Posted by: Beatriz Sandoval
Chocolate, and hearts and love – oh my.
What a great reason to cook, make and eat chocolate – not that we ever need a reason at Thermador to indulge, but we love the fact that Valentine’s Day allows us another great reason to enjoy a lot of it!
Whether you plan on creating an intricate and delicious romantic meal for two, or planning an elegant dinner party with friends and family – a festive menu, the perfect wine pairings and great desserts are a must – and an important part of any Valentine’s Day celebration.
Your Thermador Culinary Team wants to provide you, our Culinary Enthusiast, with an insatiable menu. Complete with a popover avocado appetizer (because who doesn’t love avocados), an amazing salmon dish as the main course and of course, a delectable chocolate creation that will make your guests cry Like Water for Chocolate. So pop open that champagne, wine or both, and enjoy this Valentine’s Day.
Appetizer: Popover Cheesy Avocado Frittatas
A cheesy and playful frittata sets the stage for a delightful meal and a promising evening of culinary masterpieces.
6 small tortillas, cut in half and molded into a popover pan opening, which is coated with cooking spray
6 slices of fried bacon, crumbled and set aside
6 beaten eggs
1/3 cup half and half
1/3 cups slice green onions with the tops
1/3 cups diced peppers (any color)
2/3 cup cherry tomatoes sliced in half
2/3 cup packed spring lettuce max
2/3 cup chopped mozzarella
2/3 cup chopped avocado
1/3 cup grated parmesan
1 teaspoon seat salt
½ teaspoon chili pepper flakes
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
1/3 cup olive oil (for garnish)
Preheat your Thermador oven to 350oF while preparing the Frittatas.
In a medium or large mixing bowl combine eggs, half and half, onions, peppers, tomatoes, spring lettuce, mozzarella, avocado, parmesan, salt, chili pepper flakes and pepper – blend well together.
Scoop about ½ cup into each of the tortilla lined popover openings. Sprinkle equal amounts of the crumbled bacon on top of each and place the popover pan on a cookie sheet. Bake the Frittatas for 22-28 minutes, or until the egg mixture is about done. When done remove and let cool 5-7 minutes. Drizzle with olive oil and serve immediately!
A light and flavorful salmon dish is satisfying and leaves just enough room for guests to indulge in a decadent desert that is sure to follow.
1 small shallot, finely chopped
1 tablespoon finely chopped red onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup dry white wine
2 lemons, 1 juice and 1 grated for lemon zest
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon ground white pepper to taste
½ cup loosely packed mixed fresh herbs, such as parsley, tarragon, chervil, dill and thyme – roughly chopped
Pomegranate seeds to finish
4 (6 ounce) salmon filets
Lemon/White Wine Butter Sauce:
In a non-reactive (stainless steel or enameled) saucepan, melt 3 tablespoons of butter, add the shallots, onions and garlic. Cook for five minutes without browning then add in the wine and lemon juice. Bring to a boil then lower the heat and allot to boil and reduce by three-quarters of its volume. Lower the heat and whisk in the remaining cubes of butter until all is mixed together thoroughly. Add in salt, herbs and pepper to taste. Keep the sauce warm while you prepare and cook the fish.
Place the salmon in a full size perforated cooking pan and on the level 3 rack in your Thermador oven. Make sure to place a baking pan on the level below to catch any dripping. Set the oven to steam/convection at 210oF. Season the fish with salt and pepper to taste and cook for 8-10 minutes.
You can include a side of potatoes and vegetables to this dish to complement all of the flavors. Quarter four uncooked red potatoes and place in a perforated pan that will be placed within a baking pan. Sprinkle with salt and place the potatoes in your Thermador oven and set to steam mode at 210oF. Sprinkle the potatoes with salt and herb blend and cook for 35-45 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender.
Gather zucchini, grape tomatoes, red onion and asparagus and cut the vegetables into bite size pieces. Place them in a perforated pan and insert the pan into a baking pan. Place both in your Thermador oven on the level 3 rack and set the oven to steam mode at 210oF. Cook for 7-12 minutes.
Place the salmon onto a serving plate and spoon the lemon/white wine sauce on top. Serve with the steamed vegetables and potatoes.
A decadent chocolate dessert offers the perfect finish to a romantic evening, or a warm and friendly affair.
3 egg whites
A pinch of kosher salt
¼ cup sugar
1 cup cold heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
6 ounces quality dark chocolate, cut into small pieces
Fresh berries, for garnish
In a clean, dry bowl, whip the egg whites and salt into soft peaks. Add in the sugar and continue whipping to stiff peaks. Set this aside as you begin to whip the heavy cream and vanilla extract to soft peaks – set this aside when finished.
Place the chopped chocolate in a large metal bowl over a pan of gently simmering water – be careful not to get any water into the chocolate as you are melting it or else it will seize. If you are unsure if you’ve melted it fully, you can run the mousse through a wire mesh strainer before spooning into the serving vessels. This chocolate mousse has a nice, fluffy texture. For a denser version increase the chocolate amount to 8 ounces.
Remove the chocolate from the heat once it is fully melted and whisk in the whipped egg whites. Fold the whipped cream using a rubber spatula.
Spoon the mousse into the serving vessels and chill for about one hour or overnight. Serve garnished with fresh berries.
The perfect wine selection is the final finishing touch on a well-thought out menu. While a chilled Sauvignon Blanc would be a great appetizer wine and the perfect match to the Asparagus, Red Pepper and Spinach Salad, a bold Syrah is ideal for both the salmon entrée and the delicious chocolate almond pudding. Other recommended pairings for this Valentine’s Day inspired menu include a rich Merlot or a delicious Cabernet Sauvignon.
We hope you have a wonderful Valentine’s Day weekend!