Valentine’s Day Feast

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Hey world,

So this year Ryan and I decided to not make a big deal out of Vday, and just have a nice dinner over Reading Week when I went to visit his hometown. In hindsight, this really just meant we did Valentine’s day twice, since we still celebrated a little on Feb 14, so it got a little confusing when to do cards/gifts. Or in my case, you just get so excited about the prospect of making an amazing meal and forget to do a card (IM SORRY SO SORRY).

Anyways, on to the meal! Originally Ryan and I were going to cook together but I got a leeeeeettle carried away with the menu so I kind of took over and decided to cook for him. It was reeeeeaaallly good. Took quite a bit of prep, but after midterms and an illness reduced my diet to oatmeal and eggs it was refreshing to spend that much time on a meal.

So I started out on foodgawker, and gradually planned a menu. This was a little difficult, since as you remember from Date Night Ryan and I don’t usually eat the same thing. But I persevered!

In the end, I did most of the cooking ahead of the meal, with a few things I had to cook between courses. Ryan said it was all DELICIOUS, and so did I. Although, I’ve noticed the longer I spend cooking something the less impressed I am with the finished product. So Ryan’s vote counts for more than mine (the only time this is true).

Here it is!

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{the goodies}

1. Potato, Bacon, Apple Soup

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{so happy to be eating such good soup}

I adapted this recipe by adding potato (originally just apple and bacon) and less cream. This soup was probably my favourite part of the meal, it had such good flavors and was really filling. It would be an ideal lunch soup I think. Also I make an exception to my no pork rule for the occasional bacon recipe because cmon, its bacon.

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{this is Ryan’s “smiling for girlfriends blog cause she won’t leave me alone until I do” smile…qt}

2. Roasted Garlic and Parmesan Crusted Asparagus with a fried egg

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{mmmm}

This is one of my favourite ways to make asparagus, although the addition of the egg was new to me and made it feel really gourmet. I’d read about egg and asparagus pairing really well together, and knew it was two foods that Ryan and I agree on, so thought it was perfect!

For the asparagus, I squeezed about 4 cloves of roasted garlic out of the garlic head, literally coated all the asparagus, shook some parmesan out on to the spears and popped em in the oven at about 425. I then fried the egg, put it on top, and cut it so the yolk was kind of a sauce. SO GOOD MMMMMMMM.

3. Basil, Provolone and Roasted Red Pepper Stuffed Chicken with a mushroom white wine sauce. Plus linguine and alfredo sauce.

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{yup that looks gross. I swear it tasted way better than that}

I was kind of underwhelmed by this recipe, which was an adaptation of this. I swapped out the bacon and used roasted red peppers, and didnt bother with rolling or tying up the chicken. Although all my friends think I’m being fancy when I stuff chicken, its actually really easy!

How to make stuffed chicken breast and impress your friends

1. Cut chicken almost in half, length wise, so that you can open it up like a book.

2. Pound both halves of chicken flat with a heavy thing (water bottle, heavy mug, textbook coated in plastic bags, etc)

3. Put your stuffing in the middle, then “close the book”/wrap the other half of the chicken on top so that it forms a rough seal.

4. Chocolate Raspberry Pots de Creme

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{yeah, I made that, nbd}

MMmmmmmmm. I really liked these, although it was a bit of an emotional roller coaster. I decided to modify this recipe by using coconut cream instead of whipping cream. My stomachs been bothering me, and also I have always wanted to try baking with coconut cream.

So basically pots de creme are grown up puddings. Melted chocolate in cream then cooked until its a custard. I made the raspberry syrup the recipe recommended, but after straining out the seeds I had basically nothing left. I am not one to waste expensive raspberries, so I used the seedy bits as a topping and loved it.

For some inexplicable reason, I decided to add more coconut cream then the recipe used…I honestly don’t know why in hindsight. I added the recommended cup, then thought it didn’t look like enough (although I have never made this before) so added another. INSTANT REGRET haha.

This meant that my pots de creme took forever to set, then an additional forever to chill, so Ryan and I enjoyed them as a kind of chocolate soup. Still delicious, I really liked the intense chocolate flavor with fresh raspberries.

I made 3, and the third stayed in the fridge overnight. It turned out great! So I guess this is a make ahead dessert.

This was a lot of fun, but also a lot of work. Also reinforces that I like to cook, but I don’t want to be a chef or anything. Best to keep cooking as a hobby.  Hope youre all having a great (short) week!

PS. This is by far one of my favourite songs, on one of my favourite albums. This guy is so talented, and acoustic guitar always gets me.

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