VALENTINE’S DAY ~ WEEKEND OF ROMANCE FOODS

Valentine’s Day is a truly subjective menu.  Not everyone wants or dreams of the same foods.  So awhile back when we were just sitting around I quizzed hubby in a round about way and was able to come up with his favorite romantic menu to create a romantic meal. At that time I obviously planned on doing the cooking, but unfortunately since I’m still not allowed to cook, he’ll be the one preparing the recipes, but all is good and we’ll make it work.  I did borrow a few photos for this post from google images since hubby has yet to make the meal, the rest are from my archives, but the recipes are all ours.
STRAWBERRY MARGARITAS  
2 cups crushed ice 
2/3 cup fresh strawberry puree
1 cup tequila 
2 limes, juiced 
Splash Triple Sec 
Splash simple syrup (equal amounts sugar and water heated until sugar dissolves completely and then cooled)
  • Combine in a blender, ice, strawberry water, tequila, lime juice, Triple Sec and simple syrup. 
  • Puree until smooth. 
  • Pour into rocks glasses, garnish and serve.

CAJUN SHRIMP COCKTAIL
1 1/2 cups ketchup
1/2 cup chili sauce
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons finely minced o
nion
2 tablespoons prepared horseradish
Juice of 1 lemon (save your rind to make the cute serving dish)
2 1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1/4 teaspoon Frank’s red pepper hot sauce
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
salt to taste

plenty of fresh medium-large shrimp, cleaned and chilled
  • I use my mini food processor to mix it all in until well blended.
  • Chill for a day or so before needed to allow flavors to meld together.
CAESAR SALAD DRESSING
6 cloves garlic, mashed and minced
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon Champagne Vinegar
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1/3 cup canola oil
Sea Salt
White Pepper
Juice of 1 lemon
Minced anchovy fillets (optional – I usually leave them out)
  • Combine garlic, mustard, vinegar and two pinches of salt in a blender and mix thoroughly. 
  • Add mayonnaise and blend together to form a thick base. 
  • In a slow stream add oil. 
  • Scrape dressing with spatula into a bowl and season to taste with salt, pepper and lemon juice. 
  • Optional – Add anchovies to dressing to create a deeper, saltier taste. 
PARMESAN CHEESE CROUTONS
6 slices thick sourdough bread
butter, melted, enough to coat bread
½ cup Fontina Cheese
½ cup grated Parmesan Cheese
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 
  • Place bread slices on oven rack and bake until dry and golden. 
  • Melt butter in flat bowl. 
  • Combine cheeses in flat bowl. 
  • Dip first in butter and the cheese mixture. 
  • Bake on cookie sheet 8-10 minutes until cheese is bubbly and melted. 
  • Cut to desired size*
*If I’m in a hurry I will sometimes cut these ahead of time and toss with the butter and cheese which coats all the sides better.
GARLIC STEAK
Steak of choice (hubby choose T-bones)
2 cloves of garlic per steak, minced fine
1 tablespoon champagne vinegar per steak
1/2 tablespoon canola oil
sea salt
white pepper
  • Pierce each steak with a marinater.
  • Whisk together the garlic, oil, salt and pepper to taste.
  • Place steak side by side of a large plate.
  • Pour marinade over top.
  • Turn steak and make sure each is well coated.
  • Cover and marinate overnight.
  • Take steak out of refrigerator an hour before grilling, turn several times making sure still well coated in marinade.
  • Firmly press garlic pieces into the steak.
  • Grilled to desired doneness – mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm, medium rare….
TWICE BAKED POTATOES 
4 large baking potatoes
8 slices bacon
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup milk
4 tablespoons butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese, divided
8 green onions (tops and all), sliced and divided 
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Bake potatoes in preheated oven for 1 hour or until done through. 
  • Meanwhile, place bacon in a large, deep skillet. Cook over medium high heat until evenly brown. Drain, crumble and set aside. 
  • When potatoes are done allow them to cool for 10 minutes. Slice potatoes in half lengthwise and scoop the flesh into a large bowl; saving skins. 
  • To the potato pieces add the sour cream, milk, butter, salt, pepper, 1/2 cup cheese and 1/2 the green onions. Mix with a hand mixer until well blended and creamy. Spoon the mixture into the potato skins. Top each with remaining cheese, green onions and bacon. 
  • Bake for another 15 minutes. 

SOUR CREAM DUTCH APPLE PIE
PIE
3+ cups apples, cored, peeled and chopped
lemon juice
3/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons flour
pinch of salt
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon maple extract
1 small egg, beaten
1/2 cup sour cream (not light)
9 inch pastry shell, pre-baked and cooled
TOPPING
1/3 cup flour
1/3 cup dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
4 tablespoons butter, sliced extremely thin

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • Chop the apples and combine with just enough lemon juice to coat and prevent browning in large bowl.
  • In a small bowl sift together the flour, sugar, cinnamon and salt.
  • Fold in the sour cream, egg, vanilla and maple extract until well blended.
  • Fold the sour cream mixture into the apples until well coated.
  • Carefully pour into the pie shell, mounding towards the center.
  • Toss together the topping ingredients until well blended.
  • Sprinkle topping evenly over the apple mound.
  • Lay the pieces of butter all over the top.
  • Bake 30 minutes or until apples are tender.
  • Best served with ice cream or fresh whipped cream. If you want to be really decadent try it with Caramel Sauce.

HOMEMADE VANILLA ICE CREAM
1 cup whole milk
1/2 cup sugar
2 jumbo eggs
2 cups heavy cream
2 teaspoons real vanilla extract

  • Warm the milk in a small pan. 
  • Whisk the eggs with the sugar in a separate bowl. 
  • Slowly add the warm milk to the egg mixture while continuously whisking the mixture. 
  • Pour the entire mixture back into the pan and heat slowly, stirring continuously until mixture thickens to loose pudding texture. DO NOT BOIL! Let it cool to room temperature. 
  • Whisk in the cream and vanilla. 
  • Follow your ice cream maker directions for freezing.
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