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Looking for a Very Romantic V-Day Din...

Sara_Natana's picture

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It's just me and my honey, and I feel like I've tried everything on him (food, that is). I wanted to make a totally impressive dinner for him this Valentines Day, but I just can't find the right recipies. P.S. Desserts aren't the problem...I have plenty of those.....................

Carolina's picture

(post #25198, reply #1 of 30)

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This is what I'm serving as a first course. The entree will be Rack of Lamb.

OYSTERS IN CHAMPAGNE:

3 T. butter

3 T. unbleached all-purpose flour

1/2 cup cream

1 pint shucked oysters

1 cup Champagne

Freshly grated nutmeg, to taste

Ground allspice, to taste

Salt, to taste

White pepper, to taste

Chopped fresh parsley

Preheat oven to 300. Butter a 1-quart baking dish.
Melt butter in a sauecpan with a heavy bottom over low heat.

Add the flour and cook over low heat, stirring, for 3 minutes. Pour in the cream and continue cooking, stirring constantly, until the mixture is thickened. Remove from heat.

Stir in the oysters, Champagne, seasonings and parsley. Pour into prepared baking dish and bake until bubbly, about 25 minutes. Serve on toast points or in puff pastry shells.

Andrea_'s picture

(post #25198, reply #2 of 30)

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Carolina,

sounds splendiferous!!! I will be making this one.
We love oysters!

Donna's picture

(post #25198, reply #3 of 30)

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Sounds to me like that your greatest success may come from just rolling the dessert cart out first!

Andrea_'s picture

(post #25198, reply #4 of 30)

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I served the following to my Valentine for Christmas and he absolutely loved it!

Chateaubriand

2 lb. center cut beef tenderloin, trimmed and tied
1 t. celery salt
1 t. coarsely crushed black pepper
2 bacon slices
2/3 cup dry red wine
1 1/2 t. minced fresh rosemary leaves
1 red bell pepper
1 1/3 cup beef demiglace

Pat tenderloin dry and rub with celery salt and black pepper. Cut bacon into 1 1/2 inch pieces. In a heavy kettle just large enough to hold tenderloin, cook bacon over moderate heat until crisp and transfer to a small bowl. Pour off all but 1 T. fat. Increase heat to moderately high and brown tenderloin on all sides, about 5 minutes total. Transfer tenderloin to plate.

To kettle, add wine, bacon and rosemary and boil mixture 1 minute. Return tenderloin to kettle and cook at a bare simmer, covered, turning occasionally, 25 minutes. Transfer tenderloin to cutting board and let stand 10 minutes.

Cut bell pepper into 1/4 inch dice. With slotted spoon, discard bacon from cooking liquid. Add bell pepper and demiglace and boil over moderate heat until slightly thickened and reduced to about 1 1/3 cups.

Cut tenderloin into 1/4 in. slices. To plate, spoon some sauce over tenderloin and garnish with rosemary sprigs. Serve remaining sauce on the side.

Serves 4 - Gourmet 12/98

Chiffonade_'s picture

(post #25198, reply #5 of 30)

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I am making a spinach fettucini dish that incorporates chicken, so it's basically a one dish meal. There is cream in the sauce so it is very luxurious in the mouth.

c Fettucini with Chicken and Cream

c 1/4 cup Butter
c 1/4 cup Olive Oil
c 1 large Onion, sliced
c 1/2 lb. Sliced Mushrooms (lightly sauteed)
c 1 lb. Boneless Chicken Breast, cut into strips
c 1/4 lb. Prosciutto, cut into shreds
c 1 cup chopped Tomatoes
c 1/2 cup White Wine
c 1/2 pint Heavy Cream
c Salt and Pepper to Taste
c 1 lb. Spinach Fettucini

Put a large kettle of water on to boil for fettucini - add about a tablespoon of salt to water. Melt butter and add oil, stir to blend. Saute onion until translucent. Add chicken strips and saute until almost cooked through, about 5 minutes. Add prosciutto strips, tomatoes, wine and heavy cream. Simmer about 5 minutes. Taste for seasoning and adjust if necessary.

