Above is a picture of sauteed beef heart. Just a little food-valentines humor. 🙂 I’m sure it tastes delicious too.
This will be a short and pathetic entry today! I just want to eat chocolates and drink champagne all day basically. Niko and I are actually going to Pil Poul AGAIN. So there will be no new restaurant review to offer up. (See review two entries ago).
Valentines is never a good night to judge a restaurant anyway- most usually serve set menus and they are never as good as regular nights. Nevertheless, I wanted to dress up and eat French food in this lovely building once more.
It might be too late to offer advice on cooking for two, you have probably already planned your menus. But if not, I recommend keeping it simple. I used to make these extravagant, complicated 5 course meals. Then I realized that I spent half the night running into the kitchen to set things up last minute and plate everything beautifully, when we just wanted to be together.
A great 3 course meal can be done in very little time with little effort. If I was pressed on time, this is the menu I’d prepare:
1) Smoked Salmon with Freshly Whipped Lemon-Dill Cream
2) Seafood Risotto OR Sauteed Steak with mushroom-truffle sauce (if youre dealing with a devoted carnivore like I am)
3) Cheese Plate with assorted cheese of your choice (Add fruit and nuts of your choice as well)
4) Chocolate Covered Strawberries OR Cherry Sorbet with a drizzle of Mint-Chocolate Sauce
The cheeses can be cut and refrigerated on each plate, and then you can get to room temperature when you start eating the salmon.
The salmon is incredibly easy as well- just whip up some fresh cream (or buy creme fraiche) and add lemon juice, lemon zest, and freshly cut dill. Spoon a dollop of cream in the middle of a plate and drape the smoked salmon around it decoratively, then sprinkle more dill and lemon zest around. Cover with plastic wrap, refrigerate- it will be ready when you are!
Any risotto can be started in advance, and finished in its last stages of broth stirring. So this can also be mostly done ahead of time, and needs only a 5-7 to finish. A steak is an easy option as well, because you can sear it and let it rest while you are enjoying your first plate. Sauces for steak can also be made quickly- with the juices and little bits from sauteeing the steaks in the pan, you add shallots or mushrooms or whatever, with some wine and simmer- reduce, and add a few tbs of butter. there is a sauce!
The desserts I mention are pretty easy. You can heat up chocolate fudge and dip strawberries in them if you want to make it even easier. Otherwise, melt bits of chocolate with heated heavy cream and a bit of butter. Dip strawberries and set on parchment paper in the fridge. Or, scoop a few balls of sorbet or ice cream with a drizzle of any sauce you like.
I prefer to make my own ice cream, but I know there is not always time to do this!!
Hope these tips help a little. No matter what you decide to make, know that it can be decadent and indulgant without having to take hours and hours of prep time.
If none of this turns you on, there’s always beef heart! Yum.