Eat, Drink, and Be Mine with Special Valentine’s Day Meals

Going out for a romantic dinner is always lovely but sometimes it is just as special to enjoy a special feast for two (or more) at home. Better yet, turn up the heat in the kitchen and cook together. We visited Whole Foods Market and The Spice & Tea Exchange to find some delicious cuisine that would even make Cupid swoon. So don your apron, channel your inner Julia Child with the special Valentine’s Day meals, and EAT, DRINK, and BE MINE!

Heart-Shaped Egg in the Hole from Whole Foods Market

Make a fun breakfast in bed for your little loves on Cupid’s special day! They will love this little treat and will be none the wiser that it is super simple to prepare.

Ingredients:

  • 2 slices of brioche loaf, each about 3/4-inch thick
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 2 large eggs
  • Chives for garnish
  • 1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • Ground black pepper to taste

Directions:

  • Using a large heart-shaped cookie cutter, cut out a heart from the center of each slice of brioche. Reserve slices and hearts.
  • Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat.
  • Add the slices and the heart cutouts to the pan and cook until slightly toasted.
  • Turn slices and cutouts; carefully break an egg into the center of each slice of brioche.
  • Cover the skillet and cook until the egg white is just set and the yolk is cooked to your liking, approximately 3 to 4 minutes.
  • Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.

Herb-Roasted Lobster and Steak from Whole Foods Market

If there was ever a time to indulge on surf and turf, it is Valentine’s Day. This meal is more than just a little decadent. Herb-roasted lobster and steak is made to be adored!

Ingredients:

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh chives
  • 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon finely chopped fresh oregano
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 3/4 teaspoon coarse sea salt, divided
  • 2 (4 to 6 ounce) shell-on lobster tails, thawed and cut down the middle with kitchen shears
  • 2 (12 to 14 ounce) rib-eye or New York strip steaks
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 lemon, cut into wedges

Directions:

  • Preheat the oven to 450F. Line a baking sheet with foil.
  • In a bowl, stir together butter, parsley, chives, rosemary, oregano, lemon juice, and 1/4 teaspoon of the salt.
  • Spread 1 teaspoon of the herb butter over meat on each piece of lobster and place, cut-side up, on the prepared baking sheet.
  • Roast until just cooked through and opaque in the center, 8 to 10 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, season steaks all over with the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper.
  • Heat oil and 1 tablespoon of the herb butter in a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat.
  • Add steaks and cook, flipping once, until deeply browned and medium-rare (about 130F) or to the desired doneness, 8 to 10 minutes total.
  • Top each steak with 1 tablespoon of the herb butter. (Reserve remaining butter for another use.)
  • Let steaks rest for 5 minutes and then serve alongside lobster with lemon wedges.

Braised Lamb Shanks with Roasted Vegetables from The Spice & Tea Exchange

Another great option for the main course is a braised lamb shank. It is tender and delicious. Could it be love at first bite?

Ingredients:

Directions:

  • Heat 3 tablespoons of Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil in a large pot over medium heat.
  • Brown lamb shanks and set aside.
  • Without cleaning the pot, cook 1 carrot, 1 diced onion, and celery for 5 minutes over medium heat.
  • Deglaze the pot with wine, scraping the bottom. Reduce by half.
  • Add the lamb, Lamb & Pork Seasoning, and tomatoes. Simmer 2 hours until lamb is fork-tender. When the lamb has 40 minutes left, preheat the over to 400F.
  • Cut remaining carrot, turnip, and parsnip into 1-inch pieces. Quarter remaining onion. Toss with 2 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Onion Obsession Spice Blend, and Black Peppercorns.
  • Spread in a roasting pan. Bake 20 to 25 minutes until soft and golden.
  • Remove lamb shanks and keep warm. Strain sauce, pressing juice from vegetables. Reduce sauce over low heat until thickened.
  • Serve and enjoy!

Sweethearts Chocolate Pasta from The Spice & Tea Exchange

Nothing says “I love you” quite like a rich and luscious chocolate dessert the the Sweethearts Chocolate Pasta is just the ticket. Even Cupid himself would be impressed with this tantalizing treat.

Ingredients:

For Pasta and Vanilla Cream Sauce

For Pasta

  • 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour + more for dusting
  • 3 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 3 large eggs + 1 egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3- 4 tablespoons water, to moisten dough if it’s too dry (you may not need all of the water)

For Vanilla Cream Sauce

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 3 ½ cups milk, warmed
  • 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 ounces white chocolate, finely grated (a fine cheese grater works well), + more for garnish
  • 3 fresh mint sprigs, + more for garnish

For the Raspberry Coulis

  • 1 cup frozen raspberries, thawed, with juices
  • 2 teaspoons light agave nectar or honey
  • ½ teaspoon lemon juice

For Garnishing

  • ¼ cup Crème Fraiche or sour cream for garnish

Directions:

Pasta Dough

  • Combine 2½ cups flour, sugar, Cocoa – Dutched, ½ teaspoon Baker’s Secret Spice Blend, and ¼ teaspoon Chocolate Sea Salt, in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse once to combine.
  • Add in eggs, egg yolk, 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract, olive oil, and process until dough comes together into a rough dough. If the dough doesn’t come together, and looks dry, slowly stream in water, while the processor is running, until the dough ball forms. If the dough is too sticky, add a tablespoon of flour, and process again. Repeat with additional flour if necessary.
  • Remove the dough from the processor onto a lightly floured counter, and knead for 15 – 30 seconds, into a smooth ball. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and let rest on the counter for at least 30 mins. or up to 1 day in the refrigerator.

