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Valentine's Day Dinner


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Being as I'm a bit of a grump when it comes to Valentine's Day and personally find it a silly, made-up holiday, my husband & I have been doing pizza and beer and a cheesy action movie. Unfortunately, we're both training for a marathon and have a long run tomorrow morning, it's going to be pasta-and-lean-protein-and-lots-of-water night instead.....

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Being as I'm a bit of a grump when it comes to Valentine's Day and personally find it a silly, made-up holiday,

Aren't all holidays "made up?" What can be sillier than Christmas, where we celebrate consumerism, spending money, and engage in lots of stressful behavior and activities. Personally, I much prefer National Pretzel Day ... April 26th - mark your calendar.

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 ... Shel


 

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My husband came home with sea scallops and a rib eye steak but I don't know quite what he's doing with them. And a bottle of Grand Marnier (my valentine).

As for holidays -- My mother always celebrated Bastille day (this was in a very small upstate NY village). She set off firecrackers and made my father take her out for dinner. She said it was the only holiday that didn't keep her in the kitchen all day. (6 kids, multiple grand kids and resident in laws).

Elaina

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If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need. Cicero

But the library must contain cookbooks. Elaina

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My husband came home with sea scallops and a rib eye steak but I don't know quite what he's doing with them. And a bottle of Grand Marnier (my valentine).

As for holidays -- My mother always celebrated Bastille day (this was in a very small upstate NY village). She set off firecrackers and made my father take her out for dinner. She said it was the only holiday that didn't keep her in the kitchen all day. (6 kids, multiple grand kids and resident in laws).

Elaina

I feel the same way about Halloween--it's the only holiday that I don't have to buy gifts etc. I live in the boonies and no one comes here.

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My DW of almost 36 years and I date all year long. So dinner is at home, just something extra yummy. We will share our dinner with our daughter and SIL who live with us. BBQed bacon-wrapped filets, twice-baked potatoes, asparagus (boiled - MY DW did not care for the roasted asparagus we recently had) with home-made mayo on the side, and a green salad. Chocolate Silk pie for dessert. Wine is still up in the air: a 2011 Gnarly Head Zin, a 2012 Cline Contra Costa County Zin (least likely) or a Leonesse 2007 Meritage.

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Porthos Potwatcher
The Once and Future Cook

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... with home-made mayo on the side ...

Scratch that. My daughter did baking this afternoon and BOTH KitchenAid bowls are dirty and I don't have the time to clean them.

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Porthos Potwatcher
The Once and Future Cook

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Went to a Valentine's dinner at a restaurant in a neighboring town and the appetizer was...weird. It should have been dessert, thin sliced pineapple and cantaloupe with some strawberries and grapes, drizzled in a sweet red fruity syrup (not raspberry), with a dollop of some sweet creamy cheesy spread. The chef was so proud of it too, overheard him asking a table nearby if they liked it and said he calls it fruit fun. The rest of the meal was real good-salad, chicken cordon bleu, great potatoes, etc. Has anyone else ever heard of a sweet appetizer?

Cheese - milk's leap toward immortality. Clifton Fadiman

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Well, I switched up the menu. I didn't make the foie---we decided we had too much to eat. I didn't make soup. Instead I did mushroom stuffed pasta with alfredo sauce.

Table:--I was too tired to make it fancy

Image 9.jpg

Salad with homemade croutons

Image 8.jpg

Pasta

Image 10.jpg

Crab

Image 11.jpg

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Went to a Valentine's dinner at a restaurant in a neighboring town and the appetizer was...weird. It should have been dessert, thin sliced pineapple and cantaloupe with some strawberries and grapes, drizzled in a sweet red fruity syrup (not raspberry), with a dollop of some sweet creamy cheesy spread. The chef was so proud of it too, overheard him asking a table nearby if they liked it and said he calls it fruit fun. The rest of the meal was real good-salad, chicken cordon bleu, great potatoes, etc. Has anyone else ever heard of a sweet appetizer?

Sounds grim. I really don't like the current trend of making starters and main courses sweet. Put the fruit away, it's better in dessert! Leave the vanilla alone! I'm probably just old-fashioned, but I crave savory flavors in savory courses.

