Tuesday, February 8, 2011

V.D. & What You Need to Know! 1 - The Gay Gourmet!™

So you want to impress your wife, partner, boyfriend/girlfriend, dog or whomever on Valentine's Day? Well, you're in luck!! Last year when I had a beau of my own for a short while I made him what I call my Menu of Hearts! 5 Courses, all heart themed, for this miserable hallmark holiday we call Valentine's Day!

First a little Gourmet History Lesson...

Saint Valentine's Day, commonly shortened to Valentine's Day, is an annual commemoration held on February 14 celebrating love and affection between intimate companions. The day is named after one or more early Christian martyrs named Valentine and was established by Pope Gelasius I in 500 AD. It was deleted from the Roman calendar of saints in 1969 by Pope Paul VI, but its religious observance is still permitted. It is traditionally a day on which lovers express their love for each other by presenting flowers, offering confectionery, and sending greeting cards (known as "valentines"). The day first became associated with romantic love in the circle of Geoffrey Chaucer in the High Middle Ages, when the tradition of courtly love flourished.
Thank You Wikipedia

Now that that interesting little tid bit is out of the way for the next 5 days or so I'm gonna take you through a recipe a day so that way you can impress you loved ones and make them think you are a culinary genius!

So without further adieu let us begin...

Goat Cheese Heart Tarts with Blackberry Jam over Mixed Greens!

The List

*medium sized heart shaped cookie cutter - mine is almost the size of my palm
*About 4oz or so of Soft Goat Cheese - Coach Farms is one of my fav's
*puff pastry dough - found in your local freezer section
*blackberry jam
*mixed greens - a good handful.. about 2 cups.
*1 lemon
*olive oil
*salt & pepper

1. defrost pastry dough & preheat oven to temperature as directed on the box.

2. on a very lightly floured cutting board (making sure cheese is cold) take goat
cheese and loosely press it into the cookie cutter till cutter is about half full
or desired thickness (some people, like me, love good hunk of goat cheese)

3. Unroll 1 section of pastry dough and lay goat cheese heart on top.

4. cut dough in a heart shape around heart leaving about 1/2in of dough space so that you can lift and cover the outer section of the goat cheese heart. put excess dough to the side.

5. now you should have a goat cheese heart sitting on top of a larger pastry dough heart. Pull and cover outer section of the goat cheese heart with the dough.

6. Repeat steps 1 -5 to create a second one of these as I am assuming you are cooking for two...It is valentines day after all!

7. Stick both heart tarts in the oven on a cookie sheet and cook till puff pastry is puffy and golden! There should be a time estimation on the pastry dough box.

8. While hearts are baking... juice lemon and combine with 2 tbs of olive oil. Salt & pepper to taste.

9. Rinse mixed greens and dry either using a salad spinner or set on paper towels.

10. In an bowl toss the mixed greens & dressing.

11. Once Heart Tarts are done pull them out of the oven and let cool for about 5 mins. Once cool..take a tsp of blackberry jam and create a smaller jam heart inside exposed part of the heart tart!

Set on a plate along side a serving of salad and you have an impressive but super easy appetizer to impress your beau!

Yum Yum!

I even took a small heart shaped cookie cutter and baked a couple little puff pastry hearts for extra garnish! So Cute!

Deliciously Loving,

Michael Muñoz
The Gay Gourmet™

©2011 Michael Muñoz

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