Friday, April 22, 2011

A Fittingly Colored Valentine's Day Meal

I’m not a big fan of going out to dinner on Valentine’s Day because most restaurants jack up the price of their prix fixe menu and I just don’t have that much money to toss around. This year I decided to come up with the most festive menu I could think of and the first thing that popped into my head: BEETS. I love beets on their own, but my girlfriend isn’t a huge fan of them, so I thought of a way to incorporate their beautiful color without featuring beets alone on the menu: pink mashed potatoes! To go along with the Valentine spuds, I made sautéed red chard (sensing a theme?), and featured some sizable veal chops with balsamic apples. The meal turned out really well and was good to look at and even better to eat.
2 ½ lb Veal Chops on the bone
2 Fuji or Pink Lady apples
1 tsp grated ginger
1 tsp grated jalapeno flesh
1 lemon
1 tsp agave or honey
2 tbsp balsamic
.5 lb red potatoes
1 large beet
2 tbsp butter
¼ cup milk
1 large bunch red chard
3 garlic cloves (chopped)
2 tbsp olive oil
To cook!
Pink Potatoes:
1) Boil the beet in a large enough pot to hold the beet and the potatoes
2) After 20 minutes, add the potatoes and boil for another 15 until the beet and potatoes are fork tender
3) Melt the butter in a small pan and slowly cook half of the chopped garlic until browned
4) Drain the pot (reserving a little bit of the water) and take out the beet to remove skin
5) Mash the potatoes with the reserved water, the milk, and the garlic butter
6) Cut the beet into small pieces, add to the potatoes, and mash (I had small chunks of beet in the mash, but feel free to use a hand blender to make the mash smoother)
7) Add salt and pepper to taste
Red Chard
1) Coarsely chop the chard into 1 inch strips
2) Heat 1 tbsp of olive oil in a large pan and sautée the remaining chopped garlic
3) Once garlic starts to brown add the chard and toss in the oil and garlic
4) Add ½ lemon juice and cook until chard is fully wilted
Balsamic Apples:
1) Chop the apples into small rectangles and sautée in a saucepan in olive oil
2) Mix the grated ginger and jalapeno with juice of ½ a lemon and the honey/agave
3) Pour the dressing and half of the balsamic over the apples and simmer until the apples are very soft
Veal Chops:
1) Preheat the oven to 375
2) Sear the veal on both sides in an oven proof pan or cast iron
3) Finish in the oven for 15 minutes
4) Serve apples on the veal and finish with the remaining balsamic

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