Chat Leftovers: Gearing Up for Valentine's Day
It's still a week away, but some What's Cooking lovebirds are already putting together their Valentine's Day menus. Below, a few unanswered questions from yesterday's chat, with next week's lovefest in mind. In the coming days, I promise more ideas for romance from the stove.
Dupont Circle, Washington, D.C.: I'm thinking of doing a comforting mac and cheese at home for Valentine's Day next week. Any ideas what to pair with that? I'm assuming a salad, but what about a protein? I know people often put meat in mac and cheese but I also feel like it ends up being too much. Also, any ideas for dessert? With such a heavy entree it's hard coming up with suitable accompanying courses.
Just a few weeks ago, I whipped up a batch of mac and cheese for a buffet-style dinner party, and paired it with stewed tomatoes (recipe guidelines below the mac and cheese details in above link) and a pot of slow-cooked greens (with or without meat, up to you) prepared by my girl Karla. It was a terrific trio, playing nicely together, the fatty cheese sauce getting an acidic spritz from the tomatoes, their juices running into one another and elevating the flavor of the greens. A triangle of flavor love, if you ask me. By the way, you're getting plenty of protein from the cheese (and the greens), but if this combo feels inadequate, what about a pot of Hoppin' John? You can do a quickie batch with a bag of frozen black-eye peas.
With such a comforting lineup, it seems appropriate to keep the theme going with dessert. For a fruity ending, I'd try a cobbler or a crisp, using apples or pears, and if chocolate is more up your alley, say "I love you, snookums" with a tray of brownies.
If your sweetie doesn't swoon after this luscious meal, you might need to re-evaluate the relationship. But we'll leave those tender matters to Miz Hax.
Vday truffles: Recipes? Tips? Suggestions?
I've got a recipe and video how-to, so knock yourself out. One of the tricks I've learned along the way is having an ample amount of cornstarch handy and keeping your hands dusted with the stuff while rolling; the cornstarch is like a culinary talc, keeping things cool between your hands and those choc-balls.
The recipe yields a few dozen, which translates into A LOT of truffles, so unless you've got plenty of eager recipients, you might want to consider a batch of chocolate bark, which yields a smaller number of goods. Either way, you'll be in chocolate-y bliss. I love both equally.
By Kim ODonnel |
February 6, 2008; 9:40 AM ET
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