Grilled Surf and Turf: Romance is in the Air

What could be better on a balmy summer’s evening? Clear skies and a gentle breeze. Just the two of you. And something hot on the grill to get things started right.

In addition to being synonymous with celebration, extravagance, and special occasions, surf and turf is most closely associated with romance. Two different elements: meat and seafood residing together in harmony on the same plate.

In the early 1960s and throughout the next 25 years, Continental Cuisine (a French-American fusion) was all the rage. And surf and turf was at the pinnacle of indulgence on any restaurant menu. The combination entrée showcased the two most expensive menu items: filet mignon and lobster tail.

Cooking at home is the way of contemporary romance. Restaurant-industry statistics show that, nowadays, only 25% of couples eat in a restaurant on Valentine’s Day.

So, extend those romantic homespun notions to a warm summer’s eve in your own backyard or patio.

How to Construct a Classic Surf ‘n Turf

While filet mignon is the traditional choice for the “turf” portion of the entrée, any steak will do. A boneless rib steak is another traditional favorite, as is a strip steak.

The surf portion of the entrée was traditionally lobster tail. But you aren’t seated at a restaurant—you are at home, at your own grill, and you can make the surf portion anything you want. Let your appetite be your guide: shrimp, crab legs, scallops, crab cakes, calamari—the options are nearly endless.

Ready to grill your romantic culinary masterpiece? Here is The Lobel’s Guide to Grilling the Perfect Steak. And here is a video from our good friends at Weber Grills on how to prepare and grill lobster tails.

Make a Magnificent Dinner for Two—Even on a Busy Weeknight

One of our favorite summertime surf and turf variations is grilled USDA Prime Skirt Steak and grilled Wild-Caught Shrimp. From an ease and convenience standpoint, this is an ideal combination for surf and turf on a busy week night when you want to preserve the romance but keep the time-frame manageable.

Over direct heat, the shrimp only require 2 to 3 minutes per side, depending on the heat of the fire. Additionally, the skirt steak also only takes 3 to 4 minutes per side. This combination provides the robust beefy flavor of the skirt steak and the sweet succulence of the shrimp.

Having a grill basket for the shrimp is a great idea. No fooling around with skewers and turning—just shake the basket every so often. The shrimp are done when they are pink, moist, and supple.


What is your favorite surf and turf combination? What are your favorite accompaniments with surf and turf?


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