Valentine’s Day is tomorrow and you want to impress that someone special with a dinner that you prepared. However you don’t want to break the bank doing it. Steaks sounds great and lobster is even better. Nevertheless both these items are pricey. What would you say if I told you that you can serve both steak and lobster at a reasonable price?

Here’s how. Instead of opting for high end cuts of steaks such as filet mignon or tenderloin, go for a different cut of steak such as ribeye, porterhouse, or even New York Strip. They are all great cuts of meat at a less expensive price. Make sure you select cuts that have as much marbling as you can find on each piece of meat. My favorite cut is the ribeye, as it has enough fat distributed throughout the surface, making it nice and tender.

A whole lobster can be expensive. Most of the lobster meat is concentrated on the tail. Unless you want to impress your guests with a whole lobster, who by the way will leave out the most priced part (in my opinion) of the lobster–the tamale, purchasing it whole will be a waste of an expense. In addition its not very sexy watching someone dig into a lobster with a bib attached to their neck. Therefore lobster tails would be a better choice in addition to being much cheaper. The tails can be broiled, grilled, sauteed, stuffed (use your imagination) served alongside the steak. You can also use the lobster meat as part of an ingredient to ramp up a dish. I have done so with my recipe of lobster risotto below. The creamy risotto is cooked to perfection with chunks of lobster meat sitting on top to tempt you to dig in.

As you will be serving both steak and lobster, a smaller portion of meat of approximately 6-8 ounce should be sufficient unless you have a very big eater. This again will help you trim cost. Don’t forget to check for specials in your grocery store. Most stores tend to run specials on their meat and even lobster on Valentine’s Day.

So go ahead treat that loved one to a memorable dinner. Make them feel and think that they are special enough to be served only the best.

Lobster Risotto

2 small lobster tails approximately  2.5 – 3 ounce each
1 1/2 cups canned low-salt chicken broth
1 8 oz bottled clam juice
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoon butter
1/4 cup finely chopped shallots
1/2 cup arborio rice
1/4 cup brandy
1/4 cup whipping cream
2 tablespoon thinly sliced green onions or chives


Bring a medium saucepan of salted water to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the lobster tails and boil for 6 to 8 minutes until the shells curl and the lobster meat turns white. Drain, transfer to a cutting board, and cool for 15 minutes. Using kitchen shears or a sharp knife, cut through the top shell lengthwise. Remove the meat and cut into 1/2-inch pieces. Set aside.

Place broth and clam juice in small saucepan over low heat to simmer. In a medium saucepan, melt butter and olive oil over medium heat.  Add the shallots and cook, about 3 minutes. Add the rice and stir to coat with the butter/oil mixture. Add the brandy and simmer until the liquid has almost evaporated, about 2 minutes. Add half cup of broth mixture and stir until almost completely absorbed, about 2 minutes. Continue adding the stock, half cup at a time, stirring constantly and allowing each addition of stock to absorb before adding the next. Cook until the rice is tender but still firm to the bite, about 20 minutes. Add cream; stir until heated through. Remove from the heat. Season to taste and add the 1 tablespoon chives. Plate risotto and arrange lobster on top of risotto and garnish with remaining chives.

Serves 2

Blue Cheese-crusted Rib-eye Steaks with Mushrooms

2 8-ounce rib-eye steaks (each about 1 inch thick)
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion, thinly sliced
1/2 pound mushrooms, thickly sliced
4 garlic cloves, chopped
3/4 cup canned beef broth
1/4 cup brandy
1/4 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary
1/3 cups crumbled blue cheese
3 tablespoon panko crumbs
Fresh rosemary sprigs


Place steaks in shallow dish. Drizzle with oil; rub oil all over steaks. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Melt butter and olive in heavy medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms and sauté until mushrooms are just tender, about 4 minutes. Next add onion and garlic; continue to saute for about 2-3 minutes. Set mushrooms aside.

Heat heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add steaks to skillet; cook until just below desired doneness (i.e., medium rare 131 deg F, remove steak at 128 deg F) about 3 minutes per side for near medium-rare. Using tongs, transfer steaks to a baking sheet; tent loosely with foil to keep warm.

Add broth, then brandy and minced rosemary to same large skillet and bring to boil, scraping up browned bits. Add mushroom mixture. Boil until liquid is thick enough to coat spoon lightly, about 5 minutes. Keep warm.

Meanwhile preheat the broiler. Stir blue cheese and panko together in a bowl. Top ribeye with mixture. Place steaks under the preheated broiler until the cheese topping is browned and bubbly. 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from the oven, and let stand for at least 10 minutes before serving. Serve with warm mushroom mixture. Spoon sauce over steaks.  Garnish with rosemary sprigs.

Serves 2