Thursday, February 5, 2009

Valentines Day Eve

This year, Valentines Day is on Saturday. Most husbands, if they know what's good for them, take their wives out to make those reservations and start the entire "Weekend of Love" Friday night with a Super Supper for your Sweetheart!

You can make both the soup and the strawberry mousse in advance and save yourself some time. He'll feel so special after this meal, you may get a new pair of earrings along with your Saturday night out! Enjoy!

Start with Renee's Shrimp Cocktail Soup:

2 bottles of Clamato Juice
1/2 cup ketchup
1 cup Valentina Picante Sauce
1 Tablespoon celery salt
Juice of 4-6 limes (about 1/3 cup)
3-5 Serrano peppers, cut into rings (be careful!)
One medium onion, diced
6 Roma tomatoes, diced
2 medium bunches cilantro, finely chopped
6 avocados cut into small pieces
2 lbs. cooked, deveined, peeled shrimp

In a large bowl, pour all of the Clamato Juice, ketchup and picante sauce; stir well. Add celery salt, lime juice, sliced peppers, onions, tomatoes and cilantro; stir well. Gently stir in avocados and shrimp. Cover and keep in fridge.

Next up? My Crispy Pancetta Chicken with Rice

2 lbs. chicken breasts
1 t. thyme
2 t. rosemary
½ t. salt
1 T. Lemon Pepper
2 cups broth
6 oz. pancetta
1 cup diced onions
1 cup chopped and seeded tomatoes
3 T. cornstarch
Shredded Mozzarella

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Toss chicken breasts in herb mixture of thyme, rosemary, salt and lemon pepper. Pour chicken broth into bottom of pan and insert steamer rack. Place prepared chicken on rack; cover and steam for 20-25 minutes or until cooked through.
While chicken is steaming, chop up pancetta and small dice onions. Sauté pancetta in large skillet until slightly crispy, add onions and continue to sauté until onions are softened and pancetta is very crispy. Remove from heat. Toss in chopped tomato last. Remove chicken from steaming rack and keep warm. Thicken remaining pan broth/juices with cornstarch; strain.
Serving Suggestions:
· Drizzle thickened pan juices over white rice
· Place steamed chicken on prepared rice
· Top with crispy pancetta mixture
· Drizzle again with thickened pan juices
· Sprinkle with shredded Mozzarella

...and for dessert? Strawberry Mousse!

1 (3 oz.) pkg. strawberry gelatin
1 cup boiling water
1 enveloped unflavored gelatin
1 tablespoon cold water
1 (16 oz.) pkg. frozen strawberries, thawed
2 tablespoons sugar
1-1/2 cups vanilla ice cream
1 cup heavy cream
Dissolve strawberry gelatin in boiling water. Dissolve unflavored gelatin in 1 tablespoon cold water. Puree frozen strawberries in blender. Add gelatin mixtures and sugar to the frozen strawberries and blend again. Add ice cream and cream, blending well. Pour into a wet 6 cup ring mold and freeze. To serve, unmold and let defrost for 15 minutes. Fill center with whipped cream if desired.

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