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Valentine's Day Dinner


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I am having three couples over for dinner for Valentines Day and am trying to think of a "theme menu" that would be fun. For drinks, could do Cosmos or some kind of pink or red martini (ideas?). Heart shaped puff pastry filled with wild mushrooms. First course, artichoke soup (heart theme) or red pepper soup. I'm stumped on a main course as I think everyone has od'd on filet mignon during the holidays. Could do some sort of pork tenderloin with veggies. A chocolate dessert seems so cliche. Alright--now for something completely different--it's the dead of what has been a miserable winter in Connecticut...Howabout an island theme? Pina coladas, appetizers TBD, Jerk chicken or spiced grilled pork tenderloin and key lime pie for dessert. Which party would you rather go to?

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I am having three couples over for dinner for Valentines Day and am trying to think of a "theme menu" that would be fun. For drinks, could do Cosmos or some kind of pink or red martini (ideas?). Heart shaped puff pastry filled with wild mushrooms. First course, artichoke soup (heart theme) or red pepper soup. I'm stumped on a main course as I think everyone has od'd on filet mignon during the holidays. Could do some sort of pork tenderloin with veggies. A chocolate dessert seems so cliche. Alright--now for something completely different--it's the dead of what has been a miserable winter in Connecticut...Howabout an island theme? Pina coladas, appetizers TBD, Jerk chicken or spiced grilled pork tenderloin and key lime pie for dessert. Which party would you rather go to?

I'll go for the chokin the chicken.... err I mean Jerk Chicken theme. Time to start practicing outdoor cooking, since this winter is just about out of gas. Home parties with more than 4 people, I prefer to keep things simple, since I want to enjoy my guests.

woodburner

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Maybe it's because I haven't been inundated with winter weather like y'all in the rest of the country, but I'd go for the traditional dinner and not the island theme. You'll pay dearly for out-of-season ingredients that won't be that fresh and great anyway.

What about a pork tenderloin with a pomegranate/red wine glaze? Cornish game hen? Get fancy but stay seasonal. Candlelight and tiny white lights might transform your room into something romantic and beautiful. Strew rose petals on the table? Gussy it up! :smile:

We had a dinner last night that I probably should have saved for Valentine's Day, but I was celebrating an income tax refund. A dozen and a half Miyagi oysters (with a cilantro/jalapeño/rice wine vinegar/lime vinaigrette) with a bottle of Mumms, then a salad of mache with Niman Ranch bacon, Mini-Pearl tomatoes and Vidalia onion vinaigrette and an Australian Shiras (can't remember which one), followed by Cornish game hens (in an herb crust) and microscopic baby potatoes, par-boiled then wokked over high heat with kosher flake salt and EVOO. We had a DeLoach Zinfandel with that course.

All very romantic, while watching a tape of "NFL Tonight" (the Superbowl edition). :laugh:

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Whatever you do, keep the menu light. No one wants to feel all full and bloated on Valentines eve. :wink:

On the dessert front, I think something with fresh fruit is always nice, and not too heavy. An unusual fruit salad would be an excellent dessert (or first course). I just made one with papaya and blueberries, a little drizzle of lime juice, a pinch of salt and a spoon of sugar, a dollop of whipped cream (or whipped creme fraiche) and you're good to go.

No raw onions in the salad.

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ohhhh.... invite me for the island theme, please, please, please. johnnybird doesn't like very spicy stuff.

i'm home the 13th & 14th then off to visit a friend. since i have to work the 14th think we will have our v.d. dinner on the 13th.

i'm planning pom cosmos, salmon tartare, three hearts salad(palm, romaine and artichoke), and by request crab imperial. i figure i will go with a melange of vegetables - green beans, carrots, asparagus and yellow squash and the ever requested chocolate mousse for dessert.

hmmmmmmm maybe some tapas for the 14th. shrimp in olive oil, crab puffs, stuffed clams, pigs in blankets(uh...i got to). or maybe burgers(buffalo) and beer.

maybe some vegetarian pizza so john can eat on that when i'm gone. course he has a freezer full of tomato soup, lactose free lasagna and some tomato sauce

Nothing is better than frying in lard.

Nothing.  Do not quote me on this.

