Let's surprise your loved one with a romantic dinner at home! Creating a dinner that says, "I love you", with every tender fork full!
Is there anything more romantic than a Valentine's dinner at home? Here's your chance to show off your domestic skills, if only for a day, set a pretty table by the fireplace (if you have one), light the candles, pick the music you both like and plan a simple yet elegant dinner. Doesn't that sound good? A lovely dinner is more appreciated these days than any present you could ever give. Let's start the plans together!
Valentine Dinner-think red, white and hundreds of heart shapes!
Appetizer~ Pancetta Crisp with apple, gorgonzola and agave
Soup~ Easy Tomato Soup with grilled cheese croutons Cut out the crouton in heart shapes...so romantic. Also, because we are having a beef filet for our main course, lighten up the soup by eliminating the cream or using 2%, whole milk or half and half. Another option is to eliminate the grilled cheese crouton and just cut out and bake a few heart shape croutons of bread.
Cucumber Salad with Caramelized Shallots
Main Course- I have made this dinner two times in the last couple of months, once for Wee Bear and I, and again for a celebratory Birthday dinner for Sweet One (Amy) on request! The photo's are mixed from both. The recipe looks long but, in reality is very easy and you can do several steps, a day ahead!
Beef Tenderloin Steak with Duxelles and sauce Morney
Adapted from Eva Kenly
8 tenderloin steaks, 1 1/4-1 1/2 inches thick, about 5 ounces each
salt and pepper
2 T butter
2 T olive oil
1 lb mushrooms, chopped
2 T finely chopped shallots
2 T butter
salt and pepper
2 T Madeira wine
2 1/2 T butter
3 T flour
2 c. hot milk
salt and white pepper
pinch of nutmeg
2/3 c. grated gruyere cheese (2 ounces)
Topping: 1/2 c grated Gruyere cheese
Cut all the fat off steaks, including silver membrane.
Heat 1 T. of butter and 1 T. of oil in a heavy, large saute pan, until very hot. Brown steaks, a few at a time, about 2 minutes on each side. Remove to an ovenproof sided cooking sheet and season with salt and pepper. (I lined my cooking sheet with A Silpat)
Add remaining butter and oil to the pan and brown remaining steaks. If browned ahead of time, make certain that they are at room temperature before finishing dish.
Cook the mushrooms duxelles ~ can be done 1 day ahead, cover and store in refrigerator.
In a large saute pan, heat the butter over medium heat. Add shallots and cook, stirring, for about 2 minutes.
Add mushrooms to the pan, increase heat, and cook until mushrooms look dry. This will take about 5-8 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, add Madeira, and cook until again all the liquid has evaporated. Remove to bowl and cool. Can be cooked 1 day ahead of time.
Make the Mornay sauce ~ can be done one day ahead, covered directly on sauce with plastic wrap and kept in refrigerator.
In a saucepan, heat the butter, add the flour, and cook over low heat for 2 minutes, stirring constantly.
Remove from heat and add the hot milk. Whisk until well blended. Return to heat and cook, Stirring, until sauce thickens and bubbles. Season to taste and stir in the cheese until melted.
If made ahead, cover with plastic wrap, placed directly on top of sauce.
Preheat oven to 475 F degrees
Reheat the sauce to a boil, adjust seasoning. If too thick, thin with 2-4 T milk.
Top each steak with a thick layer of duxelles. Then spoon a coating of the hot sauce over each steak.
Add 4 T milk to remaining sauce and bring to a boil. Coat each steak again with the thinner mixture to create a smooth coating.
Sprinkle grated Gruyere over each steak and place in upper third of oven.
Bake for about 10 minutes, or until sauce is bubbly and cheese is golden brown. The meat temperature will be about Medium rare for a steak of 1 1/2 inch thick. To be sure of temperature, check with a meat thermometer.
|Extra-rare or Blue (bleu)||very red and cold||46–49 °C||115–120 °F|
|Rare (saignant)||cold red center; soft||52–55 °C||125–130 °F|
|Medium rare (à point)||warm red center; firmer||55–60 °C||130–140 °F||145 °F|
|Medium (demi-anglais)||pink and firm||60–65 °C||140–150 °F||160 °F|
|Medium well (cuit)||small amount of pink in the center||65–69 °C||150–155 °F|
|Well done (bien cuit)||gray-brown throughout; firm||71–100 °C||160–212 °F||170 °F|
Dessert! Choices with a sensual finish!
Dark Chocolate Creme Brulee
White Chocolate Coeur le Creme with Raspberry sauce
White Chocolate Mousse with Pomegranite Sauce
Grand Marnier Souffle with Creme Anglaise Sauce
Double Chocolate Cupcakes with Peppermint Cream Cheese Frosting
If you have children, check out "How to make homemade poppers"! I made these fun poppers for my older Grandchildren, filled them with little toys and candy! They really love them! I even made a tissue paper crown for little Jacob!
|Julia and Jacob|