A Romantic Valentine's Day Menu
Aphrodisiac: A substance that increases sexual desire. Since the ancient Greeks and possibly before, man (and woman) has been fascinated by foods that promise to inspire feelings of love. Do aphrodisiacs work? I'm no scientist, but I can tell you that the last time my husband and I had oysters; it was a ... fun night.
So with the goddess Aphrodite in mind, here's a Valentine's Day menu to inspire romance.
- 4 fresh figs
- 2 tsp balsamic vinegar
- ¼ cup olive oil
- ½ tsp Dijon Mustard
- half lemon
- mixed greens
Cut stems off figs and cut in half lengthwise. Mix vinegar and oil and marinate figs for an hour or more.
Remove figs and save marinade. Sauté figs in a non-stick pan for about 5 minutes.
Add a squeeze of lemon, 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard, salt and pepper to marinade. Arrange greens on salad plates and top with figs and marinade.
Pesto Fettuccine with Avocado
- 1 lb fettuccine
- 1 bunch fresh basil
- ½ cup pine nuts
- 2 avocados, pitted and peeled
- 2 Tbsp lemon juice
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1/3 - 1/2 cup olive oil
- Sea salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup halved grape tomatoes
- Parmesan cheese
While fettuccine is cooking, combine all but tomatoes into a food processer, blender or mini chopper and blend until smooth. Toss pasta and pesto together, top with tomatoes and sprinkle with Parmesan, salt and pepper to taste.
- 1/3 cup sugar, plus additional for sprinkling
- 5 oz. bittersweet chocolate - chopped
- 3 large egg yolks at room temperature
- 6 large egg whites
- lightly sweetened whipped cream
You'll need a 6-cup glass or ceramic soufflé dish.
Preheat oven to 375°F. Generously butter soufflé dish and sprinkle with sugar, knocking out excess.
Melt chocolate in a metal bowl set over a saucepan of barely simmering water, stirring occasionally until smooth. Remove bowl from heat and stir in yolks (mixture will stiffen).
Beat whites with a pinch of salt in a large bowl with an electric mixer at medium speed until they just hold soft peaks. Add 1/3 cup sugar, a little at a time, continuing to beat at medium speed, then beat at high speed until whites just hold stiff peaks. Stir about 1 cup whites into chocolate mixture to lighten, then add mixture to remaining whites, folding gently but thoroughly.
Spoon into soufflé dish and run the end of your thumb around inside edge of soufflé dish (this will help soufflé rise evenly). Bake in middle of oven until puffed and crusted on top but still jiggly in center, 24 to 26 minutes. Serve immediately.