Sunday, February 13, 2011

valentine's day dinner

Our Valentine's Day-a-day-early plans were foiled by Cheesecake Factory when they told us they don't take reservations. I'll gladly take the meal I made over Cheesecake Factory any day. This meal was made from ingredients we already had, and with no particular plan in mind until it started putting itself together.

Potato, Pear & Onion Gratin and Sauteed Polenta served over Mixed Greens with Tomato-Ginger Sauce. Serious Business.
Don't worry. I'll share my recipes. This was probably the best meal I've made this year - and only solidifies the fact that culinary school & I are a match made in heaven.  (ps. this was all made in a toaster oven & with a hot plate)

Pear, Potato, and Onion Gratin (adapted from this recipe)

6 tbsp Earth Balance Buttery Spread (seperated)
3/4 yellow onion, sliced
2 tsp dried thyme
2 - 3 garlic cloves, chopped
2 tsp sea salt
1/3 c water
1/3 c balsamic vinegar
2 tsp cane sugar
3 medium to large red potatoes, sliced
2 pears, sliced

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. Melt 3 tbsp buttery spread in pan over medium heat. Add onions and thyme, and saute until onions are tender, about 8 to 10 minutes. Add garlic and saute for a couple minutes more.
3. Turn heat off, add remaining 3 tbsp buttery spread. Melt. Add salt, water, balsamic vinegar, and cane sugar and stir well. Let cool.
4. Place potatoes and pears in glass baking dish. Add cooled onion mixture and mix well. Cover with parchment paper, then cover with foil (shiny side down).
5. Bake for 40 minutes - or until potatoes are tender. Remove cover, and baked 15 to 20 more minutes, until things are bubbly.

Tomato and Ginger Sauce

Olive Oil
1/4 yellow onion, diced
3 - 4 garlic cloves, chopped well
1 vine-ripened tomato, chopped
1/2 cup ketchup (I had 1/4 cup ketchup + 1/4 cup spicy agave ketchup)
1/4 cup water
2 tbsp Ginger People Ginger Spread

1. Heat olive oil in medium sized pan over medium heat. Add onions and saute until soft.
2. Add garlic and saute for a couple minutes more, until garlic is fragrant.
3. Add tomato and saute for a couple more minutes.
4. Add ketchup, water, and Ginger Spread.  Mix well, then turn head up to medium-high. Bring to boil & let cook for about 1 to 2 minutes.
5. Remove from heat, cool, and serve.

We followed the meal with Blondies topped with Jeni's Ice Cream Reisling Poached Pear Sorbet (it's vegan!). The sorbet tasted as if a frozen pear was just melting in my mouth. If you have yet to try Jeni's, I'd highly suggest hunting some down. This artisanal ice cream is made with fresh ingredients from the Ohio countryside. This was my first taste, and it blew my mind.

Well, I know Valentine's Day is actually tomorrow. Do you have any plans?

No comments:

Post a Comment