The Valentine’s Dinner

February 15th, 2009 by katie

So this is what Valentine’s Day looked like at my house.  After a long day at work I was able to come home to this meal lovingly prepared by mrChaos and to relax and just enjoy it.  I love cooking and staying in on Valentine’s-working together in the kitchen before snuggling on the couch with a plate of food and a glass of wine.  This meal was far less expensive than any steakhouse dinner would have been: two steaks, creamed spinach, sauteed mushrooms, and creme brulee for dessert for less than $25. 

Sauteed Mushrooms

serves 4, prep 5-10 min, cook 15 min
  • 2 pounds button or cremini mushrooms, whole or sliced (if cooking whole choose small ones)
  • 4 tbsp butter or bacon fat
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp minced onion or shallot
  • 2 oz cognac or red wine
  • salt and pepper
  1. Start with a large skillet at high heat.
  2. Add 1/4 fat then sprinkle about 1/4 of mushrooms over melting fat before it burns (if using butter). 
  3. Stir minimally, salt and pepper mushrooms to taste.
  4. Once mushrooms are browned push them to the sides on the pan and add second batch of fat and mushrooms in the center.
  5. Continue until the last of the mushrooms are added and also add garlic, and onion or shallot.
  6. Once everything is cooked and browned to your liking, deglaze the pan by removing it from heat and adding the cognac.
  7. Return the pan to the heat and scrape the bottom.

Creamed Spinach

serves 4, prep 5 min, cook 10 min, adapted from Gourmet, December 2004
  • 1 lb fresh baby spinach leaves
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • pinch of nutmeg
  1. Place about 1 inch of water in a large stock pot and add a few pinches of salt, bring to a boil.
  2. Wilt spinach, stirring, for about 1-2 min. Remove and immediately rinse under cold running water.
  3. Squeeze all moisture out the spinach (my favorite way to do this is to wrap it in a kitchen towel and wring out the towel) and roughly chop.
  4. Warm milk and cream in a small sauce pan.
  5. Melt butter over medium heat and saute onions and garlic until soft.
  6. Sprinkle with flour and stir until smooth.  Cook flour mixture (roux) for several minutes.
  7. While stirring constantly, pour in hot milk and simmer until thick (If too thick just add additional milk until it is the way you want it).
  8. Stir in nutmeg and spinach and taste, season with salt and pepper.

You could totally substitute a package of thawed frozen spinach for the fresh if desired. Zing!  Just be sure you squeeze it really really well.

The steaks we just sprinkled with salt and pepper and seared in a hot pan for a few minutes per side until they passed the finger test for medium rare.   Follow with this:

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Posted in Budget, Easy, Fast, Main Dish, Menus, Sides

14 Responses

  1. Jancd

    This looks like a delicious meal.The creamed spinach looks really good. I may have to try that.

  2. Melissa

    Awesome.

    I’m making my V dinner right now and creamed spinach is on the menu. Can’t wait.

    Love how you can cook as well or better for the holiday at home for less money. It makes it seem so silly to even go out.

    Hope you and your hubby had a wonderful evening!

  3. noble pig

    What a wonderful night! Happy Valentine’s weekend!

  4. Hungry Jenny

    Wow, this looks amazing! I love steak 🙂 What is the dessert you made? It’s beautiful!

    Hungry Jenny x

    mrChaos actually made the creme brulee, but I helped eat it. -Katie

  5. RecipeGirl

    Lucky, lucky you!! This looks much more fabulous than our dinner out. What a great man you’ve got there 🙂

  6. sweetbird

    Sooo….is mrChaos available for rent?

  7. marguerite

    A perfect meal!

  8. Molly

    sauteed mushrooms are my favorite. that steak and creamed spinach looks delicious too. Did you end with creme brulee???? My all time favorite dessert. a resounding yum to that meal!

  9. MODman

    You had me at “hello”. Being a ravenous carnivore, this meal looks incredible. I like mine medium rare, when is dinner ready?

  10. stephen

    that’s what I’m talking about! good eats at a good price! nice photo’s-

  11. Marie

    Magnificant! Beats any crowded and overly expensive restaurant!

  12. Jancd

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/life_and_style/food_and_drink/real_food/article5561425.ece

    Katie, check this out. I added your blog to the comment section on blogs that should have been considered!! What were they thinking?

    Thanks Jan! That is definately a great list, many of my favorites are there. -Katie

  13. Jay - feedmedelicious.com

    I have always loved creamed spinach, but I have never made it myself. I’m going to make it over the weekend. Thank you for the recipe, it looks delicious!

  14. Bookmarks for January 21st through January 24th | a loved life

    […] The Valentine’s Dinner | chaos in the kitchen – Don't save this for Valentine's – make it now. FOR ME. […]

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About chaos

cha·os -noun 1. a condition or place of great disorder or confusion. My chaotic kitchen is the result of three kids, two adults, dog, cat, and fish, a food obsession, a wine drinking hobby, and too few hours in the day. Between trying to feed a family of five healthy, happy meals, watching my weight, saving my pennies, and staying partially sane I have picked up a few tricks along the way. So here they are: the very best tips, tricks, and recipes from my chaotic kitchen-to yours!

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