Saturday, February 13, 2016

The Best Valentine's Day Gift Home Cooked

"If music be the food of love play on." Shakespeare wrote in his great play , Twelfth Night and it's true. Nothing is as satisfying as a sensuous meal followed by a sweet treat - meaning a decadent dessert. What better than a home cooked one, made with love for love. It's a simple gift  but with so much meaning.

If you're at a quandary about what to make your beloved tomorrow, then consult David Tanis'  A City Kitchen from this past Wednesday's New York Times Food section. He recommends starting out with a citrus salad, a tart refreshing start to any meal.It's mixing crunchy Belgian endive with zesty cara cara oranges and a blood orange.You could add grapefruit for a really tart punch but that's up to your beloved's taste. if the salad may seem too daunting tastewise, then stick with a simple tomato and mozzarella one but amp up the vinaigrette by adding champagne vinegar (this is not as exotic as it sounds, it can be bought at any super market and even Wal-Mart!).The main dish is one of Mr. Tanis's creation:seared sea scallops with ginger-lime butter. This is searing the scallops  with bok choy and sweet potatoes for a colorful and tasty dish.The ginger lime butter zinged with red pepper, is then drizzled over it.If your love isn't into seafood then think chicken . Feeding each other a whole roast chicken has a kind of Tom Jones, (the Henry Fielding book and 1963 Albert Finney movie)appeal but there is a more civilized dish in the form of chicken Alfredo over angel hair pasta It's blending chicken breasts with a creamy and buttery white sauce served over cappellini.

Of course the piece de resistance for any lovers' meal is dessert. Chocolate is the most desired but the question is in what form. Mr. Tanis gives us the ultra decadent chocolate bourbon balls. These are a marriage of every ones' favorites ; dark cocoa, bourbon and a choice of crushed pecans, pistachios or hazelnuts. I would go for the hazelnuts for a kicky nocciola flavor. The truffles are a ganache , made satiny with a mix of vanilla and bourbon and then chilled, A melon baller is used to make the bite sized treats and then after chilling they're rolled in the crushed nuts For a different spin add s tiny amount of chili pepper flakes and then roll in a mix of cocoa and cinnamon. Mint is another flavor that can be added into a truffle. A really sensuous end is chocolate fondue. It can be made with either milk or dark chocolate however the last is the better choice. It brings out the the fondue's morsels flavors and under notes. Strawberries are the obvious choice in nibbles. They're fun to feet to each other, but you can also try cherries if you can get them, or pineapples. Chunks of cake, whether be pound or angel food can be used but for real decadence  try brownies.

Treat your love to a homecooked meal, followed by a rich , yummy chocolate treat. It's the best gift out there that just trumpets your emotions. Get cooking  then if you want some loving.

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