Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Valentine's Day Menu

Tonight's special Valentine's Day menu at la casa del Velvet Sea:
  • Whole wheat sourdough bread slices topped with olive and parsley tapenade and fresh feta cheese.
  • Italian wedding soup with meatloaf chunks instead of meatballs and homemade spicy whole wheat sourdough croutons.
  • Steak three ways- spicy pepper, red wine, and terriyaki style.
  • Chocolate soy milk rice pudding.
The parsley olive tapenade was awesome and quick to make; I simply blended a handful of olives, some parsley, a clove of garlic, a bit of salt and ground pepper, with a squirt of lemon juice. Went very well with the whole wheat sourdough and feta I had picked up at the farmer's market on Sunday.

For the Italian wedding soup, I used a box of chicken stock, cut up a bunch of baby carrots and red potatoes, and more of the parsley. I substituted leftover meatloaf for meatballs and slowly stirred in a fork whisked egg. Adding in a few dried spices from the rack- celery salt, a dash of black pepper, sea salt, and chopped bay leaves, before letting it simmer on low for several hours. To make the croutons, I tossed the bread chunks in some olive oil and black pepper and baked for 15 minutes. The result was hearty and flavorful.

The steak was pretty good; I just sliced it up into 3 and marinated each one separated, but the soup was so filling that I probably did not need such a heavy main course. And by heavy main course, I am talking literally. I definitely did not need to buy a 3.25 lb sirloin for 2 people. Note to self: next time tell the butcher an actual poundage amount and not "cut it about an inch thick" or you will end up eating steak leftovers for the next three weeks.

The chocolate soy milk rice pudding was a disaster- I think I did not cook the rice long enough to let it soften. I boiled brown rice in chocolate soy milk and then added sugar, salt, vanilla extract, and topped it with cinnamon and nutmeg. Flavorwise it was good but texturewise it need to be much much softer. I think I can still save it by adding more soy milk and microwaving it a bit.

Overall, despite a few small wrong turns, it was a successful meal and much better than sitting in some overcrowded restaurant.