Cheating aside on Valentine's Day Cooking

As in many other 'special days', we are staying home today. It's been a while since we went out on Feb 14. The reason? Too many people, lots of traffic and the air smells of gross commercialization. It can be annoying.

Is this the result of aging? Not really. But isn't it that Valentines Day is really a Hallmark Card invention? I am not a cynic. Promise. :-)

Because I am hypertensive, most dishes I cook are for the rest of my family. If I master enough gall to cheat myself, I eat unabashedly. Sigh.

Cheating aside, this is what I imagine we'll have on the dinner table tonight:

Red Wine - Chateau Cheval Blanc 2003 Saint-Emilion Bordeaux Red Blends Wine
crab cakes as appetizer
onion soup
green salad with french dressing
fillet mignon

fresh mangoes as dessert

Savor my own concoctions

Crab Cake Appetizer
3 tablespoons chopped parsley
1/2 teaspoon dijon mustard
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
2 large eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1 pound cooked crab meat
1/2 cup fresh bread crumbs, more as needed
Salt and pepper to taste
1 cup breadcrumbs for dredging
Vegetable oil for frying

Mix parsley, mustard, Worcestershire, and eggs. Add the crab meat and crumbs. Season with salt and pepper and gently mix. Divide the mixture into appropriate portions, flattening into patties. Coat patties with the rest of the crumbs.. Allow to cool in the refrigerator for an hour before frying. Heat oil in medium heat. Fry the crab patties until golden brown. Drain on paper towels. Serve immediately with Hot Sauce , as dip.

The wine is "good full, deep red. Sexy aromas of mocha, tobacco and milk chocolate, with a suggestion of roasted nuts. Suave, fine-grained and sappy, with lovely vinosity in the context of this heatwave vintage oak. Subtle and complex. Full-bodied, with wonderfully sweet fruit character and ultrarefined tannins. Goes on and on. Gorgeous and seductive". From a wine review.

Fresh Salad Greens
Assorted lettuce leaves, red, green, curled leaf
(Avoid bruising the greens)

French Dressing
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
1 1/4 cups extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon dry mustard
dash of cayenne

Whisk together all ingredients in a mixing bowl. Makes about 2 cups of French dressing.

Fillet Mignon
1 inch thick fillet mignon cuts trimmed off fat
freshly sliced mushrooms
clarified butter
1 cup dry red wine
grated garlic for rub and for the sauce
salt and freshly milled pepper
Worcestershire sauce
1 cup beef stock
pan drippings

On each side, rub fillet with salt, pepper, paprika, and grated garlic. Then rub with olive oil. Heat the oil in a pan over high heat until almost to the smoke point. Sear the steak quickly until brown. But do not over sear. (The inside of the steak should remain pink when sliced). Remove the meat from the pan and discard excess fat. But allow right amount of drippings to remain. Heat the clarified butter in the saute pan and saute the garlic, including the mushroom. Deglaze the pan with the red wine. Add the stock. Wait to boil and reduce volume by half or until desired consistency is achieved. Season with Worcestershire sauce. Plate the fillets and then pour mushroom sauce. Serve immediately.

I am already full just writing this menu.

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