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Video: Romantic recipes for two

TODAY
updated 2/14/2008 11:21:03 AM ET 2008-02-14T16:21:03

Recipe: Pear and prosciutto salad with port glaze and herbed walnuts

Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 sprig rosemary
  • 3 to 4 sprigs thyme
  • 1/2 cup walnut halves
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 Bartlett pears, cored and cut lengthwise into 1/2-inch wedges
  • 4 ounces prosciutto, thinly sliced (12 to 15 slices)
  • 8 ounces Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, roughly chopped
  • For the port glaze
  • 1/3 cup tawny port wine
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons sugar
Preparation

1. Preheat the oven to 300° F. Melt the butter in a small sauté pan over low heat and add 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, the rosemary, and thyme. Cook for 5 minutes, so the flavors blend.

2. In a small mixing bowl, combine the herbs, walnuts, and salt. Mix to coat the nuts well.

3. Place the walnuts in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow the walnuts to cool to room temperature.

4. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat until it begins to smoke. Add the prosciutto slices and cook for 4 to 5 minutes, turning them over frequently, until they are stiff and slightly crisp. Remove the prosciutto from the pan and drain on a paper towel.

5. To make the glaze, in a small saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the port wine, balsamic vinegar, and 2 tablespoons of the sugar and cook until the mixture reduces by half and turns syrupy, 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the remaining 2 teaspoons of sugar. Allow the glaze to cool to room temperature.

6. To assemble the dish, divide the pear slices among four plates, spacing them about 1 inch apart. Lay the prosciutto slices between the pears. Drizzle about 1 teaspoon of port glaze over each serving, and place a small mound of walnuts and Parmigiano-Reggiano on the side of each plate.

Serving Size

Four servings

Recipe: Hen-of- the-woods mushroom ravioli

Ingredients
  • Filling and topping
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh shallots
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh garlic
  • 1 pound hen-of-the-woods mushrooms, roughly chopped, thick stems removed
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened butter
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons fresh chopped parsley
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 7 ounces robiolla cheese (it comes in 3 1/2-ounce cubes)
  • 9 ounces ricotta cheese
  • For the ravioli
  • 1 pack of 3 1/2 x 3 1/2 inch square sheets of wonton skins or wrappers (it’s typically 100 in a pack for about two dollars)
  • Flour for dusting, about 1/2 cup
  • 1 egg, slightly beaten
  • Remaining half of diced mushrooms
  • For the sauce
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon diced shallots
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1 tablespoon diced garlic
  • 1/2 cup vegetable stock
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • Salt and black pepper to taste, plus 1 tablespoon salt
Preparation

For the topping:
Heat the oil in a small saute pan over medium heat until just smoking. Add the shallots and garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the mushrooms, butter, thyme, parsley, salt and pepper and saute until the mushrooms are soft, 4-5 minutes. Remove half of the mushrooms for the topping and reserve the other half for the filling.

For the filling:
1.Dice half the mushrooms into small pieces.

2. Place the diced mushroom into a mixing bowl and fold in the robiolla cheese and ricotta cheese.  

For the ravioli:
1. Lay wonton skins on a floured work surface (two wonton skins will make one ravioli). Brush a 1-inch border of the egg around the edges of the wontons. 

2. Place 1 tablespoon of the mushroom mixture in the center of each wonton square. Place a second wonton square over the mixture (like a sandwich) and pinch the squares together around the edges until they stick together. Dust the ravioli with a little flour. 

3. Using a two-inch round cookie cutter, cut round forms out of the square ravioli. Recheck the edges to ensure there are no openings. Refrigerate for up to 2 days or cook right away.

For the sauce
Heat the oil in a medium-size sauté pan over medium heat until it begins to smoke. Add the shallots and garlic and cook for 2 minutes. Add the white wine and cook for another minute.  Add the remaining ingredients, except the tablespoon of salt, and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer until the sauce thickens, about 4 minutes. Keep the sauce on a very low simmer while cooking the ravioli.

2. Fill a 4-5 gallon pot with water (about ¾ full). Add  the tablespoon of salt and bring to a boil. Boil the ravioli for about 1-2 minutes. Drain the water and divide onto dinner plates. Spoon sauce and extra mushrooms on top. (We sprinkle a little chopped thyme as well.)

Serving Size

4-5 servings

Recipe: Molten chocolate cake

Ingredients
  • For the crust
  • 1 box graham crackers
  • 1 ounce butter, at room temperature
  • 1 ounce cream cheese
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cocoa powder
  • For the cake
  • 4 ounces milk chocolate
  • 1 ounce dark chocolate
  • 3 ounces butter, plus extra for greasing
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tablespoon cocoa powder
Preparation

For the crust
Place all the ingredients in a food processor and pulse until moist, 30 seconds. Set aside at room temperature.

For the cake
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

2. Place the milk and dark chocolate in a microwave-safe container. Place three ounces of butter on top of the chocolate and heat in the microwave for 1-1 ½ minutes. Remove the container from the microwave, mix well, and heat for an additional 20 seconds. Set aside.

3. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the egg, sugar and cocoa powder. Add the chocolate mixture and mix well.

4. Grease the ramekins with butter. Spoon ¼ cup of the graham cracker crust mixture into each ramekin. Gently pack crust down, allowing it to come up about ½ inch all around. Fill the remaining ¾ of the ramekins with the chocolate mixture. Bake in the oven for 12 minutes. Serve immediately with vanilla gelato or fresh fruit.

Serving Size

4-5 individual servings (with 2” x 4” ramekins)

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