Friday, February 15, 2008

Valentine's Day Feast!

Well it's our first Valentine's Day as a married couple, so it was time to whip out the china and make an amazing dinner for hubby.
here you go:

Mozzarella Basil Bruschetta

6 Slice(s) 1/2 inch thick Italian bread ( i used french bread instead)
2 Tablespoon(s) olive oil
1 large seeded & chopped tomato
3 Tablespoon(s) minced fresh basil
1/4 Teaspoon(s) black pepper
1/8 Teaspoon(s) salt
6 Slice(s) halved mozzarella
Cut each slice of bread in half; place on an ungreased baking sheet. Brush with oil. In a small bowl, combine the tomato, basil, pepper and salt. Spoon 1 tablespoonful over each piece of bread; top with cheese and remaining tomato mixture. Bake at 375 for 10-12 minutes or until cheese is melted.

Cheese and Rosemary Breadsticks

1/4 Cup(s) grated Parmesan cheese
1/3 Cup(s) grated gruyere
1 Teaspoon(s) chopped fresh rosemary
11 Ounce(s) refrigerated breadstick dough
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 heavy large baking sheets with silicone baking sheets or parchment paper.

In a food processor, chop the Parmesan, Gruyere and rosemary together until coarsely chopped. Set the cheese mixture aside. Separate the dough strips. Using a pizza cutter or a large sharp knife, cut each dough strip in half lengthwise to form thin strips. Working with 1 dough strip at a time, coat each strip with the cheese mixture, pressing very gently. Twist each cheese covered dough strip and place onto prepared baking sheets. Sprinkle with the salt, if you wish.

Bake until the breadsticks are golden brown, about 10 to 15 minutes. Transfer the warm breadsticks to a basket and serve.

Chicken Caprese

2 Pound(s) cut into 1 inch pieces Roma plum tomatoes
30 cut into 1 inch pieces, no stems fresh basil
4 Tablespoon(s) divided olive oil
3 Tablespoon(s) divided, minced garlic
3 1/2 Teaspoon(s) divided Italian seasonings
1 1/2 Teaspoon(s) plus 1 T, divided salt
1 Cup(s) vegetable oil
1 1/2 Cup(s) plus 1 T, divided flour
2 Teaspoon(s) black pepper
6 boneless skinless chicken breast halves
1/2 Cup(s) white wine
1 1/2 Cup(s) heavy cream
1 Cup(s) grated Parmesan cheese
1 Pound(s) angel hair pasta
2 Cup(s) shredded mozzarella
Tomatoes and Basil Preparation:
Combine Roma tomatoes, basil, 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, 2 tablespoons of minced garlic, 1½ teaspoons of Italian seasoning and 1½ teaspoons of salt in a large bowl and blend thoroughly. Cover, set aside and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Chicken Preparation: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a large, nonstick skillet with vegetable oil and heat over medium-high heat. Combine 1½ cups of flour, 1 tablespoon of salt, black pepper and 2 teaspoons of Italian seasoning in a shallow dish. Dredge chicken in the mixture, shaking off any excess. Place chicken in skillet and sauté for about two minutes on each side, or until just golden brown. If skillet is not large enough, sauté the chicken in batches. When finished, transfer chicken to a large baking dish and place in oven to cook for approximately 10 minutes or until chicken is cooked through and the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F.

Pasta Preparation: Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and set aside until needed.

Sauce Preparation: While pasta is cooking, heat 2 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil in a medium sauce pan over medium heat. Add 1 tablespoon of minced garlic and sauté for approximately 1 minute. Do not brown. Slowly add 1 tablespoon of flour and stir to combine. Add white wine and bring to a boil. Boil for approximately 1 minute. Remove marinated tomato and basil mixture from refrigerator. Drain tomatoes and basil from liquid and set aside until needed. Add ½ cup of the marinade liquid and sauté for approximately 1 minute. Add heavy cream. Lower heat and bring to a simmer. Add grated Parmesan cheese.

Assembling Chicken Caprese: Preheat broiler. Remove chicken from baking dish and set aside until needed. Transfer pasta to baking dish and partly coat with sauce. Pour desired amount of the remaining sauce on pasta and evenly distribute tomatoes and basil over pasta. Place chicken on top of pasta. Sprinkle shredded mozzarella cheese evenly over chicken. Place baking dish into broiler for approximately 2-3 minutes or until mozzarella cheese has melted.

Chocolate Creme Brulee

1 quart heavy cream
1 cup sugar
1- ounce chocolate liqueur (recommended: Godiva Liqueur
1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 ounces cocoa powder
1-ounce unsweetened chocolate
11 large egg yolks
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
In a medium sized saucepan over medium-high heat, add the heavy cream, sugar, liqueur, and vanilla. When the mixture is warm add the cocoa powder and chocolate and whisk until blended.
Place the egg yolks in a large stainless steel bowl. Slowly add the warm chocolate mixture to the eggs a little at a time while whisking. Strain and pour into individual porcelain ramekins. Place the ramekins in a large baking pan. Pour enough hot water into the pan to come half way up the sides of the ramekins. Bake until firm in the center, about 30 minutes. Remove the ramekins from the water bath and let cool completely. Place in the refrigerator for 2 hours. Dust with sugar and caramelize with a propane torch. Serve immediately.

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