Dining In Tips From Chef Blakely Trettenero the Perfect (and Simple) Gourmet Dinner Guaranteed To Impress (Recipes)

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

It sounds so dreamy, doesn’t it – going out for a romantic dinner on Valentine’s Day? Except it doesn’t always turn out that way. All too often the restaurant is crowded, the servers cranky and the “exclusive” prix fixe menu is limited and expensive.

Not to mention that should you decide to get affectionate – you’re in a public place.

"There are so many advantages to dining in on that special night," says Chef Blakely Trettenero, who writes about her culinary adventures on her blog, Everyday Gourmet with Blakely (www.gourmetwithblakely.com). "It’s more comfortable, less expensive and super exclusive, because you can have whatever you want – from the cocktails to the entrée to dessert.

"And what better way to show you care than to cook a fantastic meal for – or with – that someone special?"
If the idea of pulling together a fancy dinner on a weeknight (Valentine’s Day is on a Tuesday this year), fear not. Trettenero says there are plenty of delicious recipes that will tickle your true love’s taste buds without taking hours to make. (Just in case you want to save your energy for later.)

Here are a few of Trettenero’s favorite romantic dishes:

Vanilla Bean & Bourbon Champagne Cocktail
The best of both worlds: Champagne for the ladies and bourbon for the men!

Vanilla Bean Simple Syrup

1. 1/2 cup sugar
2. 1/2 cup water
3. 1/2 vanilla bean, cut in half

Cocktail

1. 1 tablespoon vanilla bean simple syrup
2. 1 dash bitters
3. Squeeze of lemon juice
4. 1/2 ounce bourbon of choice
5. Champagne

Instructions

1. First, make the simple syrup. In a small pan over medium-high heat add the sugar, water and split vanilla bean. Stir until all the sugar is dissolved and it has come to a slight simmer.
2. Turn it off and set it aside to steep and come to room temperature.
3. When the simple syrup is cooled it's time to make the cocktail. In your champagne glass add the simple syrup, a dash of bitters, a squeeze of lemon juice and the bourbon. Give it a stir to combine.
4. Top it off with cold champagne, add a lemon twist and serve!

Herbed Savory Palmiers 
Perfect for Valentine’s Day – this pastry is heart-shaped!

Ingredients

1. 1 sheet puff pastry, thawed
2. 1/2 cup sundried tomatoes, minced
3. 4 cloves garlic, minced
4. 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, finely chopped
5. 1 tablespoon fresh thyme, finely chopped
6. 1 tablespoon olive oil
7. salt
8. pepper
9. 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
10. 1/2 cup grated Gruyere cheese

Instructions

1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees
2. In a bowl, add the finely chopped sundried tomatoes, minced garlic, chopped rosemary, chopped thyme, salt, pepper and olive oil. Mix until combined and set aside
3. On a lightly floured surface, slightly roll out your thawed puff pastry sheet and transfer to a cutting board
4. To the rolled out puff pastry add the sundried tomato and herb mixture evenly
5. Evenly sprinkle the top with the grated Parmesan and Gruyere cheese
6. Starting on one side, roll the puff pastry tightly, stopping at the middle
7. Roll the other side of the puff pastry tightly until you reach the middle
8. Cut into 1-inch pieces and place on a parchment-lined sheet tray. Put them into the oven and let them bake for 15-17 minutes until golden brown
9. Once they're baked, serve them warm
            

Baked Chicken Thighs with Tomatoes, Artichokes & Capers

Ingredients

1. 2 pounds chicken thighs (about 4 thighs)
2. salt
3. pepper
4. drizzle of olive oil
5. 1 medium onion, diced small
6. 3 cloves garlic, minced
7. 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
8. 1 teaspoon brown sugar
9. 1 28-ounce can peeled plum tomatoes
10. 1 14-ounce can quartered artichoke hearts, drained
11. 2 teaspoons drained capers
12. 2 sprigs fresh rosemary

Instructions

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees, then preheat a heavy-bottomed pan with a drizzle of olive oil over medium-high heat
2. Use paper towel to soak up any extra moisture on the chicken. This prevents the chicken from getting golden brown when you sear it. Season both sides with salt and pepper and put the chicken in the preheated oil, skin side down
3. Cook the chicken until golden brown on one side, then flip to cook on the other side. You're not trying to cook the chicken through, only brown it!
4. Once the chicken is brown on both sides, take it out of the pan and put it on a plate and set it aside
5. If there is a lot of fat in the pan, drain most of it, leaving only about a teaspoon or so in the bottom
6. Add the diced onions with a pinch of salt and pepper to the pan and cook for a few minutes until opaque
7. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute
8. Add the balsamic vinegar to the pan, scraping the bottom to get up any bits at the bottom. Add the brown sugar to the balsamic vinegar, stir to combine, and let it cook until slightly reduced, about 7-8 minutes
9. Add the can of tomatoes into the pan and turn off the heat. Use a knife to roughly cut up the tomatoes in the pan and then add the drained artichokes and capers. Give it a stir to mix everything together
10. Add the chicken thighs back into the pan, nestling them into the tomato mixture. Add the rosemary sprigs to the top and put the pan into the preheated oven uncovered
11. Let it cook for about 25 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through
12. Serve with a simple side and you have a gourmet dinner ready in no time.


