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Any suggestions for a heart SHAPED, heart HEALTHY Valentine's Day dinner?

Answers:1   |   LastAnswerAt:2009.12  

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Lewie 
Asked at 2009.12.31 18:03:48
I want to make something for Valentine's Day that incorporates a healthy dish as well as something that is heart shaped. I've found a few recipes on the net, but most of them are for dessert or something very rich and heavy. Does anyone have any suggestions for apps, main dishes, drinks or desserts? Thanks!
answer lesroys  Answered at 2009.12.31 18:03:48
Hope you get this in time!

Can you cut a heart with a sharp knife? Then, take your favorite cut of lean meat, like a fillet of steak, and cut it into a heart shape. Put it on a chopping board and take a sharp, thin-bladed knife and score your heart design, then trim the meat to the shape of a heart.

You can keep the scraps and either use them to make "duxelles" (i.e. chop or grind them up and add finely minced parsley, garlic, perhaps a little green onion and a finely chopped mushroom) on the side. Set a little of the minced parsley aside for the steaks. Pan fry the duxelle mixture using Pam or similar lo-fat butter substitute, garlic and, if you use it, onions first, then the chopped steak until it is cooked through, add mushrooms until browned, mix well, then finally mix in the parsley and mix again. Duxelles are meant to be moist, so it would be good to add a little splash of red wine (healthy - good for the heart!) and a squirt of fresh lemon juice and reduce until you have kind of a rough "stuffing" type texture.

Meanwhile, season the steak hearts with salt and pepper and grill to taste. Sprinkle a little minced parsley on top to finish.

Another idea, if you like scallops and can get them, or even as a first course on the "heart theme" is to take king scallops and cut them in half horizontally and shape them into hearts. Again, you can conserve the trimmings and my favorite way of using leftover scallop is to mince it and make ceviche (see below).

A great, healthy sauce for scallops is orange and ginger sauce. Peel and mince 1/8 tsp of fresh ginger (if you can't get fresh, you can use a pinch of powdered ginger) and mix with the juice of 1/4 lemon and the juice of 2 fresh oranges (or you can use 1/4 cup of orange juice). Mince up a sprinkle of finely minced, fresh cilantro (you can substitute with dried cilantro, reducing your quantity). Saute the scallop hearts until they just start to turn color (about 10 seconds each side) in Pam or similar, then add 1/2 glass of dry white wine, juices and ginger and then reduce heat to simmer until the sauce starts to thicken a little. Add cilantro, simmer on low heat for about 2 minutes. The scallops will be "carmelized" into a golden color. If you want the scallop hearts to be pink, then you can add a tablespoon of tomato or red pepper puree in with your liquids (either gives a nice taste).

Another nice thing you can make are "bruschetta" where you cut brown bread into the shape of hearts and fry in Pam with a sprinkle of garlic and dried herbs. You can either use these as the base for hors d'ouvres (I would suggest a little smoked salmon, a tiny dab of creme fraiche or sour cream and a sprig of dill on the top) or you can use them as croutons for soup. Slightly spicy tomato soup, or any soup made from seafood (Manhattan clam chowder, etc) would be nice for today (red!). You could have soup for your first course with the heart croutons, and steak or scallops for your main course if you like. Don't know how many courses you have planned?

For drinks, well, you have to live a little on Valentine's Day so you'll need to have some kind of bubbly cocktail at least. Use dry (brut) California or similar bubbly and just throw a couple of fresh strawberries (with the green bits removed) or raspberries into the glass. This is a classic champagne cocktail - refreshing, romantic and relatively healthy. Have it with your smoked salmon bruschetta!

For dessert - strawberries or raspberries. I like the meringue idea that somebody else suggested but I have never made a really good meringue myself. Strawberries especially, since they are naturally heart-shaped if you cut them lengthwise. I sprinkle with a little lemon juice and dust with a tiny bit of powdered sugar. Also nice with a little drizzle of honey, which is the healthy option.

Ceviche is chopped, raw scallops mixed with finely minced garlic, chili pepper, green onion and fresh cilantro. Mix this up with the juice of 1 lime, let it marinate for between 3 and 24 hours and eat it raw (seriously - the lime juice "cooks" the scallops). Salt and pepper to taste. This is a big hit with my husband as it reminds him of our vacations in Mexico and he's always on a diet (well, not always, I think you know what I mean!!!).

Sorry for the constant updating, my husband just arrived home with 2 dozen long stem red roses and I had to dig out the vases. He won't tell me how much he spent, but I guess we'll REALLY have to diet after today!!!!
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