Valentine’s Day Menu

STUFFED MUSHROOMS

1/2 medium onion, minced
1 shallot, chopped (optional)
mushroom stems, chopped
mushroom caps (for stuffing)
onion and garlic powder
paprika
breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons freshly chopped parsley (optional)
butter

Choose mushrooms with large caps. Brush mushrooms cleaning well. Remove caps from stems, reserving caps. Melt butter in sauté pan and add mushroom stems, onion, shallots, if using. Sauté until onions are transparent.
Remove from heat and stir together bread crumbs, onion and garlic powder and parsley. Add enough breadcrumb mixture so that mixture is no longer soupy. Stuff mushrooms caps and sprinkle pressed-in stuffing with paprika.

CHICKEN MARSALA

3 lg. chicken breasts
3 tbsp. flour (sprinkle with salt and pepper)
1 (10 or 13 oz.) can chicken broth
4 tbsp. butter or olive oil
3 tbsp. fresh chopped parsley
8 oz. pkg. fresh mushrooms
1 c. Marsala cooking wine

Cut chicken breasts in half – (be sure all fat is removed). GENTLY pound with finger tips or meat pounder. Coat each piece with flour.
In large skillet, melt butter or olive oil on low. Brown chicken on each side about 2 minute (medium heat). Remove chicken from pan.

Add chicken broth, Marsala wine, parsley, and sliced mushrooms to skillet and simmer about 10 minutes. Add chicken and let cook on low about 15 minutes.

Serves 4-6.

GARLIC MASHED POTATOES

2 lb. peeled and diced potatoes
1/2 to 1 head garlic cloves, peeled and mashed
6 tbsp. butter
1/2 to 3/4 cup heavy cream, half&half or milk

Cover potatoes with water sufficient to cover in a heavy-bottomed pan. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat slightly and simmer until potatoes are fork-tender.
Drain potatoes and set aside. Return empty pan to heat and add butter, leaving until butter melts. In a separate pan, bring cream or milk to boil (do not allow to curdle; remove from heat immediately when it starts to boil).

Mash the potatoes, beating in the butter and half&half, cream or milk, mashed garlic, and salt and pepper, until potatoes are smooth and fluffy.

NOTE: For milder garlic flavor, parboil garlic along with potatoes, then mash with potatoes.

HONEY GLAZED BABY CARROTS

2-3 cups small baby carrots (pre-peeled)
1/2 cup butter
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon honey
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
fresh minced parsley and/or chives

In a medium skillet, melt butter. Add brown sugar, honey, nutmeg and cinnamon; mix together. Add Carrots. Cover; cook on medium low to medium heat for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. When finished cooking, the carrots should be firm, not mushy.
Remove from skillet and sprinkle with fresh parsley and/or chives. Serve.

STRAWBERRY CREAM-FILLED ANGEL CAKE

1 (15 oz.) pkg. angel food cake mix
1 1/3 c. (15 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
1/3 c. lemon juice
1 tsp. almond extract
2 pkgs. Dream Whip, prepared to pkg. directions
2 pts. fresh strawberries, washed & hulled or 2 boxes frozen berries, drained

Prepare and bake angel food cake according to package directions in a 10″x4″ tube pan. Invert cake on wire rack until cold, carefully remove from pan and place, top side down, on a serving plate.
In medium sized bowl, combine sweetened condensed milk, lemon juice and almond extract. Blend well. Whip cream until cream forms stiff peaks. Gently fold into sweetened condensed milk mixture. Chill 10 to 15 minutes.

Slice a 1″ horizontal layer from top of cake. Carefully lift off and set aside. Measure an inch in from outer edge of cake and an inch from center hole and mark with toothpicks. With sharp knife, cut a pick mark down to within an inch from bottom.

Slowly cut around the entire cake. Start to cut an inch in from center hole and again cut down to within one inch from cake bottom and around entire cake. With fork carefully remove the center cut of cake.

This will leave a hollow shell of cake with inner and outer walls about one inch thick with a base of equal thickness. Tear or cut the removed portion of cake into 1″ cubes. Pour 1 1/2 cups of the chilled condensed milk-whipped cream mixture into a medium size bowl.

Stir in cake pieces until well blended. Gently fold in one pint of whole strawberries. Lightly spoon this mixture into the cake shell. Place layer cut for top over filling and press on gently. Use remaining whipped cream mixture to swirl over entire cake.

Place in freezer and chill about two hours or until frosting is firm. At serving time, garnish top and sides of cake with remaining strawberries.

If you like these recipes, please check out our cookbook, Back to the Table with My Country Kitchen.

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