Sunday, February 13, 2011

Valentine's Day Dinner

I love Valentine's Day! It is such a fun little holiday...I guess you can call it a holiday. It a day that I love to do things for the man I love. This year Valentine's Day is on Monday...not just any Monday but the first day of Parent/Teacher Conferences! Which means I won't have time tomorrow to be in the kitchen and make dinner and dessert for my new hubby. So today I decided to spend some time and make a nice little romantic dinner for my amazing husband! On the menu....Rosemary Brown Sugar Marinated Pork Chops, Mock Loaded Mashed Potatoes (Cauliflower), Parmesan Asparagus, Salad, and for dessert.....Coconut Creme Brulee with fresh berries and fresh whipped topping!
The candle lit table
 Needless to say dinner was a success! Brock loved it and was surprised with Creme Brulee...which is his favorite! I had never made it but decided to try it and it was amazingly delicious! Here are the very simple recipes I used. The creme brulee took the longest but the meal itself can be done in less than an hour! :)
Pork Chops, Cauliflower Mash, Asparagus
Rosemary Brown Sugar Pork Chops
(Sweetpeas kitchen)
4 boneless porkchops
1/2 cup of soy sauce
1/4 cup of water
3 tablespoons of Brown Sugar (I used the Spenda brown sugar)
1 tablespoon of dried rosemary (or 3 tablespoons of fresh rosemary)

Mix soy sauce, water, brown sugar, and rosemary together and marinate the porkchops in the mix for 3 hours or longer.
Preheat oven 350. Place meat and marinade in a baking dish. Cook for 30 to 35 minutes flipping them halfway through.

Mock Loaded Mashed Potatoes
1 bag of frozen cauliflower
3 ounces of cream cheese
1 hand full of shredded cheddar cheese
1 hand full of crumbled bacon (2 to 3 slices)
salt and pepper

Bring a pot of water to a boil then add in the cauliflower. Bring to a boil and let it boil for 30 minutes. In the mean time in a medium sized bowl put the cream cheese, cheddar cheese, salt, pepper, and bacon. When the cauliflower is done spoon it out with a slotted spoon into the bowl with the other ingredients. With a fork mash and mix till all the cheese is melted and the cauliflower is mashed to resemble mashed potatoes.

Parmesan Asparagus
1 bunch of asparagus
a drizzle of oil
salt and pepper (to taste)
sprinkle of shredded parmesan

Preheat oven to 350. Line a cookie sheet with foil (for easy clean up). Take  your asparagus and chop off the bottom inch or so. Spread them out on the cookie sheet. Toss with a little oil. Make sure they are all coated (not drenched) with oil. Salt and pepper to taste...just a few sprinkles. Bake for 15 minutes. Pull the tray out and sprinkle with some shredded Parmesan. Bake for 3 to 5 more minutes. Just enough for the cheese to melt.
Salad....fresh spinach leaves, feta cheese, bacon crumbles, almonds, and dried cranberries drizzled with sugar free Raspberry Vinaigrette dressing.

Coconut Creme Brulee
(Get off your butt and Bake)

1/3 cup of sugar (I used real sugar since it was my first time making time I will try Splenda)
1 teaspoon of cornstarch
8 large egg yokes
1/2 cup of heavy cream
14 ounces of coconut milk
4 teaspoons of sugar in the raw (for sprinkling on top)

Preheat oven to 300. Sift sugar and cornstarch together in a medium sized bowl. Whisk in the egg yokes. Whisk in the coconut milk and heavy cream. Set four 6 oz ramekins in a deep baking dish. Divide the custard evenly among the ramekins. Carefully pour hot water in the baking pan till it comes about halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Bake for 30 minutes and then loosely tent the pan with foil and bake for an additional 25 minutes. It the foil is too tight it will make the custard curdle so be careful. Remove the pan from the oven and take the ramekins out of the baking pan with water and let them cool on the counter about 10 to 15 minutes. Then refrigerate several hours or overnight. Before serving sprinkle 1 teaspoon of sugar in the raw on top of each ramekin. Then use a torch to caramelize the sugar.

I served mine with fresh berries and fresh whipped topping. For the whipped topping take heavy whipping cream, a little vanilla, and a sprinkle of splenda and use a mixer and beat it until it becomes thick and whipped cream. :)
So yummy! This meal was a success. The only thing I would like to do different next time is to try making the creme brulee with splenda.
I hope everyone has a wonderful Valentine's Day with the one they love...and if you are single do something for yourself! Take a long bubble bath, bake a dessert, hang out with friends, pamper yourself...but have a great day! :)