The Food Blog

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Dinner Recipes for Valentine's Day

Caramel Chicken Fresco Bake

4 cups of broccoli florets
4 tablespoons butter, divided
12 ounces baby Portobello mushrooms, sliced
3 shallots, sliced
14 ounces artichoke hearts, drained, rinsed and quartered
4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 ½ cups chicken broth
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon each salt, dried tarragon leaves and black pepper
1 cup of grated Emmentaler cheese
2 pounds of boneless, skinless, chicken breasts, cut into 1 ½ inch cubes
1/4 cup of Asiago (or Parmesan) cheese

Preheat oven to 350ºF. Spray a 4 quart baking dish with cooking spray. Steam the broccoli for about 6 minutes. Drain and set aside. In a large skillet, sauté the mushrooms and shallots in one tablespoon of butter. Cook for about 5 minutes. Remove from pan and place in a large bowl. Add the broccoli and artichokes to the mushrooms and toss gently and set aside.Melt remaining 3 tablespoons of butter over low heat in the same skillet. Stir in the flour and blend until smooth. Add the stock, mustard, salt, tarragon and pepper. Whisk for about 2-5 minutes over medium heat until slightly thickened and smooth. Add the Emmantaler cheese and stir until melted. Remove from heat.In prepared baking dish, alternate layers of the chicken with the vegetable mixture. Pour cheese sauce over all. Cover with lid or foil and bake for 40 minutes; uncover and sprinkle with the Asiago cheese. Bake for an addition 15-20 minutes. Serve over rice or noodles, if desired.

Cupid's Chicken Skewers Recipe

2 skinless, boneless chicken breasts, sliced into long strips
Wooden skewers
Marinade:1 C. honey
2 sticks butter, melted
1 T. Worcestershire sauce
2 oz. Southern Comfort
Juice of 1 lime
3 oz. balsamic vinegar
Dipping Sauce:
1 C. Chinese sweet chili sauce
2 oz. Southern Comfort
2 sprigs of cilantro (chopped)
1 lime (juiced)
1 T. hot sauce
3 oz. honey
1 oz. sesame oil
Combine marinade ingredients in a bowl, and set aside.In a separate bowl, combine dipping sauce ingredients, and set aside.Slide the skewers lengthwise through each piece of chicken breast. Place the skewered breasts in marinade and let stand 1 hour. Grill the chicken until done or lightly browned on each side. Remove from the grill and serve with the dipping sauce.
Serves 4.

Heart Shaped Pizza Recipe

Pizza Dough:
1 C. water
2 T. milk
2 t. sugar
1 1/4 t. salt
1 T. shortening
1 T. olive oil
1 T. durum semolina (or corn meal)
1 C. unbleached all-purpose flour
2 C. unbleached bread flour
1 1/4 t. yeast
Food processor:Place water, milk, sugar, salt, shortening and olive oil in bowl of food processor and pulse to dissolve sugar and salt. Add yeast, semolina or corn meal, bread flour and all purpose flour. Process until a soft ball forms. Remove from machine and allow to rest, covered with a towel, about 45 minutes. By Hand:In this case, use only all-purpose flour. Place water, milk, sugar, salt, shortening and olive oil in bowl and dissolve sugar and salt. Stir in yeast, semolina or corn meal, all purpose flour and knead to form a soft, but not-too sticky dough (8-10 minutes). Allow to rest, covered with a towel about 45 minutes. Deflate dough very gently before using and allow it to rest a further 15 minutes before using in a recipe. You may refrigerate dough in an oiled plastic bag for up to two days.
Shape dough into a heart. Top with your favorite sauce and toppings. Bake in a hot oven 425 - 450°F. for 15 - 20 minutes.

Banana Split Cake
1 package banana cake mix (Duncan Hines)
3 large eggs
1 1/3 cups water
1/2 cup flour
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 cup semisweet mini chocolate chips
2 to 3 bananas
16 ounces chocolate syrup
8 ounces frozen whipped topping, thawed
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
Colored sprinkles
Maraschino cherries with stems

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 13x9-inch pan. Combine cake mix, eggs, water, flour and oil in a large bowl. Beat at low speed until moistened. Then beat at medium speed for 2 minutes. Stir in chocolate chips. Pour into pan.Bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 32 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool completely. Cut cake into squares, top with banana slices. Drizzle with chocolate syrup. Top with whipped topping, walnuts and sprinkles. Garnish with maraschino cherries. Serves 12 to 16.Tip: To keep bananas looking fresh, dip them in diluted lemon juice.

Brownie Pizza Recipe
1 9 x 13 inch pan size brownie mix
Filling:8 oz. package cream cheese, softened
1/3 C. brown sugar
1/3 C. peanut butter
Topping:1/2 C. chopped peanuts
1/2 package (about 15) miniature peanut butter cups, chopped
Bake brownie mix as directed on package. Cool completely. Mix cream cheese, brown sugar and peanut butter until smooth and spread over cooled brownies. Sprinkle chopped peanuts and peanut butter cups on top of the cheese mixture. Before serving, drizzle top of dessert with chocolate syrup. Keep refrigerated.
Makes at least 24 bars, but could be cut smaller.

