Surf ‘N’ Turf is a dish that gained popularity in steakhouses across the U.S. in the 1960s and 70s. As the name implies, it can feature any combination of meat and seafood, but filet mignon and lobster tail is the favorite pairing.
The dish is a classic and it makes an elegant special occasion dinner that’s surprisingly easy to make at home.
The ingredient list for Surf and Turf is really simple, just the steak, lobster tail and an easy-to-make compound butter flavored with shallot and parsley.
Our recipe is easy to follow and focuses on timing to ensure that both the steak and the lobster tail are cooked to perfection.
If you’re feeling especially indulgent, you can pick up an extra lobster tail whip up our Lobster Mashed Potatoes to serve as a side dish (recipe below).
This recipe is included in our Valentine’s Day Dinner recipe collection. Click here to find more ideas for celebrating Valentine’s Day with a romantic dinner at home.Print
Surf and Turf Dinner for Two
Surf and turf is a classic special occasion dinner and easy to make at home. Our easy-to-follow recipe instructions ensure a perfectly cooked filet and a lobster tail that’s moist and tender.
- Prep Time: 30 minutes
- Cook Time: 15 minutes
- Total Time: 45 minutes
- Yield: 2 servings
- 2 lobster tails (5 ounces each)
- 2 lemon wedges
- 2 filet mignons (1-1/4-inch thick)
- Olive oil
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the compound butter:
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- 1/2 medium shallot, very finely chopped (about 2 teaspoons)
- 2 teaspoons fresh parsley, finely chopped
- Remove the filets from the refrigerator to allow them to come to room temperature (about 30 minutes).
- Use a fork to thoroughly combine the softened butter, shallot and parsley on a flat plate. Using a rubber spatula, transfer the butter mixture to a sheet of wax paper and form it into a 1-1/2-inch diameter cylinder. Roll tightly and freeze for 10 minutes to solidify, then refrigerate until ready to use.
- Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 400°F. Line 2 small baking sheets with aluminum foil and coat them with nonstick spray.
Note: Be sure to choose baking sheets small enough to fit in the oven side by side.
- Place the lobster tails, top side up, on a cutting board. Using kitchen shears, carefully cut a slit down the center of each shell, leaving the fan at the end of the tail intact. Be careful to insert the tip of the shears just under the shell to avoid cutting through the meat.
- Turn the lobster tails over and use the shears to snip off the small flippers. Carefully insert an upside down teaspoon between the underside of the shell and the meat. The shape of the spoon conforms to the segments of the lobster shell, and being smooth and rounded, it helps to loosen the meat without shredding it.
- Turn the lobster tails over again and carefully spread the shell apart where you split them. Gently pull the tail meat upward leaving it fastened at the fan end. Press the empty halves of the shell back together and rest the tail meat on top.
- Rinse the lobster tails under cool water and gently pat dry with paper towels. Should you find a vein that runs the length of the tail meat, remove it and discard.
- Arrange the tails on one of the prepared baking sheets and squeeze a little lemon over each. Cut up a pat of compound butter for each lobster tail, arrange on top and set aside.
- Drizzle the steaks with olive oil and season on both sides with salt and pepper.
- Heat a heavy frying pan over medium-high heat and coat with a bit of extra olive oil. Add the steaks and sear just long enough for them to release easily from the pan, 1 to 1-1/2 minutes per side.
- Once the steaks are seared, quickly transfer them to the other prepared baking sheet and place them in the oven. Depending on desired doneness, the steaks will cook for 5 to 7 minutes total.
- After the steaks have been in the oven for 3 minutes, it’s time to put the lobster tails in. The lobster tails will need to cook for 6 to 8 minutes total.
- Test the steaks after 5 minutes with an instant read thermometer – 125°F is good if you like your beef rare.
- Remove the steaks from the oven, cover loosely with foil and allow them to rest for 5 minutes.
- Keep an eye on the lobster tails. If you’ve taken your steaks out of the oven after 5 minutes, your lobster tails should be done at just about the same time the steaks are done with their 5 minute rest.
- To serve, arrange the filets and lobster tails on individual serving plates, top each filet with a pat of the compound butter and serve immediately.
Lobster Mashed Potatoes
This recipe for Lobster Mashed Potatoes is decadently rich and creamy and the perfect complement for Surf and Turf.
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 18 minutes
- Total Time: 33 minutes
- Yield: 2 servings
- 1 pound Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
- Meat from one 4 to 5 ounce lobster tail, chopped into small pieces
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 1/4 cup heavy cream, plus more if needed
- Salt and white pepper to taste
- Place the potatoes in a pan and cover with cold water. Add a generous pinch of salt, and bring to a boil over high heat.
- Cook until the potatoes are tender when pierced with a fork, 10 to 12 minutes. Drain, return the potatoes to the pan and place it back on the heat just long enough to allow the water to evaporate.
- Put the potatoes through a ricer or transfer them to a mixing bowl and mash until smooth.
- In the same pan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the lobster meat and cook about 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Add the cream, season with salt and pepper and continue cooking until the lobster is opaque and the cream is heated through, 2 minutes.
- Add the mixture to the potatoes, and mix well. If needed, warm extra cream in small increments and stir it into the potatoes until you’re happy with the consistency.