Seriously, I had no idea how in love my husband was with goat cheese until I made this dinner. 🙂 Note to self for future meals…
So here is Valentine’s Day 2008 in a nutshell. Well, not really in a nutshell, although there was some nutmeg in the ravioli… Sorry. Couldn’t help it!
So this year’s menu was taken from the Jan/Feb 08 Everyday Food (www.everydayfoodmag.com) It included:
appetizer: Pear and Proscuitto “Carpaccio” with a Balsamic Vinegar Reduction
dinner: Goat Cheese Ravioli with Parlsey Sauce and Lemony Swiss Chard
dessert: Sparkling Lemon and Raspberry Prosecco Floats
Here is a pic of the menu (for V day I like to get all formal and make little menus..it’s a bit fuzzy. So are all these pics, come to think of it. I need a better camera and some better lighting!)
Ok, so the appetizer (which we actually ended up eating with our meal for some reason) was so good! Word to the wise, however: when reducing balsamic vinegar, don’t let it go for too long! ewwwwwwwwww. The first batch I made ended up burning and getting all hard. Blech. After round 2 with the balsamic vinegar, though, it was all good. For those of you wondering, “carpaccio” is in quotes because it’s usually super thinly sliced raw beef, or some such meat. Proscuitto does not need to be cooked anyway, and is actually super thinly sliced cured (I think) ham.
Pear and Proscuitto “Carpaccio”
Prep time: 10 min; Total time: 10 min
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1 red Bartlett pear, cored, halved, and thinly sliced
2 ounces very thinly sliced proscuitto
1. In a small saucepan, bring vingar to a boil; cook, stirring occasionally, until syrupy and reduced to 2 T, about 5 min.
2. Divide the pear slices between 2 plates, arranging them in a circular pattern; top with prosciutto. Drizzle with balsamic syrup as desired, and season wtih pepper.
Here it is, with a festive V Day plate (that I bought at Target in Feb 07) :
Our next course was the goat cheese ravioli. I used the recommended wanton wrappers instead of making my own pasta, although the thought had crossed my mind. I wanted to be as quick as possible, since I had to work on V Day. This was a hit with both of us! Not that tend to I make things more than once ;), but this is on that theoretical list that *might* get made again…
Goat-Cheese Ravioli with Parsley Sauce
- 3 ounces fresh goat cheese
- 1/4 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
- 1 small garlic clove, crushed through a garlic press
- Pinch of ground nutmeg
- Coarse salt and ground pepper
- 12 square wonton wrappers (3 1/2 inch)
- Parsley Sauce
- In a small bowl, use a fork to mash together goat cheese, ricotta, garlic, and nutmeg until smooth; season with salt and pepper, and stir to combine.
- Assemble ravioli: Arrange 6 wrappers on a work surface, keeping remaining wrappers covered with a damp papper towel.
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil; reduce to a bare simmer. Drop ravioli into water, one at a time, stirring them gently to prevent sticking. Cook until al dente, 5 to 7 minutes. (Cooking time is the same for frozen ravioli.)
- Using a slotted spoon, transfer ravioli to a paper-towel-lined baking sheet, and arrange in a single layer to drain briefly. Divide between two plates; drizzle with parsley sauce, and serve immediately.
For Parsley Sauce:
In a small bowl, stir together 2 T of finely chopped fresh parsley, 2 T olive oil, 1 T grated Parmesan, and 1 t water; season with salt and pepper. (This reminded us of pesto! Mmm.)
The side I served with the ravioli was lemony swiss chard (they didn’t have any fresh-looking red swiss chard, which I think may have been the point for V Day… but green it was!)
Lemony Swiss Chard
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 bunch Swiss chard (about 3/4 pound), stalks cut into 1-inch pieces and leaves roughly torn (keep separate)
- Coarse salt and ground pepper
- 2 to 3 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
- In a large skillet, heat oil over medium. Add chard stalks, and cook, tossing until crisp-tender, 4 to 6 minutes. Add as many chard leaves to skillet as will fit, adding more as room becomes available; season with salt and pepper. Cook, tossing occasionally, until stalks are tender, 4 to 6 minutes more.
- Drain and discard any liquid from chard in skillet; stir in lemon juice, and season with salt and pepper.
Please excuse the pic quality…and I decided to “paint” on a balsamic syrup heart, which looked great at first… and not so great by the time I got the camera functioning. Oops!
For dessert (maybe my favorite part because I just love champagne so much!), we had these floats. Prosecco is actually an Italian sparkling wine, very similar to Champagne.
Sparkling Sorbet Floats
- 1/2 cup raspberry sorbet, slightly softened
- 1/2 cup lemon sorbet, slightly softened
- 1/2 cup chilled white sparkling wine, such as Prosecco
- 1 tablespoon finely shredded fresh mint leaves
- Place two small glass bowls in the freezer until chilled, at least 5 minutes. Dividing evenly, scoop raspberry and lemon sorbet into chilled bowls. Pour sparkling wine over sorbet, and garnish with mint; serve immediately.
A particularly fuzzy pic of the desserts (in margarita glasses, because I thought it would be cute 🙂 )
…and finally, a pic of our table. (Yes, one of the taper candles is crooked, and yes, this bothers me! Oh well… 🙂 ) We had a lovely evening together at home! To everyone who hates V Day, I say to try making it about spending quality time with the one you love. Admittedly, the commercialized aspect of it can make going out crazy, depending on where you live and where you’re trying to go… but we always look forward to another excuse to celebrate the love we share with each other. 🙂 (Ok, I’m off my soap box now!)