Recipes
Dec 29, 2008

Valentine's Day menu

By: Lucy Waverman and James Chatto

Valentine's Day menu Author: Style At Home

Recipes
Dec 29, 2008

Valentine's Day menu

By: Lucy Waverman and James Chatto
As much of this easy-to-prepare menu contains foods with aphrodisiac qualities, this dinner may well be a prelude to what James calls "dancing beneath the midnight moon." Foods with heat, such as chilies, set the mood by stimulating your heartbeat, and chocolate is purported to arouse passion.

There is also something very sensual about picking up food with your fingers and feeding it to your loved one (think of the movie Tom Jones). Artichokes are perfect for this, as each leaf is consumed seperately. At dessert, nicely relaxed from the good food and wine, use the same technique for the truffles.

This Valentine's Day, try this menu at home and arouse your sweetheart's passion:
Artichoke vinaigrette (below)
Roasted veal chops with mushroom sauce and truffle oil
Potato galette
Chili chocolate truffles

Artichoke vinaigrette
Look for compact, tightly closed artichokes that are firm and heavy for their size. Once the leaves start to seperate and the head opens up like a rose, the artichoke is past its prime. Bronze-tipped leaves have been "winter kissed" by frost and have a special flavour.

Ingredients
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tbsp chopped fresh basil, or 1 tsp dried
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
1/2 cup olive oil
salt and freshly ground pepper
2 large artichokes
1/2 lemon

Preparation
Whisk together mustard, garlic, basil and red wine vinegar. Slowly whisk in olive oil. Vinaigrette mixture should thicken. Season with salt and pepper.

Cut off artichoke stems. Pull off small bottom leaves. With a sharp knife, cut off top quarter of artichokes. With scissors, snip pointed tops off remaining outer leaves. Rub cut edges with lemon to keep them from turning black, or place in a bowl of water laced with lemon juice.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. (Do not use an aluminum pot, as it will cause artichokes to turn black.) Add lemon and artichokes to water, pushing artichokes into water as they bob up.

Reduce heat to medium and partially cover pot. Boil for 15 to 40 minutes, depending on size of artichoke. To test for doneness, pierce bottom with a knife (it should be tender) or pull off a leaf (it should come away easily).

Drain artichokes well and pour cold water over them to stop cooking. Turn upside down on a wire rack to drain off any water. With a spoon, remove feathery chokes, leaving hearts exposed.

Serve artichokes hot or cold with small bowls of vinaigrette for dipping.

More information
Artichokes The artichoke heart is what remains after you have removed the outer leaves. The heart consists of the tender, pale green leaves, the fuzzy choke and the bottom - the fleshy area above the stalk - which makes the best eating. The hearts of young artichokes can be eaten whole, as the choke has not yet grown. Otherwise the choke must be discarded. It can be removed with a sharp knife and spoon before or after cooking. You can also scrape out the choke while you are eating.


BUY THIS BOOK matter-of-taste.jpg
Excerpted from
A Matter of Taste by Lucy Waverman and James Chatto. Copyright 2004 by Lucy Waverman and James Chatto. Excerpted with permission by Harper Collins. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

 

Roasted veal chops with mushroom sauce and truffle oil
French-cut veal chops have had the bones cleaned of meat and gristle. They are more attractive, but other veal rib or loin chops may also be used. Serve the chops over the potatoes. The sage leaves can be fried a few hours ahead. The leftover sage-flavoured oil can be reused.

Ingredients
1 tbsp olive oil
2 French-cut veal chops (about 1 1/2 inches thick)
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Mushroom Sauce
2 tbsp oilve oil
6 oz mixed wild mushrooms, trimmed and sliced
1 tsp finely chopped garlic
1/4 cup mushroom or beef stock
1/2 tsp truffle oil
Garnish
1/4 cup olive oil
12 fresh sage leaves
 
Preparation
Preheat oven to 450°F.
Heat oil in skillet over medium-high heat. Season veal with salt and pepper. Cook chops for about 2 minutes per side, or until browned. Transfer to a metal baking dish and bake for 8 to 12 minutes, or until just pink.

Prepare mushroom sauce while veal is cooking. Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add mushroom and sauté for about 3 minutes, or until limp. Add garlic and sauté for 1 minute longer. Add stock and bring to a boil. Drizzle in truffle oil.

Heat oil for garnish in a small skillet over high heat. Add sage leaves and sauté for about 30 seconds, or until crisp. Drain on paper towels.
Serve chops with mushroom sauce and sprinkle with sage leaves.
BUY THIS BOOK matter-of-taste.jpg
Excerpted from
A Matter of Taste by Lucy Waverman and James Chatto. Copyright 2004 by Lucy Waverman and James Chatto. Excerpted with permission by Harper Collins. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher. Potato galette
Any 6- or 7-inch metal pan will work with this dish, but a small cast-iron skillet will hold the eat best. Use clarified butter for flavour and to prevent the potatoes from sticking.

Ingredients
1/3 cup clarified butter
1 lb Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
Salt and freshly ground pepper

Preparation
Preheat oven to 425°F.

Spread 3 tbsp clarified butter over base of a small ovenproof skillet. Layer a circle of potatoes over butter. Brush potatoes with butter and season with salt and pepper. Continue to layer potatoes, brushing each layer with butter and seasoning until all potatoes are used. Pour any remaining butter over top.

Place skillet over medium heat and cook potatoes until bottom layer starts to brown, about 5 minutes. Cover potatoes with parchment paper and a lid that sits directly on paper. Press down.

Bake potatoes for 15 minutes. Remove lid and paper and press potatoes down again. Bake, uncovered, for 25 to 30 minutes longer, pressing down twice more, until potatoes are very tender.

Drain off any excess butter. Invert galette onto a serving dish and cut in half.

More information

Clarified butter To clarify butter, gently melt 1 cup unsalted butter in a heavy pot. Remove from heat and let sit until cool. The white milk solids will settle to the bottom and the clear butter will remain on top. Strain butter through cheesecloth and discard milk solids.

Clarified butter will keep in the refrigerator for up to a month.

Makes about 3/4 cup.


BUY THIS BOOK matter-of-taste.jpg
Excerpted from
A Matter of Taste by Lucy Waverman and James Chatto. Copyright 2004 by Lucy Waverman and James Chatto. Excerpted with permission by Harper Collins. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher. Chili chocolate truffles
Use ancho chili powder if possible (it has a hint of chocolate in it), but any chili will bring out the chocolate flavour in these truffles.

These also freeze well and can be eaten directly out of the freezer whenever you have a chocolate moment.

Ingredients
1/2 cup whipping cream
10 oz bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup butter, at room temperature
1 tbsp honey
1/4 tsp ancho chili powder or cayenne
Shaved dark or white chocolate
Cocoa
   
Preparation
Bring cream to a boil in a small pot over low heat. Immediately pour cream over chocolate and butter and stir until smooth. Stir in honey and chili powder. Cool and refrigerate until set, about 4 hours.

Make truffles 1 to 2 inches in diameter by scooping out balls of chocolate micture with a melon baller or small ice cream scoop. Place balls on a parchment-lined baking sheet. If mixture is a little soft, use your hands to roll balls.

Place shaved chocolate on one plate and cocoa on another. Roll half the balls in chocolate and half in cocoa and refrigerate.


BUY THIS BOOK matter-of-taste.jpg
Excerpted from
A Matter of Taste by Lucy Waverman and James Chatto. Copyright 2004 by Lucy Waverman and James Chatto. Excerpted with permission by Harper Collins. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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Valentine's Day menu