The intimacy in Paris is palpable with bistros nestled closely together and tables dotting the sidewalks. Couples young and old, sipping wine and savoring scrumptious meals by candlelight after strolling the streets of Montmartre. This classic bistro fare will transport your senses to a romantic rendezvous in Paris with your loved one.
Putting the Saint back in Valentine’s Day. In the 3rd century, St. Valentine, a Christian priest was arrested and martyred when he defied Claudius, then emperor of Rome, by refusing to cease performing marriage ceremonies for young soldiers in love. While in prison, he befriended the jailers daughter and on the eve of his execution, she wrote him a letter addressed to “My Valentine.” This is the origin of our modern St. Valentine’s Day.
Peppercorn Steak (steak au poivre)
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
2 Tbs black peppercorn or peppercorn mix
2 (6 oz) sirloin steaks or tenderloin, trimmed of any fat
Kosher salt, to taste
1 Tbs butter
1 Tbs canola oil
2 Tbs cooking sherry or brandy
1/2 cup heavy cream
Place peppercorn into a quart size freezer bag and crush with a rolling pin. Sprinkle and press peppercorns into both sides of the meat and lightly sprinkle with kosher salt.
In a large frying pan over medium high heat, add butter and oil; cook until light brown. Add meat and cook until desired doneness turning meat once during the cooking process. Remove meat and cover to keep warm.
Pour brandy or sherry into the pan to deglaze. Bring to a boil while scraping the bottom of the pan. Add cream and bring to boil. Reduce heat and cook until cream is reduced by half. Serve sauce over or under steaks.
If you are not a beef eater, you may replace the beef sirloin with ahi tuna steak.
Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 561, Fat: 35 g (15 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 208 mg, Sodium: 246 mg, Carbohydrates: 5 g, Fiber: 2 g, Protein: 53 g
Parisian Potatoes (pomme de terre Parisienne)
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
1 large russet potato, peeled
3 Tbs unsalted butter
1 Tbs fresh parsley, chopped
Scoop out balls of potato with the large end of a melon baller and place into cold water. (The remaining potato may be used in the soup.) In a medium sauté pan over medium high heat, add butter and oil. Drain and dry potato balls. Add potatoes to pan and cook in the oil and butter mixture until golden brown on the outside stirring often until tender in the center; about 5 minutes. Remove potatoes with a slotted spoon as to remove any excess butter and garnish potatoes with chopped parsley before serving.
Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 295, Fat: 18 g (11 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 46 mg, Sodium: 135 mg, Carbohydrates: 32 g, Fiber: 4 g, Protein: 4 g
Potato and Leek Soup (potage parmentier)
Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
1 1/2 lbs potatoes, peeled and quartered
1 (8 oz) leek, cleaned and chopped into 1/8” pieces
2 cups chicken stock or broth
1 tsp nutmeg
2 garlic cloves, peeled
1/4 tsp dried thyme leaves
1/2 cup heavy cream, whipped and chilled
2 Tbs fresh parsley, chopped
In a large saucepan over high heat, add potatoes, leek, chicken stock, nutmeg, garlic and thyme. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and let simmer for 30 minutes. Allow soup to cool for 5 minutes. Puree soup in a blender or food processor and return the blended soup to the pan. Stir in cream. Add broth until desired consistency. Top with fresh chopped parsley.
Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 114, Fat: 3 g (2 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 10 mg, Sodium: 205 mg, Carbohydrates: 20 g, Fiber: 3 g, Protein: 3 g
Vegetables With Dill (bouquetiere de legumes a l’Aneth)
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
12 fresh asparagus spears, cut into 5” length pieces measuring from the tip of the asparagus
5 fresh radishes, halved from stem to tip
4 oz young carrots, peeled
1 Tbs unsalted butter
1 garlic clove, minced
1 Tbs fresh lemon juice
1 tsp dried dill or 1 Tbs fresh dill chopped
Salt and pepper, to taste
Blanch asparagus in boiling water for 4 minutes. Remove asparagus and chill under running water. Set aside. In a large saucepan, add 1 quart of salted water over high heat. Add carrots and radishes; boil for 4 minutes or until tender. Drain water. In a large sauté pan over medium heat, add butter, garlic, lemon juice and dill. Add asparagus, carrots and radishes and heat through.
Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 110, Fat: 6 g (4 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 15 mg, Sodium: 89 mg, Carbohydrates: 13 g, Fiber: 5 g, Protein: 4 g
Chocolate mousse (la mousse au chocolat)
Prep Time: 40 minutes
8 oz semi sweet chocolate
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
2 eggs, separated
2 egg yolks
1 Tbs vanilla extract
3/4 stick unsalted butter, softened
2 cups heavy cream, whipped
Melt chocolate in a double boiler. Do not let the bowl touch the water. Place the sugar and water in a saucepan and boil for 3 minutes. Beat the four egg yolks slowly with an electric beater or mixer. Add hot sugar syrup beating all the while for another 5 minutes until thick. Add butter and melted chocolate. Beat 2 egg whites with electric beater until a soft peak stage but not overly stiff. Reserve 2 Tbs whipped cream for garnish. Fold the chocolate mixture into the whipped cream. Pour into two champagne glasses (not flutes), two wine or margarita glasses. Garnish with dollop of whipped cream and chocolate shavings before serving.
Tip: Place melted chocolate into a zip-top bag and cut the corner. Pipe chocolate into heart shapes onto parchment paper. Place hearts in freezer for 30 minutes or until hard.
Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 413, Fat: 30 g (19 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 169 mg, Sodium: 113 mg, Carbohydrates: 31 g, Fiber: 1 g, Protein: 5 g
© 2011, Brookshire Grocery Co. Nutrient counts are rounded to the nearest whole number. All dietary and lifestyle changes should be supervised by a physician