Holiday, Meat

Valentine’s Day Dinner: Putting it All Together

seasoned ribeye, mac and cheese, and asparagus

 

So now you have each of the individual recipes for this dinner, but how the heck do you coordinate all of these dishes without setting fire to the house?!  Do not fear my friends, find all the answers you need on timing and prep in this here blog post 🙂

[Prep Steak]

 

seasoned ribeye in a skillet, with sides of mac and cheese and asparagus

 

First place to start, is the steak marinade.  Either the night before, or a coupe hours before dinner you’re going to want to put the marinade on your steak.  This will take all of 5-10 min, and when you’re finished, just wrap it tightly and set it in the fridge until you’re ready to cook it. 

Depending on your time or how you want to set up dinner, the side dishes can be made right before serving, or prepared ahead of time, and then baked in the oven 30 minutes before serving.

[Prep Side Dishes]

mac and cheese and asparagus before being baked

 

Let’s start with the seasoned asparagus first!  Prep work for this is very minimal, and really just requires assembly.  Make sure to rinse your asparagus spears, trim the bottoms off and then lay in a greased baking dish.  Drizzle with oil and season with Everything But the Bagel Seasoning, cover with foil, and set aside.  If being prepped more than an hour before baking, store in the fridge.

 

close up of mac and cheese and asparagus in two skillets on a white table

 

Next is the mac and cheese!  Make sure to cook your noodles before starting the cheese, that way you can stir them in as soon as the cheese is ready!  If you let the cheese sit for too long it will start to harden, and then you have to go through the process of heating it up again, which is just a pain!  Once you add the panko crust topping, cover with foil and set aside, or store in fridge if prepped more than an hour before baking.

A tip to save you time…cook your noodles the night before and store in a air tight zip lock bag in the fridge.

[Bake side dishes]

45 min before the estimated dinner time, preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.  When the preheat is finished, pop the side dishes in and bake for 30 min.  Cover both with foil for first 20 min, then remove for last 10.

While side dishes are baking, pour yourself a nice glass of wine to sip on, because you’re dinner is almost done!  Last step…cooking the ribeyes!

 

macaroni and cheese and asparagus in skillets with a bottle of wine

 

[Sear Steak]

Remove your ribeyes from the fridge and set on the counter.  Take a large frying pan or skillet and add butter.  Set to medium-high heat.  Once the butter is melted, begin searing your ribeyes.  This will take anywhere from 7-15 min.

 

two ribeyes in a skillet with a side of mac and cheese and asparagus

 

By the time your steaks are done, your side dishes will be finishing up in the oven!  Serve however you like and enjoy!

 

ribeyes in skillet with side of mac and cheese and asparagus

Ribeye Steak Marinade

Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time20 mins
Course: Main Course
Keyword: dinner, marinade, ribeye, steak
Author: Lulu's Table

Ingredients

  • 2 ribeyes bone-in, or no bone
  • 4 tbsp grass-fed butter

Steak Marinade

  • 3 tbsp avocado oil
  • 1 tbsp garlic paste
  • Grill Mates Montreal Steak Seasoning enough to cover both surfaces of ribeye

Instructions

  • Prepare steak marinade by mixing together oil and garlic paste in a small bowl.  Brush over both sides of each ribeye.
  • Cover both sides of ribeyes with Grill Mates Montreal Steak Seasoning.  Wrap tightly and let marinate in fridge for a couple hours or overnight.
  • Begin cooking right before serving.  Heat a large pan or skillet over medium heat on stovetop.  Add butter and let melt.
  • Once butter has melted, add ribeyes and sear 1 minute on one side, and then flip and sear 1 minute on the opposite side.  Repeat process until desired temperature is met.  This will take anywhere from 7-15 minutes depending on desired temp.  As a reference point, for a medium steak cook for 10 min.
  • During periods of searing, take a spoon and scoop melted butter and fat drippings over top of ribeyes.
  • Serve after cooking.

 

Seasoned Asparagus

Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time35 mins
Course: Side Dish
Keyword: asparagus, baked, everything but the bagel, healthy, seasoned, simple, trader joes
Servings: 2 people
Author: Lulu's Table

Ingredients

  • 1/2 bundle fresh asparagus
  • 2 tbsp EVOO or avocado oil
  • Everything But The Bagel Seasoning Trader Joe's

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and grease a small baking dish.
  • Take bundle of asparagus and cut an inch off the bottom stem.
  • Rinse asparagus, then lay in baking dish.  Drizzle oil overtop and season with Everything But The Bagel.  Add as much seasoning as you'd like, or enough to cover surface of asparagus.
  • Bake for 30 min.

 

THE BEST Creamy Macaroni and Cheese

Course: Side Dish
Keyword: creamy, mac and cheese, macaroni and cheese, nutmeg
Servings: 8 people
Author: Lulu's Table

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 pint half and half cream
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 1 block velveeta cheese cut into 1/2 inch slices
  • 1 block sharp white cheddar cut into 1/4 inch slices
  • 1 tsp fresh nutmeg ground
  • 1 1 lb box rotini pasta cooked
  • 1/2 cup panko

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Lay out all of your ingredients ahead of time, as the sauce will need to be stirred while cooking to prevent hardening or burning.
  • Prep the cheeses by cutting them into thin slices (that way they melt in the saucepan quicker).  Allow cream to get close to room temp, to avoid curdling.
  • Once ingredients are laid out, add butter to saucepan over medium heat.  Allow to melt and then whisk in flour.
  • Slowly pour cream into saucepan in stages, while continuously stirring.  This will thicken and create the roux for your cheese sauce.
  • Once you have added all the cream and created your roux, start to add the cheeses and continually stir.  Add cheese in stages (a handful of velveeta and cheddar at one time).  Stir in cheese until it melts, then add another handful until everything is blended together. 
  • Sprinkle in nutmeg and stir.
  • Add most of your cooked noodles to the cheese sauce and stir (I leave out a handful of noodles so it's extra creamy!).
  • Transfer to a greased baking dish.
  • Melt butter in a separate bowl and stir in 1/2 cup panko.  Take panko mixture and sprinkle on top of mac and cheese.
  • Bake for 30 min with foil on top for first 20 min.