This Valentine's dinner was a fairly simple magret de canard à la bordelaise with mashed potatoes and peas cooked in the juices from the duck. Dessert was tonka bean and cinnamon roasted Victoria pineapple with vanilla ice cream. I love Victoria pineapple, but it's so expensive for its size...

Perfect for two people though. Especially if you know how to spiral cut it to remove the eyes and make it look pretty :)

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Shel_B – lucky Toots! Those chocolates, that meal and The Thin Man! My kind of night.

Shelby – I haven’t ever made those lava cakes either. I even have a special lava cake Pampered Chef pan. Your dinner looked wonderful. Do you know, I’ve never tasted King crab.

David – I’d love to know how you make those Brussels sprouts. They are my favorite green vegetable.

Robirdstx – your gender based meals made me giggle and remember a conversation with my daughter. She was telling me that her solo Valentine’s meal was a great steak, baked potato and red wine. I was teasing her and saying that she was such a ‘guy’!

Basquecook – astonishing. I am so freaking impressed with what you all accomplish.

Teagal – I agree, that appetizer sounds oddly sweet.

Dcarch – I wish we’d have had some of that beautiful smoked salmon with our Valentine’s meal. And I LOVE clam pizza.

I love Valentine’s day. We even decorate for it usually – not this year with all of the recovering that we are doing! We didn’t want to take a chance on a restaurant this year, having had less than great experiences in the past. With me still in a wrist/hand brace and it being a working day for Mr. Kim, we decided on mostly no-cook pick up items. Roasted shrimp and olive-y pickle-y stuff:

med_gallery_3331_334_147602.jpg

Mini pitas, toasted baguette rounds, hummus with lemon, pâté de champagne and duck liver pâté with Port:

med_gallery_3331_334_122063.jpg

Cheese plate:

med_gallery_3331_334_83098.jpg

From 12 o’clock: Hervé Mons le Chartreux, Fabes Fontal Qtrs Lombardia, Cypress Grove Midnight Moon (an old favorite) and Cabot 3 year cheddar (another favorite – we get it at Costco and think it is a really superior cheddar).

Brie, chunked up and put under the broiler until soft and warm and topped with a little bit of fig preserves:

med_gallery_3331_334_70349.jpg

Salad:

med_gallery_3331_334_87167.jpg

Champagne and some silly little cupcakes from the Fresh Market bakery:

med_gallery_3331_334_99300.jpg

med_gallery_3331_334_79016.jpg

Because of expected snow, I wasn’t sure that I would be able to get out on Friday to get some really good dessert pastry so I shopped on Wednesday. I figured that the cupcakes would hold up for a couple of days. They ended up tasting better than I expected. My Valentine’s gift was an assortment of Leonidas chocolates, so the cupcakes were superfluous, anyway!

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Shel_B – lucky Toots! Those chocolates, that meal and The Thin Man! My kind of night.

Shelby – I haven’t ever made those lava cakes either. I even have a special lava cake Pampered Chef pan. Your dinner looked wonderful. Do you know, I’ve never tasted King crab.

David – I’d love to know how you make those Brussels sprouts. They are my favorite green vegetable.

Robirdstx – your gender based meals made me giggle and remember a conversation with my daughter. She was telling me that her solo Valentine’s meal was a great steak, baked potato and red wine. I was teasing her and saying that she was such a ‘guy’!

Basquecook – astonishing. I am so freaking impressed with what you all accomplish.

Teagal – I agree, that appetizer sounds oddly sweet.

Dcarch – I wish we’d have had some of that beautiful smoked salmon with our Valentine’s meal. And I LOVE clam pizza.

I love Valentine’s day. We even decorate for it usually – not this year with all of the recovering that we are doing! We didn’t want to take a chance on a restaurant this year, having had less than great experiences in the past. With me still in a wrist/hand brace and it being a working day for Mr. Kim, we decided on mostly no-cook pick up items. Roasted shrimp and olive-y pickle-y stuff:

med_gallery_3331_334_147602.jpg

Mini pitas, toasted baguette rounds, hummus with lemon, pâté de champagne and duck liver pâté with Port:

med_gallery_3331_334_122063.jpg

Cheese plate:

med_gallery_3331_334_83098.jpg

From 12 o’clock: Hervé Mons le Chartreux, Fabes Fontal Qtrs Lombardia, Cypress Grove Midnight Moon (an old favorite) and Cabot 3 year cheddar (another favorite – we get it at Costco and think it is a really superior cheddar).

