As the holiday season approaches, it's time to start planning a memorable Christmas dinner for your special someone. Whether you want to impress them with your culinary skills or create a romantic and intimate atmosphere, a perfectly cooked rib eye steak is always a crowd-pleaser. In this article, we'll explore the ins and outs of creating the ideal steak dinner, along with other delectable side dishes and cocktails to make the evening unforgettable.
Perfectly Pan-Fried Rib Eye Steak
The star of the show for any steak dinner is, of course, the steak itself. A rib eye is an excellent choice for a romantic dinner because it's flavorful, tender, and easy to cook to perfection. Here are the steps to creating a perfectly pan-fried rib eye steak:
- Remove the steak from the refrigerator at least 30 minutes before cooking to allow it to come to room temperature. Season both sides with salt and pepper, or your favorite steak seasoning.
- Heat a heavy-bottomed skillet or cast-iron pan over medium-high heat. Add a tablespoon of oil, such as canola or vegetable oil, and swirl to coat.
- Add the steak and cook for 4-5 minutes on one side without touching it. Flip the steak and cook for another 3-4 minutes for medium-rare, or longer if desired.
- Remove the steak from the pan and let it rest for at least 5 minutes before slicing and serving.
For an extra touch of luxury, you can also add a pat of butter and some crushed garlic or herbs to the pan in the last minute or two of cooking, and baste the steak with the melted butter for added flavor and richness.
Elevate Your Chicken Game with Saltimbocca
Looking for an impressive chicken dish to complement your steak? Saltimbocca is a traditional Italian dish that combines chicken breast with prosciutto, sage, and a white wine-butter sauce. Here's how to make saltimbocca:
- Pound chicken breasts to an even thickness, then season with salt and pepper.
- Wrap each chicken breast with a slice of prosciutto and a couple of sage leaves.
- In a skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Add chicken and cook until browned and cooked through, about 6 minutes per side. Remove chicken from skillet.
- Add dry white wine and chicken broth to skillet; bring to a boil. Cook for 2 minutes or until reduced by half, scraping up browned bits from bottom of skillet. Remove from heat and stir in butter until melted and smooth.
- Serve the chicken with the sauce spooned over the top.
The combination of salty prosciutto and earthy sage pairs perfectly with the rich flavors of the rib eye steak and creates a decadent and impressive main course duo.
Creamy and Delicious Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes
Mashed potatoes are a classic side dish for steak, and with an instant pot, they're easy to prepare and impressively creamy. Here's how to make instant pot mashed potatoes:
- Peel and chop 4-5 large russet potatoes and place them in the instant pot with 1 cup of chicken broth or water. Season lightly with salt.
- Seal the instant pot lid and set to pressure cook on high for 10 minutes.
- Use quick release to release the steam, then carefully open the lid and mash the potatoes with ¼ cup of butter and ½ cup of heavy cream.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste.
These creamy mashed potatoes are the perfect complement to the steak and can be made in advance and reheated for convenience.
Festive and Refreshing Pomegranate Margarita Recipe
A festive cocktail can take your romantic dinner to the next level, and this pomegranate margarita recipe is both refreshing and easy to make. Here's the recipe:
- Fill a shaker with ice and add 2 oz. of silver tequila, 1 oz. of pomegranate juice, and 1 oz. of lime juice.
- Shake well and strain into a glass filled with ice.
- Garnish with fresh pomegranate seeds and a lime wedge.
This vibrant and fruity margarita is the perfect festive addition to your holiday steak dinner.
Juicy and Tender Air Fryer Turkey Breast Recipe
If you're looking for a lighter alternative to steak, an air fryer turkey breast is a delicious and healthy option that will not disappoint. Here's how to make juicy and tender air fryer turkey breast:
- Season a boneless turkey breast with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and any other herbs or spices you prefer.
- Place the turkey breast in the air fryer basket and spray lightly with cooking spray.
- Cook at 375°F for 25-30 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 165°F with a meat thermometer.
- Allow the turkey breast to rest for a few minutes before slicing and serving.
This air fryer turkey breast is not only delicious but also a healthier choice for a romantic dinner. Serve it with a side of roasted vegetables or a fresh salad for a well-rounded meal.
Baked Sweet Potatoes with a Twist
A baked sweet potato is a classic side dish, but with a few creative toppings, it can become a star in its own right. Here's how to make baked sweet potatoes with a twist:
- Preheat the oven to 375°F.
- Wash and scrub 2-3 medium sweet potatoes and pierce with a fork several times.
- Wrap each sweet potato in foil and bake for 45-60 minutes or until tender.
- In a small bowl, mix together ¼ cup of sour cream, 1 tablespoon of chopped fresh chives, and ¼ teaspoon of smoked paprika.
- Slice open the cooked sweet potatoes and top with the sour cream mixture, crumbled bacon, and a drizzle of maple syrup.
These sweet potatoes are a perfect complement to the steak and add a touch of sweetness to the meal.
