Heart-Warming Valentine's Day Fare
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Heart-Warming Valentine's Day Fare

Be a sinner at dinner and luxuriate in a chocolate dessert.

The Menu

Sharing a romantic dinner with a loved one has become a Valentine's Day tradition. But too often the plan is ruined by reality. You can't get a dinner reservation. You can't find a babysitter. You can't afford it. Well, worry not. Here are some delicious dinners you can whip up at home to share in the glow of your own candlelight. If cooking doesn't bring out the romantic in you, make him cook! Whatever you do, don't forget to include a chocolate dessert. See the list below for some great ideas.

First courses

Caesar Salad Our lightened-up version of this classic romaine salad lets you enjoy a favorite without sacrificing flavor or your waistline.

 

Exotic mushroom soup For this appetizer, we combined shiitake, crimini and chanterelle mushrooms for a soup so smooth and rich it doesn't need any added cream.

 
Entrees

Seafood pasta with lemon crumbs To unlock the rich flavor of the mussel and clam sauce, we added an unusual garnish of toasted fresh bread crumbs and lemon peel.

Grilled lobster with citrus butter The grapefruit adds a refreshing taste to a classic butter sauce.

 

Roast pork with garlic and apples The secret to our tender, juicy pork is to marinate it in a "brine" -- a simple solution of water and salt.

 

Beef tenderloin with pepper-thyme crust and red potatoes The trick is to roast it until slightly rare, then wrap it in foil and let it stand before serving.

Spinach saute The combined flavors of shallots and balsamic vinegar turn plain old spinach into an elegant side dish.

 

Thyme-garlic baked potatoes Just slit the top of each potato, tuck in thyme sprigs and garlic, and you've got a new twist on an old favorite.

 

Lemon broccoli This broccoli side dish is made with olive oil, lemon and garlic.

 

The ultimate scalloped potatoes For the best creamy scalloped potatoes you need to use russet potatoes, which have the highest starch content.

 
Desserts

Chocolate cups with rich chocolate mousse These chocolate mousse cups with chocolate scrolls are deceptively easy.

 

Marbleized strawberries The melted white and dark chocolates make a dazzling "marble" design on these fresh strawberries.

 

Bittersweet chocolate tart It's warm chocolate custard in a shortbread crust!

 

Brownie waffles a la mode These heart-shaped waffles topped with cinnamon ice cream and hot fudge sauce are the sweetest way to say, "I love you.

 

Easy chocolate souffles Hard to believe, but heavenly news-these souffles can be made ahead!

Coeurs a la creme This heart shaped cream-and-raspberry dessert is sinfully delicious.

 

How to Make Chocolate Hearts

Chocolate Hearts

  • Spread 4 squares(4 oz.) melted chocolate or 4 ounces white confectionary coating* onto parchment paper, forming an 8x7-inch rectangle; let harden until set but still yields slightly to touch.
  • Cut out three 3-inch heart shapes. Let stand until completely set.
  • Lift off parchment with small spatula.
  • Decorate cakes or use as part of dessert plate.
  • Repeat with more chocolate for additional hearts.

*Available from Wilton Enterprises, 630-963-7100, ext. 300.

Chocolate-Dipped Tuxedo Strawberries

Chocolate-dipped tuxedo strawberries
Chocolate-dipped
tuxedo strawberries

  • Melt 8 ounces white confectionary coating* in medium microwave-proof bowl on High 1 and 1/2 to 2 minutes.
  • Stir in 1/2 teaspoon vegetable oil until smooth.
  • Dip 1 quart fresh strawberries in white chocolate three quarters up to stem.
  • Let stand until set.
  • Dip each side of strawberries on an angle into 7 squares(7 oz.) melted chocolate.
  • Using toothpick or fine brush, draw on buttons and bow ties with remaining semisweet chocolate.

*Available from Wilton Enterprises, 630-963-7100, ext. 300.

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