01/29/13

Valentine’s Day Dinner: A Guide for Guys

Okay, so I’m not insinuating anything here…I’m sure that all the guys reading this are skillet-wielding Iron Chefs…but with Valentines Day coming up, maybe you know someone, who could use some tips…

NOTE: The management at hautemealz takes no responsibility for this post being forwarded to you…especially if it came from your wife or girlfriend…

That said, I’ve got a few tips on what to do (and not do) to create a “special dinner” to let your lady know how much she means to you…

Key points that I have found to be valuable:

  • A “special” dinner is one that she doesn’t have to do the dishes after.
  • If she has a favorite dish, make it. If you don’t know how…learn. She’s puts up with you…she’s worth it!
  • Portion control: bigger isn’t always better. a 16oz Porterhouse with all the trimmings isn’t necessary (unless you’re cooking for me). Think small and classy. Groaning, belching, and meat-sweats are for guy’s-night.
  • Dessert is key. You know it and I know it. If you don’t serve her favorite dessert, forget the whole dinner and just order a pizza.
  • Have a plan. With no plan there’s no attack. With no attack, there’s no victory!
power drill egg beater

Trust me…just don’t.

So…husbands and boyfriends… it’s time to man up.

Have a happy Valentine’s Day…enjoy a great dinner, an awesome dessert, and whatever happens from that point, is none of my business!

-Chef Perry

The Menu

Quick & Easy Stuffed Pork Chops
The Best Mashed Potatoes
Simple Lemon Broccoli
Chocolate Caramel “Beignets”

stuffed pork chops from hautemealz.com

4 servings    Active Time: 15 min    Total Time: 90 min

Ingredients

4 pork chops, 2 in thick
¼ cup brown sugar
1 pkg stuffing mix (pork)
¼ cup butter
1 Tbs olive oil
½ cup sweet onion, diced
¼  cup slivered almonds
¼ cup salt
1 Tbs Italian seasoning
1 ½ cup chicken broth
1 Tbs butter
1 Tbs minced garlic
½ cup diced celery
¼ cup chopped dates

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  1. Bring 2 quarts of water to a simmer. Add salt, brown sugar, and Italian seasoning. Stir until salt and sugar are completely dissolved. Cool to room temp. Cut a deep pocket into each pork chop, and add pork chops to brine. Refrigerate 6-8 hours.
  2. Melt 1 Tbs butter with 1 Tbs olive oil in skillet, add diced onion, garlic, and celery and sauté until softened. Add dates and almonds, stir and set aside.
  3. Cook the stuffing according to pkg. instructions, substituting the chicken broth for water. Once cooked, add onion/celery/crasins mixture into stuffing, and fluff. Allow to cool.
  4. Remove pork chops from brine, and rinse. Stuff each chop with 1/2 cup of stuffing, and place in greased baking dish. Pack any remaining stuffing around chops.
  5. Bake covered for 45 minutes in a 350 degree oven. Uncover and bake an additional 15 minutes.

Best Mashed potatoes from hautemealz.com

4 servings     Active Time: 5 min     Total Time: 30 min

Ingredients

1 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes
4 fluid ounces (1/4 cups) half-and-half
2 Tbs sweet cream butter, melted
2 ounce grated Asiago cheese
2 tablespoons fine sea salt
4 ounces (1/4 cup) chicken broth
1 clove garlic, crushed

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  1. Peel and dice potatoes, making sure all are relatively the same size. Place in a large saucepan, and cover with milk and broth (add more of each, in equal amounts to cover, if necessary.) Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat and then reduce heat to maintain a simmer. Cook until potatoes fall apart when poked with a fork.
  2. Heat the butter and the garlic in a small saucepan over medium heat. Remove from heat and set aside.
  3. Remove the potatoes from the heat and drain off extra fluid, reserving fluid. Mash potatoes and add the garlic-butter mixture and asiago cheese, add reserved fluid, as needed, and stir to reach desired consistency.
  4. Let stand for 5 minutes so that mixture thickens and then serve.

Lemon Broccoli from hautemealz.com

4 servings     Active Time: 5 min     Total Time: 10 min

Ingredients

4 cups broccoli florets
1 lemon, juiced
2 Tbs olive oil
Salt and black pepper, to taste

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  1. Steam broccoli. In a small bow, whisk together remaining ingredients
  2. When broccoli is cooked, but still firm, move to a bowl and toss with the lemon mixture. Serve immediately.

Beignets from hautemealz.com

This are about the “crazy-easiest” dessert recipe I’ve ever found. 3 ingredients, 5 minutes prep, 20 minutes in the oven, and you’ll be worshiped as a pastry god!

4 Servings    Active Time: 5 min    Total Time: 25 min

Ingredients

1 can (8oz) crescent dinner rolls
Powdered sugar
8 Milk Chocolate & Caramel SQUARES™
(see below for variations)

Ghirardelli Chocolate from hautemealz.com

  1. Heat oven to 350°F. Separate dough into 8 triangles.
  2. Place 1 chocolate/caramel square (or 1 tablespoon of chocolate chips) on wide end of each triangle. Roll up, starting at shortest side of triangle, rolling to opposite point. Place on ungreased cookie sheet. Beignet in progress from hautemealz.com
  3. Bake at 350°F. for 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown. Sprinkle with powdered sugar.

Notes: The original recipe calls for using chips, I used my favorite: chocolate caramel squares, and it turned out awesome! Some possible variations:

  • Smores – Hershey bar squares and mini marshmallows.
  • Mr. Goodbar – 2 squares each
  • Nutella – 1 Tbs
  • Chocolate Orange – 1 section each
  • Choc. Covered macadamia nuts (2 each, chopped)

Another great dessert option is our Chocolate Peanut Butter Pot de Creme

Bon Appétit!

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