Easy and Delicious Holiday Slice-and-Bake Cookies
No romantic dinner is complete without a sweet treat to share, and these slice-and-bake cookies are easy to make and deliciously festive. Here's the recipe:
- In a large bowl, beat 1 cup of softened butter with 1 cup of sugar until light and fluffy.
- Add in 1 egg and 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract and beat until well combined.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together 2 and ¼ cups of all-purpose flour, ½ teaspoon of baking powder, and ¼ teaspoon of salt.
- Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture in increments, mixing until just combined.
- Divide the dough into two equal portions and roll each into a log shape, about 2 inches in diameter.
- Wrap each log tightly in plastic wrap and chill for at least 2 hours, or up to two days.
- When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 375°F and slice the dough into rounds about ¼ inch thick.
- Place the cookies on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes or until lightly golden.
These easy and delicious cookies can be made in advance and baked on the day of your dinner, making them a great option for a stress-free dessert.
Fall-Off-The-Bone Braised Short Ribs Recipe
If you're looking for a heartier main course than steak, braised short ribs are a luxurious and tender option that will impress your significant other. Here's how to make fall-off-the-bone braised short ribs:
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Season 4-6 bone-in short ribs with salt and pepper on all sides.
- In a large Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed pot, heat 2 tablespoons of oil over medium-high heat until hot.
- Working in batches, brown the short ribs on all sides, about 5-7 minutes per batch. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
- Add diced onion, carrots, and celery to the pot and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.
- Add minced garlic and cook for another minute.
- Stir in ¼ cup of tomato paste and cook for another minute.
- Add 2 cups of red wine and deglaze the pot, scraping up any bits stuck to the bottom.
- Add 2 cups of beef broth, 2 bay leaves, and 2 sprigs of fresh thyme, and bring to a simmer.
- Return the short ribs to the pot, cover with a tight-fitting lid, and transfer to the preheated oven.
- Braise in the oven for 3-4 hours, or until the meat is tender and falling off the bone.
These braised short ribs are a perfect dish for a cold winter night and can be served with mashed potatoes or a roasted root vegetable medley.
Classic Chicken Marsala Recipe with a Twist
A classic Italian dish that is both comforting and elegant, chicken marsala is the perfect main course for a romantic dinner. Here's how to make chicken marsala with a twist:
- Pound 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts to an even thickness, then season with salt and pepper.
- Dredge the chicken in flour and shake off any excess.
- Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add 2 tablespoons of butter and 2 tablespoons of olive oil.
- When the butter has melted, add the chicken and cook until browned on both sides, about 4-5 minutes per side.
- Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside.
- Stir in ½ cup of sliced mushrooms and cook until softened, about 3-4 minutes.
- Pour in ½ cup of chicken broth and ½ cup of marsala wine, and bring to a simmer.
- Cook until the sauce has thickened slightly, about 5-7 minutes.
- Stir in ¼ cup of heavy cream and return the chicken to the pan to heat through.
This creamy and flavorful chicken marsala is a twist on the classic dish and is sure to impress your significant other.
Decadent Red Velvet Mug Cake Recipe
If you're looking for a sweet treat that's quick and easy to make, this red velvet mug cake recipe is perfect. Here's how to make a decadent red velvet mug cake:
- In a microwave-safe mug, whisk together ¼ cup of all-purpose flour, 2 tablespoons of sugar, 1 tablespoon of unsweetened cocoa powder, ⅛ teaspoon of baking powder, and a pinch of salt.
- Add 2 tablespoons of milk, 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil, ½ teaspoon of vanilla extract, and ¼ teaspoon of red food coloring, and stir well.
- Microwave on high for 60-90 seconds, or until the cake has risen and is cooked through.
- Serve the cake warm, topped with whipped cream or cream cheese frosting if desired.
This single-serving mug cake is a perfect dessert to end your romantic dinner for two.
Caprese Chicken Pasta: A Perfect Combination of Flavors
If you're looking for a pasta dish that's a little lighter than traditional dishes such as carbonara or alfredo, caprese chicken pasta is a perfect choice. Here's how to make caprese chicken pasta:
- Cook 8 oz. of penne pasta according to package directions until al dente. Reserve ½ cup of pasta water.
- While the pasta is cooking, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat.
- Add 4-6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts that have been pounded to an even thickness, and season with salt and pepper.
- Cook the chicken for 4-5 minutes on each side or until golden brown and cooked through.
- Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside.
- Add diced tomatoes, chopped basil, and minced garlic to the skillet, and cook for 2-3 minutes until the tomatoes are softened.
- Add the reserved pasta water to the skillet and stir to combine.
- Add the cooked pasta to the skillet and toss to coat in the sauce.
- Slice the chicken and serve on top of the pasta.
The fresh flavors of tomato, basil, and balsamic vinegar pair perfectly with the tender and juicy chicken and create a light and satisfying pasta dish.