Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Romantic Dinner for Two: Tuna Tartare & Chocolate Fondue

This is what I chose to make for dinner to celebrate Valentine’s Day.   I always prefer to stay in for dinner on Valentine’s Day (and New Year’s Eve) because the restaurants are always packed; and because they are serving so many peoplethat the food and the service usually is disappointing.  

But, please, don’t wait for Valentine’s Day to make a romantic dinner.  

Tuna Tar Tare
1 lb. sashimi grade Ahi tuna cut into cubes (it helps if you put it in the freezer for 30 minutes before trying to cut it).
1 Tablespoon Sesame Oil
½ Tablespoon Chili Oil

1 teaspoon Soy Sauce
1 Tablespoon Garlic (minced)
1 Tablespoon Scallions (sliced thin)
½ Avocado (cubed)
½ Cucumber (diced)
½ of a bunch of Cilantro (chopped)

Combine all of the above ingredients and chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours before serving.

* Feel free to play with the measurements; add more of what you like and less of what you don’t.   
* I usually have enough tartare leftover for lunch the next day.  It is a filling entrée.

I always arrange the tartare in mold of some sort.  I have deep round ones that I normally use, but for this “romantic” occasion, I used heart shaped cookie cutters. 

Garnish plate with wasabi (I buy it premade in a tube in the Asian section of the grocery store) and Sriracha.

Press tightly into mold and let sit for 2-3 minutes in the fridge before pulling off the mold.

Remove mold and sprinkle tartare with toasted and black sesame seeds.

Serve with deep fried won tons (fry square won ton wrappers in peanut or canola oil).

Chocolate Fondue

12 ounces Milk Chocolate
½ cup whipping cream
1 teaspoon vanilla

Combine chocolate, whipping cream and vanilla in a pan over very low heat.  Melt slowly.   Transfer to a small fondue bowl.

Arrange Chocolate Dunkers attractively on a plate.   Spear and dunk into chocolate.   

To dip in the chocolate, I used long-stemmed strawberries (which are easy to find around Valentine’s Day), homemade caramels (I bought them), almonds, blackberries, and pretzels.  

You could also use:
Pound cake
Angle food cake
Unfrosted brownies
Chocolate-chip cookies
Doughnut holes
Dried apricots or cherries

Be creative - so many things taste good dipped in chocolate.

I highly recommend serving this dinner with a Rose Sparkling Wine.   


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