Cutting Dough by Machine

  • Guide 12-inch sheets of dough through desired pasta cutter. Dust liberally with flour, and place on a floured baking sheet in bundles to dry, if not immediately cooking.

Cutting dough by hand:

  • Generously sprinkle 12-inch lengths of dough with flour and gently roll it up. Cut the roll cross-wise into desired width noodles using a sharp knife. Unravel, shake noodles out, and toss with flour. Transfer directly to boiling water to cook, or place on a well-floured baking sheet and cover with a towel, until ready to use. Pasta may be dried and refrigerated for 2 days.

Vanilla Cream Sauce

  • Melt butter in a large pan over medium heat. Add 2 tablespoons of flour, and whisk together, to fully incorporate and form a paste.
  • Slowly add milk, a little at a time, whisking constantly, so that no lumps form. Bring to a boil, allowing sauce to thicken. Immediately turn heat to low. Sauce should be somewhat thin and just coat the back of a spoon.
  • Cook on low for 5 minutes Whisk in powdered sugar, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, ½ teaspoon Baker’s Secret Spice Blend, mint sprigs, and ¼ teaspoon Chocolate Sea Salt. Incorporate in white chocolate 1 ounce at a time, allowing chocolate to melt into sauce. Cook 4 minutes longer, remove mint sprigs, and keep warm until ready to use.
  • If sauce becomes too thick, whisk in a little pasta water just before use.

Cooking Pasta

  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add 2 tablespoons of salt, and give water a quick stir.
  • Gently drop in desired amount of pasta, and cook 2-4 minutes until al dente. Drain, reserving 1 cup of cooking water.
  • Transfer pasta to pan with completed vanilla sauce, tossing gently to combine, adding a little of the reserved pasta water to help with sauce consistency.

Raspberry Coulis

  • Puree all ingredients in a blender or small food processor.
  • Pour mixture through a fine mesh strainer, pressing on solids, into a bowl. Discard solids.
  • Chill covered until needed, up to 3 days.

To Serve

  • Place a portion of pasta with sauce in a bowl.
  • Drizzle with raspberry coulis, a few fresh raspberries, fresh mint leaves, sprinkling of grated white chocolate and a small dollop of Crème Fraiche.

Flourless Chocolate Cake with Dark Chocolate Glaze from Whole Foods Market

Rich, indulgent, and sinfully good are the best words to describe this Flourless Chocolate Cake. Furthermore, it is gluten-free for all of those of you out there with food sensitivities. We are taking bets that you will need a second helping of the swoon worthy dessert!

Ingredients:

  • 12 ounces bittersweet chocolate chips or bittersweet chocolate, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) plus 3 tablespoons butter, roughly chopped
  • 1 1/4 cup sugar
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/4 teaspoon gluten-free pure vanilla extract

Directions:

  • Preheat the oven to 375F.
  • Spray a 9-inch springform pan with nonstick cooking spray, then line the bottom with a circle of parchment paper.
  • Spray the paper with cooking spray, too, then set the pan aside.
  • Place two-thirds (8 ounces) of the chocolate and 1 cup (2 sticks) of the butter in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat.
  • Stirring often, melt chocolate with butter until completely blended.
  • Remove from heat and transfer to a large bowl. (Alternatively, you may use your microwave to melt the butter with the chocolate, if desired).
  • Add sugar and mix well.
  • Add eggs one at a time, whisking well after each addition.
  • Sift cocoa into a bowl and stir until just blended.
  • Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until the cake has risen and the top has formed a thin crust. 
  • The cake should be just firm in the center when done.
  • Cool for 10 minutes, then invert onto a plate, removing sides of the springform pan.
  • Remove and discard parchment paper and set the cake aside to cool completely.
  • Meanwhile, make the chocolate glaze. Melt remaining 4 ounces chocolate and 3 tablespoons butter in a small saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring until smooth.
  • Remove from heat, then stir in milk, honey, and vanilla.
  • Set aside to cool slightly.
  • When the cake has cooled, pour glaze onto the center.
  • Using a spatula or the back of a spoon, very gently smooth glaze along the top and sides of the cake.
  • Chill cake, uncovered, for 30 to 60 minutes before serving to set the glaze and make the cake easier to slice.

Now, all you have to do is pick out the perfect wine for pairing from Whole foods Market. We recommend a nice red for the main course and port for the dessert course. Time to Eat, Drink, and Be Mine!

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