 

Linda Ellerbee

Take Big Bites

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Someone asked me if I had a recipe for the pomegranate pork tenderloin, and I really don't, because I am constantly experimenting. But I thought I'd post my technique here, and better cooks can suggest more precision or modifications/subsitutions. Hope that's okay.

I like the idea of pork tenderloin with a red wine/pomegranate glaze. Do you have a good recipe for it?

Every time I make pork tenderloin, I make it up. But if you're comfortable at the stove, I can give you loose directions. I've been experimenting with red wine reductions involving fruit, like cherry or plum or pomegranate preserves/jelly.

Ingredients always include: a 2-pound pork tenderloin; butter and/or olive oil (lately I've been doing half/half); a large shallot (minced fine); fresh rosemary (and I use a rosemary branch for basting); good red wine (if you won't drink it, don't cook with it); chicken stock; some kind of red fruit preserves or, in this case, pomegranate jelly (links below to purveyors)/

In a heavy-bottomed saucepan or medium-sized pot, over medium-low heat, I sauté a minced shallot in olive oil and butter. (Like a tablespoon or so of each). The tenderloin is usually about two pounds, so consider that in your math.

When the shallot is soft, I add about a tablespoon of minced FRESH rosemary. Do not use dried rosemary. If you haven't got fresh rosemary, other herbs could do, but it won't be the same.

I got pomegranate jelly at a local upscale grocery here in Aptos. Here is a link to the website for the producers of the jelly (but they only sell by the case!):

http://www.bogettifarms.com/

I Googled for other pom jellies you can buy online:

http://shop.store.yahoo.com/concerto/pomjel.html

http://shop.store.yahoo.com/francisfamilyj...egrantejam.html

When the shallots and rosemary have cooked for a minute or two, I add about half a jar of the fruit, along with a cup of chicken stock and a cup of red wine. I turn up the heat and let it boil down. When it thickens, I add a little more of those three things and let it boil down until it's nice and thick, Maybe a little thicker than maple syrup?

I admit, no one taught me how to make a reduction, so I might be doing everything wrong. Feel free to chime in if I have mistakes.

I prepare the tenderloin for the oven by brushing a coat of the reduction all over, and then a very light sprinkling of kosher flake salt and black pepper on all sides. I think I bake it at 375 degrees, and baste with the rosemary branch throughout the cooking every ten minutes or so.

When it's done, slice and serve with the reduction drizzled over, and a little rosemary sprig on top.

I hope that helps.

Also, since you're cooking for so many people, I don't know whether to advise you to get a bigger tenderloin, or do a few small ones. Regardless, it's a fairly easy thing to prepare. Enjoy your meal!

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I love to make a variation on the Pavlova for a light festive finale.

Macerate strawberries and mango in Grand Marnier then fold into whipped cream.

Fill merengue shells with berry cream combo and garnish with toasted choped cashews and chocolate leaves (paint choc. onto lemon leaves, freeze them and peel away from leaves). For added VD decor use white chocolate with red food color and cut leaves in heart shapes before painting.

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  • 3 years later...

ok here are the ingredients i have on hand for valentines dinner

chicken breasts

stock

cream

black truffle butter and oil

savoy cabbage

bacon

potatoes

well stocked pantry of lots of stuff.

whatcha think..i'm stuck

"sometimes I comb my hair with a fork" Eloise

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Sounds like chicken breast stuffed with bacon and cabbage over truffled whipped potaoes...

there I used everything on the list

tracey

The great thing about barbeque is that when you get hungry 3 hours later....you can lick your fingers

Maxine

Avoid cutting yourself while slicing vegetables by getting someone else to hold them while you chop away.

"It is the government's fault, they've eaten everything."

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I would actually try an make a forcemeat out of the chicken, stuff the blanched cabbage leaves with it -- cook that off and make a bacon vinaigrette and serve it on top of either Boulangerie potatoes with truffle oil, or mashed w/ truffle oil.

John Deragon

foodblog 1 / 2

--

I feel sorry for people that don't drink. When they wake up in the morning, that's as good as they're going to feel all day -- Dean Martin

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  • 11 months later...

I'm going to order some monk fish and some spotted prawns! I've never had spotted prawns. Should I make a shrimp cocktail with them? I also have a nice brie. I need to find an easy--sexy, but easy--dessert.

What are you doing/making?

