Special of the Day~ A Decadent Dinner to Love with the One You Love

Smashed Roquefort Baby Reds with Seared Tenderloin and Shallot-Laced Sauteed Mushrooms

07 Feb Special of the Day~ A Decadent Dinner to Love with the One You Love

Sydne George Special of the DayReserve a table for two at home this year, then wine and dine your loved one with a recipe for romance he or she will devour with delight.

Three courses: salad, entrée and dessert, most of which can be prepped ahead and finished just before serving, are sure to please the both of you. Stick to the plan and make as much of the meal ahead as time allows, then pour yourself a glass of wine and assemble at the last minute, or enlist the help of your date and make Valentine’s Day dinner a pleasurable participation sport this year.

All elements of the salad: shaking together the dressing, gathering the additional salad ingredients, and assembling the breading station for the goat cheese croquettes, can be set up in advance. Just make sure you fry the croquettes at the last minute to ensure they are melty and marvelous atop the sensational salad when served.

Almost every component of the all-in-one elegant entrée can be prepared ahead (i.e. smashing the potatoes, sautéing the mushrooms and blending the sauce), though I would recommend waiting to sear the tenderloin until just before serving to ensure that it is fresh and hot and thereby, presented at its absolute peak of deliciousness.

Of course, the Chocolate Dipped Strawberries with Chopped Pistachios can be made earlier in the day, allowed to set and then transferred to a pretty platter for presentation at dessert time. Though I would take care not to refrigerate them or make them too incredibly early, as they will show signs of age after too much time or temperature variance has passed.

Sending you all my best wishes for a Happy Valentine’s Day with this week’s Special of the Day~ A Decadent Dinner to Love with the One You Love and recipes for Mixed Green, Dried Cranberry, Garbanzo and Sunflower Seed Salad with Pomegranate Poppyseed Dressing, Smashed Roquefort Baby Reds Topped with Seared Tenderloin and Shallot-Laced Sautéed Mushrooms and Chocolate-dipped Strawberries with Chopped Pistachios. Happy cooking!

Recipes and food photography by Sydne George.

Mixed Green, Dried Cranberry, Garbanzo and Sunflower Seed Salad with Pomegranate Poppyseed Dressing

Mixed Green, Dried Cranberry, Garbanzo and Sunflower Seed Salad with Pomegranate Poppyseed Dressing

Recipe by Sydne George

(serves two)

Pomegranate Poppyseed Dressing

2 Tbsp. pomegranate juice

1 Tbsp. olive oil

2 tsp. sugar

1 Tbsp. real mayonnaise

1 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice

¼ tsp Kosher salt

1 tsp. poppy seeds

Combine dressing ingredients in small jar with a lid. Cover and shake vigorously until thoroughly combined.

Goat Cheese Croquettes

Recipe by Sydne George

(makes about 6)

4 ounces goat cheese

2 tbsp. flour

1 egg, beaten

¼ cup panko crumbs (Asian food aisle)

¼ tsp.Kosher salt

A few grinds of freshly ground pepper

Roll goat cheese into balls, about the size of a ping pong ball. Shape into heart shapes with your hands.

Set up a breading station with shallow dishes of:

Flour

Egg

Panko+salt+pepper

Bread goat cheese in flour, then egg, then crumbs to coat.

Repeat to bread remaining balls.

Fry in hot peanut oil just until golden.

Transfer to paper towels to drain.

Serve hot croquettes over lightly dressed greens.

Enjoy!

Mixed Green, Dried Cranberry, Garbanzo and Sunflower Seed Salad

Recipe by Sydne George

(serves two)
2 cups mixed greens

½ cup garbanzo beans, drained

¼ cup sunflower seeds

¼ cup dried cranberries

Combine salad ingredients in medium bowl.

Toss with dressing until greens are coated with dressing.

Serve salad on chilled salad plates. Top each salad with a few Goat Cheese Croquettes.

