VALENTINE'S DAY

Hey there! Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, and if you’re wanting to do something special for your loved one, why not cook them a romantic meal? It’s a great way to show how much you care, plus it’s a lot cheaper than going out to eat. And if you’re not confident in your cooking skills, don’t worry! There are tons of easy recipes that even beginner cooks can make.

So whether you’re looking for something simple or something more complicated, we’ve got you covered. Keep reading for our top Valentine’s Day recipes!

Sous Vide Duck Breast with Braised Leeks & Mashed Potatoes

Total Time - 2 hrs 55 mins

Ingredients - 2 servings

This sous vide duck breast recipe cooks duck to juicy, tender perfection every time. Served with fluffy garlic mashed potatoes and braised leeks simmered in thyme and white wine, you’ll feel like a gourmet chef when you give this recipe a try.

Ingredients

FOR THE SOUS VIDE DUCK BREASTS:

  • 2 boneless duck breasts, skin on. 
  • 45 fresh thyme sprigs
  • 2 large cloves garlic. Salt as needed
  • Ground black pepper as needed

FOR THE MASHED POTATOES:

  • 1 pound Yukon potatoes, peeled and quartered
  • 1 tablespoon butter. 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste

FOR THE BRAISED LEEKS:

  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar. Sea salt
  • 4 large leeks, white and light green parts only, root ends trimmed, halved lengthwise and rinsed thoroughly
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine. 1/4 cup reserved duck juice
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves, minced. 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Step 1

  1. Preheat a water bath to 144°F for medium or 136°F for medium rare using Anova immersion circulator. Rinse duck breasts and pat dry with paper towels. Place on a cutting board, skin side up. Use a sharp knife, score the skin with even strokes. Don’t cut through the meat. Heat a cast iron skillet over high heat and pre-sear the skin side for 2-3 minutes. No need to add any oil. The duck breasts will produce enough fat. Add thyme and garlic into the skillet, flip the breasts, sear the meat side for another minute. Let the fresh thyme and garlic toast in the duck fat at the same time. Once the duck is pre-seared, turn off the heat and transfer the duck breasts to the cutting board. Season generously with salt and ground black pepper.

Step 2

  1. Place the prepared duck breasts into a sous vide bag, toss the thyme and garlic into the bag. Vacuum seal it using a vacuum sealer or a hand pump and lower the bag into the water bath. Set timer for 1.5 hours. In the meantime, make mashed potatoes. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add potatoes and cook until tender, about 15-20 minutes; drain.

Step 3

  1. In a small saucepan, heat butter and milk over low heat until butter is melted. Slowly add milk mixture into potatoes and mash until smooth and creamy. Season with garlic powder, salt, and pepper to taste. Set aside. In the same skillet that you used to sear the duck breasts, melt 2 tablespoons butter over medium-high heat. Sprinkle the sugar and 1/4 teaspoon salt evenly over the bottom of the skillet. When sous vide cooking is done, remove the cooked duck breasts from the bag and reserve the duck juice.

Step 4

  1. Sear the skin side in the same skillet over high heat until the duck skin is golden brown. Transfer to a clean cutting board. Still using the same skillet (no need to wash), gently place leeks into the skillet in a single layer, cut side down. Cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes, shaking the skillet occasionally until the cut side of the leeks is golden brown. If your leeks brown too quickly, adjust the heat. Now, add wine, reserved duck juice, and fresh thyme. Reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer until the leeks are tender and translucent, about 10 minutes.

Step 5

Gently transfer the leeks to two serving plates evenly, leaving the liquid in the skillet. Cover the leeks with foil and set aside. Return the liquid to a simmer over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon butter and lemon juice in the skillet. Once the butter is melted, stir and season with salt and pepper to taste. To serve, slice the duck breasts along the scores in the skin and place on the serving plates with the leeks. Scoop some mashed potatoes to put on the side. Pour the leek cooking liquid over and enjoy! Source: www.streetsmartkitchen.com

Beef Wellington

Total Time - 1 hour and 35 minutes

Ingredients - 8 servings

Introducing the next show-stopping centerpiece to your Sunday dinner: a perfectly cooked Beef Wellington. This statement standout looks seriously impressive, but is a lot easier to make than you'd think. Once you learn how to make Beef Wellington, you'll be serving this stunner all year long.

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 lb center-cut beef tenderloin, tied with twine
  • Kosher salt and pepper
  • 2 tbsp. Dijon mustard
  • 2 tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 2 shallots, finely chopped
  • 1 lb. mixed mushrooms, trimmed
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp. fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 tbsp. dry sherry or brandy
  • 10 to 12 thin slices prosciutto
  • 14 oz. puff pastry, thawed
  • 1 large egg

Step 1

Heat oil in a large skillet on medium-high. Season beef with ¾ tsp each salt and pepper, then cook until browned on all sides, 5 to 7 minutes total. Transfer to a plate, let rest 5 minutes, then remove twine and brush with mustard.  Wipe out skillet, then add butter and heat on medium-low. Add shallots and cook, stirring occasionally, 4 minutes. 