Brie, chunked up and put under the broiler until soft and warm and topped with a little bit of fig preserves:

med_gallery_3331_334_70349.jpg

Salad:

med_gallery_3331_334_87167.jpg

Champagne and some silly little cupcakes from the Fresh Market bakery:

med_gallery_3331_334_99300.jpg

med_gallery_3331_334_79016.jpg

Because of expected snow, I wasn’t sure that I would be able to get out on Friday to get some really good dessert pastry so I shopped on Wednesday. I figured that the cupcakes would hold up for a couple of days. They ended up tasting better than I expected. My Valentine’s gift was an assortment of Leonidas chocolates, so the cupcakes were superfluous, anyway!

I just love reading what you post :)

Great idea about chunking up the brie and melting it like that!!!!! Thank you! I always do something too fiddly. I hope you are healing up quickly.

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Here in Ecuador, 14 Feb is Día de Amor y Amistad (the Day of Love and Friendship), and it's approached more as a festivity celebrating that we have friends and loved ones and less as a holiday centred on "romantic" love. However, chocolates and bonbons remain the most popular food-oriented gifts, as they are in North America. As such, I don't generally do anything special on the day other than sell massive quantities of chocolate cake, cheesecake, and bonbons - and this leaves me craving something really simple for the night of, whether I'm in a relationship or not (and this year it was odd - I have someone, but he's geographically distant so we sent greetings and pictures of ourselves eating chocolate bonbons; there was no special dinner or anything).

To wit, I had lazy-bastard beef stroganstuff and a leftover piece of cake then collapsed into a choconarcotic state in front of a rom-com.

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Elizabeth Campbell, baking 10,000 feet up at 1° South latitude.

My eG Food Blog (2011)My eG Foodblog (2012)

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Table:--I was too tired to make it fancy

I'll tell you a little story about the best dinner I ever had. It was 1997, and I was about to head to Peru. I had been taking Spanish lessons from a young Peruvian woman, and was invited to have dinner at her small, student apartment before heading south.

She had little money, and we sat at her Formica table in her cramped kitchen. She pulled out some Saltine crackers, a tin of sardines, a bottle of Coke, and some very good Pisco, from her home town, which was Pisco. We used paper napkins and plastic forks.

That night I learned much more about her history, she introduced me to Susana Rinaldi http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Susana_Rinaldi who, she said, gave her "goose bumps," and improved my understanding of life in South America, including Peru and Argentina. I left her home that night a more educated, better rounded, and happier person than when I showed up.

As far as I'm concerned, it ain't the table setting, it's not the food, nor is it the décor ... it's the company you keep, the conversations you have, and the feelings you share.

Edited by Shel_B (log)
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 ... Shel


 

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Table:--I was too tired to make it fancy

I'll tell you a little story about the best dinner I ever had. It was 1997, and I was about to head to Peru. I had been taking Spanish lessons from a young Peruvian woman, and was invited to have dinner at her small, student apartment before heading south.

She had little money, and we sat at her Formica table in her cramped kitchen. She pulled out some Saltine crackers, a tin of sardines, a bottle of Coke, and some very good Pisco, from her home town, which was Pisco. We used paper napkins and plastic forks.

That night I learned much more about her history, she introduced me to Susana Rinaldi http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Susana_Rinaldi who gave her "goose bumps," and improved my understanding of life in South America, including Peru and Argentina. I left her home that night a more educated, better rounded, and happier person than when I showed up.

As far as I'm concerned, it ain't the table setting, it's not the food, nor is it the décor ... it's the company you keep, the conversations you have, and the feelings you share.

Hitting the thanks button wasn't enough ((((hugs to you)))))

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I feel the same way about Halloween--it's the only holiday that I don't have to buy gifts etc. I live in the boonies and no one comes here.

Aw, now I feel like creating some kind of costume out of a sheaf of wheat and a Jay's head and stopping by central Kansas next October 31. :raz:

Also, I think your table looks lovely! - sometimes people overdo it with the linens and decor. (I've been guilty.)

