This Valentine’s Day I wanted to relax and not spend all my time in the kitchen, but I still wanted to eat well and we did not want to try and eat out.
Today we are having a late lunch of steak and salad. Later we will have snacks and finger foods – sharp cheddar, pepper jack, black olives, strawberries, popcorn, etc.
The steaks are amazingly quick and easy and when paired with just the salad, not too heavy. Plus, we’re eating our biggest meal early enough that it won’t make us sleepy for the rest of the evening.
I am pairing a shiraz with the steaks and pinot grigio with the snacks.
We also have individual, heart shaped chocolate cakes (I very rarely do desserts). These were a last minute thing from the grocery store.
Another from the Valentine’s Day, 2006 issue.
In 19th-century France, bridegrooms were fed three courses of asparagus because of its reputation for igniting passions.
Steam asparagus just until tender (less than 10 minutes). Serve topped with Hollandaise sauce.
3 egg yolks
Butter, 2 sticks, melted, cooled to room temperature
Lemon juice, 2 tablespoons
Salt, ½ teaspoon
Cayenne pepper, dash
In the upper section of the double boiler (before heating) stir egg yolks with a wire whisk until well-blended. Do not beat. Heat water in the bottom section to a simmer, constantly stirring the egg yolks. When the eggs become thick (like heavy cream) add butter while stirring. Add lemon juice while stirring. Remove from heat and add salt and cayenne. If the sauce separates don’t throw it out! Pour it into another container, clean the top of your double boiler, and start over using the sauce you have already made in place of the egg yolks.
Also from the Valentine’s Day, 2006 issue.
Tortellini means bellybutton of Venus. Venus, the Roman Goddess of Love, was to rendezvous with Jupiter at an inn. Venus arrived first and was waiting in their room. The chef heard of her arrival, peaked through the keyhole into her room, and saw her lying partially covered on the bed. He was so inspired by the sight of her navel that he rushed to the kitchen and created the stuffed pasta in its image.
Butter, 1 stick
Garlic, as much as you can stand to peel and slice
Half and half, 1 pint
Parmesan, 6-8 oz
Salt and pepper to taste
Melt butter on medium high heat. Add garlic and sauté for 5 minutes. Add half and half and bring up to hot but DO NOT BOIL, whisking constantly. When half and half is hot add parmesan slowly, whisking constantly, it should melt pretty quickly. Whisk until thoroughly blended. Remove from heat. Combine tortellini and
Alfredo sauce in bowl or serving dish.
This is from the Valentine’s Day, 2006 issue of the newsletter.
A tasty alternative to the traditional champagne and strawberries.
1 part vanilla
2 parts raspberries
2 parts whiskey
3 parts triple sec
Dark chocolate orange wedges
Places raspberries and 1 chocolate wedge in each glass. Pour remaining ingredients in the top of a double boiler and warm (not too hot). Pour into glasses over raspberries and chocolate. Mash raspberries with a spoon. Warming the liquids helps to blend and mellow the flavors and partially melts the chocolate. If you do not have a double boiler you can improvise by using 2 sauce pans or a sauce pan and a ramekin (ramekin on top). If you can’t find a chocolate orange use a piece
of dark chocolate.
I have been meaning to post this since November. I thought I better get off my butt and post it now because some of you will probably think this is perfect for Valentine’s Day.
Halloween is my favorite holiday, and we had a very nice celebration last year, but one day is just not enough for such a great holiday. So, we decided to have a special breakfast the next day. Catholics celebrate All Saint’s Day the day after Halloween. That’s a long story that I explained very briefly in the Halloween, 2005 issue of the newsletter before it became a blog. Here is the breakfast:
Chocolate Covered Brie and Strawberries
More strawberries or raspberries or both
The extra berries go in your glass with the champagne. We used raspberry champagne, and it was wonderful!
Chocolate Covered Brie and Strawberries
6.5oz goat brie wheel (or wedge)
16oz frozen strawberries (thawed)
2 cups semi-sweet choc (1 package)
¾ cup heavy cream
2 or 3 cloves garlic
1 ½ teaspoon butter
Slice garlic and place on a small baking sheet. Cover garlic with the butter (cut into small pieces or slices). Broil on top rack until the garlic browns. Watch it very closely; this only takes a couple of minutes. Remove from oven and set aside.
Place the brie in the center of a pie dish (I leave the rind, but you can try to cut it off if you want). Surround with the strawberries and their juice.
Melt chocolate chips and cream together in a double boiler stirring constantly (be sure to scrape the sides and bottom as you stir). Add garlic and butter to the chocolate and pour over brie and strawberries. Serve immediately with hunks of bread.