Malibu Beach Recovery Diet™ – Valentine’s Day
Here comes February! Since a few days after Christmas, stores displays are already dressed in pink and red and gear our attention towards the celebration of Valentine’s Day or, in some cases “Singles Awareness Day”. Rarely does the fact that you are or not in a relationship, whether it is willfully or not, weigh-in so heavily in a world divided in two: the have or have not…
However, there is always a purpose in knowing how to cook for 2, and the following recipes will enable you to have this special feast at any time of the year, for a friend, a date, or a significant other at the time of your choice… and maybe Valentine’s Day!
Starting the meal with an appetizer that is made well in advance allows you to focus your attention on your guest without being buried in the kitchen. This traditional dessert recipe was converted to its savory counterpart where the quality of the Parmesan cheese you have purchased will shine. Roasted tomatoes are available in the olive bar of most higher-end grocery stores such as Whole Foods or Gelsons. If fresh ones are unavailable, use sundried tomatoes packed in oil and drain well.
As well, this is a day where you should indulge in a beautiful piece of white fish, chilean sea-bass in this recipe, and serve it with the unusual braised radishes and the more traditional roasted asparagus tips.
Lastly, dessert is the perfect setting for romance, and this one brings strong flavors, delicate balance and a rich lusciousness to the end of your meal. This grown-up chocolate pie is a favorite of mine, as well as every other chocolate lover I have ever served it to. Furthermore, if you were tempted to double the recipe, it can be made in advance and will freeze beautifully to allow you to enjoy the memories for many months to come.
Such a brilliant meal will certainly bring you praise and lots of bonus points. Most of all, it rekindles the feeling that food can be anything but boring and can actually be fun to prepare and, most importantly, to share!
Click on Continue Reading (below) for the recipes.
Happy Valentine’s Day,
2 bunches radishes, about 1 pound, trimmed of tops and root
- 1 1/2 cups chicken stock
- 2 tablespoons butter, cut into bits
- 1 large shallot, thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons agave syrup
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- Salt and pepper
Place radishes in a skillet with stock, butter bits, shallots, agave, vinegar, salt and pepper. Cover the pan and bring to a boil. Uncover the pan and reduce heat to medium. Cook radishes 10 to 12 minutes and if the stock has not cooked away, remove radishes and cook down to 1/2 cup, about 2 minutes.
Savory Crème Brûlée with Parmesan and Balsamic Vinegar Syrup
- 3/4 cups heavy cream
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1 1/2 oz parmesan cheese, freshly grated
- 2 large egg yolks
- 1 large egg
- 2 tsp freshly cut basil
- 2 oven roasted tomatoes, diced and dried on a paper towel
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 Tbsp freshly grated parmesan cheese
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
Heat the oven to 325 degrees and prepare 2 4oz ramekins. In a small saucepan combine the cream and milk. Whisking often, heat over medium heat until the milk is just barely simmering.
Add the parmesan and stir until completely melted. Remove from heat.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the yolks, whole egg, and salt. When the cream has cooled slightly, whisk it into the eggs in a steady stream, whisking constantly.
Place the roasted tomatoes and basil in the bottom of the ramekins and pour the egg/cream mixture over the tomatoes. Set them into a glass baking pan and pour about 4 cups of very hot water into the baking pan. The water level should be about half way up the sides of the ramekins.
Carefully put the water bath and ramekins into the oven and bake for 50-55 minutes or until a sharp knife inserted into the middle of one of the ramekin mixture comes out clean.
Remove the ramekins from the oven and remove from the water bath. While the ramekins are cooling, heat the 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar in a small saucepan over low heat. Cook until the liquid simmers down into a thicker syrup, about 8 minutes. It should have a molasses type consistency.
Sprinkle the remaining parmesan over the tops of the crème brûlées and heat with a kitchen torch until browned.
Serve with a drizzle of the balsamic vinegar syrup over the top..
Pan-Seared Sea Bass
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon of butter
- 1 large onion
- 1/4 cup chicken stock
- 8 oz. fresh mushrooms
- 1/2 cup of chicken stock
- Salt and Pepper
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 fillets of sea bass (approximately 1 lb.)
- 1 tablespoon parsley, chopped
Preheat oven to 450°F.
Place a heavy bottomed pan over medium-high heat. When the pan is hot, add the olive oil and sauté the chopped onion until it is translucent, making sure it doesn’t burn.
Deglaze the pan with the chicken stock and let the liquid reduce until completely evaporated. Add the mushrooms and butter. Reduce the heat to medium and cook until the mushrooms are tender. Add the chicken stock, a little salt and pepper, and let the sauce cook down until it thickens a little.
In an oven-proof heavy pan, heat the canola oil until it comes close to smoking point.
Pat dry the fillets on both side and season with salt and pepper and add to the hot pan. If your filet has the skin still attached, start the cooking skin side down for approximately 5 minutes until the skin is nice and crispy. Then, flip them over for 30 seconds, and transfer into a 450° oven to roast for about 3-4 minutes. If your fillets are skinless, cook them on one side for about 5 to 6 minutes and flip them over for another 2 minutes before transferring to the oven for 3 to 4 minutes.
Heat the serving plates in the microwave for 1 to 2 minutes. Place the onion-mushroom mixture on the plate and top with the pan roasted fillets. Sprinkle a little of the chopped parsley and serve.
Chocolate Ganache Tart
For the crust:
- 8 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 stick), melted
- 1 tablespoons Splenda
- 1 vanilla bean, halved, seeds scraped, bean reserved
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 1/4 cups whole-wheat pastry flour
For the filling:
- 6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter (1/2 stick), cut into small pieces
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
For the raspberry sauce
- 1 (10-ounce) bags frozen raspberries
For the crust:
Heat the oven to 350°F and arrange a rack in the middle.
Combine butter, vanilla seeds, and salt in a large bowl and stir until evenly incorporated.
Add flour and stir until just combined and a soft dough forms.
Sprinkle dough over the bottom of an individual 3-inch tart pan with a removable bottom.
Using a measuring cup or your fingers, evenly press the dough into the bottom and up the sides of the pan (flour the cup occasionally to prevent sticking).
Repeat with second tart pan. Reserve remaining dough for other use.
Cover the tart shells with plastic wrap and let it rest in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. Once chilled, prick the shells all over with a fork and bake until golden brown, about 20 to 25 minutes.
Remove from the oven and cool completely on a wire rack.
For the filling:
Place chocolate and butter in a medium bowl; set aside.
Place cream in a small saucepan over medium heat until liquid is just at a simmer, about minutes.
Pour cream mixture over chocolate and butter and let sit until melted, about 4 minutes. Gently stir until smooth.
Pour ganache into the cooled tart shells and transfer to the refrigerator. Chill until set, about 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
For the raspberry sauce:
Place raspberries into blender and blend at high speed until completely smooth. Strain to remove any remaining seeds . Serve with unmolded tarts and place a couple of fresh raspberries on the plates.