Your Guide To Making The Perfect Valentine’s Day Dinner

Looking to avoid the crowded, noisy restaurants this year and stay in for a cozy Valentine’s Day? Staying in doesn’t have to mean the night is any less fancy! Get dolled up and celebrate with this decadent Valentine’s Day menu that we prepared for you.

1. Appetizer – Belgian Endive with Roquefort, Walnuts and Cranberries

Ingredients:

4 Heads Belgian Endive

1/4 c. Dried Cranberries

1/2 c. Chopped California Walnuts

4 oz. Roquefort Cheese, Crumbled

1/2 c. Roquefort Dressing, Prepared*

Roquefort Dressing:

3/4 c. Mayonnaise

1/3 c. Buttermilk

Juice of 2 Limes

1/2 tsp. Worcestershire Sauce

1/8 tsp. Cayenne Pepper

1 Tbsp. Red Wine Vinegar

Pinch of Coarsely Ground Black Pepper

 

2. Main Course – Balsamic-Honey Glazed Lamb Chops

Ingredients:

8 American Loin Chops (Shoulder or Rib)

1 Tbsp. Olive Oil

1 1/2 tsp. Dried Thyme Leaves

1 1/2 tsp. Pepper

1 tsp. Salt

1/2 c. Balsamic Vinegar

1/2 c. Honey

4 Small Apples, Figs or Pears

 

Directions:

1. Brush lamb chops with oil and sprinkle with thyme, pepper and salt. Cook in large skillet over medium-high heat for 10 min., turning once.

2. Heat vinegar and honey in another large skillet. Stir and bring to a boil. Core and cut apples or pears into 10 slices. If figs are used, cut them in half. Add fruit to bubbling mixture, turning to coat. Cook until the fruit is glazed and just tender.

3. Place browned lamb chops into the bubbling mixture. Turn the chops every minute to glaze with sauce. Cook to desired degree of doneness. Serve with glazed fruit and a drizzle of sauce.

 

3. Cocktail – Chocolate-Covered Cherry Martini

Ingredients:

4 (16 oz.) Jars Maraschino Cherries

1 (750mL) Bottle Absolut Vanilla Vodka

1 c. Chocolate Liquer

Addition Maraschino Cherries, for Garnish

Semisweet Chocolate Chips (Optional)

Directions:

1. Drain cherries, reserving juice. Put 3/4 c. juice in a 1 gallon pitcher or other container. Save the rest of the juice for another use, such as a topping for ice cream or a flavoring for milk.

2. Add vodka and chocolate liqueur to the cherry juice; mix well. Add maraschino cherries. The liquid must cover cherries. If not, add more chocolate liqueur. Let stand at room temperature for 2 to 12 hr. If not using within 12 hr., refrigerate mixture. It will keep up to 1 week, if cherries are covered with liquid and mixture is in a sealed container.

3. To serve beverage, pour liquid into a drink shaker filled with ice. Shake well and pour into martini glasses or other drink glasses. Garnish with a fresh maraschino cherry.

Note: After drink liquid is used, cherries can be drained and covered with melted chocolate. Melt 2 c. semisweet chocolate chips in the microwave for approximately 2 min. Dip cherries in melted chocolate; let set on waxed paper for about 30 min.

4. Dessert – French Silk Pie

Ingredients:

1 c. Sugar

1/4 tsp. Cream of Tartar

6 Eggs

1 Tbsp. Water

4 Squares (1 oz. each) Unsweetened Chocolate, Coarsely Chopped

1-1/2 tsp. Vanilla

1/2 c. (1 stick) Butter, Room Temperature

1 Graham Cracker Nut Crumb Crust or Basic Baked Piecrust

 

Directions:

1. Mix sugar and cream of tartar in medium saucepan. Add eggs and water; beat until well blended. Add chocolate; cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until chocolate is melted and temperature reaches 160°F. Do not allow to boil. Remove from heat immediately.

2. Cool quickly: Set pan in larger pan of ice water. Stir vigorously until temperature of mixture falls to 80°F to 90°F. Remove pan from ice water. Stir in vanilla.

3. Beat butter in mixer bowl on medium speed until light and fluffy, 3 to 4 min. Add cooled egg mixture; beat on high speed 4 to 5 min. Pour into pie shell. Refrigerate at least 6 hrs. before serving.