Every year on Valentine's Day, couples go out dining in quiet candle-lit restaurants to celebrate
the holiday of romance. Now I am not one to take away from the bottom line of any food establishment, but staying in a cooking for your beloved does not have to be a panic-inducing project. And it is exceedingly more romantic. You can
surprise your mate with a dinner when they come home, or you can cook it together and enjoy the fruits of your labor.
Cooking together is fun and romantic, from the chopping of the vegetables, the actual cooking
and the dinner gives you a chance to talk and spend time with each other, not to mention all the senses are used in a kitchen- smell, touch, tasting, you get my drift.
Cooking dinner to be a surprise has its upside too.
It shows that you care and took time to be attentive to the needs of the one you love.
It also has a sense of fulfillment for the one doing the cooking.
When you cook for someone, you are nurturing them at their most basic human level; you are providing sustenance for the body.
Now whether you are putting on the apron for someone you just met, or re-kindling the romance
of years of marriage, there are things to consider: the menu and the shopping list.
I will help with these two, and leave the rest up to you. And remember that Picasso once said "Love is the greatest refreshment in life."
One of my favorite dishes to prepare is Veal Marsala with Rosemary Red Potatoes and Roasted
Asparagus. You can actually make this dish in one pan, but I will break it down into three recipes, and make it easier.
2-6 oz. Veal Cutlets (pounded to
2-cups freshly sliced mushrooms
1-tsp. granulated garlic
2/3 cup olive oil
Tenderize the veal cutlets and place them in the flour that has been seasoned with the garlic,
salt and pepper. Dredge generously until the cutlets are caked with the flour.
At a medium heat add the olive oil into a non-stick frying pan and wait until oil is hot.
Shake any excess flour off and set the veal cutlets into the oil and brown well on each side.
Turn heat down to low and add mushrooms. Stir until semi-cooked and add the Marsala.
The Marsala will reduce over time, and the flour and olive oil will turn into your sauce with the wine. Keep an eye on this and make sure you stir it and not let it get too thick.
It is just a matter of time until it will be done.
Don't worry-the veal will be cooked thoroughly if you don't rush.
Rosemary Red Potatoes
10-red potatoes washed and cut in half
1-Tsp granulated garlic
1/3 cup olive oil
Place potatoes in to boiling water and cook until you can easily poke a toothpick or knife
into them. Drain well. Add the potatoes to a pan with oil.
(Not the same one you are cooking the veal in-unless you are short on pans) and cook over medium heat adding the garlic and rosemary at the very end.
The potatoes are done when they have a crisp coating on the skin.
Salt and pepper to taste. And then finally....
1-pound fresh asparagus
Salt and Pepper
Trim the asparagus back at about an inch from the stem bottom.
Place in a shallow baking dish, making sure to spread them out.
Drizzle oil on the asparagus, (not too much) and top with the salt and pepper.
Place in a pre-heated 400 degree oven on the middle rack and check after 5 minutes.
Make sure the tips don't get burnt. They are usually done after 5 minutes, depending on the oven.
Now getting the meal to come together at the same time takes some practice.
But if you take your time and have fun, everything will turn out ok.
You can also set out a tray of cheese and crackers, or a bottle of wine, and enjoy the evening.
Light some candles and put on Sinatra, turn down the lights and get rid of the kids.
And like Lucy from "Peanuts” said- "All I really need is love, but a little chocolate never hurts."
So I will let you make the decisions on dessert. And do yourselves a favor; save those dishes for tomorrow.