Surf and turf bring the best of both worlds into one plate. It saves you the trouble of deciding whether you want meat or seafood because you can have both! The surf element is usually steak or beef, while you’re left with many choices for the “surf” part, like fish, lobster, shrimp, crab, and more.
While surf and turf sound as fantastic and complete as it is, it lacks a few more elements: a delicious sauce and a simple yet amazing side dish. So what to serve with surf and turf? These additions make the entree and its contrasting elements feel more harmonious and connected.
Garlic cream sauce works its magic with either red meat or seafood; thus, feel comfortable drenching this all over your surf and turf elements. It’s rich, savory, and creamy, and you can make variations to make the taste palette even more complex. For instance, you can add bacon bits, white wine, cayenne, cheese, or spices for more depth and layer to the recipe and, thereby, the meal.
A red wine reduction sauce is an elegant way to elevate a steak meal, including surf and turf. Its deep and tangy flavors are derived from red wine, beef drippings and broth, balsamic vinegar, and spices. To make the best of this sauce, pick the wine element carefully – the better you choose, the more depth and flavor it has. Also, serve a glass of that wine with your meal!
Butter sauces are an excellent choice with individual seafood and steak dishes; thus, you can be sure they’re superb with surf and turf! But if you want a slight twist to the classic garlic butter recipe, give this lemon butter sauce a chance. The added element, fresh lemon juice, brings brightness and zestiness to the mixture, making the sauce feel and taste lighter than it usually is.
Instead of butter sauces, you can top your warm and fresh surf and turf with compound butter slices, like this garlic rosemary butter. Then, let those pieces melt beautifully into the flesh, so their flavors combine with the goodness of meat and seafood. This compound butter recipe is exceptionally perfect with steak because its flavors – garlicky, herby, and buttery – are a classic match with beef.
Risotto is a top choice for surf and turf sides. Its garlicky and buttery flavors are suited for meat and seafood, and, for this mushroom risotto, the umami the mushrooms provide makes the meal taste more interesting. Also, the creamy textures add moisture to the entree, so it doesn’t feel too dry or dense. If you’re not a fan of mushrooms, you can swap this for parmesan risotto.
As said before, mushrooms are spectacular with surf and turf. That’s because their chewy textures and umami flavors are novel contributions to the meal. Moreover, this recipe intensifies the umami because of the soy sauce glaze; thus, it’s perfect for those who want bold flavors with their meal. Plus, making it doesn’t take much time, as you’ll need only 15 minutes.
For those who want an excellent food presentation, the traditional meat on top of mashed veggies is a classic choice for a reason. The colorful flesh, especially that of steak, stands out against the light-colored, pureed vegetable. Although potatoes are standard for such a task, cauliflower is healthier as it has fewer carbs. Thus, make this garlic mashed cauliflower recipe and test it yourself!
If you don’t mind the extra carbs and guilt from the mixture of potatoes, sour cream, and butter, make these instant pot mashed potatoes. Its light and fluffy textures melt in your mouth, along with the rich, buttery, and herby tastes. Like the mashed cauliflower, this would serve as a great, creamy bed for the seafood and dark meat.
Besides mashed potatoes, you can serve your surf and turf with other potato sides, like boiled potatoes, French fries, wedges, and these smashed fingerling potatoes. The latter has a creamy, fluffy flesh hidden by crisp, smashed skin; thus, like surf and turf, it brings the best of two worlds in terms of textures. The seasoning is simple, just parsley, garlic, salt, and pepper, so the crop’s flavors shine through.
Asparagus is a side dish one can make effortlessly; thus, it’s perfect for busybodies who want a simple yet classy addition to their meals. However, this baked parmesan asparagus stands out from other recipes because of its brilliant inclusion of parmesan, which provides a subtle yet elegant flavor. Moreover, asparagus is almost a staple with surf and turf, so you’re sure this side dish would work well with your entree.
Green beans are an underrated side dish – they’re easy to cook, taste spectacular, and have great texture. They may not be as crisp as other veggies, but their tenderness and juiciness are divine. Those qualities – combined with this recipe’s caramelized, fresh, and zesty flavors – make roasted green beans a must-try tandem with your surf and turf.
12. Creamed Spinach
If you prefer even tenderer side dishes, leafy vegetables like spinach would fit the bill. But with this recipe, you’re getting not just melt-in-your-mouth textures but also indulgent creaminess and cheesiness. Thus, this creamed spinach may not just serve as a side dish to your surf and turf. It might also be a good enough substitute for creamy, cheesy sauce!
While most of the side dishes in this article came from the “turf” territory, this last one, New England clam chowder, is a contribution from the “surf” side. It’s a homey, warm soup teeming with thick textures, heavenly creaminess, and fresh seafood goodness. This dish is a classic in many restaurants, but you don’t have to order one. Instead, replicate that excellent quality at home with this recipe.