Valentine’s Day food doesn’t have to mean couple’s fondue and chocolate cake (there’s nothing like a cheese-hangover to get you in the mood for lovin’, am I right?).
Skip the busy restaurants this year and have a cozy, romantic date at home. The food will taste better and you won’t have to leave a tip at the end of the night. It’s easier than you think to create a healthy, budget-friendly meal that feels like a splurge (without the hefty price tag). Spend the money you’ll save on a nice bottle of wine or cheeky lingerie, both of which are so much more fun than yelling over the din of a crowded restaurant.
These recipes are simple enough for any beginner (yes, even the risotto!) but they look and taste like they were made by a gourmet chef.
Easy Roasted Portobello Mushroom Risotto
Yield: 2 to 3 servings
For the Roasted Portobello Mushrooms:
Note: this part of the recipe can be made up to three days in advance. Keep covered and refrigerated.
- 3 portobello mushrooms, stalks removed and set aside
- 1 Tbsp. olive oil
- Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper
- 2 to 3 sprigs of fresh thyme
- Small roasting dish
- Small spoon
- Paper towel
- Preheat the oven to 375°F.
- Using a small spoon, remove the dark gills from the mushroom.
- Clean carefully with a damp paper towel, wiping along the top and bottom to remove any remaining grit.
- Place whole mushrooms in a glass baking dish and drizzle with olive oil and a generous amount of kosher salt and freshly cracked pepper. Arrange the sprigs of thyme on top of the mushrooms.
- Roast the mushrooms for 20 minutes before flipping them over and roasting for another 15 minutes.
- Remove the mushrooms from the oven and allow them to remain in the baking dish with any cooking liquid until you’re ready to use them in the risotto.
- If using later on, transfer the mushrooms and their liquid to a lidded container and refrigerate for up to three days.
For the Risotto:
- 2 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1 Tbsp. butter
- 2 shallots, finely diced
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 tsp. salt
- Stalks from the portobello mushrooms, thinly sliced
- 1 cup of white vermouth
- 1 heaping cup Arborio rice
- 4 to 5 cups mushroom stock OR vegetable stock
- 3 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves removed from the woody stems
- 1 cup grated parmesan OR Grana Padano + more for sprinkling on top of the risotto
- 3 roasted portobello mushrooms, thinly sliced lengthwise and warmed
- Kosher salt and freshly cracked pepper to taste
- Fresh parsley, finely chopped
- Large shallow saucepan
- Chef’s knife
- Cutting board
- Measuring spoons and cups
- Soup ladle
- Cheese grater
- Wooden spoon
- Medium-sized saucepan
- Warm stock in a medium-sized saucepan until simmering, turn the heat down but keep the stock hot.
- Melt the butter and olive oil together in a large shallow saucepan over medium heat.
- Stir in the shallots, garlic, and salt. Sauté until translucent, stirring often.
- Add the Arborio rice to the pan and stir to coat with the butter, oil, shallot, and garlic mixture. Cook the rice for 2 to 3 minutes before adding the vermouth.
- Turn the heat down to medium-low. Stir the rice and vermouth gently but constantly, until the rice begins to absorb the vermouth.
- Once the rice has absorbed most of the vermouth you can begin to add the warm stock, one ladle-full at a time. The goal is to stir each ladle-full of stock into the rice until it has been incorporated, then add another ladle-full.
- Taste frequently; the rice should be al dente (tender but firm) when it’s done cooking.
- As the last bit of stock is used, stir in the thyme leaves, grated cheese, kosher salt, and freshly cracked black pepper to taste.
- Portion the hot risotto into shallow bowls. Top with thinly sliced portobello mushrooms, extra grated cheese, and fresh parsley before serving.
Raspberry and Cherry Frozen Greek Yogurt
Yield: 4 Servings
- 2 cups frozen raspberries
- 1 cup frozen cherries
- 1 ½ cups vanilla Greek yogurt
- ¼ cup honey
- Pinch of salt
- Dark chocolate bar, cold (keep in fridge or freezer)
- Measuring cups
- Food processor
- Plastic or glass lidded container
- Ice cream scoop
- Vegetable peeler
- Place the frozen raspberries, cherries, and vanilla Greek yogurt in the food processor. Pulse for a few seconds, on and off, scraping down the sides with a spatula until the mixture begins to come together.
- Add the honey and pinch of salt and blitz until completely combined and smooth.
- Transfer to a lidded container and freeze for at least 3 hours before serving.
- Scoop into small serving bowls before adding dark chocolate shavings.
- To make dark chocolate shavings, carefully use a vegetable peeler on the thin edge of the chocolate bar. To prevent the shavings from melting, shave the chocolate right onto the frozen yogurt and enjoy!