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Fleur de Lolly: Surf and turf is perfect for special occasions

Staff Writer
Syracuse Journal-Democrat
Gulf Coast Scallops and Filet Mignon make a perfect Surf and Turf meal.

Laura Tolbert More Content Now

For those special occasions such as Valentine’s dinner at home, birthdays or just because you made it through the week until Friday, a surf and turf meal is always welcomed. I decided to prepare Gulf Coast scallops for the surf portion and filet mignon as the turf selection.

Scallops have such a delicate and silky texture and a very mild flavor. Please, don’t be intimidated by cooking scallops at home. A hot skillet and 90 seconds later, after searing the scallops on each side, your scallops are perfection. Your fork will glide straight through.

The same thing goes for the steak. Don’t be intimidated. A hot cast-iron skillet, 2 minutes of searing time on the stovetop and then 10 minutes in the oven (followed by a few minutes of resting time for the steak before serving) will result in a fabulous meal.

And don’t think these are just ho-hum mashed potatoes. They are taken to a little higher level with the addition of grated Gruyere cheese.

For the Mashed Potatoes:
• 2 large russet potatoes, peeled and chopped
• 1 tablespoon butter
• 2 tablespoons heavy cream (warmed)
• Salt to taste
• 1/2 grated Gruyere cheese

Place potatoes in a medium saucepan filled with cold water. Bring to a boil and cook until tender. Drain and then mash potatoes with butter, heavy cream, salt and grated Gruyere cheese. Set aside.

For the Steaks:
• Two 8-ounce filet mignons, 1 1/2 to 2 inches thick
• Olive oil
• Sea salt
• Freshly ground black pepper
• 1 tablespoon butter
Before starting to cook, remove steaks from the refrigerator about 20 minutes beforehand. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Drizzle tops of steaks with olive oil, generously sprinkle with the salt and pepper, and rub into steaks. Repeat on the other side. There’s a good bit of steak here, so don’t be afraid to season well.

Heat a large, cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat, then add 1 tablespoon butter. Once melted, add steaks, then sear for 2 minutes. Using tongs, turn steaks over and place skillet into preheated oven and roast for 10 minutes for medium-rare steaks. Adjust roasting time according to the thickness of steaks and how you wish yours to be cooked. Remove steaks to a plate and tent with foil. Set aside to rest while you prepare the pan sauce.

For the Rosemary Wine Pan Sauce:
• 2 tablespoons minced shallot
• 1 teaspoon garlic, minced
• 1 rosemary sprig
• 3/4 cup red wine
• 3/4 cup low sodium beef broth
• 2 tablespoons butter
• Salt and pepper

Place the same skillet that the steaks were cooked in back onto the stovetop over medium-high heat. Add shallots and sauté for 30 seconds. Add garlic, rosemary and wine, and simmer until wine is reduced by half. Next, add beef broth and simmer until sauce is thickened and reduced, 5 to 6 minutes. Add butter, taste and add salt and pepper if necessary. Set sauce aside.

For the Scallops:
• 6 to 8 large scallops
• Salt and pepper
• 1 tablespoon olive oil
• 1 tablespoon butter

While the pan sauce is reducing, melt butter and olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Pat scallops dry between layers of paper towels, season with salt and pepper, and then place the seasoned side down in hot skillet and sear for 90 seconds. Season top with salt and pepper and then, using tongs, turn over and sear for another 90 seconds.

Spoon mashed potatoes onto a plate. Place steak on top of the potatoes and drizzle with the pan sauce. Add scallops to plate and garnish with a fresh sprig of rosemary.

Laura Tolbert, also known as Fleur de Lolly, has been sharing recipes, table decor ideas and advice for fellow foodies and novices on her blog, fleurdelolly.blogspot.com, for more than eight years. She won the Duke’s Mayonnaise 100th Anniversary nationwide recipe contest for her Alabama White BBQ Sauce. You can contact her at facebook.com/fleurde.lolly.5, on Instagram, and at fleurdelolly@yahoo.com.