Savory Scenes: Valentine's Day Cooking

 

Hey, collegiettes! As you’re all aware, today is Valentine’s Day (or Single’s Awareness Day if you’d prefer). So, in the spirit of the day of love (or not), I have two film recommendations this week.

First up is the classic romantic comedy When Harry Met Sally, which follows two people who are serendipitously brought together again after a rocky roadtrip together to New York City post-grad. Whilst tackling some of the age-old questions about men and women in relationships (with several interjecting ‘how we met’ stories from adorable old couples), the two manage to realize that though they drive each other a bit crazy, they’re the cat’s meow.

If you’re not quite in the mood for romcom, then I recommend seeing Warm Bodies. Though I have yet to see it, I know it has gotten decent reviews from critics and the public has really taken to it. Based off the novel by Isaac Marion, it’s the perfect blend of scary (who doesn’t like zombies these days?), humor, and romance. It’s a comfort to know that R, at least in part, likes Julie for her brain.

The recipes I paired with these movies are classic enough to go with When Harry Met Sally, yet messy and juicy enough to go with Warm Bodies — although it may be best to not think about that while you’re eating it! Whether you’re trying to charm your beau or impress your gal-pals, this week’s recipes are seductive but simple. Pair with a simple side salad and a red wine (I recently came across a unique red velvet flavored wine by Cupcake) for a perfectly complete meal.

Tomato Fettuccine

Ingredients: 
1 small onion, chopped 
1 clove garlic, minced 
1 tbsp. olive oil 
3 tbsp. butter 
1 lb fresh mushrooms, sliced 
1/3 cup dry white wine (you can use cooking wine as well) 
¼ cup finely chopped prosciutto or fully cooked ham (preferably a non-sweet ham, ¼ lb) 
2 cups canned diced tomatoes 
¼ tsp. ground nutmeg 
½ box of spinach or plain fettuccine, cooked 
Parmesan cheese

Directions: 
1. In large skillet cook onion and garlic in hot oil and 2 tablespoons of the butter over medium-low; heat till tender.  Add mushrooms and cook (uncovered) for 10 minutes or till tender, stirring often.  Stir in wine and prosciutto/ham.  Simmer for 10 minutes or till liquid is evaporated, stirring occasionally.  Add tomatoes and nutmeg; simmer for 15 minutes more, stirring occasionally.

2. Toss cooked pasta with remaining butter and a sprinkle of parmesan cheese.  Transfer to a platter.  Ladle tomato sauce over pasta.  Sprinkle with remaining cheese.

Notes:

  • The original recipe called for 1 pound of fresh tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped. If you choose to use fresh tomatoes, plunge tomato in boiling water for 1 minute, then into cold water, and it will peel easily.

Succulent Chocolate-Covered Strawberries

Ingredients: 
1 pkg. fresh strawberries, rinsed 
1 bag chocolate chips 
8 oz. heavy whipping cream

Directions: 
1. Boil water in medium sauce pan and place heat-safe bowl on top. Reduce to medium heat and pour chocolate chips into bowl to melt, stirring constantly. Once melted, gradually add in whipping cream and whisk until smooth. Remove from heat.

2. Dip strawberries into chocolate and set down to dry and harden. Once done, serve or refrigerate.

Notes:

  • You may not need to use all of the whipping cream. Just enough to ensure that when the chocolate hardens, it won’t crack.
  • You can also choose to melt the chocolate in the microwave, but be sure that it doesn’t burn.

Don’t these look delicious? Happy Valentine's Day!