Welcome to the Valentine Day recipe roundup. You can have a great homemade “better than restaurant quality” Valentine dinner with a little planning, a little work, and a lot cheaper. Let’s make this year something special.
Editor’s Note: Originally Published February 11, 2017 and updated yearly with new recommendations.
Don’t you just love Valentine’s Day? Full of love and goodwill along with great food. But I hate crowded restaurants. We can do much better at home. Let’s review some of my top recipes that are easy to make.
In our house, the main course for special meals means meat, usually beef. Although pork and chicken are great and I love Italian and Mexican, here are my top beef recipes (and one chicken). I also include a couple of enhancements.
Let’s talk about beef grading just a bit. Prime is the very top 2% of the market. Excellent but expensive. I have a good source now but it is $35 per pound, but I only need two 8 oz fillet, so it is prime for me this year. Choice is the most common and is excellent also and is about half the cost of prime. Next is Select. Just say no.
You will notice most of my meat recipes use 7:2:2 which is my homemade seasoning. The numbers are the ratio of salt: pppiesepper: granular garlic. Click the link for more details.
#1a. Pan Seared Oven Roasted Strip Steak – A great simple method with excellent results. Always one of the top recipes on the site.
#1b. How to Grill a Strip Steak on a Gas Grill – Give that strip steak that extra grill taste. Worth the little extra work.
#2a. Pan Seared Oven Roasted Filet Mignon – Always an excellent method that is almost foolproof.
#2b. How to Grill a Filet Mignon on a Gas Grill – Add a little of that grill flavor to this most excellent cut.
#3. How to Grill a T-bone or Porterhouse Steak – A Tutorial – I do all my porterhouse on the grill. It is just so much better to grill than sear on the stove with the bone.
#4. Parmesan Baked Chicken Breast – This chicken has everything. It’s extremely moist, great taste, a little crunchiness. Plus, it is SIMPLE.
The Best Steak Marinade I do this frequently on strip steaks to kick them up a notch.
Blue Cheese and Garlic Compound Butter My wife’s favorite thing on steaks.
Veggies and other side dishes
Side dishes make or break the meal. Here are some of our favorites.
#1. Baked Bacon Green Beans – My wife’s favorite veggie. We generally use this for special company meals of marinaded strip steaks but occasionally it sneaks into an everyday meal. Best with whole frozen green beans.
#2. Parmesan Baked Potatoes – Extra fancy but so easy. Crispy Parmesan crusted baked potato halves infused with garlic and butter.
#3. Green Beans with Almonds – A great way to cook fresh grean beans without spend an hour on them. Made extra special with the toasted almonds.
#4. Old Fashion Cheesy Potato Casserole – A family favorite but may be a bit big for a for two dinners. A great make ahead for a family holiday meal.
#5. Parmesan Roasted Cauliflower – A way to make cauliflower extra special even for the person who doesn’t like cauliflower.
#6. 60 Minute Yeast Dinner Rolls – Show them how great you bake even though you can’t. Super easy with wonderful results.
Sweet endings are a must for a great meal but especially important on Valentine’s Day.
#1. Chocolate Chip Cheesecake – Absolutely awesome “REAL” cheesecake. Not one of those “no cook” pie pan things. And it is easy with only six ingredients. Always a great treat but more than we want for two of us but make ahead if you’re having a family meal.
#2. Simple Flourless Chocolate Cake – An excellent ending to any meal. Decadent flourless chocolate cake you can make with no special skills.
#3. Easy Berry Crumble – Wonderful berry crumble for that special dessert. Make ahead and pop it in the oven at the start of the meal and time for the end of the meal.