Monday, February 17, 2014

Valentine's Rewind

We were home for Valentine's Day.  J asked me if I wanted to go out, but I really didn't.  We eat out too much.
While flipping through the Jan/Feb 2006 issue of Everyday Food, I found a menu for 2 for Valentine's Day.  I decided that it would be an easy present for us both:  dinner in, with lots of yummy things.  The entire menu as presented by EDF is Artichoke-Parmesan Crostini, Pepper Crusted Filet Mignon with Red Wine Reduction Sauce, Creamy Spinach, Slow-Roasted Tomatoes, and Bittersweet Chocolate Mousse.
The beauty of this menu is it's meant for 2.  The only thing that makes 4 servings is the mousse.  But I didn't think that I wanted to make the crostini or the mousse.  I decided to make the main, serve a cheese course, and buy a dessert for two.  The result was a lovely meal.
I present to you now from the 2006 January/February issue of Everyday Food what we had for Valentine's Day at home:

I bought 2-4 oz filet steaks, seasoned them liberally with salt and pepper and pan seared them on the stove for about 5 minutes per side. We like our beef on the rarer side.

Red Wine Reduction
1 c red wine
2 Tbsp butter

1.  Pour wine in a small pan and boil for 10 minutes until reduced to about 1/4 c.  Remove from heat, add butter and swirl pan until butter is melted and sauce is thickened.  Pour over steak before serving.

Creamy Spinach
8 oz Baby Spinach
2 Tbsp Butter
1 Shallot, minced
1 Tbsp Flour
1 c Milk
1/4 c Parmesan cheese, shredded

1.  Rinse spinach and place in a large pan.  Set over medium-high heat, covered.  Cook, tossing occasionally until wilted.  Pour into a colander and rinse well with cold water.  Drain well, removing as much liquid as possible.
2.  Melt butter in a saucepan.  Add shallot and cook until soft but not brown.  Add flour and make a roux, before gradually adding milk to create a smooth sauce.  Add Parmesan and stir until melted.
3.  Season with salt and pepper before adding spinach and stirring to coat.

Slow-Roasted Tomatoes 
Preheat oven to 375F.  Halve three plum tomatoes lengthwise  and place in an ovenproof dish.  Drizzle with olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and sprinkle with dried thyme.  Roast for about an hour at 375, until tomatoes begin to collapse.
Recipes adapted from Everyday Food, January/February 2006

I used a 5 oz package of spinach.  It was a mistake.  There was enough sauce for more.  But the sauce was darn tasty.  We didn't have trouble eating really creamy spinach.
Here is the spinach before the wilting.  Wilting as a process doesn't take long, and you need to watch so you don't scorch the leaves.
The sauce went together quickly, especially if you make white sauce on a regular basis.  The shallots were a nice touch.
 Like I said, way more sauce than spinach.  It really didn't slow us down.
I set the spinach aside and focused on everything else.  The tomatoes essentially cooked the whole time I worked on the rest of the meal.
But doesn't that look nice?  Then we had a cheese board with fresh baguette, and then....
This.  Happy Valentine's Day!

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