7 February 2023
Valentine’s Day is coming and there are many wonderful restaurants to choose from for your special day or night. However, for various reasons some people prefer to dine at home. If you are part of that latter group, here are some ideas for your meal. Just because you are not a gourmet chef, don’t despair. Check with your local grocery store for take away meal options or pre-prepared options that you can easily heat and serve.
You can pick up a bag of pre-washed salad mix and your favorite dressing, or you can try this, which is simple but “fancy”.
Strawberry Ricotta Bruschetta
- Baguette of French or Italian bread cut into ½ inch slices
- 3 tablespoons butter, melted
- 3 cups fresh strawberries, chopped
- 3 tablespoons fresh mint, minced
- 3 tablespoons honey
- 1/2 cup ricotta cheese
- 2 tablespoons seedless strawberry jam
- 1-1/2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
- Brush bread slices with butter; place on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake at 375° for 8-10 minutes or until lightly browned.
- In a small bowl, combine strawberries, mint and honey. In another bowl, combine ricotta, jam and lemon zest. Spread ricotta mixture over toast; top with strawberry mixture.
This should be the star of your evening. Here are a couple of choices that look complex but are really pretty easy to execute.
Marry Me Chicken
- 3 large boneless and skinless chicken breasts sliced into thin cutlets
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 1 cup heavy cream
- ½ cup Parmesan cheese, grated
- 1 teaspoon chili flakes
- ¼ teaspoon oregano
- ¼ teaspoon thyme
- ⅓ cup sundried tomatoes, chopped
- 1 tablespoon fresh basil leaves, chopped
- Season chicken with salt and pepper, then dredge in flour and shake off any excess.
- In a large skillet, heat olive oil and melt the butter over medium heat.
- Brown the chicken on each side until golden brown and cooked through. Transfer onto a plate, cover, and set aside.
- Saute garlic for a minute or until it’s fragrant. Add the chicken stock, and deglaze the pan by scraping any bits stuck to the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon.
- Adjust the heat to medium-low, and add heavy cream and Parmesan cheese to the skillet. Allow the sauce to simmer for a couple of minutes, then season with chili flakes, thyme, and oregano.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste, add the sundried tomatoes then put the chicken back in the sauce and let it all simmer and thicken for a few more minutes.
- Garnish with chopped fresh basil leaves and serve warm over pasta or rice.
- 3 pound beef tenderloin
- ¾ cup soy sauce
- ½ cup melted butter
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F
- Place roast in a shallow, glass baking dish. Pour soy sauce and melted butter over the tenderloin.
- Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes, then turn roast over and continue cooking, basting occasionally until the internal temperature of the roast reaches 140 degrees F for medium, 35 to 40 minutes (or cook to desired degree of doneness).
- Let meat rest for 10 to 15 minutes before slicing.
Add a baked potato with all the “fixins” and blanched asparagus and you have a very easy main course.
While it can be impressive to move your final course right from the oven to the table, like a lava cake, think about something smaller and that can be enjoyed throughout the rest of the evening.
- 1 pound chocolate sandwich cookies, crushed
- 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
- 1 pound vanilla-flavored candy coating, melted
- In a large mixing bowl, combine crushed cookies and cream cheese to form a stiff dough. Roll into balls and using a fork, dip in melted candy coating.
- Let rest on waxed paper until set, about 30 minutes.
Cocoa Powder Chocolate Mousse
- ½ cup heavy whipping cream
- 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
- ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 pinch salt
- Combine heavy whipping cream, cocoa powder, powdered sugar, vanilla extract, and salt in a large bowl and beat with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form.
- Pipe or spoon mousse into shot glasses or juice glasses. Serve immediately or chill until serving.