This was an all-out, no-holds barred display of culinary prowess meant to impress. Rather than a sit down meal, we made it course by course, eating as one was done, then moving on to the next. In all, it took about 3.5 hours to eat, but boy was it good.
Valentines Day Dinner for 2
Appetizer: Blood orange jumbo scallops with sea beans: This is a really elegant appetizer, and really isn't too hard to make quickly. The presentation is really nice.
Soup: Roasted butternut squash soup with rosemary, blue cheese, and crispy shallots. I don't have a recipe for you for this one, because I don't feel like I've really nailed the flavor yet. These basic flavors--butternut squash, onion, blue cheese, rosemary, and olive oil--work together beautifully, but the soup itself was still missing a little depth. I'll keep playing, but you may have to wait until next winter. Sorry.
Salad: Mixed greens with pears, Robusto cheese, cashews, and a balsamic vinaigrette. This one was pretty basic, and the combination is an extended family favorite that shows up at just about every family potluck.
Entree: Seared New York strip steak (cooked medium) with apple cider shallot reduction, horseradish mashed potatoes, sauteed green beans, and pan seared wild mushrooms. I like a good steak something fierce, and let me tell you, I'm getting pretty dern good at preparing them. The sauce may have been just a touch on the sweet side, but this was a quality plate, let me tell you.
Dessert: Warm chocolate melting cake with vanilla ice cream and mixed berry coulis. This is my go-to standard, fulfill my inner chocolate yearning standby. When elegant dessert is called for, warm chocolate melting cake is there.