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Jan 28, 2015

Impress Your Valentine With These Three Decadent Recipes

Looking for a way to score some brownie points with your special someone on Valentine’s Day? Instead of taking them out to dinner like everyone else, avoid the V-Day rush, and surprise your sweetie with something new – a delicious meal made by you.

We’ve put together three amazing recipes – two entrees and one dessert – that are sure to make your Valentine love you just a little more.

Sweet and Savory Filet Mignon

Filet mignon is good enough by itself. This recipe adds gorgonzola cheese and slow cooked onions to the mix. (Serves 2)

2 (6-ounce) filet mignon steaks
1 cup sliced onion
2 ounces gorgonzola cheese
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon dried rosemary
1 tablespoon butter
½ teaspoon white sugar
Seasoned salt to taste
Cracked black pepper to taste

1) Season steaks with the seasoned salt and cracked black pepper and place in a small baking dish.
2) Whisk 2 tablespoons olive oil, balsamic vinegar and rosemary together in a bowl. Pour the mixture over the steaks and marinade for 30 minutes.
3) While the steak marinades, melt ½ tablespoon butter in a skillet on low to medium heat. Add the onion slices to the butter and let them cook on low heat until onions are caramelized. Add water as needed to prevent the onion from burning. Set aside.
4) Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil and ½ tablespoon butter in a skillet on high heat. As soon as the pan is hot and foam has subsided, add the steaks. Sear on high for 3 minutes on each side. Turn heat to low. Top steaks with gorgonzola and onions. Cover and let cook until cheese is melted.


Grilled Cedar Salmon

Grilled salmon is always a good choice if you’re trying to impress. This recipe is no exception. (Serves 2)

2 (12-inch) untreated cedar planks
2 (1-pound) salmon fillets (skin removed)
2 tablespoons chopped green onion
1/4 tablespoon fresh ginger root (grated)
½ teaspoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon vegetable
½ tablespoon rice vinegar
½ teaspoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon soy sauce

1) Soak the cedar planks in warm water for at least an hour.
2) Stir vegetable oil, rice vinegar, sesame oil, soy sauce, green onions, ginger and garlic together in a long shallow baking dish. Place salmon in the dish, making sure to coat both sides of the fillet. Cover the dish and let marinade for 30 minutes to an hour.
3) Heat your outdoor grill to medium heat and place the cedar planks on the grate. Let them heat up until they start to crackle and smoke lightly.
4) Place salmon fillets onto the planks. Cover and grill on medium heat for about 20 minutes. The fillet is done when you can flake it using a fork. Leave the salmon on the planks and remove from the grill. Let cool a few minutes, then serve.


Easy Éclair With Chocolate Ganache Topper


Pastry crust
1 cup water
½ cup butter
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup all-purpose flour
4 eggs

2 cups heavy whipping cream (cold)
2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
7 ounces instant vanilla pudding mix
2 cups milk (cold)

Chocolate Ganache
1 cup chopped bittersweet chocolate
1 cup heavy cream

1) Place a mixing bowl in the freezer to chill. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and grease a 9 x 13-inch baking dish.
2) Combine the water, butter and salt in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to medium and stir in the flour. Stir and continue to cook until the mixture pulls away from the sides of the pan and forms a ball. Transfer the mixture to a bowl and beat the eggs in one at a time. Once thoroughly mixed, spread the dough evenly in the bottom of the baking dish.
3) Bake the pastry in the oven at 400 degrees for around 25 to 30 minutes or until golden brown. The dough will rise as it cooks, but drop as it cools. Let the dough cool completely on wire rack.
4) Remove the chilled mixing bowl from the freezer and pour in the cold whipping cream. Whip until the cream thickens. Stir in the confectioners' sugar and vanilla extract. Continue to whip the mixture until the cream forms stiff peaks. Place in the refrigerator.
5) Pour the pudding mix and milk into a mixing bowl and stir until creamy. Fold in the whipped cream, then spread the filling over the crust and refrigerate.
6) Place the chopped chocolate in a medium mixing bowl. Bring 1 cup of cream close to a boil over medium heat. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate, allowing it to soften for 1 minute. Whisk the mixture together until it becomes smooth. Let the mixture cool and thicken for about 10 minutes. Pour the chocolate mixture over the cream filling. Spread it evenly over the entire dish. Place the dish in the refrigerator for at least an hour before serving.