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Three recipes for a romantic Valentine's Day meal

Dawn Viola is a research and development chef and food writer. She serves on the board of directors for Slow Food Orlando, and works with local and national companies as a healthy recipe consultant with a focus on organic, local and sus...

Fall in love over dinner

It's not just a man's heart that can be warmed by a special meal on Valentine's Day; the ladies love it, too, guys. No matter whom you're cooking for or with, our Valentine's Day menu is sure to encourage love bites of appreciation.
Beef Oscar

Classic Beef Oscar, with crab and homemade bearnaise sauce, roasted fingerling potatoes and rich chocolate cake with strawberries and cream will score big points with your loved ones while giving you a chance to show off your mad culinary skills.

Beef Oscar over arugula recipe

Serves 2

For the tenderloin:

  • 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 (2.5 ounce) beef tenderloin medallions
  • 8 fresh asparagus spears, peeled, cut into 1-inch bias pieces
  • 3 ounces jumbo lump crab meat

For the bearnaise sauce:

  • 2 teaspoons white wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon minced shallot
  • Pinch white pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh minced tarragon
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced capers
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 6 tablespoons butter, melted

For the arugula:

  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon Champagne vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon brown sugar
  • Pinch of kosher salt
  • 2 cups arugula, washed and dried

Directions:

  1. Season beef with salt and pepper; set aside. In a medium skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add beef; cook three minutes each side or until internal temperature reaches 135 degrees F. Remove from pan; transfer to a cutting board. Cover and let stand 10 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, steam crab and asparagus until tender, about three minutes. Season with salt and pepper; set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together vinegar, sugar and salt. Add arugula and toss; set aside.
  4. For the bearnaise, in a small microwave-safe bowl, combine white wine vinegar, shallot, white pepper, tarragon and capers; microwave on high one minute. Transfer to blender and mix on high. With blender on high, add egg yolks and stream in butter until emulsified. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Divide arugula between two dinner plates. Place one tenderloin over each bed of arugula. Top with steamed asparagus and crab, drizzle bearnaise over top; serve warm.

Roasted fingerling potatoes and red peppers recipe

Serves 2

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 pound fingerling potatoes (8 to 10 potatoes)
  • 2 red peppers, seeded and chopped
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon cracked black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. In a large pot of salted boiling water, cook potatoes five minutes; drain well.
  2. Place potatoes and peppers in a shallow roasting pan; add olive oil, salt, pepper and rosemary. Toss to coat. Roast 20 to 30 minutes or until potatoes are fork tender.

Flourless chocolate cake recipe

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 1 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped
  • 10 ounces semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 7 ounces butter, salted, cut into pieces
  • 5 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • Powdered sugar for dusting
  • Fresh sliced strawberries (optional)
  • Fresh whipped cream (optional)

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter the inside of a cake pan and place a piece of parchment paper, cut to size, in the bottom of the pan. Dust with cocoa powder, tapping out any excess.
  2. Melt chocolate and butter with vanilla bean seeds in a double boiler (or microwave), stirring occasionally, until smooth. Remove from heat.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs and sugar. Slowly add some of the warm chocolate mixture to the eggs to temper; then whisk in remaining chocolate mixture until smooth.
  4. Pour the batter into the cake pan. Put the pan into a larger baking pan, such as a roasting pan, and add enough hot water to the baking pan to come about halfway up to the outside of the cake pan. Bake 50 minutes or until cake is set. Remove from oven and transfer pan to a wire cooling rack. Let stand two hours or until cool.
  5. Run a knife around the edge of the cake pan to loosen the edges. Flip the pan over onto a plate and tap gently to remove the cakes from the tin. Carefully remove the parchment paper. Dust top of cake with powdered sugar, and if desired, serve with fresh strawberries and whipped cream.

More Valentine's Day-worthy recipes

Healthy Valentine's Day treats
Perfect Valentine's Day recipes
Tasty tips for a seductive Valentine's Day

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