As a BIG fan of The Barefoot Contessa (aka Ina Garten), I was delighted to come across her Valentine's Day men that's packed with flavor, yet also reasonably healthy. Her recipe for succulent Mustard-Roasted Fish is accompanied by Roasted Vegetables and followed by an impressive Coeur à la Crème with Raspberries for dessert.
Sound too difficult? I'm happy to say, it's surprisingly not!
Each one of these recipes highlights the freshest of ingredients and takes only a minimum of time and effort to prepare. For the Mustard Roasted Fish, snap up the freshest red snapper filets you can possibly find from your local fishmonger (these are from Captain Clay's Seafood Market here in Delray Beach). The rest of the preparation simply involves mixing the rest of the ingredients together which include crème fraîche, Dijon mustard, whole-grain mustard, capers and shallots and then liberally spreading the mixture over the fish.
The prepared fish is then baked in the oven for 10-15 minutes at 425 degrees and as it bakes, it creates its own heavenly sauce. Once it emerges from the oven, it is creamy, golden and gorgeous!
This fish is best served with a simple side such as tender, oven-roasted vegetables. Simply toss a combination of your favorite veggies such as fennel, fingerling potatoes, haricorts verts (French string beans) and asparagus together in olive oil and season liberally with Kosher salt and pepper. Scatter on a rimmed baking sheet and roast to your desired consistency.
As always, be sure to purchase the freshest ingredients you can find since they are the stars of the show! You may want to start by cooking the firmer veggies (potatoes and fennel) first and then adding the more delicate string beans and asparagus towards the end. They only need about 10-15 minutes of roasting, any longer and they may burn or get too mushy.
And if this menu doesn’t sound delicious enough, how about adding a stunning dessert to cap off the evening: Coeur à la Crème with Raspberries. "Coeur à la Crème" is French for "heart of cream" and is made using a specially formed, heart-shaped mold easily found at specialty cookware stores like Sur la Table.
This dessert can also be made a day ahead of time which frees you up for all your Valentine's Day gift shopping. The "coeur" is made from a mixture of cream cheese, heavy cream, confectioners' sugar, vanilla extract, vanilla bean and lemon zest which is combined and left to sit in the mold overnight in the refrigerator, wrapped in cheesecloth.
When ready to serve, simply unmold the crème onto a plate, spoon the raspberry sauce around the base and garnish with fresh raspberries. The rich, delicious vanilla and lemon-infused cream is decadent, yet has a lightness about it, and the tart flavor of the raspberry puree is the perfect accompaniment - ooh la la - let the compliments begin!
To pair with this delicious Valentine's feast, I recommend a zippy, racy white wine such as the Loveblock Sauvignon Blanc, New Zealand ($20), Michel Redde Sancerre Les Tuilieres ($28) or, of course, a bottle of decadent Champagne or other sparkling wine from the region of your choice. To see the Wine Atelier's entire selection of Valentine's Day wine recommendations, please click here. Also, for any of The Barefoot Contessa's recipes featured in this post, please clickhere.Cheers to a very Happy Valentine's Day,