Cook fettucini till al dente and spoon sauce with chicken over top. A nice salad and a loaf of crusty bread rounds out the meal.

(You don't want to get too full...save room for dessert...and whatever festivities may follow.)

Nancy_H.'s picture

(post #25198, reply #6 of 30)

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What would be most romantic, I think, is to make him all of his absolutely favorite foods, in the best way you can, served creatively and beautifully, Think of everything he's ever raved about, or gobbled up without looking up, or wanted to go out of the way to get, or has a special memory attached to it,etc. The impressive part of the menu would be that you cared enough to think about what he REALLY LIKES! more impressive than a new recipe you're trying that you're not sure how it will turn out, and then you're nervous instead of enjoying yourself. Then do up a fancy Menu to put on the table listing all the things you're serving. Use your best china, candles, flowers, other decorations, a fire in the fireplace; different utensils, glasses; dishes etc. for each course. Serve wine chilled in a fancy container; place a few desserts on a separate table raised on different levels (things under the table cloth supporting them) and votive candles all around and between them. Give him the royal 5 star treatment. I don't see how this combined with his favorite foods can fail to please him. He'll see you wnet to a lot of effort, he'll feel treated like a king, and he'll know you care.

Nancy_H.'s picture

(post #25198, reply #7 of 30)

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Oh, and finish with a choice of after dinner liqueurs, brandies etc. all set up like a bar in a separate spot, so he can choose his own. (Jazz this setting up too). Have fun!

Juli_R's picture

(post #25198, reply #8 of 30)

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Great idea, Nancy. You're right about presentation -- it can make a world of difference when you're trying to set a particular meal up as "special". The separate bar's a nice touch too.

A Valentine brunch would be another nice idea. Mimosas, belgium waffles (yeast batter), fresh strawberries, eggs benedict. Again, your presentation idea's the ticket. A lovely table set with china and your best glassware, music, candles...

nihon_no_cook's picture

(post #25198, reply #9 of 30)

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I hope that if you go to all that trouble for him, you get something more exciting than just a bunch of flowers in return!

MEAN_CHEF's picture

(post #25198, reply #10 of 30)

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There's always HAGGIS

Juli_R's picture

(post #25198, reply #11 of 30)

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Last year we were on a small private island in Figi. My husband's going to have to be
i very
creative this year to come up with something that even comes close to competing with that. Oh, well...we always have each other.

Carolina's picture

(post #25198, reply #12 of 30)

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I
b am
the dessert, sweetie, and I always
save the best for last.

MEAN_CHEF's picture

(post #25198, reply #13 of 30)

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With a little practice, you could be the main course.

Isn't it past your bedtime?

Carolina's picture

(post #25198, reply #14 of 30)

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Thanks, "Donna", but I'd rather be the grand finale, than the intermission.

sara_paul's picture

(post #25198, reply #15 of 30)

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You're right. I know you're right. Keep it simple. Unfortunetly he's not one to impress regarding culinary genius. He loves Devil Dogs. Well, hell, WHO DOESN'T? (no comments please. if you don't like Devil Dogs, well......I just don't know what to tell you).

Jean_'s picture

(post #25198, reply #16 of 30)

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With cardoons! :-)

Nancy_H.'s picture

(post #25198, reply #17 of 30)

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And bagna cauda!

Grace's picture

(post #25198, reply #18 of 30)

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I made this last weekend and it was a hit-- Porcini Broth with Soft Polenta, recipe adapted from Jody Adams' of Michela's in Boston. Serves 4.

