or Connect
ChefTalk.com › ChefTalk Cooking Forums › Cooking Discussions › Food & Cooking › Valentines Day Menu
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Valentines Day Menu

post #1 of 28
Thread Starter 
My thoughts were turned to Valentine's dinner by the supper club thread in this forum; and I'm certainly looking forward to seeing what Chef How is planning.

Me? I'll be cooking for Linda, but I don't have a menu set yet at all. I know I'll be finishing with the panna cotta recipe I posted here for HIME's romantic New Year's dinner (btw, how did that go?).

So far, I've got:

Cocktail: Mojito (I'll be making ours fairly low-alcohol)

Amuse bouche/appetizer: Don't know yet. Maybe Chinese steamed pumpkin dumpling.

Soup/salad: Gazpacho blanco, fresh pea soup, or avocado salad Cubana (avocado, sliced red onion, vinaigrette -- that's it)

First: Risotto with smoked chicken and sauteed vegetables, perhaps an arroz con pollo, pasta primavera or marinara?

Remove: Probably not -- too much food

Second: Steak Diane

Dessert: Lemon-vanilla panna cotta with berry coulis and fresh berries

So far, I'm happy with the Steak Diane and panna cotta, but haven't settled on anything else -- really just starting to think about it. Any ideas you'd care to share to help -- great! One thing though, Linda is not a fish eater.

Also, I'd really like to know what you're planning for your own Valentine's.

BDL
post #2 of 28
Fresh peas and fresh berries in mid-February? Even in CA, I'd be surprised if they're available from local sources.

I'd also wonder about a Valentine's Day salad that includes raw onion. :eek:

The risotto option sounds better to me than arroz con pollo (too much of a main) or the pastas -- too rich (primavera) or too prosaic (marinara).

Steak Diane and panna cotta: can't ever miss with those. :D

As for me -- I'm the anti-romantic of the couple :mad:, so if he wants something Valentine-y, he's better make a good phone call. :lol:


Btw: have you recovered okay from the shoju overdose? ;)
"Notorious stickler" -- The New York Times, January 4, 2004
Reply
"Notorious stickler" -- The New York Times, January 4, 2004
Reply
post #3 of 28
Dinner OUT - or guts for garters!
post #4 of 28
Discountcooking.com :: Bakeware :: Creme Brulee, Ramekins & More :: Miscellaneous Bakeware Heart Shaped Ramekin 4 oz

for the panna cotta

for the mojito, instead of sugar/simple syrup as a sweetener, use a raspberry syrup, good color and taste.

hmm...for app....is she an egg/caviar person? can do a truffled egg
post #5 of 28
I made some winter squash/baby bok choy/ dumplings that turned out really good. I served them with reduced tamarind vinegar, lemon grass cream and pomegranate syrup. The presentation was beautiful too.
What a relief! To find out after all these years that I'm not crazy. I'm just culinarily divergent...
Reply
What a relief! To find out after all these years that I'm not crazy. I'm just culinarily divergent...
Reply
post #6 of 28
Thread Starter 
First fresh berries (and peas) in SoCal are usually right around Valentine's day -- we'll just have to see what's at the farmer's.

Avocado (and onion salad) -- well, as long as both lovers are eating onions and/or garlic I really don't see the big deal. Not that I'd make a V Day special of it on a restaurant menu -- but as it's one of HER favorite things.

Arroz con pollo -- also one of her favorite things, especially my take (if I do say so myself). That said, I not only appreciate the input but am leaning your way. Now I'm thinking along the lines of a smoked poultry (probably quail) risotto -- or maybe just truffled -- or maybe pumpkin risotto if I don't do squash dumplings.

Instead of making the mojitos pink, I think I'll back off the whole mojito thing and make Hemingway frozen daiquiris using red grapefruit juice -- that covers a lot of the bases and I like the idea of starting and ending with citrus.

She's not an egg person or a caviar person. Great idea though. What she does like is fried tofu -- If I do do that, I'll dress the pieces with green tobiko, red masago, and serve it in a little bit of ponzu, sprinkle the plate with homemade XO -- she's down with that. That would do nicely as a starter. I'm not a big fan of dealing with frying-timing during dinner for two -- but as a starter, not a problem.

Either that or the squash dumplings. Nice to hear from someone whose mind runs in similar stupid circles to mine. The baby bok choy take is a good one. Do you just use the leaves? I roll with dried bok choy (leaves only) and a bit of fresh (Chinese) chive as well as some sort of sweet orange squash. If I go dumpling, I'll probably serve with slightly sweetened, Chinese red vinegar garnished with very fine ginger julienne -- the way xiao loon bao sauce is served.