:wub::wub::wub::wub::wub::wub::wub:

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The first Valentine's Day my husband and I had together (when we were first seeing ecah other, not our first after being married), was wonderful. It would definitely qualify for your requirement of "sexy but easy". We also started out with a shrimp appetizer. The main dish, (steaks, stuffed baked potaoes, and a green that I can't remember) did not get eaten that night. The dessert was just too irresistable. For dessert, I had melted a truely dark and delicious chocolate, poured it into this cruet type of vessel that had a voltive candle underneath. I had all kinds of fruit arranged on a platter, berries, apple, banana, pear, kiwi, and more that I can't think of now. I had little pretzels, and, I think some squares of a pound-like cake. It was truely decadent. Chocolate covered fingers were also a big hit.

Let us know what you come up with.

"My only regret in life is that I did not drink more Champagne."

John Maynard Keynes

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ok after almost 26 years of marriage this is a big day for us. john is due back from travel for work about 230 pm. i'm teaching in the morning then heading to the gym.

he'll get home before me. his present is 48 godiva dark chocolate truffles that will be at his place at the table with a card. there will be some 5 year old canadian cheddar in the fridge and crackers he can snack on until i get home. since he still can't drink i bought some non-alcoholic wine for him. i'm not taking any chances and chilling a bottle of korbel rose for me. there will be a log in the fireplace with some color cones and ready to light along with the candleier.

i'll set up some crab imperial and pre-cook some shrimps for shrimp cocktail. green salad for me - and artichokes for him.

dessert will be....interesting.

bon appetit.

edited to add that the next day he gets to take me out to lunch after the class i'm teaching at a new steakhouse in town.

Edited by suzilightning (log)

Nothing is better than frying in lard.

Nothing.  Do not quote me on this.

 

Linda Ellerbee

Take Big Bites

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I need to find an easy--sexy, but easy--dessert.

:wub:  :wub:  :wub:  :wub:  :wub:  :wub:  :wub:

Poach some quartered pears in butter and ice wine beforehand. Keep warm. Serve over really good vanilla ice cream. Simple, slippery, slightly alcoholic, definitely sexy.

(I know someone just like that :laugh: )

Laura Fauman

Vancouver Magazine

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I need to find an easy--sexy, but easy--dessert.

:wub:  :wub:  :wub:  :wub:  :wub:  :wub:  :wub:

Poach some quartered pears in butter and ice wine beforehand. Keep warm. Serve over really good vanilla ice cream. Simple, slippery, slightly alcoholic, definitely sexy.

(I know someone just like that :laugh: )

Oh that sounds even better than sex

:shock::unsure: did I say that?

I love ice wine, but can never find it around here. I need to see if I can get some shipped here to Kansas--last time I tried, it was illegal :rolleyes:

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Not quite what you had in mind, but... my wife's out of town on a job interview on V-day, so I am making myself all the foods she doesn't like and I never get to cook  :biggrin: . I'm starting with lobster, then probably some shrimp, maybe some salmon...

She's not a fish lover, eh?? Dang....I love all of your choices! Maybe you guys could have a belated Valentine's Day??? I hope you include some of your beautiful sweets that I've seen here!

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Yeah...my husband will be in Paris on Valentine's Day :angry: so I'm having a party with some of my single girl friends. Hot, spicy foods. Nothing fancy. Nothing French. Lotsa martinis, I hope. :raz:

Hell, that sounds great--I LOVE a good martini! Hopefully, you can also have a later celebration--and he BETTER come home with gifts! :raz:

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I need to find an easy--sexy, but easy--dessert.

:wub:  :wub:  :wub:  :wub:  :wub:  :wub:  :wub:

Poach some quartered pears in butter and ice wine beforehand. Keep warm. Serve over really good vanilla ice cream. Simple, slippery, slightly alcoholic, definitely sexy.

(I know someone just like that :laugh: )

Oh that sounds even better than sex

:shock::unsure: did I say that?

I love ice wine, but can never find it around here. I need to see if I can get some shipped here to Kansas--last time I tried, it was illegal :rolleyes:

You could use a French or German dessert wine instead, or even a liquer like Poire Williams. If I could slip you some BC ice wine I would - I've got a cabinet full!

Laura Fauman

Vancouver Magazine

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