Over-priced average food, stressed kitchen staff, pushy hostesses and too much red makes for a forgetable hallmark moment. No, I am not the scrooge of Valentine’s past and present but rather the voice of most people who fear to be truthful about this over-hyped celebration.
Do you really need to show how perfect you are as a spouse or a partner by sending flowers and chocolates on Valentine’s Day? I have to say that I appreciate the flowers when I least expect them. In the middle of the week when everything seems to be crumbling around me or perhaps just because it makes you and your partner smile too.
Needless to say, this Valentine’s Day I was blessed to have two of my favorite boys in town to create a very amusing and celebratory evening.
Frederic is on a GAP year and for the past few weeks has been hooked on Gordon Ramsay’s Master Chef cooking show. I must admit that he had me watching by the end.
So, we thought that we could incorporate this show idea into an evening of fun. We picked courses out of a hat, threw in a secret ingredient of chocolate (to be included in all of the dishes) and reserved individual time in the kitchen to create our masterpieces. The lead up to the evening was almost as entertaining as the event itself.
Paul, who has a hard time boiling water, kept his cards close and reserved the kitchen for one hour in the afternoon of February 14th. Frederic, the true artist and over-the-top man, spent days researching his dessert and driving around the African countryside to find the ingredients. I had the main course and decided on something relatively easy yet flavourful. Every course was a gastronomic delight that I will share with you over the next few days.
The menu was as follows:
Passion fruit martini with proscuitto and cheese straws. (Mary)
Baked asparagus and salmon served with a white chocolate hollandaise. (Paul)
Caramelized onion, chevre and potato galette with sautéed garden-fresh spinach, coffee crusted beef filet and a chocolate chili sauce.(Mary)
Merlot chocolate cake fantasy with an apple citrus gremolata
I will share with you today the Passion Fruit Martini…so easy and yet sooo good.
- 1 part lemon vodka
- 1 part fresh passion fruit syrup (can be purchased in specialty stores such as Melissa’s)
- 1/4 part triple sec
- Put ice cubes in the martini glass as well as the shaker.
- Pour the ingredients in the shaker, close top securly and shake vigurously
- Remove ice from glass and pour mixture.
- The small fruit pips is decor enough
- Serve and enjoy