The heart ramekins are a good idea. No. A great one. I could buy four and give two to her wrapped, between dinner and dessert as her V-Day gift -- then leave the other two in the sink after unmolding and plating the panna cotta, so she can clean them. Surprise!

The suggestions are great. Keep 'em coming.

But WHAT ARE YOU GUYS COOKING FOR YOUR (respective) SWEETIES?

BDL
post #7 of 28
We skip Valentines day. Mother's day and Father's day. Commercialized guilt trips we want no part of. We have romantic dinners and time on other days just for us.

The holiday I'm gearing up for is Chinese New Years. Year of the Ox and all that. Probably a dozen of us for that bash.
Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
Reply
Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
Reply
post #8 of 28
Thread Starter 
Living in the SGV as we do, we go out (several times) for (Chinese) New Year. It would be a sin not to.

Gung hay fat chow,
BDL
post #9 of 28
We're pretty much with Phil on this one. We also ignore Secretaries' Day and Sweetest Day. :D

Mike
travelling gourmand
Reply
travelling gourmand
Reply
post #10 of 28
I'm cooking in and throwing the bash. Still working on the menu for that one though I was out snooping the asian grocer's for ideas today. Mostly trying to figure out the whole fish dish. Picked up a dedicated 30cm stainless steamer too. This group will exceed the capacity of my old bamboo steamer and pasta steamer insert.
Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
Reply
Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
Reply
post #11 of 28
I've seen those heart-shaped ramikins before. And they'd be great for V-day. But I hate buying anything like that which I'll only use, at most, once a year.

For a V-day dessert I make chocolate Pavlovas, piping them into a heart shape. These are served with freshly made whipped cream and berries. Hokey and pedestrian, maybe. But M'lady loves 'em.

Other than that I haven't even thought about Valentines day yet. Will probably do something with venison for the main course. I've got a freezer full of it, after all. Possibly the incredible Venison Rob Roy McGregor that Chef Matt sent me the recipe for. Roast asparagus with whatever it is.

Green pea & shrimp soup sticks in my mind, and would go good with the venison.

Everything else is a question mark.
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
Reply
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
Reply
post #12 of 28
Since I have four couples for dinner and it is going to be 5 courses I have decided to do everything for 2 and shared, my goofy way of trying to make it romantic and much easier on myself. I started working on the menu today at work while I had some down time, I will post something later tonight once I get it finished, but first its time to nourish the fiance and cook dinner
Taste: The sensation derived from food, as interpreted thru the tongue to brain sensory system.
Flavor: The overall impression combining taste, odor, mouthfeel and trigeminal perception.
Reply
Taste: The sensation derived from food, as interpreted thru the tongue to brain sensory system.
Flavor: The overall impression combining taste, odor, mouthfeel and trigeminal perception.
Reply
post #13 of 28
If memory serves, Ming Tsai does a green pea soup with shrimp shu mai topped with one green pea each, or something similar. Very snazzy plated, not actually a lot of work -- esp. at the last minute.

Personally, if I have to spend much time in the kitchen for V-Day, this means my wife has to look after our small kiddies all afternoon. Romantic for us therefore means I deal with the kiddies all afternoon, then we trick... I mean hire a babysitter for the evening and then go out for kaiseki.
post #14 of 28
For those of you who wanted to know(BDL) here is what I am serving for my Valentines "Guests".

Amuse: still a work in progress but will probably be made from bits and pieces of the menu

App: Crispy Bacon and Caramel Kettle Corn "Fritters" (think Crunch and Munch with Lardons instead of nuts)

Salad: "BLT" of Braised Smoked Pork Belly, Grilled Romaine and a Charred Tomato Vinaigrette

Fish: Warm Butter Poached Bahamian Lobster with White Truffle "Caviar" and Yukon Gold Gratinee

Meat: Gaujillo Chilli and Kornitje Cinnamon Roasted Venison Loin with Foie Gras Lardons, Parsnip Puree and some kind of Venison based "Demi"

Dessert: Brown Butter Caramel Candied Yam Flan with White Chocolate and Dark Chocolate and Strawberry "Pearls"
Taste: The sensation derived from food, as interpreted thru the tongue to brain sensory system.
Flavor: The overall impression combining taste, odor, mouthfeel and trigeminal perception.
Reply
Taste: The sensation derived from food, as interpreted thru the tongue to brain sensory system.
Flavor: The overall impression combining taste, odor, mouthfeel and trigeminal perception.
Reply
post #15 of 28
\

