Food is Love! Valentine's Day Dinner Recipes

couple cooking together

 

We make caramel so it should come as no surprise that food is our love language.  Turns out we’re not alone in this.   A recent study of 2,000 Americans found that 71% said cooking food is their love language.

That’s because food incorporates all five senses. According to Patrick Wanis, Ph.D., a relationship and human behavior expert, food is a very powerful way of creating a connection and expressing love.

This fact is never truer for us then around holidays – especially Valentine’s Day.  Valentine’s Day is all about the food.  Candy gifts are big.  So is cooking and sharing a meal with a loved one.

So, the McCrea’s team got together to create the ultimate Valentine’s Day dinner. It starts with a vegan bisque, moves on to pasta and salad and finishes with a Chocolate Lava Cake filled with (what else?) caramel. 

Vegan Carrot Ginger Bisque

Ingredients

For the bisque:

1 tablespoon olive oil
3/4 cup diced onion
1/2 cup diced celery
1 (1-1/2-inch) piece of ginger, finely chopped
4 cups vegetable broth
1-1/4 pounds carrots, chopped
1 small to medium russet potato, cut into large pieces
1-1/2 teaspoons mild curry powder
Salt to taste

 

For the cashew cream:

2 cups cashew pieces, soaked in water for at least 3 hours and drained
1 to 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (optional)
1/2 teaspoon salt (optional)
1 cup cold water, plus more if desired

 

Directions

  1. For the cashew cream, in a food processor or high-speed blender, place cashews and pulse a few times to grind. Add lemon juice and salt. With the motor running, drizzle in water and process until completely smooth (which may take a few minutes), stopping occasionally to scrape down the sides of the bowl or blender jar.
  2. For the soup, in a large pot over medium, heat oil. Add onion, celery, and ginger, and sauté until onion is tender and translucent, about 8 minutes.
  3. Stir in broth, carrots, potato, and curry powder, and bring to a boil. Decrease heat to maintain a simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the carrots are tender, about 25 minutes.
  4. Using an immersion blender (or a regular blender working in batches), blend until completely smooth. Place pot over low heat and cook, stirring often, until heated through. Stir in 1/3 cup of cashew cream.
  5. Top each bowl of bisque with a swirl of cashew cream before serving.

 

 

Seasonal Mixed Greens with Egg Mustard Dressing

(from Simon & Seafort’s restaurant)

Ingredients

3 hard-cooked eggs
1 ½ teaspoons yellow mustard
3 tablespoons cider vinegar
3 tablespoons sugar
16 oz mixed greens
4 thick slices cooked bacon (broken into little pieces)
2 chopped green onions
1/3 cup warm bacon drippings

 

Directions

  1. Separate hard-cooked eggs into whites and yolks.
  2. Chop whites.
  3. Mix yolks w mustard, vinegar, and sugar until smooth.
  4. Combine greens in a salad bowl, toss w egg dressing.
  5. Lightly mix in warm bacon drippings (yes, baby).
  6. Sprinkle top of salad w egg whites, bacon pieces, and green onions.

 

Pasta With Vodka Sauce

(from our friend Cathy Podeszewa)

Ingredients

1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 ½ tablespoons of Italian Herbs, OR 2 tsp each marjoram, thyme, oregano and 1 tsp rosemary
5 cloves fresh chopped garlic
¼ cup vodka
28 oz can crushed tomatoes
1 cup heavy cream
¾ cup grated parmesan cheese
4  tablespoons olive oil
salt & pepper to taste

 

Directions

  1. Cover bottom of pan w olive oil.  Heat, then add red pepper, Italian Herbs, and garlic.  Simmer until garlic browns slightly.
  2. Add vodka, simmer until it cooks away.
  3. Add tomatoes, cream, and cheese.  Mix and simmer 10 – 15 minutes.
  4. Add salt and pepper when plating over pasta.

 

Salted Caramel Lava Cakes

(From Six Sisters Stuff)

Ingredients

24 caramels, unwrapped
2 tablespoons milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup butter
1 cup powdered sugar
3 eggs
1 egg yolk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
6 Tablespoons flour
Vanilla ice cream

 

Instructions

  1. In a small pan over low heat, combine caramels, milk, and salt, stirring constantly until smooth. Set aside and let cool.
  2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  3. In a microwave-safe bowl combine chocolate chips and butter. Microwave for 2 minutes and whisk until smooth.
  4. Whisk in powdered sugar until combined.
  5. Add 3 eggs and 1 egg yolk, and whisk until combined.
  6. Add vanilla and flour and mix again.
  7. Generously spray four 1 cup oven-safe cups with cooking spray, and evenly fill with batter.
  8. Spoon a generous amount of caramel into each cup (reserve the rest of the caramel for serving).
  9. Bake on a cookie sheet in the oven for 13-15 minutes until the outer edges are set and the center is still soft.
  10. Remove from oven and let cool for 2-3 minutes before inverting onto a plate drizzled with caramel sauce.