La fete de St-Valentin

This year John and I decided to cook dinner with one another instead of going out and eating a “romantic” dinner surrounded by 100’s of other people also having a “romantic” dinner. 

We decided we’d have a more romantic time at home drinking wine and cooking together…and came up with a menu fit for 2.

We decided to have Lobster Mac n’ Cheese on the side with our fish, you can find the recipe on a seperate page.  Also, the cream of tomato soup is on it’s own page – be sure to give it a try!

Baked Goat Cheese with Mesclun, Pears, and Toasted Almonds – 2 servings
Small goat cheese log, chilled
1/4 cup dry breadcrumbs
1 teaspoon grapeseed oil
1/4 pound mesclun
1/8 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 pear, cored, sliced into thin wedges
1/8 cup chopped walnuts, toasted

Slice the goat cheese into 1/2-inch thisk disks, 2 disks for each plate. Carefully coat the goat cheese with breadcrumbs and place on a dish.
Heat grapeseed oil in a nonstick pan on medium-low heat, add the goat cheese disks, turn heat to low, and fry about 4 minutes per side or flip when golden brown. While they are frying make the dressing.

In a small bowl whisk together olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Toss the mesclun salad with dressing. Divide among 2 bowls, and mound in the middle. Lay 4 thin slices of pears overlapping, and place goat cheese on the side of the salad. Sprinkle with walnuts and serve.

Bass and Scallops en Papillote – 2 servings
2 6-oz pieces of sea bass fillet
1/2 cup vegetable broth
1/8 cup dry vermouth
1/2 cup baby red potatoes, thinly sliced
1/8 cup carrots, julienne
1/8 cup yellow summer squash, julienne
1/4 teaspoon minced garlic
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated lemon
1/8 cup parsley, chopped
1 teaspoon olive oil
6 ounces bay scallops, cleaned
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Parchment paper
2 tablespoons unsalted butter

In a large saucepan, combine broth and vermouth, bring to a simmer. Individually cook the potatoes, and carrots in the stock mix until tender. Drain the vegetables and toss with summer squash.

Combine garlic, lemon zest, parsley, and 1 teaspoon olive oil. Add scallops to lemon mixture, mix gently, season with salt and pepper.
Cut two 16-inch sheets of parchment paper. Fold in half, and cut into half a heart shape. Lightly grease the paper with butter.

Divide the vegetables on one half of the paper heart. Top with the bass, skin side up and add 3 ounces scallops to each package. Top the scallops with the lemon mixture.

Fold the top of each heart over the fish and vegetables, and crimp the edges of the paper to seal it tightly. Refrigerate for about 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Place fish packages on a baking sheet, and bake for 15 minutes. The package should be puffy and the paper should be brown. Serve on individual dishes, and let the person open their own papillote.

This makes for such a beautiful presentation.

Grand Marnier Chocolate Fondue 2 servings
1/2 cup bittersweet chocolate
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
1 teaspoons freshly grated orange
Pinch of kosher salt
1 tablespoon honey
1/8 cup Grand Marnier
Assorted fruit cut into bite size pieces (strawberries, bananas, pineapple, raspberries, ect)

In a small saucepan, bring an inch of water to a boil. Place a heat proof bowl over the boiling water, add both chocolates, whisk to melt and remove from heat.

Quickly combine cream, orange zest, salt and honey in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer. Remove from heat and cool for 5 minutes. Strain the cream mixture over the chocolate, and whisk together until well combined. Add the grand marnier and mix thoroughly. Serve in a warm ceramic bowl or fondue pot.

Joyeuse St-Valentin!

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