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If You REALLY Love Your Valentine, Cook at Home

I really love my Valentine. I love my Valentine so much that I want to stay home and have a wonderful, satisfying, delicious, meal. Of course, my Valentine is my 8-year-old daughter. She is, without question, the love of my life. And, at least for now, she loves me almost as much as I love her. She thinks I am beautiful. She is loyal. She is kind. She is worth everything I can give her on Valentine’s Day. So, I am making a special meal. Okay, so the meal is as much for me as it is for her, but I know she will love it, too. Here it is. (The exception will be that I will also make every kid’s favorite salad dressing – Ranch – but it WILL be homemade!) By the way, you can get the specialty ingredients at Gourmet Gallery in Waco. Stop by and let us help.
Happy Valentine’s Day. I hope you try this simple menu and I hope you enjoy a loving, if not romantic, dinner with your Valentine.
Mixed Greens with Truffle Mustard Vinaigrette
Filet Mignon with Vanilla Wine Sauce
Strawberry Meringue Torte
Mixed Greens with Truffle Mustard Vinaigrette
⅓ c grape seed oil
1 peeled shallot, thinly sliced
1 T truffle mustard
1 t parsley, finely chopped
1 T honey
3 T rice wine vinegar
3 T champagne vinegar
1 T dry white wine
Salt and pepper to taste
Whisk all ingredients together and toss with salad greens.
Filet Mignon with Vanilla Wine Sauce
from the Nielsen-Massey Cookbook, A Century of Flavor
Vanilla Wine Sauce
2 c organic beef stock
¼ c dry red wine
1 small onion, sliced in half
3 large sprigs of fresh marjoram or oregano
2 whole garlic cloves
1 t Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Extract (we like Nielsen-Massey)
1 ½ T tomato paste
1 t light brown sugar
2 T butter, softened
2 four-ounce 1 ½” thick steaks
Salt and pepper to taste
2 T olive oil
2 c sliced mushrooms
½ c clarified butter
Strawberry Meringue Torte
from the private recipe collection of JoAnn Miller
3 egg whites
½ t baking powder
1 c sugar
10 square (2”) soda crackers, rolled fine
½ c cut-up pecans
½ qt unsweetened strawberries
1 c chilled whipped cream
Heat oven to 300. Butter generously a 9” pie pan. Beat egg whites with baking powder until frothy. Gradually beat in sugar until whites are stiff. Fold in cracker crumbs and pecans. Spread in pie pan. Bake 30 minutes. Cool. Fill with strawberries. Chill several hours. Serve with whipped cream.
We sometimes make individual-sized portions by spooning meringue onto parchment paper before baking. Fill with sliced strawberries. Top with whipped cream or Gran Marnier Cream and some orange peel. It makes a beautiful presentation.
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