Yin and Yang Dinner for Two – Valentine’s Day (Part 3)


Surf and Turf Main (for two)


Steak with Cognac Blue Cheese Sauce inside Crisp Wonton Cups

Two Small Tenderloin Steaks

1 tbs Vegetable Oil

Salt and Pepper

Wonton wrappers (large)

For the Sauce

½ c assorted mushrooms

½ medium onion

2 tbs butter

¼ c crumble blue cheese

1 tbs Green or black peppercorns

½ can of Chicken broth

½ c cognac

½ c whipping cream

To Prepare the Wonton Cup: Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 375°F. Using large muffin tins; press the wonton wrappers down into the tin, laying back the corners to make a defined cup. Bake until lightly browned, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer to a rack and let cool. (can be made ahead)

To Prepare the Sauce: Melt butter in a medium sauté pan, add onion and cook until translucent. Add mushroom, cook until browned (begin to stick to the pan). Deglaze with the stock to the sauté pan (whisking until the crispy bits release from bottom of pan). Allow the liquid to reduce for 2 to 3 minutes over medium-high heat. Add cognac, heavy cream, blue cheese (reserve 1 tbs) and peppercorns to the pan. Increase heat to high and cook, whisking continually, until sauce thickens slightly, just enough to coat the back of a spoon; this will take 5 to 7 minutes.

To Prepare the Steaks, season the beef liberally with salt and pepper. Heat vegetable oil in a 12-inch, heavy bottomed sauté pan over medium heat. Once oil is hot, add steaks and cook until browned on both sides, about 2 minutes per side for medium-rare and 3 minutes per side for medium. Remove steaks from pan and place on a rack set on a sheet pan; place in oven to keep warm.

To Assemble: Remove Steaks from the oven and slice into ¼ inch thick slices. Place the Wonton Shell onto the Plate, fill with steak, top with Cognac Sauce and garnish with remaining blue cheese.


Hoisin-Glazed Sea Bass on top of Caribbean Fruit Salsa in Boston Lettuce Cup

Adaptation from a recipe found on the Pham Fatale Website

1 – 6 oz sea bass, boneless

¼ tsp Wasabi paste

½ tsp Mrs. Dash

1 tsp Olive oil

For the Glaze

½ tbs garlic (minced)

½ tbs giner (minced)

¼ c Hoisin Sauce

1 tsp Liquid Honey

1 tbs Lemon juice

1 tsp White Miso paste

For the Salsa

½ c Fresh Mango (diced)

¼ c Fresh Pineapple (diced)

¼ c Fresh Papaya (diced)

½ Fresh Jalapeno pepper (seeded and finely minced)

2 tbs Red onion (finely diced)

1 and ½ tbs Lime juice

Salt and Pepper

1 tbs Fresh Mint (chopped)

Boston lettuce

To prepare the Glaze: In a bowl, dissolve the miso paste in the lemon juice. Add the garlic, ginger, hoisin sauce and honey. Mix and set aside.

To prepare the Fish: Clean (and skin if required) the sea bass. Pat dry using paper towel. Place the fish in a small dish, season with Mrs Dash and rub with Wasabi paste. Drizzle ½ tsp of olive oil and chill in the refrigerator for 30 mins. Remove and bring back to room temperature before cooking. In a non-stick pan that can be used in the oven, heat remaining olive oil over a medium high heat. When oil is hot, add fish and sear both sides (1 minute per side). Brush the fish with hoisin glaze, cook for 3-4 minutes, flip and baste other side, cook another 2-3 minutes. Immediately transfer to the 375 degree preheated oven, spoon over remaining glaze and roast for 6-8 minutes. To finish, broil for 1-2 minutes.

To prepare the Salsa: Toss together the mango, pineapple, papaya, jalapeno pepper, and red onion in a bowl. Pour in the lime juice and season to taste with salt and pepper. Place in refrigerator for 30 mins to let flavours combine.

To assemble: Spoon salsa into Boston lettuce cup and place fish on top. Garnish with fresh mint leaves.

