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Friday, February 11, 2011

Love is in the FOOD?!?!

Ahh, amour. Valentine's Day, one of the weirdest of the holidays for me as a child, is on Monday. This is the day where your wife, girlfriend, or both, expects to be wooed off her feet. Even after 10 years of marriage, this is something I still cannot get down. I have tried everything...flowers, gifts, and even Cookie Bouquets (I find I eat more of them than my wife). This is why I am super stoked for Monday. This is truly the first year I get to try to woo my love through her stomach. This is such a simple task...anyone can do it. Your significant other will say they like everything on the plate, just so they don't hurt your feelings. Just put some effort and planning into it, and things could not be better. Plus, it does not hurt you are saving a couple hundred bucks!

Here is my plan for Monday night.

First course is going to be a simple cheese fondue. Cut up some carrots, cauliflower, broccoli, apples and pears to have on hand for dipping. Next, grab a fondue pot...Cuisinart has a nice electric one so you don't need the Sterno.

Chipotle Cheese Fondue
2 cups Gruyere Cheese
2 cups Emmenthal cheese
1 1/2 T cornstarch
2 cloves, halved
1 1/3 dry white wine
1 T Lemon juice
Touch of nutmeg
3 canned Chipotle chilies in adobo, minced
  • Toss cheeses together with cornstarch.
  • Rub inside sauce pan with garlic, leave inside
  • Add wine and lemon juice
  • Bring to boil and stir in cheese mix
  • Bring back to simmer and through in nutmeg, chilies and pepper to taste
  • Transfer to fondue pot and serve.

Main course: Pan-Seared Strip with Red-Wine Pan Sauce and Pink-Peppercorn Butter
Pink Peppercorn Butter
1/4 cup butter
1 t minced thyme
1 t honey
1 t whole pink peppercorns
salt

Steak
1 10 oz NY strip
2 t extra-virgin olive oil
1 t minced thyme
salt
1/4 cup thinly sliced shallot
1 cup dry red wine
1/2 cup beef stock

Pink Peppercorn prep
  • Combine first 4 ingredients and mix with fork until peppercorns are crushed.
  • Season with salt and pepper
  • With plastic wrap, form into disk and chill

Steak prep
  • Rub steak with oil
  • Sprinkle thyme, salt and pepper
  • Let stand 30 min
  • Heat skillet and add steak
  • Cook to desired (3 to 4 per side for medium rare)
  • Transfer to plate and tent foil
  • Add 1t oil to skillet and add shallot and saute till softened
  • Add wine and boil until reduced by half, stirring often
  • Add stock and salt
  • Remove from heat and throw in butter mixture (Congrats, just made a beurre rouge)
  • Cut steak against grain and divide among plates.
  • Top with sauce

Can serve this dish with asparagus, broccoli or your favorite side.

There. Simple, yet effective.

Now go out there you crazy kids and have a great time on Valentine's Day. Enjoy your loved ones. Or better yet, try to make everyday Valentine's Day. You don't have to wait for a "special occasion" to tell that someone special how much you love them.

On Monday...desserts!

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