A Sinfully Delicious Valentine’s Day Dinner
It’s that time of year again when love is in the air and we’re looking for a romantic dinner to make at home for Valentine’s Day. This is a luscious dinner menu that will surely impress your loved one – it’s fairly easy and quick to make too. After all, who wants to be slaving away in the kitchen when your sweetie’s in the other room? You’ll love this savory steak recipe – sauteed and served with a cognac, cream and mustard sauce with a side of roasted garlic and roasted potatoes with garlic and herbs. The mixed greens salad is topped with a creamy shallot vinaigrette dressing and for dessert I’ve included a recipe for a sinfully delicious Chocolate Souffle with Grand Marnier, which can also be made with a splash of dark rum or raspberry Frambois liqueur. Who needs to go out in the cold when you can make a yummy dinner at home? Simply LOVE-LY.
Steak with Cognac Mustard Cream Sauce
Sauteed Steak with Cognac Mustard Cream
Two 3/4 lb steaks (3/4 inch thick) – Delmonico, T-bone, Porterhouse, Sirloin, Strip
1 tbsp vegetable oil
Salt and fresh ground black pepper
4 tbsp cognac
4 tbsp heavy cream
1 1/2 tbsp plus 1 tsp Dijon mustard
Cut excess fat from the steaks and make small incisions around the outside where there is gristle to prevent steaks from curling.
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium high heat, and season steak on both sides with salt and pepper. When oil is hot, add the steaks and saute 2-3 minutes per side (rare) or 4 minutes per side (medium) and remove steaks to a platter, tenting with foil to keep warm.
Remove pan from the heat and discard any fat. Add the cognac, stirring with the juices and scraping brown bits from the bottom of the pan.
Return the pan to high heat and reduce the pan juices and cognac by half, about 3-5 minutes. Add the cream and continue to boil sauce until reduced by half again, about 3 minutes.
Stir in the mustard and remove from the heat. Slice the steak and pour the mustard cream sauce over the steak. Serve with roasted potatoes, garlic and mixed greens salad. A hearty bold red would be delicious to sip along with it!!
Roasted Potatoes with Garlic and Herbs
Roasted Potatoes with Garlic and Herbs
8-10 medium potatoes (Yukon Gold, Fingerlings or New Potatoes)
2-3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
2-3 tbsp chopped herbs (parsley, chervil, tarragon, chives or rosemary)
Cut potatoes in quarters or eighths and drizzle them with olive oil. Sprinkle them with chopped garlic and herbs and some kosher salt. Place the potatoes on a baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees until golden brown about 45 minutes.
1-2 heads of garlic
1-2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
If you want to roast some garlic along with the steak and potatoes, simply chop up the top of the garlic head to expose the cloves, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle some salt over them. Wrap in aluminum foil and roast until soft, about 40 minutes. Squeeze the garlic from the skin and mix in with the roasted potatoes and sauteed steak (or rub over toasted crusty French bread as a creamy garlic topping – YUM!)
Mixed Greens Salad
Mixed Greens with Creamy Shallot Vinaigrette
1 egg yolk
2 tbsp wine vinegar (red, white or champagne)
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
2 tbsp minced shallots
3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper
4-6 cups mixed greens (arugula, endive, escarole or chicory)
In a small bowl, beat 1 egg yolk with 2 tablespoons of wine vinegar, Dijon mustard and minced shallot. Add olive oil in a slow and steady stream to the mixture and blend well with a whisk to emulsify into a vinaigrette. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add some fresh chopped herbs to the dressing if desired.
Note: Vinaigrette can be stored in the refrigerator for up to a week in an airtight container. Makes 8 servings.
7 oz semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
4 tbsp Grand Marnier (can substitute Raspberry Framboise liqueur or Dark Rum)
4 egg yolks
1/4 c sugar
8 egg whites, room temp
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Butter 6 individual souffle molds and coat with sugar.
Bring 2 inches of water to a boil in a medium saucepan and remove from the heat. Place chocolate and liqueur in a heatproof bowl and set it on top of the saucepan. Stir occassionally to melt the chocolate evenly. When the chocolate has melted, remove the pan and cool the chocolate mixture to room temperature.
In a medium bowl, beat the yolks to break up and add 2 tablespoons of the sugar gradually, and beat until the ribbon is formed. Add to the chocolate and blend. (Reserve some of the chocolate sauce for pouring into the center before serving).
Beat the egg whites with a whisk, adding the remaining sugar by tablespoons, to the stiff peak stage. Fold into the chocolate mixture and fill the molds 2/3 of the way full.
Place the molds on a baking sheet and bake until well puffed, 15 to 20 minutes. Crack the centers of the souffles and pour additional chocolate sauce into the center. Serve immediately while still warm.
Makes 6 servings.
Recipes from the Institute of Culinary Education, Techniques of Fine Cooking.