My husband and I were going to have steak and crab and whatnot, but it was a hot day here in Tucson and we hung out on the patio cooking burgers and sipping on Mexican beer. I had some patties in the freezer I'd formed from ground sirloin and it was a very pleasant evening, watching the sun set and enjoying the cooler evening air.

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  • 1 year later...

Made a few dishes for Valentine's Day.

 

Basically what I had in the freezer.

 

Main theme dish is the shrimp dish, because many shrimps are monogamous. 

 

What have you cooked? Or you are just too lazy and ate out? :-)

 

dcarch

 

pairedshrimpsvalentine.jpg

 

pairedshrimpsvalentine2.jpg

 

Snow crab on hot salted blocks

snowcrabwasabisauce.jpg

 

snowcrabwasabisauce2.jpg

 

sous vided chciken

roastedchickenvalentine2.jpg

 

roastedchickenvalentine.jpg

 

Some veggies

bokchoymashroomsdaikon2.jpg

 

bokchoymashroomsdaikon.jpg

 

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dcarch - love the heart cutouts

 

Made cod and shrimp with a creole sauce, green beans and mixed rice.  By the time I finished cooking it I had absolutely NO desire to eat it.  I had raisin bran.

Also made chocolate pots du crème for Johnnybird's dessert.  MISTAKE!!!  He ate some and the caffeine kept him up until 3 am.

Nothing is better than frying in lard.

Nothing.  Do not quote me on this.

 

Linda Ellerbee

Take Big Bites

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We had fried eggs,  fried sausage, potatoes and  heinz beans in tomato sauce for Valentine day because we were ill  and we dont celebrate. I did  cut out heart shapes for my daughters  sausage to get her to eat  a little.

Cheese is you friend, Cheese will take care of you, Cheese will never betray you, But blue mold will kill me.

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  • 11 months later...

Bumping to motivate myself to plan what we are going to cook. We always eat in and do something a little more fancy and cook together so it's a spend time together event. We are eating out at a little local pop up restaurant on the Friday too.

 

I have two beautiful organic Hereford sirloins from the farm next door so I was thinking sous vide for those with Heston triple cooked chips and a tasty sauce. The rest? Really not sure. I had an amazing dessert at Koffman's last year that involved prunes in Armagnac, ice cream and chocolate sauce but have realised that prunes in Armagnac takes time I don't have ( should start some for next year though! ). I do have some very nice black currant ice cream as well as good old vanilla so hopefully a plan cam come together :)

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Well, other half has requested chocolate fondants, so I think I am going for a Heston Blumenthal themed dinner:

 

I am going to refine down the crab on toast recipe from here, since it's still available and looks easy to gussy up into micro portions (not that there's anything wrong with the original, it's food volume I am thinking, and hoping leftover crab will make an excellent pasta sauce / risotto ingredient later:

http://www.insearchofheston.com/2015/07/hestons-crab-on-toast-recipe-how-to-make-a-hinds-head-classic/

 

Then I am going to do a classic steak and triple cooked chips with Heston bearnaise on the side. I don't know whether to do a sous vide cook off against this recipe or if that's too much faff:

http://www.channel4.com/programmes/how-to-cook-like-heston/articles/all/hestons-perfect-steak-recipe

 

I will probably use Tom Kerridge's trick of using an apple corer for round chips but apart from that follow this: 

http://www.insearchofheston.com/2013/10/how-to-make-heston-blumenthals-triple-cooked-chips-recipe-a-definitive-step-by-step-guide/

 

And bearnaise from here: http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2003/jul/12/weekend.hestonblumenthal

 

Finally I'm gonna try the chocolate fondant recipe from here - I have the relevant cookbook:

http://www.insearchofheston.com/2013/04/heston-vs-gordon-chocolate-fondant-recipe/

 

Served with homemade blackcurrant ice cream (that already exists) plus a micro drizzle of pomegranate molasses perhaps?

 

I have never 

 

pickled anything

deep fried anything

made bearnaise

made a chocolate fondant (or indeed ganache).

 

Wish me luck! (At least I have a willing sous chef :) )

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