You forgot to make reservations at your honey’s favorite steak house for your romantic Valentine’s Day dinner tonight. Looks like you’ll be riding the couch alone tonight instead of snuggling up with your Baby…NOT SO FAST…Netter Real Estate is coming to your rescue! What could be more romantic than making a special meal with your own two hands? What place is more intimate than your own home? Even if you don’t have a lot of time or cooking experience, in under an hour, you can make a knock-your-socks-off steak dinner…and we even have some ideas for a romantic cocktail and luscious dessert, too.
A romantic cocktail for starters…
Fleur de Champagne
Recipe courtesy Ted Allen and Food Network
- Prep Time: 5 min
- Level: Easy
- 1-ounce elderflower liqueur (recommended: St. Germaine)
- 4 ounces Champagne, chilled
- Strawberries, halved, for garnish
Pour the liqueur into a champagne flute. Top with chilled Champagne. Garnish with strawberries and serve.
Then onto dinner…
Tenderloin Steaks with Gorgonzola and Herbs and Roasted Garlic and Grape Tomato Pasta with Basil and Arugula
Courtesy of Rachel Ray and Food Network
- Level: Easy
- 1 pound penne rigate
- 2 pints grape tomatoes
- 8 to 10 cloves garlic, cracked but left in skins, plus 1 clove peeled and halved
- 3 to 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil plus some, for drizzling
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 4 tenderloin steaks about 1 1/4-inch thick
- 2 scallions, whites and greens
- 8 to 10 fresh sage leaves
- A handful flat-leaf parsley
- 1 cup Gorgonzola crumbles
- 1 cup grated Parmigianino-Reggiano, a few generous handfuls
- 1 cup basil leaves, about 20, torn or shredded
- 2 cups coarsely chopped arugula
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
Place a pot of water on the stove and bring to a boil for the pasta. Salt water, add pasta and cook to just-shy of al dente. It needs to have a real bite left to it because it will sit in the sauce for 2 minutes later on and continue to cook. Heads up: you will need 2 ladles of starchy cooking water just before draining, about 1 1/2 cups.
Place the grape tomatoes on a cookie sheet with the garlic. Coat the tomatoes and cracked garlic with 3 to 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil and season with lots of salt and pepper. Roast 20 minutes.
Season the steaks with salt and pepper. Rub with a clove of cut garlic. Coat the steaks lightly in extra-virgin olive oil.
When you are a few minutes away from taking the tomatoes out of the oven, heat a skillet over high heat. Add the steaks and caramelize the meat on both sides, a minute and a half per side should do it.
Take the tomatoes and garlic out of the oven. Turn the oven off. Top the meat with the gorgonzola and transfer the skillet to the oven. Let the meat sit in the hot oven 4 to 5 minutes. The Gorgonzola will melt down over the meat and the steaks will be tender and pale pink inside.
Remove the roasted garlic from the skins and mash into a paste with the side of your knife. Transfer the garlic paste to the bottom of a pasta bowl. Using a fork, mix the garlic into 2 ladles of starchy pasta cooking water, about 1 1/2 cups. Add the tomatoes to the bowl and mash them with a potato masher until a sauce forms and tomatoes are well combined with garlic broth. Add penne, grated cheese, arugula and basil and toss a minute or 2 to allow the pasta to soak up flavors.
Serve meat with pasta alongside.
And what would a Valentine’s Day meal be without a decadent (but quick and easy) chocolate dessert…
Molten Chocolate Baby Cakes
Recipe courtesy Danny Boome and Food Network
- Prep Time: 25 min
- Cook Time: 9 min
- Level: Easy
- 1/4 cup brandy or cognac
- 1/3 cup orange juice
- 1/2 cup dried cherries
- 6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
- 3/4 cup (1 stick plus 1/2 stick) butter, plus some for buttering the baking cups
- 3 eggs
- 3 egg yolks
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 3 teaspoons flour
- 6 teaspoons cocoa powder, for coating the baking cups
In a small saucepan over low heat, bring the brandy and orange juice to a simmer. Add the cherries, simmer 1 minute and turn off the heat. Soak the cherries in the warm mixture until they plump up, about 10 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
Set a heat-proof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Place the chocolate and the butter into the bowl and let it sit over the heat until the chocolate begins to melt. Stir to combine and continue to heat until the mixture is smooth and the chocolate is completely melted. Remove from the heat.
In a large bowl, beat together the whole eggs, yolks and sugar until the mixture turns light and thick.
Pour the melted chocolate into the egg mixture. Beat in the flour until just combined. Do not over-mix the batter.
Butter 6 (4-ounce) ramekins. Sprinkle each ramekin with 1 teaspoon cocoa powder and tap out the excess. Divide the batter among the ramekins. Drain the cherries and put a few cherries into the center of each ramekin. Use a spoon to push the batter over the cherries to cover them.
Place the ramekins on a baking sheet and bake for 7 to 9 minutes. The outside of the desserts will be set, but the centers will be soft.
DB note: These little desserts are easy to make ahead. Refrigerate them in the baking cups and when you’re ready to bake, bring them up to room temperature and bake as above.
And don’t forget to stop at the store to buy a Valentine’s Day card. Click here for all the Hallmark Store locations on Suffolk County’s South Shore!
Whether saving you from spending Valentine’s Day in the dog house or finding your perfect home, Netter Real Estate is always here to serve you. Home is where the heart is. The Real Estate Professionals (a.k.a. “Cupids”) at Netter Real Estate will be able to find you a home you’ll fall in deep, true, lasting love with.
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