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 http://www.foodgawker.com/ (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
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?