surf and turf

perfecting the "done before they arrive" party- a work in progress

Categories: Appetizers, Salads and Dressings, Poultry, Desserts, Dinner for Two, Dinner Party, Posted on February 14, 2012 by Sandy Bergsten

Who dares venture out for dinner on Valentine’s Day, appropriately dubbed Amateur Night. Dining in one can splurge with a plethora of the best ingredients simply prepared. Foie gras, salmon roe, black truffles, and chocolate- now that if that doesn’t put you in the mood what else will. My Valentine has a soft spot for all of the above.

He’s also partial to sentimental cards with key words underlined.


This year I’m going to treat my sweetheart to all of his favorites, with an emphasis on the key ingredients. This dinner comes at a quick clip. So pretend you are on a cooking show and set out all your ingredients in advance.

salmon roe

The “surf” is simply fresh salmon roe served atop high quality unsalted potato chips. The “turf” is sautéed fresh duck foie gras served alongside a watercress salad with black truffle sea salt.

cress salad

Trim, rinse and spin dry the greens. Divide among plates. Drizzle with the best quality olive oil and a pinch of black truffle sea salt.

The sautéed duck foie gras comes together in less than three minutes. Make sure everything else is place before you start (and this means everything- music playing, candles lit, wine poured, lipstick on, you name it- it needs to be in place.)


First sauté the sliced pears in butter. Place on the plates. They do not need to be "hot"- this whole thing is delightful warm or at room temp.

foie gras

Season the foie gras with salt and pepper. Heat 2 teaspoons canola oil in a medium nonstick skillet over medium-high heat (but not smoking). Have a spatula ready.


Shake Wondra over the liver, flip and shake Wondra on other side- shake off excess and immediately set liver in the hot oil. Sauté for 45-60 seconds per side- touch the liver lightly with your finger to check if it's done (if that makes you nervous- make a little cut in the center and peek inside) it should be seared on exterior and pink (not raw and sinewy) inside. Place the cooked foie gras on the plate with the fanned out pears.

jam an balsamic

Lower the heat to medium, add one tablespoon balsamic vinegar to the pan- shake the pan and heat for 30-60 seconds. Stir in the jam and heat for 60 seconds. Drizzle the reduction sauce on top of liver and pears and serve immediately.

chocolate and butter

A sweet ending of petite fudge cakes. Melt the chocolate and butter in the microwave at 50% power, stirring often.

petite fudge cakes

Combine the sugar, flour and eggs.

petite fudge cakes

Stir in the chocolate mixture. Add the vanilla.

petite fudge cakes

Pour batter into greased small muffin tins or free standing muffin cups.

petite fudge cakes

Bake just until gooey. Dust with confectioner’s sugar and serve with fresh raspberries. This one is guareenteed to send an arrow straight though the heart of your beloved.

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