Valentine’s Day is this Saturday, and if you forgot or haven’t made plans, you aren’t alone. At this late juncture, if you haven’t made reservations for dinner you’re probably not going to get any. Nothing says romantic like putting your name on a waiting list, spending the night in a lobby together with forty other Last Minute Charlies, smelling food you can’t have, drooling, and dying a little inside every time the hostess calls someone else’s name. Do not despair, your Valentine’s hopes need not be dashed, because the best, most romantic option for such a night is here in this blog. Wow your Valentine with a five star, five course meal without the wait or the hefty price tag.
1/2 Head Iceberg Lettuce
1/4 C. Grape tomatoes
4 Pieces of Bacon
1/2 Small Red Onion
2 oz Danish Blue Cheese
1/4 C. Ranch Dressing
1. Prep ingredients and set aside. Wash lettuce and cut in half. Wash tomatoes and cut in half. Slice red onion in thin half moon pieces. Chop up raw bacon into 1/4in slices.
2. Headt skillet and add bacon to pan. When the bacon is nearly finished. add the onion. Cook, stirring gently until onions are translucent. While bacon and onion are cooking, begin your assembly. Set lettuce on a small salad plate. Drizzle Ranch first, then place tomatoes on top, add your chunk of blue cheese, and finish with your bacon and onions.
Mushroom and White Wine Risotto
1 C. Arborio Rice
1 1/2 C. Baby Bello Mushrooms
1 1/2 C. Chicken Stock
1 1/2 C. Dry White Wine
1/2 Lemon Juiced
2 Cloves Garlic
1/4 C. Parsley
1/4 C. Parmesan
2 Tbsp Butter
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
1. Heat a large skillet or small dutch oven on medium. Add butter and olive oil to the pan. Clean and slice mushrooms and add to the pan. Preel and press garlic and add to the pan. Stir gently ensuring that the mushrooms and garlic get nicely coated with fat.
2. Turn heat to low. Add Arborio rice to the pan. Toast the rice by stirring gently.
3. In a large measuring bowl or cup, add chicken stock, wine and lemon juice.
4. Add the liquid to the pan a little at a time and stir. It should take about 45 minutes for the rice to absorb it all. Do not dump all the liquid in and let it sit like normal rice. In order to get a really creamy risotto, you have to be very patient and add the liquid very slowly.
5. When you add your last bit of liquid. Add clean chopped parsley and grated parmesan.
Garlic Shrimp Skewers
1/2 lb Jumbo Shrimp (Peeled, Deveined)
2 Cloves Garlic
1 tsp Olive Oil
1/2 tsp. Paprika
Salt & Pepper
1. Heat up a grill pan on Medium/High heat. In a medium mixing bowl, add the juice of half the lemon, olive oil, garlic cloves finely minced or pressed, seasonings and mix.
2. Add Shrimp and toss until all the shrimp are well coated.
3. With remaining half of a lemon, slice thin half moons. Thread shrimp and lemon slices onto BBQ Skewers alternating between the two.
4. Place skewers in hot grill pan. Once you begin to see some pink in the tail of your shrimp, turn to the other side. Shrimp take approx. 3 minutes per side. Serve over risotto.
Green Beans with Dried Cranberries
1/2 lb Long Cut Green Beans
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
1/4 C. Dried Cranberries
3 Tbsp Water
Salt and Pepper
1. Heat a small sauté pan on Medium/Heat. Add Olive oil to the pan.
2. Add washed green beans to the pan, and toss to coat well with olive oil.
3. Add water, and let cook for approx. 5 minutes.
4. Add Cranberries and continue to cook until green beans are just tender.
5. Season with salt and pepper, and serve.
Peanut Butter Mousse
1 C. Whipping Cream
1/4 C. Peanutbutter
1/4 C. Honey
1 tsp Vanilla
(Dark Chocolate chips, Salted Peanuts, and Whipped Cream for Topping)
1. Add whipping cream and vanilla to a mixing bowl, and whip with hand mixer or electric mixer on high until stiff peaks form.
2. In a separate small bowl, cream peanut butter and honey until they are fully combined. For a little extra softness, microwave for 30 seconds.
3. Slowly mix peanut butter and honey into whipped cream. Once they start to come together, turn the mixer on high and whip until peanut butter and honey are fully integrated into whipped cream. (Typically you would fold ingredients gently into whipped cream to make mousse, but peanut butter can be whipped up to be light, so whip away)
4. Divide mouse into two wine glasses and chill for at least 1 hour.
5. Serve with whipped cream, peanuts, and chocolate chips.
“All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt.”
Charles M. Schulz