Valentine's Day Showdown: Bistro Dinner with Our Resident Chef
Our Virgin Cook, Wynter Holden, refers to the Valentine dinner menu as a competition! In spite of the size your knife (is that from the tool shed?) Wynter, game on! And no apologies, Cyndi Coon, Thrifty Cook, we planned our menu to celebrate with a little extravagance for the night.
Jonathan McNamara Carol Blonder with most of her Valentine's menu.
The romance for a Valentine's Day celebration should be ignited in the kitchen with a few French bistro style dishes. Mais oui? I planned the four coarse menu with a few of my favorites thinking you can't ever go wrong with the classics. Photographer and go to web guy, Jonathan McNamara, seemed to agree as he snapped the shutter and sampled the menu. I candidly reveal there was some appreciative moaning behind the lens.
Valentine's Day Dinner for 2
Crepes with Smoked Salmon, Crème Fraiche, and Truffle Caviar
Steamed Mussels with Fennel, Tomato and Shallot
Steak au Poivre with Mushroom Merlot Sauce
Baby Greens with Asian Pears,Toasted Walnuts with Truffle Oil Vinaigrette
Baked Hot Chocolate with Cocoa Cream
Prepare the crepe batter the night before. Make and fold the crepes ahead and hold in refrigerator. Bring crepes to room temperature (about ½ hour) before serving.
Prepare the salad components a few hours ahead. Place the sliced pears in water with 1 teaspoon of lemon juice to prevent browning. Plate and dress the salad right before serving.
The potato galette and the baked hot chocolate require the longest cooking times:
Option 1.-Prepare these dishes one day ahead and warm in a 350 F oven before serving.
Option 2. Bake the dessert in the afternoon and serve room temperature, then bake the galette while preparing the rest of the meal.
Create a mis en place (everything in its place): prepare all the ingredients for each recipe before cooking; this helps with timing and efficiency. Read all the recipes from beginning to end!
Recipes (in recommended order of prep or cooking time)