Do you want to dazzle your date for Valentine’s Day? You can create your own 4-star menu for a romantic evening, play some music, and pour some wine…ahhhh! As you move about the kitchen to put the final touches on the tender and tantalizing main course and dessert below, we suggest starting with a few bites of chevre cheese and a glass of dry sparkling wine to perk up your taste buds. Now it’s time to dive into the main event…
Blue Cheese Crusted Filet Mignon with Port Wine Sauce
Ingredients (credit: allrecipes.com)
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1/2 cup minced white onion
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
- 3/4 cup low-sodium beef broth
- 1/2 cup port wine
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 4 filet mignon steaks (1 1/2 inch thick)
- 3/4 cup crumbled blue cheese
- 1/4 cup panko bread crumbs
Melt butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic and thyme. Cook, stirring constantly, until onion is tender. Stir in the beef broth, scraping any onion bits from the bottom of the pan, then stir in the port wine. Bring to a boil, and cook until the mixture has reduced to about 1/2 cup. Set aside. This may also be made ahead of time, and reheated.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Heat oil in a cast-iron or other oven-safe skillet over high heat. Sear steaks quickly on both sides until brown, then place the whole pan into the oven.
Roast steaks in the oven for about 15 minutes for medium rare - with an internal temperature of 145 degrees F (63 degrees C). You may adjust this time to allow the steaks to finish just below your desired degree of doneness if medium is not what you prefer. Remove from the oven, and place on a baking sheet. Stir together the panko crumbs and blue cheese. Top each steak with a layer of this mixture.
Preheat the oven’s broiler. Place steaks under the preheated broiler until the cheese topping is browned and bubbly. 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from the oven, and let stand for at least 15 minutes before serving. Serve with warm port wine sauce.
Wine Recommendation: Hands down, Cabernet Sauvignon. A firm styled Cab, with dark fruit, mixed with oak and spice.
Strawberry Tiramisu for Two
Ingredients (credit: allrecipes.com)
- 1 pint fresh strawberries
- 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
- 1 cup mascarpone cheese
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons coffee-flavored liqueur
- 18 ladyfingers
- 1/3 cup chilled espresso
- 1/2 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder
Cut off the tops of the strawberries and slice the berries. Reserve 2 large whole berries for garnish.
In a blender, place 2 cups of strawberries and 2 tablespoons confectioners sugar; blend to puree and set aside.
In a medium bowl, combine mascarpone cheese, 1/4 cup cream, 1/4 cup sugar, and liqueur; beat with an electric mixer on medium-high speed for 1 to 1 1/2 minutes until thickened.
Place 6 ladyfingers on a serving plate and brush each with approximately 1 teaspoon cold espresso coffee. Spread or pipe out 1/2 of the cheese mixture over the ladyfingers, and layer with half of the sliced strawberries.
Repeat with the next 6 ladyfingers, espresso, remaining cheese mixture, and sliced strawberries; top with remaining 6 ladyfingers.
In a small mixing bowl, combine 1/4 cup heavy cream with 2 tablespoons sugar; beat with an electric mixer on medium-high speed until just whipped, approximately 1 minute. Spread cream evenly over top layer of ladyfingers.
Dust cocoa over whipped cream, and garnish with 2 reserved strawberries. Pour strawberry puree onto two serving plates. Cut tiramisu in half, and place onto puree.
Wine Recommendation: Try Asti Spumante. A fresh, Northern Italian sparkler with a hint of sweetness.