At my co-worker's urging, I'm posting this photo and description of my Valentine's Day dinner. As you'll see, I rarely eat good food--and I've certainly never had a meal like this made for me. Wow!!
The day of the feast, my chef sent me to pick out some cheese and chorizo. Susan and Catherine at the Spanish Table were very helpful, and I left with a chunk of Mahon and one of Idiazabal (a scrumptious Basque sheeps' cheese). A couple of hours later, the chef showed up at my door with armfuls of gourmet fixins and a 24 oz. Icehouse. I love a man who can mix high and low! We ate the meat & cheese with one of the most delicious red wines I've ever had, Torremoron Tinto (from Spain), and then he busted out the following:
Appetizer: clams in a broth of chorizo, onions & carrots
Entree: catfish with grape tomatoes, Brussels sprouts, chorizo & basil
Dessert (I made this): blood orange compote (with brandy, vanilla bean, lemon & sugar) over vanilla ice cream
I'm one of those packaged-food, artificial-flavors people that's had a hard time learning to eat like an adult, so this meal was something of a triumph. Clams, for one, make me think of little alien babies, but I ate 10 of them. I felt brave. I know it sounds silly to you fine diners, and Chef kept insisting this was 'good' food, not 'fancy' food, but afterward, it seemed like both to me.
I had looked up the dessert on Epicurious under their 'aphrodisiac' recipes, which have since vanished. Hey, inquiring minds want to know year-round. Anyway, a user suggested sprinkling candied ginger over the compote for an extra kick. I forgot to do it then, but discovered later that the combo of ice cream & ginger (minus compote) is ideal for an everyday treat that's special and easy. Just how you want your date to be, right?