Almost as Good as Sex Cheesecake
Crust:5 oz Graham cracker crumbs
3 tb Sugar
5 tb Butter; melted
Filling:16 oz Cream cheese; softened
1/2 c Sugar
1/2 ts Vanilla pn Salt
2 lg Eggs
3 tb Chambord liqueur
8 oz Sour cream
1 tb Sugar
1/2 ts Vanilla
1 tb Chambord liqueur
1 c Raspberries; fresh

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.For Crust:Mix graham cracker crumbs, sugar and butter. Press mixture firmly into bottom of 9" springform pan. For Filling:Mix cream cheese, sugar, vanilla, and salt at medium speed with electric mixer. Add eggs, and mix until well blended. Using a fork, gently fold Chambord into batter. Pour mixture into crust.Bake for approximately 40 minutes or until golden brown. Loosen cake from rim of pan. Let cool and remove rim of pan.For Topping:Mix sour cream, sugar, vanilla, and Chambord and spread evenly over cheesecake. Refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight.Top with fresh raspberries just before serving.

Exotic Rum Grilled Fruit Kabobs
I star fruit (carambola), cubed
1/4 papaya, peeled and cubed
1/4 pineapple, peeled and cubed
I cup dark rum
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 dozen wooden skewers,
5 to 10 inches in length
Combine star fruit, papaya, and pineapple cubes in a flat bowl. Add rum and cover with plastic wrap, chill for 1 to 2 hours.In separate bowls, place fruit and brown sugar. Put on a table next to the grill with bamboo skewers. Have each guest spear pieces of fruit, roll them in brown sugar, and hold over grill until surface glazes and lightly browns. Cool slightly before eating. Yield: 2 servings

French Vanilla Tiramisu
4 oz. (1/2 of 8-oz. pkg.) PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, softened
1-1/2 cups cold milk
1 pkg. (4-serving size) JELL-O Vanilla Flavor Instant Pudding & Pie Filling
2 pkg. (3 oz. each) ladyfingers, split
1/3 cup prepared MAXWELL HOUSE Coffee, cooled
2 cups thawed COOL WHIP French Vanilla Whipped Topping
1 square BAKER'S Semi-Sweet Baking Chocolate

grated Beat cream cheese in large bowl with electric mixer until creamy. Gradually add milk, mixing well after each addition. Add pudding mix. Beat on low speed 1 minute or until well blended. Sprinkle cut sides of ladyfingers with coffee.
Place 1/3 of the ladyfingers on bottom of 9-inch square dish; top with layers of 1/2 each of the pudding mixture and whipped topping; sprinkle with 1/3 of the grated chocolate. Repeat all layers. Top with remaining ladyfingers and grated chocolate.
Refrigerate 3 hours or until ready to serve.

Kahlua White Chocolate Valentine Cake
White Chocolate Ganache
1 3/4 cups whipping cream
3 1/2 ounces chopped white chocolate
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract Cake
2 ounces white chocolate
1/2 cup whipping cream
1 1/3 cups sifted cake flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1 whole egg
1 separated egg
6 tablespoons milk (at room temperature)
Kahlúa Syrup
3 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon instant coffee powder
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1/4 cup Kahlúa White Chocolate Ganache:
Prepare ganache before mixing and baking cake to allow it to chill.Ganache: In large bowl of electric mixer, combine cream and chocolate. Set over simmering water until chocolate is melted. Stir until smooth. Refrigerate at least 4-5 hours, stirring occasionally, until very thick. Add vanilla extract and beat until stiff. Cake: In small bowl set over simmering water, melt chocolate and cream together. Stir until smooth. Set aside to cool completely.In large bowl of electric mixer, beat batter until fluffy. Gradually beat in 3/4 cup sugar. Beat in whole egg and egg yolk until smooth. Stir in cooled chocolate. Alternately stir in dry ingredients and milk, beginning and ending with dry ingredients and blending thoroughly after each addition.In small bowl, whisk egg white with dash of salt until soft peaks form. Whisk in remaining 1/4 cup sugar, beating until very thick and glossy and mixture falls from whisk in heavy ribbon. Gently fold egg white into batter. Pour batter into 8 or 9 inch heart shaped cake pan which has been lined with butter and floured wax paper. Bake on center shelf of oven at 350 degrees F about 40 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan 10 minutes.Turn out of pan, if necessary, first trim any excess crust away from pan rim, and carefully peel away paper. Cool completely. Transfer cake to serving plate. Using wood pick, poke holes about 1 inch deep and at about 1 inch intervals in top of cake. Frost with white chocolate ganache. Kahlua Syrup: In small saucepan, combine water, coffee powder and sugar. Stir over low heat to dissolve coffee and sugar. Bring to boil and pour into small bowl. Add Kahlúa and stir to blend. Cool.
Serves 6


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