Notes

  • I use Vermont Sharp White Cheddar by Cracker Barrel for my choice of cheddar.
  • Rotini pasta is my favorite to use with mac and cheese, because I find that its shape is best for grabbing the sauce.

 

Holiday

Valentine’s Day Dinner Part 3: Ribeye Steak Marinade

bone in ribeye with seasoning on a skillet

Rounding out the Valentine’s Day dinner menu is this perfectly juicy, ribeye steak, and tips for a life-changing marinade!  This steak is so darn good that you could be totally satisfied eating it by itself, but we operate under the “no main dish left behind” act in this household…hence the sides of macaroni and cheese and seasoned asparagus.  The combination pairs so well, that I often eat all three items at one time (be adventurous, try it!)

two cooked bone in ribeyes on a skillet

I’ve found that there are two components to creating the perfect steak.  Where your meat is sourced from, and the marinade used.  You can cook a steak on the grill, stovetop, or even in the oven and yield a good end result, but the taste is going to depend on those first two components.  So let me give you the run down!

Two tips for the perfect steak:

Source

two bone in ribeyes, uncooked, on brown paper

If you have access to a quality local butcher, USE THEM.  Pay the little extra to get meat that is locally sourced, free of antibiotics and hormones, and isn’t produced for the sole purpose of feeding the masses.  Here in Columbus, The Butcher and Grocer in Grandview, has become the only place I use as my source of steak.

The Butcher and Grocer only source from Ohio, family-owned farms, and pride themselves on doing whole-animal butchery.  Meaning, they never receive frozen, refrigerated, or pre-packaged meat.  The animals are raised on pasture, fed a diet that nature intended, and when the time is right, they are humanely slaughtered and sent to the butcher whole.

I cannot stress enough how much of a difference this makes in the end result of your steak.  If you have access to a local butcher I would highly recommend giving them a try.  If you don’t, try to get pasture-raised, organic, grass-fed beef.  And if you live near Columbus, you need to check out The Butcher and Grocer!  

two ribeyes with dog staring at them in the background

As if there’s not enough upside to buying meat from your butcher, you get to support local farmers too!

Marinade

steak seasoning, oil, garlic paste with ribeyes in background

Now this is where the magic happens!  I have been using the same marinade for years, and I can’t stop because I don’t even want to try anything else!  There are 3 simple ingredients you need for this marinade…oil, garlic paste, and Grill Mates Montreal Steak Seasoning.

two ribeyes with oil and garlic marinade on brown paper

Start by pouring oil in a small bowl, and mixing in garlic paste.  I use a brush to coat both sides of the steak in oil/garlic mixture, and then liberally sprinkle with steak seasoning before wrapping tight and letting sit.  Depending on how pro-active I am, I either let it sit over night in the fridge, or if being made the same day, as long as I can before cooking.

two ribeyes marinating in oil, garlic, and steak seasoning

Trust me, this marinade will change your life!

Now how do we cook this beautiful masterpiece?  And yes, it can be done of stove top!  After your steak has marinated, take it out of the fridge and set out on the countertop while you prep your pan.  Use either a large frying pan, or large skillet, and place on med-high heat.  Add a couple tablespoons of butter and let melt.

two seasoned ribeyes cooking on a skillet

Once butter has melted, you will start searing your steak.  Depending on how well done you like your steak, this can take anywhere from 7-15 min.  I like my steak medium rare-medium, so I sear mine for about 10 min.

two ribeyes being seared on skillet

To sear your steak, you will let it cook on high heat for a about one minute per side.  After one minute has passed, flip to the other side and repeat until you’ve reached your desired temperature.  Use tongs to flip your steak, and a spoon to pour melted butter and fat drippings over top while they cook.

Once done cooking, you can transfer to a plate whole, or slice it up and serve right there in the hot skillet!  And when you’re finished, all fatty pieces and bones can be donated to your fur baby 🙂

two seasoned ribeyes cooked on skillet

 

Ribeye Steak Marinade

Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time20 mins
Course: Main Course
Keyword: dinner, marinade, ribeye, steak
Author: Lulu's Table

Ingredients

  • 2 ribeyes bone-in, or no bone
  • 4 tbsp grass-fed butter

Steak Marinade

  • 3 tbsp avocado oil
  • 1 tbsp garlic paste
  • Grill Mates Montreal Steak Seasoning enough to cover both surfaces of ribeye

Instructions

  • Prepare steak marinade by mixing together oil and garlic paste in a small bowl.  Brush over both sides of each ribeye.
  • Cover both sides of ribeyes with Grill Mates Montreal Steak Seasoning.  Wrap tightly and let marinate in fridge for a couple hours or overnight.
  • Begin cooking right before serving.  Heat a large pan or skillet over medium heat on stovetop.  Add butter and let melt.
  • Once butter has melted, add ribeyes and sear 1 minute on one side, and then flip and sear 1 minute on the opposite side.  Repeat process until desired temperature is met.  This will take anywhere from 7-15 minutes depending on desired temp.  As a reference point, for a medium steak cook for 10 min.
  • During periods of searing, take a spoon and scoop melted butter and fat drippings over top of ribeyes.
  • Serve after cooking.