From Yahoo 360 Blog Entry: February 2007
Chocolate Valentine’s Day Dinner – Cupid’s Cooking Club 2007
Quickie Entry just to give a shout-out to all of my wonderful attendees to last night's All-Chocolate Inspired Valentine's Cupid's Cooking Class! YO! It WAS GREAT! Thank you all for braving the elements and making it to a fantastic class. I had such fun cooking and demonstrating everything. I hope that you (if anyone from class is reading this!) had as much of a good time.
For anyone who is just browsing around here, and you need a few ideas for A Romantic Valentine's Meal - Let the Cooking Cupid send a Culinary Arrow your way:
Start off with Figs stuffed with White Chocolate, Gorgonzola. Top with a half of a walnut and drizzle with some honey. The sweet and the salt from the fig and cheese, to the crunch of the walnut and the unexpected buttery taste of the white chocolate is sure to set the mood for good taste & lots of romance. Plus, as I talked about in my class last night, it is a way to incorporate chocolate into a dish in an unexpected and unique way. The white chocolate pairs well with the creamy, buttery and sweet Gorgonzola.
Vodka Infused Cherry Tomatoes: Should you have the time, take some Cherry Tomatoes, cut little "x's" into them at the top & bottom, and soak the tomatoes in Vodka. I had a bottle of Stoli Pepper Vodka languishing in the freezer, for about a year! I'm not much of a drinker, though I do tend to cook with wine, sherry, rum, etc. quite a lot. So why not put the libation to good use? It's ideal to soak the tomatoes in vodka for a few days. However a few hours will do the trick to. Any remaining vodka can be used for additional tomato's, or add it in to a tomato sauce dish or other recipe inspirations. Strain it should it become cloudy with tomato sediment.
Lastly - Veal Medallions with Port Demi Glace and Bitter Chocolate Sauce. I made this last night for class and was fortunate enough on two counts this Valentine's morning; Snow Day! Got to stay home! Made breakfast for my sweetheart, of the left-over veal with this divine sauce, slow-cooked scrambled eggs & the most delicious shredded potato pancake. Yeah, it's good to live with a professional chef and to have great left-overs! Sorry, I didn't remember to take photos. I can assure you, this is a terrific meal, easy to make once you gather all of you ingredients. It's also incredibly sexy & special. Enjoy!
Veal Medallions Ingredients:
- 1 Pound Veal Cutlets – about 1 large per person
- 1/2 Cup All-Purpose Flour
- 1 Tablespoon Cocoa Powder
- 1 Tablespoons Dried Thyme or 3 Tablespoons Fresh
- Salt & Freshly Ground Pepper – to taste
- Olive oil – for sauteing as needed
- For the Port Demi Glace & Chocolate Sauce:
- 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil (if needed)
- 1 Shallot – finely minced
- 1/4 Cup Dry Port or Dry Sherry
- 1 Cup Chicken or Veal Stock
- 1/4 Cup Bittersweet Chocolate—Finely Chopped
- Or 2 Tablespoons Cocoa Nibs—crushed
- 3 Tablespoons Cold Unsalted Butter—cut in small cubes
- Salt & freshly ground pepper – to taste
- In a shallow bowl or plate, mix together the flour, cocoa, thyme, salt & pepper. Dredge the veal cutlets into this mixture to lightly coat them. Shake off any excess flour-herb mixture. Set aside but use within 3 minutes.
- Preheat an oven to 200º and place a platter in the oven to warm. Over medium-high heat, preheat a large, non-stick fry pan in which the cutlets will fit in a single layer, with about 1 inch of space around each one. When the pan feels hot (you’ll feel the heat rising upward when you hold your hand over it), add 2 tablespoons of oil and heat until shimmering. Immediately add the veal to the pan and cook, using tongs to turn them once or twice. Cook the veal cutlets 3-5 minutes or until the cutlets are golden brown. Remove from heat. Test for oneness using a paring knife & gage the color. Medium rare will be very pink at the center; medium will be slightly pink. If they arena’t cooked to your liking, cook for a few minutes more. When the medallions are done, transfer them to the warmed platter & cover loosely with aluminum foil and let them rest while you prepare the sauce. The meat will continue to cook slightly from the residual heat.
- Making the sauce—Put the fry pan back on the stovetop over medium-high heat. Cook the shallots in the pan adding 1 tablespoon of olive oil if needed– there should be some residual oil remaining. Sauté the shallots for about 1 minute – or until they are translucent. Add the Port or Sherry to the pan and reduce down until almost dry, about 3 minutes. Next, add the stock to the pan and scrap up any browned bits (these will flavor your sauce.) Reduce the stock until only a few tablespoons remain – about 5 minutes.
- Reduce the heat to low and at the same time begin to whisk in the chopped chocolate, swirling the pan to incorporate and melt. When the chocolate is melted, remove pan from heat and slowly add 1 cube of cold butter at a time. Swirl in the butter and place the pan back over low heat. Add a few cold butter cubes to the port/stock reduction and whisk until the cubes are almost incorporated. Continue adding the butter a few cubes at a time until the mixture transforms into a dark caramel colored sauce with the consistency of heavy cream. Taste the sauce and season with salt & pepper.
- Plate the veal medallions and pour the sauce over and serve hot immediately. Serves 4.