Friday, February 12, 2010

Flashback: Valentine's Day '08

It's that time of year for grand gestures and declarations of love. But mostly of candy hearts that say "fax me" even though it is not 1985 (although they sort of taste like they've been sitting around since 1985 don't they? ). photo source:

Back during the "wooing" stage of our relationship, Bob came over to my studio apartment on Feb 14 armed with groceries and a bottle of vino. He had admitted he did not have much cooking experience so imagine my surprise when he pulled out a four-piece menu! All of the following can be found on 
2 servings
2 Tbs white sugar
2 Tbs olive oil
4 tsp honey
1 Tb cider vinegar
1 tsp lemon juice
2 cups torn salad greens
1 avocado, sliced
10 strawberries, sliced
1/2 cup chopped pecans

In a small bowl, whisk together the sugar, olive oil, honey, vinegar and lemon juice. Set aside Place the salad greens in a serving bowl and top with avocado and strawberries. Drizzle dressing over and sprinkle with pecans. Refrigerate for up to 2 hours before serving or serve immediately.

5 servings
1/2 pound scallops
2 Tbs sherry
1/2 tsp white sugar
1/2 tsp salt
6 slices bacon, cut in half
6 water chestnuts, sliced
1 green onion, cut into 1 inch pieces

In a large bowl, stir together sugar and sherry. Add scallops to the bowl and marinate for 30 minutes. Remove the scallops from marinade and sprinkle with salt. Center a scallop piece, water chestnut and a scallion on a piece of bacon. Wrap and secure with a toothpick. Arrange on broiling pan. Place pan under broiler for 10 minutes, turning once until bacon is golden and cooked.

Cheesy Polenta
8 servings
2 cups whole milk
2 cups water
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 cup polenta or yellow cornmeal
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 ounces sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded

In a large pot over medium-high heat, bring milk, water, and salt to a boil. Gradually whisk in polenta. Reduce heat to low, and cover. Cook 20 minutes, until creamy, lifting the lid and stirring every 3 or 4 minutes to prevent sticking. Remove pot from stove, stir in pepper and butter. Gradually stir in cheese. Serve.

Filet Mignon with Rich Balsamic Glaze
2 servings
2 4oz filet mignon steaks
1/2 tsp pepper
salt to taste
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup dry red wine

Sprinkle pepper over both sides of each steak, sprinkle with salt to taste. Heat a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Place steaks in hot plan and cook for 1 minute on each side or until browned. Reduce heat to medium low and add balsamic and red wine. Cover and cook for 4 minutes on each side, basting with sauce when you turn the meat over. Remove steaks to two warmed plates, spoon one Tb of glaze over each and serve immediately.

Aeriel view:
Of course, presentation left something to be desired because I did not have a dining room table - something about sitting at the coffee table facing the same direction just doesn't scream "romantic dinner." Luckily, this year we have a table to our name. Oh, and I'm the one in charge of the home-cooked meal. Will it compare to this spread Bob made for me two years ago? Only time will tell.

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