Israeli Couscous and Lentil Salad with Roasted Red Pepper Gelee (For Two)

Recipe found on the Pham Fatale Website

1 tbs Blood orange syrup

¼ tsp Dijon mustard

1 tsp Horseradish mustard

1 and ½ tbs Zinfandel vinegar, or any other white vinegar

Pinch of Sea salt

1 and ½ tsp sugar

2 tbs olive oil

1 tsp pickled garlic (finely crushed)

2 tbs walnut oil

¼ tsp Pink salt, to taste, or regular salt

2 tsp Fresh Dill (finely chopped)

1/4 cup Israeli couscous (a type of pasta)

1 tbs Lemon Zest

1 tbs Lemon juice

1/4 small Eggplant

½ tsp sea salt, as needed

1 tbs Onion (finely chopped)

2 tbs Walnuts (roasted, crushed)

½ Red bell pepper (roasted, skinned, seeded, sliced)

½ Orange bell pepper (roasted, skinned, sliced)

Tabasco sauce, to taste

1 clove garlic (finely crushed)

¼ tsp agar powder, or gelatine

3 tbs boiling water

¼ c French Green Puy lentils

Salt and Pepper

For the Vinaigrette: In a bowl, dissolve half of the sugar in the Zinfandel vinegar. Add the mustards, blood orange syrup, salt and whisk in half the walnut and half of the olive oil. Add the pickled garlic and season with salt and white pepper. Set aside

For the Israeli Couscous: Cook the Israeli couscous as directed on the package. Cook the pasta for about 8-10 minutes total. Salt the water half way through the cooking process (it will bring out the natural flavor of the pasta and the pasta will be more tender) and keep stirring every now and then so that the pasta does not stick to the bottom. It may take longer than the cooking time that is written on the box. When the pasta is cooked (cooked inside and out but still in shape and firm), drain the pasta (do NOT rinse). Transfer the cooked pasta to a bowl. Add half the lemon juice and all the zest. Season with salt. Let the Israeli couscous cool down to room temperature. Add about 1/3 of the vinaigrette. Mix well. Plastic-wrap the bowl, then chill in the refrigerator until the rest of the preparation is ready.

For the lentils: Wash the lentils. Discard any floating lentils and odd-shaped grains. Soak the lentils overnight. Bring 2 cups of water to a boil. Add the lentils, bring the liquid back to a boil, then immediately lower the heat to a gentle simmer. Cook the lentils for about 20-25 minutes total. Salt the water half way through the cooking process and keep stirring every now and then so that the lentils don’t stick to the bottom. The lentils should be tender but still firm. Drain the lentils, then transfer to an iced bath for about 3 minutes to stop the cooking process. Drain and discard all the liquid. Add the fresh dill and about 1/3 of the vinaigrette. Mix well. Plastic-wrap the bowl, then chill in the refrigerator until the rest of the preparation is ready.

For the Red Pepper Caviar: Preheat your oven to 450°F. Slice the eggplant lengthwise in pieces. Layer a cookie sheet on top of a cooling rack, then place the eggplant slices on top. Sprinkle with salt and let the eggplant sit on the side for about 30 minutes. Pat dry with a kitchen towel. Place the eggplant flesh down on a greased baking sheet. Bake the eggplant for about 15 minutes. The skin should be black and blistered. Remove from the oven, then cover with aluminum foil. Let the eggplant cool down for about 10 minutes. Gather all the pulp of the eggplant. Discard the skin, stem and seeds.

Blend the eggplant pulp, onion, remaining sugar, garlic, Tabasco and the rest of the lemon juice into a food processor until the mixture is smooth. Add the remaining olive oil. Add the sliced roasted red and orange bell pepper (reserve a little for decoration at the end) and the crushed walnut. Pulse about 3-4 times. There should still be chunks of bell peppers visible. Transfer to a bowl. Season with salt and pepper.

In a bowl, dissolve the agar powder into boiling water. Add the agar mixture to the red bell pepper caviar. Mix well. Immediately start to assemble the dish.

To Assemble: Line up 2 salad plates. Place a deep circle cookie cutter on each plate.

Spoon a first layer of lentils. Place another layer of red bell pepper caviar. Then cover with a layer of Israeli couscous. Let the salad set in the refrigerator for about 10 minutes.

When serving, gently remove the circle cutter. Decorate with a few sprigs of fresh dill and slices of roasted red bell pepper on the side when you’re ready to serve.

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