So I’ve kind of been dicking around with my St Valentines Day recipes but its all for good reasons, dear reader, because I think I’ve compiled a pretty kickass Menu. Fret not if you consider yourself a culinary novice, I’m not going to put you through a boot camp here, all the techniques laid out are pretty basic nothing more intense than a little baking, some shaking, and a little sauce making.
Anyrod lets get into shall we our St Vals menu consists of the following dishes:
Aperitif-Caribbean Romance Cocktail: Being on a tropical island I figured this would be the perfect drink to start the evening off. Even if you’re trapped in the record snows going on on the continent this beverage will have you thinking of warmer weather.
1 oz Amaretto,
1 splash Grenadine,
1.5 oz Orange juice,
1.5 oz Pineapple Juice,
1.5 oz White Rum
Method : Pour the rum, amaretto, orange juice and pineapple juice into a cocktail shaker that is half-filled with ice cubes.What say you? no cocktail shaker? no problem: pretty much anything else works, any rubbermaid plastic bottle will do the trick. If you’re really cheap just use the biggest glass you have, make sure you’ve chilled it for a while, pour ingredients in and top with a aluminum foil. Shake well making sure to keep a good grip on the foil if youre using my DIY method. Poke some holes in the foil and strain into a highball glass filled with ice cubes, and float grenadine on top. If you have a cocktail shaker obviously the process is expedited Garnish with slices of orange, lemon or lime, and serve. The evening has officially begun well.
The umbrella's for incase it rains
Next on the Agenda!
Soup- Carrot and Ginger Cappuccino
: This ones a total Diego original so I can personally guarantee it’s awesomeness. We’ll make a batch for like 6 and you can freeze what remains. It’s called a cappuccino because the serving is quite small and its more to get the juices in your mouth flowing with flavor than anything else. It is quite delicious if i say so myself
3 large carrots, peeled and diced
2 red onions diced
2-3 garlic cloves, diced
1 inch of fresh, peeled ginger, diced. Ginger’s pretty strong so lets not go overboard here.
1 can coconut milk
1 qt heavy cream
S&P to taste
dash of cinammon
Make sure all your veggies are nice and diced, try to keep the sizes all the same because if you got big ass carrot chunks in the same pot with tiny little onion pieces its going to take forever. the smaller the better, cut everything into what we call in the culinary world brunoise
or tiny cubes.Also, your onion should be about 50% of your carrot, so if you’re unsure of your amount just follow that ratio.
Don't all these colors look pretty?
Once that bit of prep is done get a pot hot with some butter. Its time to get cooking. Throw the veggies in. its not pivotally important but i like to do it in a certain order. I throw in garlic&onion first and let that cook for a minute or two. Then in go the carrots&ginger and i let that cook for about 5 minutes on medium-high heat. Always ALWAYS be mindful of your heat, High is always too high, you dont want to look away and find your garlic is burnt. Ok so where were we. Ah yes, let the veggies cook and get fragrant. You can smell it when theyre ready, we’re trying to get them to release all their flavors and get soft. once this is accomplished about 5-6 minutes after we’ve thrown in the carrot and ginger lets go ahead and empty our bottle of coconut milk into the fray. let that simmer for about another 5 minutes and lets add about half of our quart of heavy cream. Again, its simmering time, this go around for like 10-15 minutes, just to make sure our soups getting nice and flavorful. At this point add S&P and Cinnamon.
All of our veggie friends mingling and getting along fabulously
This is my favourite part. BLENDING TIME. You’ve got a few options here. if you got a blender, obviously that works well. Food processor as well. If you’re a badass like me just use your handy dandy hand mixer and you dont even have to leave the pot. taste and adjust seasonings. If its too thick, add some of what remains of our quart and blend again until the texture and consistency is as desired. be sure to reserve some heavy cream because we’re whipping the rest into whipping cream. Ofcourse you could just buy
whipped cream which is a whole lot easier but since we got a half quart left what the hey, lets make some.
Whipped cream is an exercise in patience. All it takes is a bowl, a whisk, the cream and a lot of elbow grease. The best method involves two bowls, one filled with ice the other set on top to get cold. Cold is the secret to getting your cream to whip faster. It’ll work otherwise but it’ll take more time. now we whisk. and whisk. and whisk. and whisk some more. Be patient Kimosabe, it’s going to seem like nothing is happening for a while, for a long while but if you get into a zen-like state and just go eventually one day, hopefully prior to valentines day your endless whisking will result in a bowl full of creamy, full bodied, whipped cream. Nothing beats home made. NOTHING.
When the time comes to serve, heat up the soup and serve in cappuccino glasses, top with our hard earned whipped cream and mange away
We're only on the first course and you should already be getting ZJ's under the table. DON'T ASK ME WHAT A ZJ IS.
next, Salad-Spinach pomegranate salad with feta, walnuts and apples in a honey balsamic Vinaigrette
1 (10 ounce) bag baby spinach leaves, rinsed and drained
1/4 red onion, sliced very thin
1/2 cup walnut pieces
1/2 cup crumbled feta
1/4 cup alfalfa sprouts (optional)
1 pomegranate, peeled and seeds separated
2 apples, cored and sliced
Honey Balsamic Vinaigrette:
1 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
1 tsp. honey
2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste
Place spinach in a salad bowl. Top with red onion, walnuts, feta, and sprouts. Sprinkle pomegranate seeds over the top, and drizzle with vinaigrette.
To make the vinaigrette, combine vinegar and honey in a small bowl. Whisk together while slowly adding the olive oil. Season to taste with S&P.
Stay tuned for part two of this post where we delve into God, truth and the mysteries of the ever expanding universe. Also, Ill tell you about our entree,our dessert and the digestif