Valentine’s Day is a perfect time to show that special someone how much you care.With all the busy crowds, it can be nearly impossible to get a reservation at your favorite romantic spot, so why not enjoy a lovely evening at home?And, if your guy likes to cook, you can invite him to roll up his sleeves and help prepare one of these delicious meals.If you know his favorite dishes, then by all means prepare a meal you are certain he will enjoy.Just like we love it when he remembers our favorite flowers or orders up our favorite drink, thoughtfulness goes a long way!Below are a few easy recipes (prepared with some of my favorite aphrodisiacs) that will complement your special night.Good luck and happy cooking!Recipes Included:The Perfect ManhattanOysters in the Half Shell with Blood Orange MignonetteFilet Mignon with Wild Mushroom SauceSeared Scallops with Sesame-Miso GlazeFresh Berries with Chantilly Cream and Honey
Prep Time: 5 minutesMakes One Cocktail.Ingredients:2 oz. rye whiskey1 oz. Italian Vermouth2 dashes of orange bittersfresh orange twist for garnish, optionalDirections:1. Chill martini style glass in the freezer for at least 20 minutes.2. Combine rye, vermouth and bitters in a cocktail shaker with ice and stir (don’t shake) for 2 minutes.3. Strain into chilled martini glass and garnish with orange twist.
I think it’s safe to say that unless your guy is a vegetarian, he will enjoy the quintessential “meat and potatoes” meal.Pair this preparation for seared filet mignon with your favorite potato recipe!Prep Time: 35 minutesServes 4.Ingredients:4 6-8 oz filet mignon medallions or 2 lb beef filet tenderloin, tied2 tablespoons high heat oil such as grapeseed oilkosher saltblack pepperFor the mushroom sauce:1 tablespoon of butter1 tablespoon of flour1 quart of mushroom or beef broth2 cups of assorted fresh mushrooms, slicedsalt and pepper to tasteDirections:1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.2. Preheat a sauté pan or with the grapeseed oil until the oil just begins to smoke (smokepoint).3. Season the beef with salt and pepper and tie (if necessary).4. Sear the steak on all sides and finish in the oven until desired doneness (about 5-7 minutes for medium-rare)5. If preparing a whole tenderloin, allow the meat to rest for 5 minutes before slicing.6. To prepare the mushroom sauce: begin with a classic béchamel.melt the butter over medium-high heat in a saucepan and add the flour.Allow the mixture to cook and foam for 2-3 minutes, before adding the mushroom broth.Add the broth slowly and whisk the entire time.Mixture will become thick.Add salt and pepper to taste.7. Saute the mushrooms over high heat for 4-6 minutes. Add to the mushroom béchamel sauce.8. To serve:present the steak with mushroom sauce anda drizzle of truffle oil or freshly shaved truffles.
Prep time: 25 minutesServes 4.Ingredients:1/3 cup sake or white wine1/3 cup mirin (sweet Japanese rice wine)1/3 cup miso paste (fermented soybean paste)3 tablespoons (packed) brown sugar2 tablespoons soy sauce¼ teaspoon toasted sesame oil1 lb sea scallops, mussle removedkosher salt2 tablespoons canola or grapeseed oilsesame seeds for garnish (optional)Directions:1. Combine first 6 ingredients in small saucepan and simmer on medium heat until combined and syrupy, about 5-7 minutes. Remove from heat.2. Dry scallops on paper towel and sprinkle with kosher salt.3. Heat canola oil in heavy bottom sauté pan over high heat until you see a puff of smoke.4. Add scallops to hot pan and sear for 2-3 minutes.Flip scallops and sear for 1 minute longer.5. Remove from heat and dab on paper towel to remove excess oil.6. Serve immediately with a drizzle of the sesame-miso glaze. Garnish with sesame seeds (optional)
Oysters are one of the most well known aphrodisiacs.If you have never shucked an oyster, you can find several “how to” videos online.Prep Time: 25 minutesServes 2.12 oysters such as Malpeque (East Coast) or Kumamoto (West Coast), shucked and placed on a bed of crushed ice.Blood Orange Mignonette Sauce:¼ cup of champagne vinegarjuice of one blood orange, about ¼ cup1 tablespoon of freshly coarse ground black pepper1 shallot, minced1. Combine the all ingredients for the mignonette in a small bowl and refrigerate for at least one hour.2. Arrange oysters on a bed of crushed ice and place a small amount of mignonette in each oyster.3. Garnish with fresh blood orange slices (optional).
There is something so simple and sexy about fresh berries with Chantilly cream.Add a drizzle of honey to set it off (many people have no idea that honey is also an aphrodisiac).Prep time: 10 minutesServes 2.Ingredients:2 cups fresh berries such as blueberries, strawberries, raspberries and blackberries½ cup heavy cream1 teaspoon powdered sugar1 tablespoon honeyDirections:1. To prepare the Chantilly cream, combine the heavy cream and powdered sugar in a mixer with whisk attachment.Beat on medium speed until cream holds soft peaks (about 3 minutes).If you don’t have an electric mixture, you can whisk easily by hand.2. Serve berries with fresh whipped Chantilly cream and drizzle with the honey.Learn more about Chef Vanessa and her delicious meal ideas here [√].