Valentine’s Day Dinner at Home
Well, I know it’s a week past, but I thought I’d share what I made at home for Valentine’s Day. I did just a couple of simple dishes but they came out quite nice and elegant.
First was a Bruschetta with Melted Leeks, Fontina Cheese and Truffle Oil. Honestly, I should cook with leeks more often. There so stinkin’ good. I simply sliced them in 1″ ‘half moons’ and put them in a pan with a little EVOO & salt and let them cook slow and low. When a couple of them just barely started to color, I added a little water and let them steam the rest of the way. They were so tender and sweet. They paired great with the creamy melted fontina and the earthy truffle oil. Delish! (We actually ate the leftover leeks on our roasted chicken the next night… also delish.)
My man really likes lamb so I decided to braise some shanks for him. I don’t cook lamb all that often at home so it was something a little special. The complete dish was: Braised Lamb Shank with Roasted Cherry Tomatoes and Red Pearl Onions served with Parsnip Risotto and a Pistachio-Herb Salad.
Here’s the deal… this has become soooo much easier than it used to be for one GLORIOUS discovery: the pressure cooker. Seriously. I got one for Christmas and now I only cook at mach speed. It’s fantastic. Normally, these shanks would have taken 3-4 hours to braise. I did them in 45 minutes and it was probably a little too long (they were falling off the bone too much!).
Honestly, I can’t express to you how much I love this piece of equipment. It’s opened up so many more recipes for me to make at home. On a regular weeknight, I would normally head to the saute pan because I hadn’t thought about what I was going to make for dinner until 30 min to an hour before we wanted to eat it. At this point, it’s way to late to think about a stew or soup or braise. Not anymore! Last night I made chicken soup (he’s a little sick), building my own broth and braising the chicken in 12 minutes. The whole thing took 30 minutes. Awesome. My mother would have had that pot on the stove all afternoon. Not necessary!
What I’m trying to say is, if you’re into cooking at all, you should get a pressure cooker. Trust me. (Did I also mention that they aren’t the old school ones anymore that you have to worry about blowing up in your face? This baby is electric and totally safe. Brilliant, I say.)
And no Valentine’s dinner is complete without a centerpiece of red roses, right? Yeah, these things were nearly as tall as me! Yes, I am a lucky girl indeed .
I hope everyone had a loving and lovely Valentine’s Day!