Cherry Clafoutis


Ingredients

1. 2 cups pitted cherries, cut in half
2. 2 tablespoons slivered almonds
3. 3 eggs
4. 3/4 granulated sugar
5. 1 tablespoon brown sugar
6. 1/4 teaspoon salt
7. 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
8. 1 cup whole milk
9. 3/4 teaspoon almond extract
10. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
11. Powdered sugar (optional)

Instructions

1. The hardest part of this recipe is removing the pits from the cherries. I don't have a cherry pitter, so I just get the pits out the old-fashioned way. I cut the cherries in half, twist the two halves to expose the pit, and take my knife and cut it out
2. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees 
3. In a 9-inch buttered and floured pie pan, add the fresh cherry halves and slivered almonds
4. In a bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugars, salt, flour, milk, almond extract and vanilla extract until completely smooth. Pour the batter over the cherries and almonds and put in the oven
5. Let the clafoutis cook for 35-45 minutes depending on your oven. 
6. Take the clafoutis out of the oven and let it cool slightly. Dust with powdered sugar and serve.

About Chef Blakely Trettenero

Blakely Trettenero, host of the Everyday Gourmet with Blakely (www.gourmetwithblakely.com) and Hungry for Travels (www.hungryfortravels.com) websites, is a graduate of Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Orlando, Florida. She is a world traveler, having visited more than 30 countries, and is becoming a frequent guest on TV.

Haute Tease

  • Anker Innovations Expands Support For Alexa With EUFY, SOUNDCORE, ROAV

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Anker Innovations, a global leader in charging technology and smart, connected consumer devices, across home, entertainment and car, announced at IFA 2018, a suite of new devices that work with or feature Alexa built-in.

     
  • Beltway Insider: Obama/Biden Assure Foreign Leaders; U.K./Brexit; Putin Gains Support; Facebook Squeezed; Gwen Ifill

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden have spent the week meeting with foreign leaders and in telephone conference assuring allies on the future of international relationships and the hard-fought work of the past eight years will not be for naught.

     
  • Celebrity Interview: Lorenzo di Bonaventura: A Hit Producing Machine

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    SALT, the espionage thriller from Sony Entertainment and Columbia Pictures, starring Angelina Jolie, Liev Schreiber and Chiwetel Ejiofor is savoring a summer of sweet success as it retains its box office flavor.

     
  • Jamesy Boy Director, Trevor White, Talks on the Challenges of Making a Coming of Age Street Film

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Trevor White, director of the coming of age street film “Jamesy Boy,” recently took some time from his busy schedule to promote the upcoming January release and discuss some of the finer points of the filmmaking process.

     
  • Marvel's The Avengers - Action Packed Thrills from Director Joss Whedon

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    The Avengers, a fast action, non-stop thrill ride, recently hosted its global press junket which featured the first full length and only pre-release screening of the highly anticipated summer event film!

     
  • Beltway Insider: Obama Prepares for State of Union; Honors Sandy Hook Teachers; Announces Additional Appointments

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    President Barack Obama, in the first State of the Union address of his new presidency, will speak to the nation, this week, on the issues that are central to the government, well being and prosperity of the United States of America.

     
  • Bridgend Review - Stirring, Resonating, Shocking

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Bridgend presents a shocking true story of the suicide epidemic in South Wales that overwhelmed a village as one by one their youth decided that dying was a better alternative, the soul stirring accounts are gripping in their portrayals.

     
  • Disney Twenty-Three Celebrates 90 Years Of Mickey Mouse

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    2018 is a big year for Mickey Mouse, who celebrates his 90th anniversary this year, and D23: The Official Disney Fan Club is bringing the celebration to the pages of the fall issue of Disney twenty-three.  

  • London's Alteria Arts Hosts Dynamic New Musical Artwork in a Live Event

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Back in 2015 we introduced Alteria Art as part of The Clash legend Mick Jones and his Rock & Roll Public Library launch, and now we’re again working with founders Lauren Jones and Alix Alix Janta-Polczynski to introduce Photismograms.

     
  • Burn Out Review - Gritty, Edgy, A High Octane Thrill Ride

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Burn Out, from 24 25 films and WY Productions presents a powerful contemporary drama set inner city Paris, where the local dealers hold neighborhoods hostage, turf wars are common and dreamers still strive and fight to find a way out.

     
  • HL Business: Pay Equality is Still Elusive as Female CEOs Still Earn Less Than Their Male Counterparts

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    In accepting the Democratic nomination, Hillary Clinton became the first woman to run for president on a major party ticket. She highlighted this breakthrough -- and possibly referenced rapper Lil Wayne -- in her acceptance speech, saying, "when there are no ceilings, the sky's the limit."  

  • All Saints, Sister Sledge, and Phil Rudd (AC/DC) to Headline SpringFest, Scotland's Newest Music Festival

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Edinburgh is set to welcome one of the most exciting music festivals in Scotland for 2017. SpringFest, an indoor festival with four stages, ten zones, and numerous covered spaces, takes place on the bank holiday weekend of 27th and 28th May at the Corn Exchange. 

 

Login Form