Enjoy!

Smashed Roquefort Baby Reds with Seared Tenderloin and Shallot-Laced Sauteed Mushrooms

Smashed Roquefort Baby Reds Topped with Seared Tenderloin and Shallot-Laced Sautéed Mushrooms

Recipe by Sydne George

(serves two)

Smashed Roquefort Baby Reds

(serves two)

6 baby red potatoes

1 tbsp. butter

2 ounces Roquefort cheese + additional for garnish

1 tbsp. heavy cream

¼ tsp. salt

Bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil over medium high heat.

Cook baby red potatoes until skins break, about 10 minutes.

Remove potatoes from heat, drain and let cool slightly.

Transfer cooked baby red potatoes to mixing bowl and add butter, Roquefort cheese, cream and salt.

Smash potatoes with a fork and stir to thoroughly mix.

Shallot-Laced Sautéed Mushrooms

(serves two)

2 Tbsp. butter

1 clove garlic, minced

2 medium shallots, minced

8 ounces white mushrooms, cleaned and thinly sliced

Heat a sauté pan over medium high heat.

Add butter and let melt.

Add garlic and shallots and sauté until softened.

Add mushrooms and sauté briefly.

Set Shallot-Laced Sautéed Mushrooms aside until ready to serve.

Blender Béarnaise Sauce

Recipe by Sydne George

(makes sauce for 2 steaks)

½ white wine

¼ cup tarragon vinegar

1 tbsp. fresh tarragon, leaves only, minced

1 tbsp. shallots, minced

3 egg yolks

¼ tsp. Kosher salt

¾ cup butter

Additional fresh tarragon sprigs, for garnish

In a medium saucepan over medium high heat, combine white wine, vinegar, tarragon and shallots. Bring to a simmer and cook until most of the liquid has evaporated. Remove from heat.

In blender, combine shallot mixture, egg yolks and salt. Blend.

Melt butter in a saucepan over the stove. Stream hot butter into the blended mixture through the top opening of the blender to reduce splattering. Blend until thickened.

Keep warm until ready to serve.

 Seared Tenderloin

(serves two)

2 6-ounce beef tenderloin steaks, at room temperature

Kosher salt

Freshly ground pepper

1 and ½ Tbsp. butter

1 and ½ Tbsp. olive oil

Season both sides of both steaks generously with Kosher salt and Freshly ground pepper.

Heat butter and olive oil in sauté pan over medium high heat until hot.

Sear seasoned steaks in hot oil and butter for three minutes, then turn steaks and sear other side three minutes. Remove seared steaks from pan and let rest. Cover with tented foil to keep warm.

To assemble:

Scoop Smashed Roquefort Baby Reds into large martini glasses.

Slice Seared Tenderloin into thin slices with sharp knife.

Top with Shallot-Laced Sautéed Mushrooms.

Drizzle with Blender Béarnaise Sauce. Garnish with fresh tarragon sprigs.

Enjoy!

Chocolate-dipped strawberries with chopped pistachios

Chocolate-dipped Strawberries with Chopped Pistachios

Recipe by Sydne George

 10 ounce bag Ghiradelli bittersweet chocolate chips

1 quart organic strawberries (buy the organic ones, they are much more flavorful), washed and dried

½ cup pistachios, shelled and chopped finely
Melt chocolate chips in a glass bowl in the microwave, in thirty second increments, until they are melted.

Stir until smooth.

Dip strawberries in chocolate and roll in chopped pistachios.

Enjoy!

Sydne George is a food journalist specializing in recipe development, food writing and food photography. Her first cookbook Little Red Book of Recipes to Love, a beautifully-curated collection of go-to tried-and-true favorites, is out now and available at Wines by Wednesday and the C.M. Russell Museum. She can be reached at sydnegeorge@hotmail.com . Sydne’s recipes from “Special of the day” are archived at sydnegeorge.com.

 

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