cooking for your boyfriend

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Valentine's Day Menu

On Valentine's Day, the last thing I want to do is dine at a fancy restaurant surrounded by PDAing couples.  Yuck.  The best way to spend the evening is in the privacy of your own home with a delicious, romantic meal.  


Mussels Fra Diavolo

Filet Mignon with a Red Wine Sauce

Israeli Couscous with Dried Cranberries

Black and White Angel Food Cake


Make Black and White Angel Food Cake
Make Israeli couscous
Scrub, de-beard, and rinse Mussels

Mussels Fra Diavolo


Fra Diavolo Sauce:
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced
  • 3/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 6 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 1 (28 ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 (28 ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1 lb mussels, scrubbed, de-bearded, rinsed, and drained

1.  Heat olive oil in a large skillet with high sides (or a large sauce pan) over medium heat.  Saute onions and red pepper flakes until onions are golden brown (about 10 minutes).  Add garlic and saute another 1 minute.  Add tomatoes, tomato sauce, oregano, salt, and wine.  Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cover.  Cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

2.  Cook mussels during the last 5 minutes of the sauce cooking.  In a dutch oven add mussels and 1 inch of water, and cover.  Bring to a boil and immediate reduce to a simmer (takes about 3 minutes).  Cook for about 5 minutes.  Check periodically, removing mussels that open (this means they're done).  Discard the ones that don't open.  Poor sauce over mussels.

Filet Mignon With Red Wine Sauce

  • 2 (6-8 ounce) filet mignon steaks
  • 2 teaspoons grapeseed oil
  • salt/pepper
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 1 tablespoon butter 

1.  Heat oven to 450 degrees F.  Heat cast iron skillet over medium-high heat.  Brush both sides of steaks with olive oil.  Season with salt and pepper.  Once skillet is hot enough add steaks.  Cook 4 minutes on one side, flip and transfer to oven.  Cook for about 5 minutes until medium rare (145 degrees F).

2.  Meanwhile, boil wine in a small sauce pan for 2 minutes until reduced by half.  Turn off heat and stir in butter.  Season with salt and pepper.  Pour sauce over steak.

Israeli Couscous with Dried Cranberries

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup whole wheat Israeli couscous
  • 1 1/4 cup water
  • salt/pepper
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries 

1.  Heat oil in a medium sauce pan over medium-high heat.  Toast couscous until slightly browned, about 5 minutes.  Add water, bring to a boil, cover, then reduce to a simmer.  Cook 8-10 minutes.  Using a fork, fold in cranberries as you fluff couscous.

Black and White Angel Food Cake


  • 1 cup cake flour (not self rising)
  • 1 1/2 cups superfine sugar
  • 1 3/4 cups large egg whites (about 13 large eggs), room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon warm water
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 lb semi sweet chocolate, broken into small pieces
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F, with the rack in the center.  Into a medium bowl, sift together flour and 3/4 cup sugar four times (very important step).  Set aside.

2.  In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat egg whites and the warm water on low speed until foamy.  Add salt, cream of tartar, and vanilla.  Beat on medium-high speed until soft peaks form, about 3 minutes.  While beating, gradually add the remaining 3/4 cup sugar,  1 tablespoon at a time.  Beat on high speed until peaks are stiff and glossy but not dry, about 2 minutes (do not over mix)

3.  Transfer mixture to a large bowl.  Sift flour mixture over egg-white mixture in six parts, quickly but gently folding it in with a rubber spatula after each addition.

4.  Gently transfer batter to an ungreased 10-inch tube pan.  Run a knife through the batter to release any air bubbles, and smooth with a small offset spatula.  Bake until cake is golden brown and springs back when touched, 35-40 minutes.

5.  Invert pan onto its legs and let cool completely, about 1 hour.  Carefully run a large offset spatula around the sides of the cake to loosen, then invert onto wire rack.  

6.  In a large heatproof bowl set over simmering water, melt chocolate with heavy cream, stirring constantly.  Remove from heat when most of the chocolate is melted.  Continue to stir until completely melted.  Pour chocolate mixture over cooled Angel Food Cake.

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