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Valentine’s Day Rosemary Dinner

In many cultures, rosemary has a long history as an aphrodisiac, an herb with the power to keep fidelity and love strong.

Valentine’s Day Rosemary Dinner

In many cultures, rosemary has a long history as an aphrodisiac, an herb with the power to keep fidelity and love strong.


So why not tap that history to grow a little romance of your own on Valentine's Day? This three-course meal isn't speedy, but the effort will win you the admiration of your love.


Start by making the pots de creme (the recipe makes an extra two servings in case you're craving more chocolate later) to give them plenty of time to chill. Then get all your ingredients organized and prepped. Everything else will go together without too much trouble.

Cream of Cauliflower and Rosemary Soup
Preparation Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes


Ingredients



  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) butter

  • 1 shallot, chopped

  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary, finely minced

  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) all-purpose flour

  • 1 cup (250 mL) milk

  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) 35% whipping cream

  • 12 oz (340 g) frozen cauliflower, thawed

  • 1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt

  • 1/4 tsp (1 mL) ground white pepper

  • Rosemary olive oil or other herbed oil

Preparation

1. In saucepan melt butter over medium-high; add shallot and rosemary and saute until shallot is tender, 3 to 4 minutes. Add flour and stir to coat. Cook for 1 minute, whisk in milk and cream. Add cauliflower, salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, until cauliflower is very soft and mixture has thickened.

2. Using an immersion blender or working in batches in a regular blender, puree mixture until very smooth. Adjust seasoning with additional salt and pepper, if needed. Drizzle with rosemary oil.

Makes 2 servings.

Nutrition information per serving (values are rounded to the nearest whole number): 756 calories; 291 calories from fat (38 per cent of total calories); 33 g fat (19 g saturated; 1 g trans fats); 81 mg cholesterol; 89 g carbohydrate; 29 g protein; 4 g fibre; 513 mg sodium.


Rosemary Seared Tenderloin With Honeyed Sweet Potato and Blue Cheese Green Beans
Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes


Ingredients



  • 2 medium or 1 large sweet potato

  • 2 tbsp (30 mL) each butter and liquid honey

  • 1/2 tsp (2 mL) each salt and ground black pepper



Beef Tenderloin



  • 1 lb (500 g) beef tenderloin, cut into 2 steaks (or 2-8 oz/250 g steaks)

  • 1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt

  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary, finely minced

  • 2 tbsp (30 mL) butter

  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) vegetable or canola oil



Blue Cheese Green Beans



  • 8 oz (250 g) trimmed green beans

  • 3 tbsp (45 mL) crumbled blue cheese (such as Gorgonzola)

  • Salt and ground black pepper, to taste

  • 3 tbsp (45 mL) toasted sliced almonds (optional)

Preparation

1. Prick sweet potato all over with a fork. Microwave on High for 5 to 6 minutes or until completely tender. Let cool slightly. Peel and mash potato in small bowl. Stir in butter, honey, salt and pepper. Cover and keep warm.

2. Beef Tenderloin: Rub salt and rosemary all over steaks. In large oven-safe skillet heat butter and oil over medium-high. Sear steaks on each side until well-browned, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Place skillet in 350 F (180C) oven and cook until meat thermometer inserted in centre reaches 125 F (52 C). Remove from oven, tent with foil and let rest for 10 minutes.

3. Blue Cheese Green Beans: Meanwhile, bring small saucepan of water to boil. Add beans and cover. Boil until bright green and just tender, about 3 minutes. Drain beans, then transfer to a bowl. Add blue cheese, salt and pepper; toss to combine. Sprinkle with almonds, if using.

4. Serve steaks with sweet potato and green beans.

Makes 2 servings.


Nutrition information per serving (values are rounded to the nearest whole number): 758 calories; 381 calories from fat (50 per cent of total calories); 43 g fat (19 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 218 mg cholesterol; 39 g carbohydrate; 55 g protein; 7 g fibre; 1,296 mg sodium.

Milk Chocolate Rosemary Pots de Creme
Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Chilling Time: 2 hours


Ingredients



  • 1 cup (250 mL) 35% whipping cream

  • 1/4 cup (50 mL) milk

  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary, chopped

  • 1/4 tsp (1 mL) grated orange rind

  • 3 egg yolks

  • 2 tbsp (30 mL) granulated sugar

  • 3 oz (90 g) milk chocolate, chopped

  • Whipped cream


Preparation


1. In small saucepan set over medium heat, combine cream, milk, rosemary and orange rind. Bring to a simmer; remove from heat and cover. Let steep for 30 minutes.

2. Set four 4-oz (125 mL) small ramekins inside a 9-inch (23 cm) square baking pan; set aside.
In a bowl, whisk together egg yolks and sugar.

3. Return cream mixture to medium heat until steaming. While continuously whisking egg mixture, drizzle warm cream mixture very slowly into egg yolks. Add milk chocolate and whisk until melted. Using a fine mesh strainer, strain mixture into a liquid measuring cup with a pouring spout. Discard any solids.

4. Carefully pour liquid into prepared ramekins. Pour hot water into outer pan to come halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Carefully place pan in oven and cover loosely with foil. Bake in 325 F (160 C) oven until set and the centres just barely jiggle, 55 to 65 minutes. Remove ramekins from water and chill until completely cold, at least 2 hours. Serve with dollop of whipped cream.

Makes 4 servings.

Nutrition information per serving (values are rounded to the nearest whole number): 436 calories; 312 calories from fat (72 per cent of total calories); 35 g fat (21 g saturated; 1 g trans fats); 264 mg cholesterol; 26 g carbohydrate; 5 g protein; 1 g fibre; 51 mg sodium.

 
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