Porcini Broth:

3-4 tbs dried porcini mushrooms

3.5 c chicken stock

.5 c Marsala wine

1-2 tbs unsalted

Salt/Pepper

Soak porcini mushrooms to cover in warm h20 for an hour. Strain, reserving liquid, and chop mushrooms. Combine the nushroom juice, mushrooms, chick stock and Marsala in saucepan and bring to boil over med-high heat. Reduce heat and simmer for 45 minutes. Add butter. Season with salt and pepper. As with most soups, this is best made the day before.

Polenta:

3 c H2O

.5 c polenta

2 tbs Parm Regg cheese

Salt/Pepper

Standard recipe for making polenta. Bring 1.5 c of h20 to boil. Add the polenta to remaining 1.5 c of h20. Slowly whisk the polenta mixture into the boiling h20, lower heat, and continue to cook for 30 minutes. Stir frequently. Stir in cheese, salt, pepper.

Assembly:

8 1-oz slices Taleggio cheese

Sprigs cilantro

Preheat oven to 350 F. To serve, spoon in .5 c cooked polenta in each shallow soup bowl. Press two 1 oz slices of taleggio cheese into each serving. Bake until cheese begins to melt into polenta, few minutes. Spoon reheated broth into each bowl. Top with sprig of cilantro to garnish.

Enjoy!

RuthAnn's picture

(post #25198, reply #19 of 30)

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And liver mush!

Carolina's picture

(post #25198, reply #20 of 30)

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b AND GRITS!!!!

Donna's picture

(post #25198, reply #21 of 30)

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With an outstanding entree many tend to overconsume and not have room for even the most tempting dessert! After all If you think that Valentines Day centers around food you need to get a clue.

dixie_'s picture

(post #25198, reply #22 of 30)

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Yes, save the last dance for me!!

Gerard's picture

(post #25198, reply #23 of 30)

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Fusion or existential cuisine?

Haggis and grits
(AKA; bladder and Dixie Super glue).

Carolina's picture

(post #25198, reply #24 of 30)

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Don't you worry about me, Sweetie, it wasn't
b my
husband who went snipe hunting.

Dev_Emch's picture

(post #25198, reply #25 of 30)

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I would suggest a pepper steak. Its made with cream, water packed, green pepper corns, etc. There are a number of variants of this so some research may be needed. The big thing is that it is prepared table side. I use a butane stove-et and a copper clad pan. Turn the lights down, ... only candle light should be present anyway, and flame the brandy. Remember, a big part of this is "showmanship"! This dish is absolutely heaven. Its not fire hot because green pepper corns have thier own unique taste. Add in a nice cab. or merlot followed by a nice desert and cap off with an ice wine or a tochenberrenauslesse (German or Austrian), and your date **WILL** be most impressed.

Nancy_H.'s picture

(post #25198, reply #26 of 30)

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If you decide to go the brunch route, there's a recipe for "Chocolate Stuffed Heart-shaped French Toast w/ Raspberry Sauce" on foodtv.com. Once you're in, click on "food of love", then click on "cookies & chocolate". This site is themed for Valentine's now, so you may find other things you like.

Dev_Emch's picture

(post #25198, reply #27 of 30)

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Oh Ya... about copper pans. I know these are expensive, but if you are into high end cooking, you will eventually get one. Mine is a coppernoux made in france. Its about 12 to 14 in in diameter and cost me about $130.00. Very painful, but I have used this often and do not reget the investment. I don't like the copper clad aluminum since the copper clad, stainless conducts heat better...esp. if the heat is comming of of a gas flame...i.e. a range or a butane stove-et.

nihon_no_cook's picture

(post #25198, reply #28 of 30)

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> Fusion or existential cuisine?

Neither - it's slop.

Chiffonade_'s picture

(post #25198, reply #29 of 30)

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With a side of SPAM.

Jean_'s picture

(post #25198, reply #30 of 30)

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Hey, it's all in the presentation, right??My DH's birthday is on Valentines Day and that's double jeopardy, so I think I'll go with a couple of Swansons Frozen Dinners with Jello No-bake cheesecake for dessert and dig out that thong and apron that Chiffy is so enamored with.