and Peppers with Cilantro Chimichurri
1 ½ - 1 ¾ pounds beef flank steak
½ tsp salt
½ tsp black pepper
2 tbsp plus 2 tbsp olive oil
2 fresh poblano chile peppers, stemmed, seeded, and cut lengthwise into ¾-inch strips
1 large red onion, cut into ½-inch wedges
1 medium yellow sweet pepper, cut lengthwise into ¾-inch wide strips
1 cup loosely packed cilantro leaves, coarsely chopped
1 fresh jalapeno chile pepper, seeded and finely chopped
2 tbsp lime juice
1 tsp dried oregano, crushed
1 clove garlic, minced
1. Season steak with salt and pepper; set aside. Heat a heavy 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 Tbsp. olive oil. Add poblano peppers, onion, sweet pepper, and a large pinch of salt. Cook 5 minutes without stirring. Cook 5 minutes more, stirring once, or until vegetables are lightly charred and tender. Remove from skillet; keep warm.
2. Add remaining 1 Tbsp. oil to the skillet. Add steak. Cook 12 to 15 minutes or until medium-rare (145 degrees F), turning once halfway through. Transfer steak to a cutting board. Cover; let stand 5 minutes.
3. For Cilantro Chimichurri: In a small bowl combine cilantro, jalapeno, lime juice, oregano, garlic, and a pinch of salt. Stir in 2 tsp. oil. Slice steak; serve with pepper-onion mixture and chimichurri.
Or for a gas or charcoal grill, place steak on a grill rack directly over medium heat. Cover and grill 17 to 21 minutes for flank steak, 17 to 21 minutes for hanger steak or 6 to 9 minutes for skirt steak
Yukon Gold & Sweet Potato Mash
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
2 large eggs
1 tsp baking soda
¼ cup buttermilk
2 cups sugar
4 2/3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
¼ tsp salt
½ cup pale-pink or white sanding sugar (optional)
2/3 cup apricot or strawberry jam, slightly warmed (optional)
1. In bowl of electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar until fluffy, about 4 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each. Sift flour, baking soda, and salt into large bowl. On low speed, gradually add flour mixture to mixer bowl, alternating with buttermilk, until combined. Wrap dough in plastic; chill until firm, 1 hour or overnight.
2. To color white sanding sugar, if using: Place a few tablespoons in a small bowl. Mix in petal dust with a toothpick, a bit at a time, until desired shade is reached. Colored sanding sugar will last indefinitely.
3. Heat oven to 350 degrees with two racks centered. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. On lightly floured surface, roll chilled dough 1/8 inch thick. Cut out hearts using any 1- to 3 1/2-inch heart cookie cutters. If desired, cut centers out of some hearts. Transfer with spatula to baking sheets. Chill for 30 minutes. Sprinkle with sanding sugar, if using. Bake until just golden but not too brown, about 10 minutes. Transfer cookies to rack. Continue with dough; reroll scraps.
4. To make sandwich hearts: Brush bottom heart lightly with jam; cover with a second heart with center cut out; jam will adhere hearts. Fill cut-out area with more jam.