BDL
Nice Menu How about pureeing avacado with herbs etc then piping it heart shapped on the plate with marinated red onion in the center?
CHEFED
Reply
CHEFED
Reply
post #16 of 28
Thread Starter 
I think it's a great idea, and I'll use it -- but not for Valentine's. I don't think the puree would work as well as slices for the particular event with that particular "client." She associates a prosaic avacado salad with a couple of her favorite Cuban restaurants, and it's probably a good idea not to stray too far from her inspiration. Romantic touch, you know.

I want everything I put a on the plate(s) to whisper "just for you, Baby." That means means using some known favorites, or she might figure it's just my usual fooling around with ingredients and show-off technique. You have to remember, she's the innocent victim of a fair bit of originality.

BDL
post #17 of 28
A recent menu of mine:
Appetizer: Micro Bok Choy 'fritto misto" with sage, garlic and lemon butter.
Fish: lobster medallion poached in butter over wild mushroom risotto, finished with black truffle and lobster-marsala broth.
Salad: English cucumber, watercress, endive and raddichio with roasted garlic/ Chantrelle vinegrette and hazelnut oil.
Entree: Beef tenderloin marinaded in plum bbq sauce, pan seared and topped with garlic confit.
Dessert: maple creme brulee with blueberries.
Cheese- Pave Sauvage and Ste. Agur with honey and sourdough baguette.
What a relief! To find out after all these years that I'm not crazy. I'm just culinarily divergent...
Reply
What a relief! To find out after all these years that I'm not crazy. I'm just culinarily divergent...
Reply
post #18 of 28
[quote=boar_d_laze;253975]
Me? I'll be cooking for Linda, but I don't have a menu set yet at all. I know I'll be finishing with the panna cotta recipe I posted here for HIME's romantic New Year's dinner (btw, how did that go?).

BDL, you panna cotta recipe is great my husband love it SO MUCH , defiantly great for valentine dinner
post #19 of 28
I might add the lucky victim of a lot of originality and research. Every womans dream is for a man that cooks!:roll:
CHEFED
Reply
CHEFED
Reply
post #20 of 28
no, there are those of us that prefer an appreciative eater with a large deep wine cellar.

Chef how, your menu is so creative, each dish is a wow! I'd order that....by the end of the meal though I'd be in a gout coma somewhere in a corner.
Really rich prep all the way through.

BDL, Linda is very lucky...

I'd probably go a non-traditional route,
essentially finger foods not necessarily served at a dining room table but in a less formal space.

Cheeses, probably just 2-3....absolutely one would be oozy creamy
Comice Pears...at their ripest
honeys...tasmanian works well in this case
pate
hot toasted bread
Good Crackers

Berries and Whipped Chantilly Cream

Chocolate mousse or pudding

Sparkling & red wine....liquors....

romantic food.
cooking with all your senses.....
Reply
cooking with all your senses.....
Reply
post #21 of 28
I don't know, BDL, the smoked chicken risotto right before Steak Diane seems kind of problematic. I'm not sure why, but that doesn't feel right to me back-to-back.

Why not use the smoked chicken (presumably a favorite of Linda's?) in the amuse, bring it to its fullest, allowing it to be rich and strong -- this will be cut by the gazpacho.

Then for a first, I'd consider something complex but vegetable-based, perhaps a pasta? What about using those lovely fresh peas and stuff that are just coming in to make a perfect fresh pasta, like some sort of ravioli with its own butter sauce? If it were my wife, and I had access to fresh veg in California, I'd do beet-green and ricotta ravioli with beet-butter sauce, a recipe I got from Jean-Georges and which is solid with decent beets but spectacular with good ones (and your kind of skills). It's light, sweet, rich, and a beautiful red color on the plate. Then the steak will really sit up and be noticed: more of a contrast, it seems to me.
post #22 of 28
Thread Starter 
I'm really glad the panna cotta worked.

The ravioli is a great idea, but a non-starter for V day without help in the kitchen, because it uses too much space and makes too much mess. If I went with any sort of dumpling or kreplach it would be in the Chinese style, using packaged won-ton skins.

