Tuesday, February 18, 2014

A Night In: Valentine's Cooking Date

One of the passions The Hubs and I share is food. We love watching cooking shows. They are one of the few shows that we both enjoy watching together. We love going to new restaurants and old favorites. Good food, good ambiance and good company can't be beat! As I mentioned before, The Hubs isn't a fan of V-day so, we usually celebrate it a week later to avoid the crowds. To be honest we go out to eat a lot. So, this year we decided to stay in and cook dinner together. It was so fun and The Hubs did an amazing job. I went to Culinary School and I can get a bit robotic at times when I cook. I find my best dishes are those that I get creative with and put my heart into it. That is exactly what we did on Valentine's Day...after all it is all about love! We took the time to prepare a few different dishes and they were all so good!

First up I had some artichokes steaming (we had to have something to fuel us for the long night of cooking). I just melted some butter and added in some garlic powder to dip the leaves and hearts in. I eat the leaves and I usually let The Hubs have the hearts. Just realized another reference to hearts!

 
The Hubs made his awesome mashed potatoes. We made these mainly for Shane as we made a lot of food Shane wasn't too thrilled with.
 Next up was Gorgonzola and Honey Bruschetta. A super simple appetizer.
 
 
I began by cutting a baguette into a few slices and brushed them with olive oil. Then put the slices in a 400 degree oven and baked for 8 minutes.
 
Added a chunk of Gorgonzola to each little toast and put them back in the oven for about 2-3 minutes. Finally, I drizzled some honey on each one and yummmm..they were delish!
 
Next we started on the veggies. I showed The Hubs how to snap off the woody section of the asparagus. About 1 to 2 inches at the bottom of asparagus is where it will naturally snap off and you can remove the inedible section.
 
 
We decided to add a little of Gorgonzola in between the asparagus and prosciutto. Simply wrap a small chunk of the cheese as you cover the asparagus in prosciutto. Bake on a foil lined baking sheet...drizzled with olive oil... at 450 degrees for 5 minutes. Then turn over each asparagus and bake for another 5-7 minutes until the prosciutto is crispy. Our cheese melted out so we decided that wasn't a great idea! It also added a bit more saltiness. The prosciutto is so salty on it's own so, I think we will skip this next time. We will also use less prosciutto on each asparagus spear. Overall though... these were tasty.
 
 
 
I couldn't pass up this heart shaped Brie!
 
 
I bought Shane his favorite "fancy"drink. Sparkling water. No joke, this kid loves him some Pellegrino!
 
 Last but not least, The Hubs made the most amazing scallops! He has never made scallops before and requested we make them. He has watched so many chefs on tv make them and seriously just took their lead and pulled it off perfectly! He seared them first in some  olive oil. Added butter and some finely chopped thyme and sage. He spooned the butter over it all until the scallops were cooked. He finished the butter sauce off with a squeeze of lemon and BAM! The Hubs can cook(I think he may needs to get in the kitchen more often).
 
Look at those scallops! So amazing! They were cooked to perfection, which we have found is hard to do. Many restaurants can't get it right. So, we were excited that the main star of our Valentine's dinner turned out!
 
 
I knew after all this cooking I wouldn't feel like putting together a fancy dessert. So, I made a boxed brownie mix earlier in the day. I cut them out with a heart shaped cookie cutter and finished it with a scoop of ice cream. S.I.M.P.L.E <3 font="">
 


It was great cooking together and not having to deal with the crowds. It is awesome to enjoy something we both love. We were glad it all turned out as these were all new recipes. We tweaked them all a bit..but here is a link to each recipe:

Bruschetta with Gorgonzola Cheese and Honey
Asparagus Wrapped in Crisp Prosciutto
Scallops with Herbed Brown Butter