I previously mentioned we are trying to create a little excitement at dinner time this year. One way we are doing this is to randomly grab a cookbook, open it and make whatever is on that page! I have to say, this “experiment” is working out very well! While I did not make all three recipes below on the same day, I do think they would make an inspired meal for your sweetheart on Valentine’s Day, or any other “show the love” day for that matter.
This post is a little different, as I am going to just “refer” you to the recipes. I am endorsing all of them as truly inspired and delicious, and I hope you will give them a try. I have provided you links to the books and the specific recipes. The photos are from the dishes I prepared for Dave and I. I am privileged to own a copy of all the books referenced.
The Chocolate Orange Beet Cake with Cream Cheese Walnut Frosting, is absolutely delicious. It is from Vivian Howard’s new cookbook, Deep Run Roots and was also featured on her PBS series A Chef’s Life. The book is heavy on southern, seasonal produce. I cannot wait to cook from it this summer, when the fresh ingredients are readily available at the farmers market. I made only 2 changes to the recipe. I used two 9″ layer pans, rather than 3 8″ layer pans. I also frosted the entire cake, sides and top. It all worked out perfectly.
My next “open the book and cook” recipe is from Top Chef Master, Floyd Cardoz. His new book Flavorwalla is filled with recipes inspired by what he cooks at home, what he grew up with and a few from the menus of his restaurants. The Grilled Shrimp with Fennel and Radish Salad, is something that he served at Tabla. It makes a wonderful first course, or a light meal. It gave me the chance to use my mandolin! It’s a must for slicing the fennel and radishes perfectly thin.
I seem to be going backwards with the courses. But hey, you can certainly start with chocolate cake if you want to….with a little ‘bubbly, and come back later for the rest of the meal!
The main course is also from Flavorwalla! This one was not a random recipe, but one I chose due to a craving for fresh, seared scallops. It’s quite an unusual take on traditional pan seared scallops, with the Cider Glaze over the top and the Cumin Scented Cauliflower Puree underneath. It all works! It’s an amazingly flavorful dish. Here is the link for Cider-Glazed Seared Scallops with Cauliflower Puree. I especially love the addition of cumin, ginger and shallot to the cauliflower puree. It adds a wonderful depth of flavor and you will not miss the cream or butter at all!
So there ya go….Valentine’s or any other special occasion meal, all laid out for you. All you have to do is shop and cook, pour the bubbly and light the candles.
Thanks for stopping by. I hope you have a wonderful evening!
A few production photos….just for fun!