The smoked chicken risotto was a bad idea and I'm past it. If I do risotto at all, which is somewhat problematic as anything other than a starter, because it takes a substantial amount of attention to get on the plate ... I'll either do it with quail, or/and sauteed vegetables and truffle, or a simple pumpkin. Good risotto is fragile though -- and I've got the whole Steak Diane thing to go through.

As I write, the thought of risotto brings up others of polenta and grits. Hmm. Grits. Grits of some sort. Grits are nice and sturdy. I could prepare them ahead, cool and let stiffen, cut in bars, then saute in butter just before service.... Although the bar thing takes me back to thoughts of fried tofu with XO, masago, and tobiko.

Between the gazpacho blanco (blanco = almonds and garlic, btw), and the grits, either a pink lentil salad with a fresh mignonette or the famous avocado salad would fit nicely; then after the grits -- er, polenta fritta -- the steak Diane followed by the panna cotta.

I think for the bread basket, walnut, orange whole-wheat baguette shape, but baked with a soft crust; plus pain de campagne also baguette but beaucoup croque to the croute.

BDL
post #23 of 28
BDL If you are going to ditch the risotto idea how about using the smoked chicken in a salad? say, a Waldorf or something similar.
post #24 of 28
Thread Starter 
Smoked chicken Waldorf is actually very good. It will be done (again), but not for V-day.

The salad shall be lentil with a simple mignonette (brunois of shallot, plus sweet peppers in sherry vinegar), a few herbs, and EVOO in the Spanish style.

BDL
post #25 of 28
i usually like more simple yet romantic valentine dinner , something that not so complicated and more relax , how about something small and you can fed to each other or fondue .

i had a great valentine dinner once with my husband and they serve fondue but with special sauce i don't know if you ever try it or how to say but the one's we eat similar from these video (from japanese show )( 1st cheese 2nd special sauce fondue 3rd sweets fondue ) the one that i wanted to show you is the 2nd at 3:39

YouTube - DAIGO.????????WISH?4/2

btw it taste great and it fell romantic esp if you make it like indoor pinic and with a lot candle, wineor cocktail and then cuddling each other :rolleyes: while watching romantic movie also you can add finger food or tapas and for the dessert chocolate cover fruit .

ps: you can add rice ( japanese style onigiri ) so it can be more fullfilling also it will be a new experiance for the two of you

i hope it helps and not so out of contex sorry if my expenation not clear.
post #26 of 28
I catered for a small dinner party yesterday, and here's what I made

Amuse Bouche - Deep Fried Manchego with Citrus Vinaigrette
Soup - Warm Vichyssoise in a Rosemary Sourdough Bread Bowl
Seafood - Butter Poached Lobster with Grilled Eggplant Heart and a Mushroom Duxelles
Meat - Roasted Kobe Beef with a Saffron Risotto
Dessert - Vanilla Panna Cotta (in a teacup) with a Simple Berry Coulis. Garnished with a chocolate rose, candied flowers, and of course a strawberry.

overall, it was a good time. you can never, ever go wrong with butter poached lobster.
post #27 of 28
The spousal unit has requested my seafood bisque, with a standing rib roast. I might throw in a Tiramisu just for good measure.
"J'aime cuisiner avec du vin, j'ai parfois même mettre dans les aliments je suis cuisson. ""Mi piace cucinare con il vino, talvolta ho persino messa nel cibo sto cottura. ""I enjoy cooking with wine, sometimes I even put it in the food I'm cooking." - Julia Child 
Reply
"J'aime cuisiner avec du vin, j'ai parfois même mettre dans les aliments je suis cuisson. ""Mi piace cucinare con il vino, talvolta ho persino messa nel cibo sto cottura. ""I enjoy cooking with wine, sometimes I even put it in the food I'm cooking." - Julia Child 
Reply
post #28 of 28
My wife hasn't told me what I'll be cooking yet:D I am thinking of stealing that Avo and onion salad from BDl though, I gotta say it does sound good. Probably either do a roasted chicken or a pan seared salmon as they are her two favorite dishes. make a nice pilaf to go with either. thinking of a chocolate decadence for dessert. Whatever I do it won't be near as extravagant as some of you peeps.
"In those days spirits were brave, the stakes were high, men were real men, women were real women, and small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri were real small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri. "
Reply
"In those days spirits were brave, the stakes were high, men were real men, women were real women, and small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri were real small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri. "
Reply
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Food & Cooking
ChefTalk.com › ChefTalk Cooking Forums › Cooking Discussions › Food & Cooking › Valentines Day Menu