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A Homemade Valentine’s Day Meal

Try these recipes to make a meal for your loved one.

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, and for many it can be a day of stress over where to go to eat (Lexington has so many great spots; depending on your mood, try the quiet and elegant  lively or or longtime favorite ) or stop in to the …or even …to pick up your loved one’s favorite chocolates.

But if your budget does not allow for it, or if you just want a quiet, romantic evening, try making a wonderful homemade dinner for the one you love. A homemade dinner on your good china with a nice bottle of wine can be more intimate and wonderful than any night out in a crowded restaurant.

Try my Scallops Wrapped in Phyllo for a starter, then enjoy Chicken with Shallots and Mushrooms (serve it with haricots verts, French green beans), and finish the meal with my amazing chocolate torte (bake it in a heart-shaped springform pan, if you have one!

The way to your Valentine’s heart starts at your own dinner table!

 

Phyllo-Wrapped Scallops

Serves two

  • 4 scallops, 1 inch or more in diameter
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for brushing pastry
  • 8 8 x 8-inch (half sheets) frozen phyllo pastry, thawed overnight in refrigerator
  • 4 large leaves flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 grape or cherry tomatoes, halved

1. Preheat oven to 375°F

2. Heat a sauté pan to medium-high heat. While pan heats, sprinkle each scallop with salt and pepper. Add olive oil to pan and sear scallops on each side for about 1 minute, until browned; remove from pan.

3. Place 2 phyllo sheets on work surface. Brush surface of each sheet with olive oil and stack one on top of other. Repeat with remaining phyllo so you have 4 stacks.

4. Set 1 leaf of parsley in middle and at top of phyllo; top with a piece of grape tomato and 1 scallop. Roll up cigar-style and pinch edges together. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

5. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until pastry is golden brown. Serve immediately.

 

Chicken with Shallots and Mushrooms 

Serves two

  • 1 boneless, skinless whole chicken breast,
  • cut in half and trimmed of fat
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 12 button or cremini mushrooms, thickly
  • sliced
  • 2 shallots, thinly sliced
  • ¼ cup dry vermouth or dry white wine
  • ¼ cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

1. Season chicken breasts with pepper and set aside.

2. In a large heavy-bottomed sauté pan, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium-high heat and cook chicken for 7 to 10 minutes on each side, until cooked through. Move chicken to a warm serving dish and cover with foil.

3. Melt butter in the same sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms and cook for 5 minutes. Add shallots and cook for 2 minutes more, until shallots turn translucent but do not burn. Add vermouth or white wine and scrape browned bits off bottom of pan; add cream and mustard. Cook until sauce has reduced by half and is quite thick. Season  with pepper to taste.

4. Return chicken to pan briefly to re-warm. Serve chicken with mushroom sauce on top.

 

Haricots Verts (French Green Beans)

If you cannot find Haricots Verts (we find them regularly at ), choose the thinnest green beans you can find.

Serves 2

  • ½ pound haricots verts (or regular green beans)
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 sun-dried tomatoes
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

1. In a large pot of boiling water, blanche beans for 1 minute; remove from pan and place in an ice bath until ready to sauté.

2. In a large skillet, heat butter and sauté sun-dried (or fresh) tomato. Add beans and toss to combine ingredients. Sauté for 2-4 minutes or until cooked but still crunchy. Place on warm platter and serve immediately.

 

Roseann’s Famous Chocolate Torte

  • 18 ounces bittersweet chocolate
  • 6 eggs, separated
  • ¾ cup confectioner’s sugar
  • 1 cup of blanched almonds
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • ¾ cup unsalted butter at room temperature, plus more for pan
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • Chocolate candies, for garnish

1. Preheat oven to 375°F

2. Place 14 ounces of the chocolate in glass bowl and microwave on medium for 40 seconds, stir and repeat until chocolate is almost totally melted.

3. In a food processor, combine the sugar, almonds and cornstarch and pulse until the almonds are finely ground.

4. In the bowl of a standing mixer, combine eggs and sugar/almond mixture; add chocolate and butter.

5. In a second bowl of standing mixer, whip egg whites until firm but not stiff. Fold 1/3 of mixture at a time into chocolate mixture.

6. Butter an 8-inch springform pan and fill with batter. Bake for 40 minutes or until top of cake is springy but not dry. Cool on wire rack and unmold when fully cool.

7. Make icing. Combine cream and remaining chocolate in small bowl, microwave on medium for 40 seconds, stir and repeat until fully combined. Pour over cooled cake and smooth with spatula. If adding candies to top of cake, wait for icing to cool and set.

Serve with raspberries and sweetened whipped cream.

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