Recipes for a Table For Two, S’il Vous Plaît

Simple recipes for a romantic dinner for two.

Story and recipes by Sarah MacDonald 

 Photography and styling by Kate Rogan


Steak Frites with Compound Butter

Tarte Aux Pommes




1/2 cup water

1/2 cup milk

1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into tablespoons

1 teaspoon of Kosher Salt

1 cup all-purpose flour

4 large eggs

3 1/2 ounces shredded Gruyère cheese (1 cup), plus more for sprinkling

Freshly ground pepper

Freshly grated nutmeg


[1] Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. In a medium saucepan, combine the water, milk, butter and salt and bring to a boil. Add the flour and stir it in with a wooden spoon until a smooth dough forms. Stir over low heat until it dries out and pulls away from the pan, about 2 minutes.  

[2] Let dough cool for 2 minutes and transfer to a mixing bowl. Beat the eggs into the dough, one at a time, beating thoroughly between each one. Add the cheese and a pinch each of pepper and nutmeg. [3] Transfer the dough to a pastry bag or plastic bag with the tip snipped off and pipe small mounds, slightly larger than a quarter, 2 inches apart. Sprinkle with cheese and bake for 22 minutes, or until puffed and golden brown. Serve while still warm.


Steak Frites


1/4 cup of butter, softened

1/2 shallot small diced

2 teaspoons of chopped parsley

1 teaspoon of chopped rosemary

1/2 teaspoon of fresh lemon juice

2 8-ounce cuts of hanger steak

1 28-ounce bag of high quality frozen

French fries (I like Alexia Brand)

Olive oil


Freshly cracked pepper


[1] Add softened butter, shallot, parsley, rosemary and lemon juice to a bowl and mix to combine. Spoon the butter mixture onto a piece of parchment paper or plastic wrap and roll to form a butter log. For best results, chill in the refrigerator overnight before using.

[2] Cook French fries per package instructions. 

[3] Heat a cast iron skillet or heavy pan on high. Season the steak with salt and freshly cracked pepper on both sides. Add the steak to the pan and sear on both sides and cook to desired temperature. Let the steak rest for 10 minutes and top with compound butter before serving.


Tarte Aux Pommes


1 sheet of frozen puff pastry

1 large apple, peeled and sliced thin

1/2 cup of brown sugar

1 teaspoon of lemon juice

1 egg yolk

1 tsp of water

2 tablespoons of apricot or apple jam


[1] Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper and set aside. In a large bowl, mix the apple slices, brown sugar and lemon juice until the apple is evenly coated. 

[2] Place puff pastry on the parchment paper and poke holes throughout the dough lightly with a fork. Pour apple filling over the puff and crimp the sides of the dough over the filling to form 1/2-inch border. 

[3] Brush the crust of the pastry with egg wash made from egg yolk and water. Your puff pastry should still be cool to the touch. If the pastry has come to room temperature, place back in the freezer for 10 minutes, or until firm. 

[4]  Place pastry in the oven for 35 degrees or until golden brown and bubbling. Immediately brush the pastry with jam. Allow pastry to cool for 10-15 minutes before cutting into pieces and serving.