Healthy Date Night Dinner

In Appetizers, Desserts, Entrees, Recipes by Robert Irvine

Here is a three-course meal that looks just as a good as it tastes. Ladies, drop the hint and forward this to men. Men, take it from me, you’ll get the reaction you are hoping for. Tease her taste buds with an Exotic Mushroom and Leek Tartlet. Show her how much you care with Herbed Pork Paillards with Sundried Tomato Butter and Asparagus. WOW her by finishing off with a Chocolate Pot Au Crème.

Exotic Mushroom and Leek Tartlet

Ingredients:

mush_tartFor Tartlet, Filling and Topping
6 – 2.5 inch by 3.5 inch Puff Pastry Sheets
6oz Diced Leeks
6oz Sliced Chantrelle Mushrooms
6oz Diced Porcini Mushrooms
1oz Olive Oil
6 Sprigs of Thyme, stemmed and chopped
3tbsp Pistachios, toasted and chopped
3oz Crumbled Goat Cheese
1 Head Frisse, Chopped
1tsp Espelette (or spicy chili powder)
Salt and Pepper to Taste
Parchment Paper

For Goat Cheese Spread
1 Cup Minced Shallots
1 Cup Heavy Cream
10oz Goat Cheese
1tbsp Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper to Taste

Method:

For Goat Cheese Spread
Heat the olive oil in a pan and add shallots. Sweat shallots until translucent. Add heavy cream and reduce by half. Remove from heat, whisk in goat cheese, and season with salt and pepper. Chill.

For Tartlet

Place the puff pastry sheets on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper. Place another piece of parchment paper on top of the puff pastry sheets. Place another sheet pan on top of the parchment paper to weight down the pastry while it cooks. Place in a pre heated 375 degree oven for 15 to 17 minutes until golden brown. Take out the puff pastry and allow to cool down to room temperature. Make the goat cheese spread and set aside. For the leeks, render them in a saute pan with a little evo oil until tender, season with salt and pepper and set aside to cool. For the mushrooms, render them in a saute pan with a little evo oil until tender and achieve a little color. Add the thyme and season the mushrooms with salt and pepper and set aside to cool.

For assembly of the tartlet, spread the goat cheese spread on top of the cooked puff pastry and top the tartlet with the leeks and mushrooms. Sprinkle the crumbled goat cheese and pistachios on top and warm in a 350 degree oven for 3 to 4 minutes. Toss the frisee, fine chopped herbs, and evo oil in a small mixing bowl and place a small mound of salad in the middle of the tartlet. Sprinkle a dash of espelette (chili powder).

Herbed Pork Paillards with Sundried Tomato Butter and Asparagus

Ingredients:
 
Pork-PaillardFor Butter
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, softened
2 tablespoons drained and finely chopped oil-packed sundried tomatoes
1 teaspoon minced fresh sage
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh parsley leaves
Pinch Cajun spice
Pinch salt

For Pork
1 (2-pound) boneless pork loin
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
Salt and pepper
1/4 cup grapeseed oil
1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme
1 teaspoon minced fresh parsley

For Asparagus
Salt and pepper
1 bunch asparagus
1 teaspoon minced fresh parsley, for garnish

 
Method

For the compound butter: In a bowl, combine the softened butter with the sundried tomatoes, sage, parsley, Cajun spice, and salt. Whisk together until well blended. Transfer the mixture to a piece of parchment paper and roll into a cigar shape about 1 1/2 inches thick. Refrigerate until ready to use.

For the pork: Slice the loin into 3/4-inch thick slices, and then one by one, cover with plastic wrap and pound with a meat mallet until each slice is flat and even (about a 1/4-inch thick).

Season the flour with salt and pepper, and then dredge the pork in the seasoned flour.

Heat the oil in a heavy bottom saucepan over medium-high heat. Season the pork with salt and pepper. Once the oil has heated, add the floured pork to the pan and allow to cook until browned, 1 to 2 minutes. Reduce the heat, flip, add some thyme and parsley, and repeat the process on the second side until finished cooking, 2 to 3 minutes. Once cooked, remove from the pan and keep warm. Repeat the process until all the pork is cooked.

For the asparagus: Bring a pot of water to a boil and add salt. Trim the woody bottoms of the asparagus and peel the stalks. Blanch in the boiling water until bright green, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from the water and season with salt and pepper.

Place asparagus in the center of a serving plate, arrange the pieces of cooked pork on top, and top with a 1/4-inch disk of sundried tomato butter. Garnish with parsley. Store the remaining butter wrapped in plastic in the refrigerator.

CHOCOLATE POT AU CREME

Yields: 6 portion

pot_au_cremeIngredients:
3 1/4 Cups Heavy Cream
3 1/4 Cups Milk
5oz Sugar
11oz Egg Yolk (about 12 eggs)
1lb 70% Dark Chocolate
1lb 40% Milk Chocolate

Method:
In a large pot, heat up milk, cream and sugar. Do not simmer or boil, just hot. Temper egg yolks by whisking in 1 cup of the heated liquid. Slowly pour the tempered egg yolks back into the rest of the heated liquid. Continue to cook stirring constantly for about 4 to 5 minutes until eggs are starting to thicken the liquid. Do not simmer or boil. Pass the liquid through a fine strainer (chinoix). Combine with the chocolates in a large mixing bowl and let sit for 5 minutes to allow the chocolate to melt. Whisk all ingredient well until smooth and pour into molds. Place in a fridge and allow to set for 4 to 6 hours.

Serve with whipped cream, berries, or a sweet wafer.

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