This year for Valentine’s Day, Mike and I decided we would cook together (one of our favorite activities). We decided on Surf and Turf and went to Chelsea Market, one of my favorite places in NYC.
Chelsea Market was the old Nabisco Factory. Now it is home to multiple bakeries, food stores, wine merchants, and restaurants as well as the home of a few marketing companies and Food Network TV studios.
(<— LOOK! DEATH!)
I love the look of the building. It’s industrial and artsy at the same time. They left certain pieces from what it was and made it into something completely reimagined.
There are many performers that entertain there as well.
While walking around the market, we spotted Whitney Port (from “The Hills”/”The City” on MTV). She had the longest, thinnest legs I’ve ever seen.
Mike and I went specifically for The Lobster Place. They specialize in wholesale to some of the best restaurants in Manhattan, but they also sell to commoners like me. After a lap around the store (and our comments in stereo: Sara- “It smells like Maine” and Mike- “It smells like Boston”), we decided on a half pound of jumbo scallops and a 1.5 pound lobster (live). We proceeded to name the lobster “Whitney Port” in honor of our celebrity spotting.
On the way home, Mike and I stopped at a Meat Market and bought a very large flank steak and some pancetta. As soon as we got home, we set the steak to marinate in soy sauce, ginger, garlic, honey, vinegar, and oil. A few hours later, we whipped up the scallops in butter, garlic, and shallots. It was tasty! So tasty, in fact, that I forgot to take pictures. But we did pop the wine that we went on an adventure to find. This is a wine from 1990 and it is just very, very good.
Next up we started boiling the big pot of water for Whitney and then browned the pancetta for the brussel sprouts. We originally fell in love with a similar recipe that we ate at Babbo, and then saw Guy Fieri cook a similar version on The Food Network. We altered it slightly, however, and loved it so much last time we made it that we added it to the Valentine’s Day meal.
While the Brussel Sprouts were baking, we started the steak on the grill. We proceeded to set the fire alarm off, almost burn the steak, then threw WAY too much oil on the grill top (my fault) to prevent the other side from burning. WHOOPS! It unfortunately turned out a bit tough, but delicious. (And even better the next day when the meat had time to absorb more of the marinade and garlic!)
Of course, we set Whitney to boil as soon as we could, and then I hacked her to pieces.
The completed meal was absolutely delicious! Yet again, somehow, the brussel sprouts still prevailed as the highlight. Go figure!
After dinner we went to see Guys and Dolls on Broadway (good, but not great… though definitely a classic). Our plan was to go to Marseilles on 44th Street and 9th Avenue for dessert. We went in around 10:30pm and there were at least a dozen empty tables with no one waiting. The hostess proceeded to inform us, however, that they were booked solid for the next hour and we were welcome to take a seat at the bar (the seats were a single on either side). I asked her if she was kidding and she regretted to inform me she was not. We incredulously left and decided we’d be better off with dessert on the couch. We picked up 2 pints of Ben & Jerry’s and I have decided that their Pumpkin Cheesecake may just be my favorite ice cream ever. It’s on Limited Batch right now, however, so I will shed a tear when it is gone.
All-in-all, it was a fabulous Valentine’s Day!
Here are the recipes from the evening:
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 3 tablespoons honey
- 2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 1 1/2 pounds flank steak
Blend, Spear steak with fork, Marinate for many hours (we did 4, but I think it would benefit from at least 8), and Grill.
- 6 ounces pancetta, big dice
- 1-2 pints Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup pine nuts
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In a medium pan over medium heat cook the pancetta. Remove from pan, reserving a little of the pancetta fat in the pan. Add the Brussels sprouts to the pan and cook over medium heat to begin to brown. Dress with balsamic and olive oil, a little salt (pancetta are salty) and pepper. Place into the oven and roast, tossing a couple of times, until nicely caramelized, about 15 to 20 minutes.
Put the pine nuts in a small, dry, saute pan and toast over a low flame, tossing a couple of times, just until lightly browned, 3 or 4 minutes. (we used some oil to prevent burning, but it probably wasn’t necessary)
Once the sprouts are ready, remove them from the oven and put into a big serving bowl. Add the pancetta and pine nuts. Toss and check for seasoning. Serve.
Boil water with salt
Put lobster in head first for about 8-10 minutes per pound
Remove and hack (or if you have nut crackers, skip the hacking)