Sunday, February 15, 2009

Valentine's '09

Because we are cheap, and because we didn't want to deal with crowds at fancy restaurants, my fiance, Grace, and I decided to have a night in for Valentine's this year. We made a few tasty dishes, and all were easy to make. First, we made a nice snack plate:
It had a variety of num-nums, including dark chocolate, apples, and smoked gouda cheese (the best part!) Just chop everything up into bite-sized pieces. The flavors of the different items really compliment each other!

For the next course, we made a red pepper soup. It's very refreshing, and can be served cold or hot. For this, you'll need:
  • 4 Red peppers
  • 16 oz can of diced tomatoes
  • 3 cups Vegetable broth
  • 3 cloves of fresh Garlic
  • 2-3 dashes Hot Pepper flakes (for a little kick)
  • Salt + Pepper to taste
  • 1 Lemon
  • Fresh Basil leaves
First, cut one of the peppers into julienne slices and set aside for a garnish later. Cut the rest into small pieces, combine with the canned tomatoes, and blend in a food processor until it's a chunky liquid (not too smooth.) Combine this in a saucepan or pot with the Vegetable broth, pepper flakes, salt, and pepper. Sweat the garlic until it opens up, and add to the soup mixture. Bring to a boil, then simmer for about 15 minutes. You can serve it right off the stove hot, or pop it in the fridge for a while for a refreshing chilled soup. Garnish it with the slices of pepper, a slice or two of lemon, and a few fresh basil leaves on top. Should serve 2-4!

It's actually much brighter red than this, Blogger compressed my photos and messed up the colors.

For the final course, we made veggie chicken cutlets, with a side of penne and vodka sauce. For this, you'll need:
  • Veggie Chicken cutlets (there are various brands; Chicken-style Seitan also works really well)
  • Olive Oil
  • 1/2 Box Penne (You could make this with a different pasta style if you want)
  • 1/2 Jar Vodka Sauce
  • 2 Tblsp. Butter
  • Thyme
  • Basil
  • Chives
  • Garlic powder
First, start boiling up the pasta - while this is going, you can cook up the chicken. I used a breaded type of cutlet, but this is also quite good unbreaded. Just put a drizzle of olive oil in a frying pan, and brown the cutlets on both sides. When this is done you can plate them and set aside.

When the pasta is ready, drain it, then melt in the butter. Once it's mixed in, sprinkle a few dashes each of the thyme, basil, chives, and garlic powder, and stir it in. Plate this next to the cutlets, and then top with vodka sauce over both. It's delicious!

That's all for this post! Hope you all enjoy. Let me know what you think! I love comments with new ideas or others' experiences.


1 comment:

  1. the only thing wrong with this post is that there is not another picture of me. :)

    it was delicious. Love you!!