Valentine's Day: Love is in the Kitchen

Valentine’s Day: Love is in the Kitchen

February 12, 2008

13

With Valentine’s Day quickly approaching, we created a romantic, heavenly menu for our readers to cook for their Valentines. Ted and Jon from 2 Guys Uncorked then selected a wine that compliments each course. Just make sure you save some room for a little romance.

*Appetizer

Crab Cakes with Tarragon Tarter Sauce:


Tips for Perfecting:

• These were very simple to make. We cut the recipe in half to serve two people, otherwise it would have been way too much food (especially considering the rest of our menu!).
• We purchased the lump crab meat at Trader Joe’s in the refrigerated section, but most grocery stores carry it.
• We suggest chilling the crab cakes for at least an hour before frying so they’re easier to flip while in the pan. You could even make the cakes the night before and refrigerate them over night.
• The tarter sauce can easily be adjusted to your liking. We used yellow onions instead of shallots. The cornchicons can be found in the same aisle as pickles in most grocery stores; use as many or as few as you like.

**2 Guys Uncorked suggest pairing the crab cake appetizer with Big House Pinot Grigio

*Entree

Peppercorn Crusted Filet Mignon with Ancho Chile Mushroom Sauce

Garlic Mashed Potatoes
Green Beans with Warm Bacon Dressing


Tips for Perfecting:

Peppercorn Crusted Filet Mignon with Ancho Chile Mushroom Sauce:

• You might think filet mignon sounds crazy expensive, but we got two healthy sized pieces for under $12 at our local grocery store.
• We adjusted the rub for the steak and opted to use cayenne, paprika, brown sugar, and cracked peppercorn instead of using the chile powders featured in the recipe.
• Rather than seeking out the ancho and chipotle purees in a specialty shop we went to the international section of our local grocery store and found whole chipotle peppers in a can and bottled ancho chile sauce.
• Depending on how you like your steak cooked it can easily be done in fewer than 5 minutes (for a medium rare).



Garlic Mashed Potatoes:

• Garlic mashed potatoes are pretty simple to make. You can either peel the potatoes or leave the skins on, depending on how you like them
•It helps a lot if you have a potato masher. It will be more difficult to mash them with a fork or spoon. Sues once used a meat tenderizer for lack of a better tool. Don’t judge. She has since bought a potato masher.
• Add as much or as little garlic as you please. You might not want to overdo it seeing as it is Valentine’s Day and all.

Green Beans with Warm Bacon Dressing:

• If you can throw green beans in a pot of boiling water, you can make these. We actually used frozen haricot verts from Trader Joes (thinner than regular green beans and supposedly more tender).
• Oh, and if you want the sauce, you also have to know how to fry up some bacon. And add some shallot (or yellow onion).
• When you’re ready to serve the green beans, just pour everything in the pan over the beans and crumble the bacon over. Yum. We wish we had cooked more than 2 pieces of bacon, so if you like bacon, learn from our mistake. There’s no such thing as too much.

**2 Guys Uncorked suggest pairing the entree with Chateau La Grange Clinet 2004 Bordeaux Blend

*Dessert

Berries with Mascarpone and Meringue:



Tips for Perfecting:

• This was another simple one that comes out looking absolutely beautiful.
• We adjusted the measurements of the berries to our liking (added more blueberries than blackberries etc). Fresh is best, but frozen would suffice too.
• Instead of putting all three components in one dish, we found this fantastic dish at Pier 1 and knew it would be perfect for this dessert. We placed the mascarpone in one section, the berries in another, and the crumbled meringue (from meringue cookies) in the last…making it more fun to share.

Chocolate Decadence:



Tips for Perfecting:

•The recipe makes this sound a lot harder than it is, so don’t be worried! It took no time at all.
• Really, all you have to do is melt the chocolate and make sure the rest of the ingredients are beaten really well together. Then combine (or fold) them together.
• It says to put the cake pan in a hot water bath. we just put hot water into a larger pan, put the cake pan in it, and stuck it in the oven.
• You’re supposed to put the cake in the fridge for at least 4 hours before eating it. We didn’t. And um, it was amazing. So for those of you who aren’t good at planning ahead, don’t worry about that.

FYI: You only need one dessert, but these desserts go together AMAZINGLY. Like, all the flavors combine and melt in your mouth and you’ll feel like you died and went to heaven. You really can’t imagine it, so just make them both and eat them and then report back. And we’ll say we told you so.

**2 Guys Uncorked suggest pairing the desserts with Gruet NV Blanc de Noirs


*And the Final Meal



[Sues and Chels]

13 Responses to "Valentine’s Day: Love is in the Kitchen"

  1. nicoleantoinette says:

    Um… please be my Valentines and make this EXACT meal for me. No?

  2. Renee says:

    So cute, you guys. It’s 7:00am and I could devour this meal.

    The beau and I will be making a schmancy dinner next week to celebrate. I have some smoked salmon I’ve been dying to whip out, but I’m at a loss as to what to do with it… any suggestions?

  3. ToKissTheCook says:

    Look at you two go! Forget the date…I’m making this for my girls on Thursday!! Ugh. Now I’m craving chocolate and mashed potatoes.

    Beautiful dish for the berries, btw.

  4. Peter says:

    Wow. You two obviously put a lot of work into this post.

    VERY impressive, ladies.

    And now I am hungry.

  5. Maxie says:

    My mom’s birthday is coming up (it’s actually v-tines day) and I’m going to make this for her.

    she’ll be so impressed 🙂

  6. Nina says:

    Nice presentation! Everything looks delicious and not too difficult to prepare. I wish I could eat those berries right now 🙂

  7. Sara says:

    crabcakes= to DIE for!

  8. bunny says:

    O.M.G. I’m so hungry now! Actually I was 6 hours ago when I first read this post but I just came back to examine further. Those crabcakes look amazing and even the bowl of berries looked perfect. Is it weird I clicked on the picture to make it full size and contemplated making it my desktop? It’s so pretty. Happy Valentine’s girls!

  9. design for mankind. says:

    OMG how do you guys not weigh 800 POUNDS???? There’s no way I could NOT devour this in ten minutes flat.

    Thanks for the uber-cute tips!

  10. Katelin says:

    Can you guys come to my house and make this?!?! It looks amazing! 🙂

  11. Virginia says:

    YUM!! I want to go eat all of this. Right now. At 10:22pm.

  12. Phantom Hater says:

    This looks wonderful. I made filet mignon for a V-day date once. It came out OK, but I just remember running from the gas grill outside and the kitchen trying to get everything ready at the same time.

    I love the dessert dish (and the dessert itself looks great, of course).

  13. Shelley says:

    The dessert looks awesome. I totally saw that episode of Everyday Italian where Giada made that!

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