Wednesday, February 12, 2014

A Valentine's Day Dinner Menu

With February 14th quickly approaching, many cooking blogs are abuzz with Valentine-themed recipes this week.  I myself have no new recipe to share with you today, for I’m currently in the midst of churning out hundreds of CocoaRoar truffles, sprinting towards the finish line to finish my Valentine’s Day Collection orders in time.  (I wish I could make my divine Caramel and Sea Salt Truffles for all of you!)  After going full-force in the kitchen all week, I will happily let someone else cook for me on Friday night. But if I were responsible for a special meal, this would be my Valentine’s Day menu:

I would start the evening with champagne, naturally, and my Elderflower Champagne Cocktail turns any evening into an occasion.  With a touch of St Germaine liqueur and a few raspberries bobbing up and down in the glass, this festive spritzer is pure delight in a champagne flute.

You’ll want something to nibble on with your glass of champagne, perhaps a little ricotta crostini.  Inspired by the marvelous Harvest Song tea-rose petal jam I’ve been using in my rose truffles this week, I love spreading thin baguette slices with fresh ricotta and a dollop of this fragrant not-too-sweet rose jam. For a savory version, drizzle the ricotta-topped baguette slices with a few drops of good olive oil, a sprinkling of flaky Maldon salt, and an intoxicating pinch of smoked paprika.

For a refreshing salad course, this Orange and Fennel Salad is beautifully bright and colorful.  The sweetness of the citrus is perfectly balanced by crisp fennel shavings and briny olives.

Moving onto the main course, Sea Scallops With Lychees and Champagne Sauce are impressive yet easy.  This is a luxurious-tasting dish that won’t break the bank, and it’s simple to prepare.  What's not to love about that?

And finally, we’re down to dessert.  I would prefer to eat a little more lightly throughout the meal and then have room for something really decadent at the end.  I’m torn between two favorites, but I’ll let you decide which direction you want to go.

If you want to make a serious culinary pass at your date, may I suggest these Salt-and-Pepper Cocoa Shortbread Cookies.  Yes, I can hear you thinking, “Oh be serious, Louise. Shortbread, really???” Before you dismiss this idea, let me reassure you that these are no ordinary cookies.  In fact, they have been known to produce extremely appreciative reactions from those who eat them.  Serve these cocoa delights with a little whipped mascarpone for dipping, and there’s no telling what may happen afterwards. 

I know having a non-chocolate dessert may be unthinkable for some of you, but if you can wrap your mind around it, Butterscotch Pots de Crème could really make your Valentine's Day memorable. If you are trying to take a newer relationship to the next level—or if you simply want to remind your significant other just how much you love him or her— I can guarantee that this is the recipe you need to make.  Trust me.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Three Years Ago: Chocolate Malt Ice Cream
Four Years Ago: Lavender Pavlovas
Five Years Ago: Cinematic Cocktails


Ed Valentine said...

What wonderful suggestions, Louise! I may have to learn to cook a few of these (maybe the scallops... and the butterscotch desserts... yummm...)

Thank you for your fabuolous posts! Keep 'em coming, please!

lotsa love,
Ed V.

louise said...

Thanks so much, Ed! I know you would enjoy all of these so much. As you know, I want to share recipes that inspire people to get into their own kitchens and recreate these dishes for themselves, so you'll have to keep me posted!