Valentine’s Day is just around the corner and with our busy lifestyles, we hardly have time to plan a romantic dinner for our sweethearts. A fancy romantic dinner does not need to be difficult to prepare. As a matter of fact, the easier it is to prepare, the more romantic we will feel while we are enjoying it! Here is a Valentine’s dinner menu for two that is easy, elegant and delicious.
If you plan on enjoying a bottle of wine with your dinner, a nice Cabernet Sauvignon or Zinfandel will compliment the grilled lamb. Pick up a single red rose from the floral section of your supermarket to set the mood and Bon Appétit!
Valentine’s Day Dinner Menu
Garlic and Rosemary grilled Lamb Chops
Mashed Chipotle Sweet Potatoes
Chocolate Dipped Strawberries
6-8 lamb rib chops or 1 rack of lamb, frenched and cut into single or double chops
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon dried rosemary
2 large cloves garlic
2 medium sweet potatoes
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 of a canned chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, chopped fine
2 teaspoons adobo sauce (from the canned chipotle peppers)
1 bunch fresh asparagus
Sea Salt and Pepper
1 pint fresh strawberries
1 container Baker’s Dipping Chocolate (either dark or milk chocolate)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Wash the potatoes under cold water, dry and then pierce them with the tip of a sharp knife. Place in preheated oven for 45 minutes.
Peel garlic cloves and put in food processor along with rosemary,1 tablespoon kosher salt and a few good grinds of fresh pepper. Process until if forms a paste. (If you don’t have a food processor, grind the rosemary with a mortar and pestle, add garlic that has been put through a garlic press and add salt and pepper. Lightly rub this mixture on the lamb chops and set aside (this can be held, covered, in the refrigerator for four hours.)
Wash the strawberries and dry them well. Cover a baking sheet with wax or parchment paper. Heat the Baker’s Chocolate in your microwave, carefully following the instructions on the container; do not overheat, as the chocolate will burn. When the chocolate is melted, dip each strawberry, covering about 3/4 of the strawberry with chocolate. Lay the dipped strawberries on the wax paper as you dip them. Place the baking sheet in the refrigerator until it is time to serve them.
Wash the bundle of asparagus under cold water. Trim the tough ends (usually about 3 inches). Place the asparagus in a glass baking dish and drizzle with olive oil, squeeze 1/2 the lemon on them and season generously with sea salt and plenty of freshly ground pepper (this can be done well in advance, also). Set aside.
Preheat your grill to high. While the grill is preheating, take your potatoes out of the oven, cut them in half and take them out of their skin. Put the potatoes in a bowl large enough to mash them. Add the butter, 1/2 of a chipotle pepper and the adobo sauce and mash with a potato masher. Cover to keep them warm.
Place your lamb chops on the hot grill on one side and your asparagus spears on the other (crosswise on the grill or use a grill basket to hold them). Grill the lamb for 2 to 3 minutes per side if you have single chops or 4 to 6 minutes per side for double chops. Roll the asparagus on the grill to turn them half way through the lambs cooking.
To plate your Valentine’s Day Dinner, mound the mashed chipotle sweet potatoes in the center of the plate, place 3 or 4 garlic and rosemary grilled lamb chops around the potatoes with the rib ends meeting in the center of the potatoes. Top with a few spears of grilled asparagus, or if you prefer, lay the asparagus to the side.
For dessert, mound the chocolate covered strawberries on a beautiful plate and indulge!
Easy, Elegant and Delicious! Bon Appétit!