Donít feel like waiting to be seated at a fancy restaurant? Create a relaxing, candle-lit dinner at home with these simple, succulent recipes that will add elegance, extravagance and romance to your table!
Start things off with a mouth-watering serving of Roasted Portobello Caprese. This delicate dish offers a fine combination of subtle flavors that will leave you wanting more! (Courtesy of www.recipezaar.com)
2 Portobello mushroom caps
2 garlic cloves, halved
10 tablespoons olive oil
4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon coarse salt
Ĺ teaspoon pepper, freshly ground
2 medium tomatoes
8 leaves fresh basil, chopped
4 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese
Get cooking by preheating your oven to 400 degrees F. Slice the tomatoes into at least six ĺ-inch slices, and the mozzarella into slices about Ĺ-inch wide. Coat mushroom caps with a mixture of the olive oil and vinegar, and sprinkle generously with salt and pepper according to your taste. Roast the mushroom caps on a baking sheet for 20 minutes; flipping them over to be sure they are evenly coated in olive oil and vinegar on both sides. Check them frequently and tap them to be sure they donít stick to the pan. Next, roast the tomatoes and garlic, which should also be coated in the olive oil and vinegar mixture and sprinkled with salt and pepper. Cook until tender, approximately another 20 minutes. Once done, remove the mushrooms to a serving dish, rub with the softened garlic and top with basil, tomato and mozzarella slices, in an alternating pattern, for both terrific flavor and perfect presentation! Serves two!
Looking for a main dish that is tender, decadent, saucy and a little different? Hereís a dish that will work perfectly for that special dinner date; itís practically a recipe for romance!
Beef Tenderloin with Chocolate Wine Sauce
(Courtesy of www.recipezaar.com)
Beef tenderloin roast, 2 lbs.
ľ teaspoon salt
ľ teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground
4 teaspoons olive oil
Ĺ cup chopped shallots
1 small carrot, finely chopped
ľ cup celery, finely chopped
1 clove fresh garlic, minced
2 cups dry red wine
2 cups beef broth, low sodium
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 bay leaf
1 sprig fresh thyme
1 tablespoon unsweetened natural cocoa powder
1 teaspoon freshly chopped rosemary
Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees F. In a large skillet, heat half the olive oil over medium-high heat. Season the roast generously with salt and pepper, and then sear it in the skillet for about 10 minutes until browned slightly on all sides. Remove the beef to a roaster pan and cook to your preferred level of doneness, testing with a meat thermometer (140 deg. F for medium-rare, about 30 minutes). Once the roast reaches perfection, cover it and set aside.
To prepare the delicious sauce that will really make your roast something to boast about, heat the remaining two teaspoons of olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat, toss in the celery, shallots and carrots, and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender. Next, add the garlic. After a couple of minutes, pour in the wine and broth. Stir in the tomato paste, then add in the thyme and bay leaf. Bring the sauce to a boil. Reduce to a simmer for approximately 40 minutes, until around one-half cup of sauce remains. Strain the sauce through a fine mesh colander into a small saucepan, add in cocoa powder and rosemary and season with salt and pepper. Slice the roast and serve with the sauce on the side. Simply delicious!
If youíre looking for an easy, pleasing dessert to serve, this quick and simple recipe for Chocolate Covered Strawberries has you covered! (Courtesy of www.allrecipes.com)
16 ounces milk chocolate chips
2 tablespoons shortening
1 lb fresh strawberries, washed with tops
Insert a toothpick into the top of each strawberry. Melt the chocolate chips and shortening in a double boiler over low heat. Be sure to stir occasionally to keep the mixture smooth. Next, dip the strawberries in the melted chocolate holding the toothpick. Cool the dipped berries on a piece of waxed paper, or stick the toothpicks in a piece of Styrofoam to cool them standing up.
Light the dinner candles, set your best tableware, sit down and enjoy your charming meal!