Food Ideas for a Romantic Valentine’s Day Party

Rose Topiary Centerpiece
Rose Topiary Centerpiece

For most romantic dinner parties, the cocktails take center stage, but what you serve for dinner can either make or break the party! Decide ahead of time how fancy you want to go when it comes to the main dish. There is absolutely nothing wrong with hiring a caterer to bring in the meal and this will free you up to truly enjoy your guests and the evening. If you do wish to spend some time in the kitchen, we have provided you with a wonderful menu that will impress your guests with your culinary abilities! Don’t forget to dress up your tables with beautiful accents such as a Pink Rose Bouquet Centerpiece.

Appetizer

Shrimp Cocktail
Fill a large ring mold with water and freeze overnight. Turn the mold over and invert the ice ring onto a platter and return to freezer. When ready to serve, put cocktail sauce in the center of the mold and place shrimp over the edges of the ice ring.

Soup

Vichyssoise
2 small onions
2 C. water
½ t. salt
2 ½ C. instant mashed potatoes
2 T. chicken bouillon
4 C. whole milk
2 C. cream Chopped chives

Combine onion, bouillon, water, and salt in large kettle. Heat to boiling. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from heat. Add milk and potatoes. Whip until fluffy. Gradually stir in remaining milk, heat just to boiling point, and remove from heat. Cover and chill in refrigerator. Just before serving, stir in cold cream, beating vigorously with a fork until blended. Serve topped with chopped chives. Makes 12 servings.

Main Course

Filet of Beef
6 lbs. beef tenderloin
1 lb. bacon
Place bacon strips on top of beef and roast at 325 for approximately 2 ½ hours. Cut into thick slices to serve. For mushroom sauce, add one pound of fresh, sliced sautéed mushrooms to one large bottle of mushroom sauce. Heat thoroughly in a pot, and pour over beef slices before serving. Makes 12 servings.

Buttered Red Potatoes
12 small red potatoes, peeled
½ C. melted butter
Chopped parsley

Boil potatoes until tender. Serve covered with butter and parsley.

Asparagus Tips With Hollandaise Sauce
This is a very elegant dish that requires little work!
3 lbs. frozen asparagus tips
2 bottles of hollandaise sauce
Cook asparagus according to directions on package. Pour Hollandaise sauce over asparagus as it is served onto guests’ plates!

Dessert

Chocolate Symphony
2 T. cocoa
1/8 t. salt
1 C. whole almonds
1 pkg. (6 oz) semisweet chocolate chips
2 ½ sticks unsalted butter
1 ½ C. sugar
3 eggs
1 C. flour
2 pints chocolate sorbet
12 truffles

Chocolate sauce
Heat oven to 350. Heat ½ C. water to simmering. Stir in cocoa and salt, let cool. Grease 10″ springform pan. Grind almonds and chocolate separately in a food processor; set aside. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in almonds and chocolate. Beat in flour. Add cocoa mixture; stir well. Pour into prepared pan; bake 35-45 minutes, until inserted wooden toothpick comes out clean. Cool in pan on rack 1 hour. Remove cake from pan; cool on rack 1 hour more. With 2 ½” cookie cutter, cut 12 circles from cake. Place each on a dessert plate; top with a small scoop of sorbet and a truffle, and drizzle with chocolate sauce.

Dessert Cheeses
Once the dessert has been served, bring out a tray of dessert cheeses, such as French brie, American Liederkranz, Gouda, and Gruy’ere. If you served wine during the meal, return to champagne at this point.
Please note that if alcohol is not something that you wish to serve at your party, there are several non-alcoholic sparkling ciders and grape juices that can be substituted instead!

It is always fun however, to add a bit of festive spirit into the food that you serve and it is the small touches that make the biggest impact. Here are just a couple of suggestions to make your food look even love-lier!

• Use pink and red food coloring in as much food as you can! This works especially great in a variety of desserts like cake or mousse!
• Cut sandwiches into hearts and X’s and O’s (you can find unique baking items at www.williams-sonoma.com).
• Go to a gourmet cooking supply store and look for edible hearts and cupids to adorn your favorite foods!
• Serve red or pink punch in our Clear Plastic Ware with a silk ribbon tied around the base.

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