There is no better way to show your love for someone than to cook for them. Cooking, as they say, comes from the heart!   And we know that your TEC Grill is also close to your heart (maybe closer…?).

So for a fun twist on the typical dinner this Valentine’s Day, combine your two loves and surprise your sweetie with a meal cooked entirely on your TEC Grill (yes, even dessert!). It just takes a little advanced prep. The best part is that it will be fast and easy with very little cleanup to do at the end of the night, so you can spend more time with your Valentine.

Menu for 2

*Scallops over Fennel, Apple, and Blood Orange Salad with Champagne Pomegranate Vinaigrette
*Tri-Tip Steaks with Grilled Asparagus and Thyme Butter
*Griddled Beet Grit Cakes
*Grilled Chocolate Pound Cake with Smoked Salted Caramel

Here’s the step-by-step guide for how to make this dinner without breaking a sweat! Start the meal off with a bang with this unusual and beautiful salad.

Scallops over Fennel, Apple, and Blood Orange Salad with Champagne Pomegranate Vinaigrette

1/4 cup champagne
2 tablespoons champagne vinegar (or white wine vinegar)
1 small shallot, finely minced
1 tablespoon honey
1/3-1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup pomegranate seeds
1 bulb fennel, fronds cut-off and reserved, stalks cut-off, and bulb cut into quarters
1 Granny Smith apple, cut in half
1 small blood orange (or red grapefruit), sliced into rounds
4 dry-pack scallops

Do Ahead: Make Vinaigrette

Whisk together the champagne, vinegar, shallot and honey in a small bowl. Drizzle in the olive oil a little a time while whisking continuously until dressing comes together. Stir in some of the reserved fennel fronds. Season with salt and pepper. Keeps in the fridge for up to 3 days.


To Serve: Grill Scallops and Veg/Fruit

Preheat grill on medium heat. Season scallops all over with salt and pepper. Brush scallops, fennel bulb, apple and orange slices with some of the vinaigrette. Grill until scallops are barely cooked through (about 3-5 minutes total), and fennel, apple, and orange are slightly charred.   Since TEC Grills use infrared heat, you don’t have to worry about drying out delicate foods like scallops and vegetables. They will come out perfectly juice every time.

Remove from the grill, and slice fennel and apple. Toss fennel, apple, and orange with a little more of the vinaigrette, just until barely coated. Mound on a plate, and top with the scallops. Garnish with pomegranate seeds and fennel fronds.


Enjoy the salad with the rest of the champagne, and then onto the main course…

Griddled Beet Grit Cakes

1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 cup water
1/4 cup stone ground grits
1 medium beet, cooked and peeled
Splash of heavy cream
1/2 cup favorite cheese, such as parmesan, blue, fontina, etc.

Do Ahead: Make Grit Cakes

Bring the butter and water to a simmer in a wide shallow sauce pan. Add the grits, and whisk to combine. Turn heat down to low and simmer until grits are cooked (about 15 minutes). Meanwhile, roughly chop the beet.

When the grits are done, remove from heat and stir in the beet, heavy cream, and cheese. Stir until cheese is melted, and season with salt and pepper (and a hit of hot sauce).   Pour grits into a shallow bowl or quarter sheet pan and chill in the fridge until firm, up to over night.


 To Serve: Griddle Grit Cakes

When ready to grill the steaks, remove grits from the fridge. Cut out circles or squares with a    knife or cookie cutter, and lightly dredge with cornmeal. They kind of look like raw hamburger, but will taste delicious!

While the steaks and asparagus are grilling, place the grit cakes on the top shelf of your TEC Grill and grill just until warmed through. Do not grill too long, or else they will fall apart on you! Remove from heat, and place on the dinner plate.

Tri-tip Steaks with Grilled Asparagus and Thyme Butter

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
1 tablespoon fresh thyme, leaves picked off stems
2 tri-tip steaks
1 pound thin asparagus, tough stalks trimmed
Canola oil

Do Ahead: Make Thyme Butter

Mix together the butter and thyme in a small bowl. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.

To Serve: Grill Steaks and Asparagus

Rub steaks and asparagus all over with canola oil, and season with salt and pepper. Preheat grill on medium heat. Grill asparagus until slightly charred but still crisp, and steaks are cooked to desired temperature. See here for our TEC Grills temperature guide. Remove steaks and let rest about 5 minutes.

To serve, place the asparagus on top of the grit cake and then top with the steak. Place a small mound of the thyme butter on top of the steaks. Enjoy with a nice bold yet juicy red wine, such as a malbec or syrah.


OK, you’ve made it this far! Now onto dessert! At this point in the meal, keep it simple and easy, but go for big impact with a beautiful presentation.

Grilled Chocolate Pound Cake with Smoked Salted Caramel

4 slices chocolate pound cake
1/2 cup good quality jarred caramel sauce (or make your own)
Pinch of smoked sea salt
Vanilla ice cream

To Serve: Grill Cake and Garnish

Preheat grill on high heat to burn off any food. Brush grates with a grill brush to remove any ash. Turn heat down to low.

Cut out hearts from each slice of pound cake with a cookie cutter or knife.   Heat caramel sauce in a small saucepan, and keep warm. Grill cake slices just until grill marks show (about 2-3 minutes). Remove from grill and place on plates. Garnish with the caramel sauce, pinch of smoked salt, and vanilla ice cream.