I hope I don’t sound too scroogey or anti-cupid here, but I’m not all that big on Valentine’s Day. Roses aren’t really my thing and I like to know exactly what type of filling will ooze out of a piece of chocolate if I bite into it. It’s also a day when restaurants are often at the most expensive (and not at their best quality) and emotions (trumped up by Hallmark et al) can be at their shakiest. Really, why do we go through this rigamarole year in and year out?
Rant aside, I do think Valentine’s Day is a perfect chance to cook a lavish meal, complete with a bottle of fizzing champagne. But that doesn’t make Valentine’s Day all that unique in my book. I find plenty of excuses to cook lavish meals (and, ahem, drink champagne): good news at work, birthdays, anniversaries, completed bar exams. You name it. And Valentine’s Day, I suppose, is just as good a reason as any of these others.
So today I’ve got put together a Valentine’s Day menu that fits the lavish bill and that would be lovely with a bottle of bubbly. It starts out with a bowl of Italian Chicken Soup, which is rich and warming and comforting (things we’d crave on any winter night, the night of February 14 included). The menu then moves on to pillowy, freshly-made gnocchi tossed in brown butter that’s been infused with sage and laced with crushed hazelnuts. Alongside the gnocchi is a simple but elegant salad of greens, thin half moons of cantaloupe and pink folds of prosciutto.
But what you really want to know about, I have a hunch, is this: Where’s the chocolate, lady? So, your chocolate you shall have, in the form of a wedge of Deep Dark Chocolate Cheesecake.
Happy (early) Valentine’s Day, everyone!
Valentine’s Day (or any special day) Menu