Sunday, February 14, 2010

Valentine's Day Dinner-Part One....Potatoes and Tarts

Since this was my first Valentine's Day ever as a Wife I decided to up my housewifeyness and try to make a gourmet meal for my husband. I spent like 2 weeks looking up recipes for this and I have to say in the end, it really paid off. This might be one of the best meals I have ever made.

Since this meal was super extensive I'm just going to discuss the appetizer and first side dish today. I sort of made up the appetizer. It was based on something that I saw on (an awesome website if you like looking at delicious foods). I call it mushroom tarts.

Mushroom Tarts (makes 6 tarts)
6-7 cremini mushrooms
1 tablespoon chopped shallots or onions
1 tablespoon butter
garlic salt
2 tablespoons blue cheese
1 sheet of puff pastry

Basically I just thawed the puff pastry and then used the top of a wine glass to cut it into 6 circles. Then I cooked the mushrooms and shallots in butter and added some garlic salt and then melted the blue cheese in at the end. I put a spoonful of this mixture on top of each puff pastry ring and baked it for 15 minutes at 400 degrees. I thought these were a little bit rich but my husband ate 4 of them. So you can maybe cut the cheese or butter down a little bit.

It took me forever to decide on a side dish. I went back and forth several times but ultimately decided it should be potato related since I was making a beef main course. I found this Rachael Ray recipe but decided to alter it a bit because I didn't want to have to buy all these fresh herbs.
So instead of calling them Rachael Ray's Autumn Potato Gratin , I will call them J-M's Winter Love Potatoes.

J-M's Winter Love Potatoes (makes about 4 servings)
2 pounds of baby white potatoes and a couple small red potatoes (or probably any potatoes)
1 cup of heavy cream plus another 1/2 cup of cream
1/4 stick of butter
1 clove of garlic minced
A few shakes of Italian Seasoning (the kind that has like oregano, thyme, sage, rosemary, etc in it)
Salt and Pepper
Grated Parmesan Cheese (about a 1/2 cup)

1-Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Wash and cut the potatoes. Make them into bite sized to a couple bite sized pieces (see pics). Boil some water and partially cook the potatoes for about 5 minutes.
2-Heat 1 cup of cream and the butter in a pan. Add a couple of sprinkles of Italian Seasoning and the garlic and a little salt and pepper. I then added a palm full of grated Parmesan cheese to this. Heat this for about 5 minutes.
3-Place potatoes in the bottom of a small baking pan and put a little salt and pepper on them.
4-Pour cream mixture over potatoes. If the cream mixture doesn't cover about up to 75% of the potatoes then add a little more cream until it reaches up higher. Then sprinkle the top with more Parmesan cheese.
5-Bake in preheated oven for about 35 minutes or until potatoes start to brown and bubble. This is going to be super hott, so let it rest a little before eating. Also as it rests the cream sauce gets thicker.

Warning-This dish is not healthy. Hello. You are cooking butter in to cream. But it tastes very delicious.

I loved how the potatoes turned out. They were bubbly and brown and awesome looking. There were only a few minor mishaps during this part of cooking like when the strings on my apron fell in the toilet and when I accidentally left the stove on after cooking the mushroom mixture and only realized it after I picked up a dish that was sitting on the stove and realized it was super hot. Major burn crisis averted though.
Did anyone else make Valentine's Dinner or do something super awesome?


Amanda @ It's Blogworthy said...

All that stuff looks amazing. Anything with cheese and cream and butter in it is my friend. What a nice wifey you are!

I made the most amazing steak sandwiches ever, if I do say so myself. I got it off Recipe Zaar -- another really awesome site if you're looking for good meals. You can put in the ingredients you have and find meals that have those ingredients. We had pizza and snickerdoodles for dinner, but other than that it was a pretty low key Vday!

JMJE said...

I love sites where you can just put in ingredients and it gives you a recipe. It's like magic. Cheese, cream and butter always makes for something delicous.

Bonnie said...

I am super hungry now and it is only 10:25. I think we need a picture of you in the apron, minus the toilet water.

JMJE said...

The apron is currently hang drying after being washed but I'll try to re-create it.

Salt said...

Those mushrooms look so fancy and the potatoes look AMAZING. I may have to try that recipe out AFTER the wedding when I'm not worried about calories anymore. Nice job, housewifey! :)

Fiancé took me out for sushi last night and I ate way too much, but it was amazing and wonderful.

Jenni said...

JM can I be married to you too? Or could you teach Matt how to cook more than French Toast and Spaghetti? Or maybe I should learn hmmm...

We went out to dinner at a Mediterrian place called Papa's Grill ( and it was super delicious.

bmellisen said...

Last nights dinner wasn't healthy? Hold on. It seemed good for you, with lots of calcium from all the butter and cream and cheese. Also, the potato's were very delicious, when the cheese sauce sort of thickened up it was awesome. ***SPOILER ALERT*** Part 2 of dinner was even better.

Shana said...

I'm trying to be more housewifey too...even though I'm not a wife yet. I made pot roast yesterday and J loved it...which is tough to do.

Those potatoes look SOOOO good. I have to try them this week.