Step 2

Meanwhile, to a food processor, add mushrooms and pulse to finely chop. Increase heat under skillet to medium, add mushrooms to shallots and cook, stirring occasionally, until mushrooms have released their liquid, about 5 minutes. Continue cooking, stirring often, until mushrooms have browned, 12 to 15 minutes more. Stir in garlic and thyme and cook 2 minutes. Stir in sherry and cook until nearly dry, 15 seconds. Transfer to a plate.

Step 3

Overlap 3 sheets of plastic wrap on a work surface. Place prosciutto on top, overlapping to make roughly a 12- by 7-inch rectangle. Spread mushroom mixture evenly over prosciutto. Place beef tenderloin on the bottom edge of mushrooms and carefully roll tenderloin in mushroom-prosciutto layer, using the plastic wrap to help tighten it as you roll. Once it is completely rolled, wrap in plastic, twisting the ends to make sure it is very tight. Refrigerate 15 minutes. Heat oven to 400°F. On a lightly floured surface, unfold puff pastry and roll to a rectangle about 3 inches wider than the beef roll on the shortest side.

Step 4

Unwrap beef, and place log along the edge of the long side of pastry. Brush edges of puff pastry with beaten egg. Roll the beef in the puff pastry to cover completely. Fold ends of puff pastry like a present to cover ends and pinch to seal and folding underneath. Place on baking sheet seam side down.

Step 5

Brush top and sides of pastry with egg, then use a small sharp knife to cut a few slits into the top of the pastry. Roast until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the center reads 120°F degrees for rare, 30 to 35 minutes. Let rest 10 minutes, then slice and serve while warm. Source: www.goodhousekeeping.com

Creamy Broccolini Pasta With Chile Breadcrumbs

Total Time - 30 minutes

Ingredients - 4 servings as a side

Make extra breadcrumbs when prepping this easy weeknight dinner: you'll want to add them to all your favorite dishes.

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. Broccolini or broccoli, cut into 2-inch pieces

  • 2 tbsp. plus 1 tsp olive oil. 1 clove garlic, pressed

  • 1 Fresno or other red chile, seeded and finely chopped, divided

  • Kosher salt and pepper. 12 oz. tagliatelle, fettucine, or other wide pasta

  • 1/4 c. panko. 1 tbsp. finely grated lemon zest plus

  • 3 Tbsp lemon juice. 1/4 c. sour cream

Step 1

Heat oven to 425°F. On a large rimmed baking sheet, toss Broccolini with 2 tablespoons oil, garlic, half of chile, and ½ teaspoon salt. Arrange in a single layer and roast 15 minutes.

Step 2

Cook pasta per package directions. Reserve ¾ cup cooking water, drain pasta, and return to pot.

Step 3

Meanwhile, in bowl, toss panko with remaining teaspoon oil, then zest and remaining chile.

Step 4

Push Broccolini over to one side slightly and spread panko in open space. Roast until Broccolini is tender and crisp at edges and panko is golden brown, 5 to 6 minutes more.

Step 5

Toss pasta with lemon juice and then sour cream and ¼ cup reserved pasta water, adding additional pasta water if pasta seems dry. Toss with Broccolini and top with chile breadcrumbs.

Source: www.goodhousekeeping.com

Heart-Shaped Cake

Total Time - 2 hours

Ingredients - 16 servings as a side

You don’t need a fancy baking pan to make this chocolate heart-shaped cake recipe, all you need is one square and one round cake, plus a few strategic cuts to turn the two confections into one lovable dessert.

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 c. all-purpose flour. 1 1/4 c. unsweetened cocoa powder.

  • 2 1/4 c. granulated sugar. 3/4 c. packed brown sugar.

  • 2 1/4 tsp. baking soda. 3/4 tsp. baking powder. 

  • 3/4 tsp. kosher salt. 1 1/2 c. whole milk.

  • 3/4 c. canola oil. 3 large eggs.

  • 1 1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract.

  • 1 1/4 c. boiling water

  • FROSTING AND DECORATIONS: 2 8-oz pkg cream cheese, at room temperature. 1/2 c. (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature. 2 c. confectioners’ sugar. Sprinkles, nonpariels and hearts, for decorating.

     

     

Step 1

Heat oven to 350°F. Coat one 9-inch square cake pan and one 9-inch round cake pan with nonstick cooking spray. Line bottoms with parchment; spray parchment.

Step 2

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa, granulated and brown sugars, baking soda, baking powder and salt. In a medium bowl, whisk together milk, oil, eggs and vanilla extract and mix into flour mixture until fully incorporated. Mix in boiling water (batter will be thin).

Step 3

Divide batter among prepared pans and bake until wooden pick inserted in centers comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes. Let cool 10 minutes in pans before transferring to wire rack to cool completely.

Step 4

Meanwhile, using an electric mixer, beat cream cheese and butter in a large bowl until smooth. Beat in confectioners’ sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.

Step 5

Place square cake on large board or serving platter, orienting it like a diamond. Cut round cake in half. Use some frosting to stick round halves to 2 sides of square to make a heart. Frost sides and top with remaining frosting. Decorate as desired with sprinkles, nonpareils, and hearts.

Source: www.goodhousekeeping.com

Rum Truffles

Total Time - 2 hours

Ingredients - 24 servings as a side

You don’t need a fancy baking pan to make this chocolate heart-shaped cake recipe, all you need is one square and one round cake, plus a few strategic cuts to turn the two confections into one lovable dessert.

Ingredients

  • 8 (1 ounce) squares bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • ¼ cup cream
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • ½ cup chocolate cake crumbs
  • 2 teaspoons dark rum
  • ½ cup chocolate sprinkles

Step 1

Line a sheet pan with aluminum foil or parchment paper. Place chopped chocolate in a heatproof bowl.

Step 2

In a saucepan, combine cream and butter. Place over low heat, and bring to a boil. Pour over chocolate, and stir until chocolate is melted and smooth. Stir in cake crumbs and rum. Set aside until firm, but not hard.

Step 3

Roll heaping teaspoons of chocolate mixture into balls, then roll in the chocolate sprinkles. Place on the prepared tray. Refrigerate 30 minutes or until firm. Serve in small paper cups.

Step 4

I save up chocolate cake crumbs whenever I have a chance. They can be stored in the freezer. Pack the crumbs in the amount needed. A good chocolate cake makes all the difference!

Our Products

How to Plan a Romantic Dinner at Home

Having a romantic dinner at home can be much more special than eating out -- not to mention less expensive. If you want to plan a romantic dinner at home with your date, all you have to do is thoughtfully prepare a menu and set the mood before the dinner date starts. Follow these steps to find out how to have a romantic night in with your special someone.

Choose Your Drinks Carefully

It's important to choose your drinks carefully when you're having a romantic dinner at home. Wine is always a good choice, but red wines go best with steak and other meats, while white wines are better on summer evenings and go well with lighter foods like shrimp or salads. If you're having a more casual meal or just really like beer, then beer is fine, too. Remember to put your drinks in the fridge ahead of time so they're nice and cold when you're ready to serve them. And don't forget to add some lemon to your pitcher of water for a nice touch.

Choose Simple Appetizers

When you're planning a romantic dinner for two, it's important to have some simple appetizers ready to go. You don't want to spend all your time in the kitchen cooking while your date is waiting around hungry. Having a few small bites to munch on will help get the meal off on the right foot. Choose finger foods that are fun and easy to eat while you're busy in the kitchen. Here are some perfect appetizers to try: Make some bruschetta earlier in the day. All you need is a baguette, garlic, olive oil, onion, tomatoes, and a few other simple ingredients. If you're feeling fancy, you can make deviled eggs the night before and enjoy them while you wait. Prepare some home-made guacamole (or buy it) earlier in the day and serve it with a small bowl of tortilla chips.

Choose Your Main Course

Your main course should be something that can be easily prepared, so you don't have to spend a lot of time in the kitchen. If you're making homemade pizza, for example, start with all of the ingredients out and your oven preheated. That way, all you have to do is place the ingredients on the pizza and put it in the oven. Here are some other things to keep in mind as you choose your main course: Sautéed chicken and vegetables are a good candidate for a romantic dinner at home. Just make sure you wash, marinate, and bread the chicken in advance. If you're choosing pasta, instead of messier spaghetti or fettuccine, choose penne pasta, tortellini, orzo, or ravioli, which will be easier to eat. As you choose your main course, think of something simple that your date can do to help you out, whether it's chopping celery and tomatoes, or putting together a simple salad.

Have a Backup Plan

Though your romantic dinner at home should go as smoothly as possible, you should have a backup plan just in case. This doesn't mean that you should have another home-cooked meal prepared, but it does mean that you should have a safety plan in case something goes wrong. This could just mean having the menu to your favorite sushi restaurant or popping a frozen pizza in the fridge. If you're stuck at home with no other food and no other options, then you may be in trouble.

Choose a Simple Dessert

If you've done a good job with the wine, appetizers, and main course, then chances are that you won't have much room in your stomach by dessert time. Instead of preparing an elaborate dessert, just pick up some cupcakes from your favorite local bakery or put some ice cream in the freezer and serve it with whipped cream and a handful of raspberries and blueberries.

Share Your Favorite Recipe!

Please feel free to share your favorite recipes with us in the comments below! We would love to hear about them and maybe even give them a try ourselves this year.


0