One of the more pressure-packed holidays on the calendar, Valentine’s Day demands a standout performance. From flowers and candles to food and drink, everything needs to be spot on for that special someone. Here at Strobel Design Build, we like to make things convenient for you year-round. For those who may need a little extra assistance, we’ve put together an ideal meal for two that you’ll be talking about well after the month of February!
Romeo & Juliet Cocktail
A delicious way to begin your Valentine’s Day evening!
1 1/2 oz. Patron Silver tequila
1/2 oz. Grand Marnier
1/4 oz. cherry or Chambord raspberry liquor
2 oz. chilled peach juice
3 maraschino cherries, garnish
Orange spiral, garnish
Fill a cocktail shaker with ice; add tequila, Grand Marnier, cherry liquor and peach juice. Shake vigorously for 10 seconds and pour into a chilled fluted glass or large martini glass.
Place orange spiral on the lip of the glass so it drapes down the side.
For a fluted glass: drop a cherry into drink.
For a martini glass: skewer three cherries on a swizzle stick and lay across the lip.
Vodka Cream Sauce w/ Penne
The classic pasta dish with leftovers in mind! Use the extra sauce with your next meal for a little extra flavor.
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, once around the pan in a slow stream
1 tablespoon butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 shallots, minced
1 cup vodka
1 cup chicken stock
1 can crushed tomatoes (32 ounces)
Coarse salt and pepper
16 ounces penne pasta
1/2 cup heavy cream
10 leaves fresh basil, shredded or torn
Crusty bread, for passing
Heat a large skillet over moderate heat. Add oil, butter, garlic, and shallots. Gently sauté shallots for 3 to 5 minutes to develop their sweetness. Add vodka to the pan, 3 turns around the pan in a steady stream will equal about 1 cup.
Reduce vodka by half, this will take 2 or 3 minutes. Add chicken stock, tomatoes. Bring sauce to a bubble and reduce heat to simmer. Season with salt and pepper.
While sauce simmers, cook pasta in salted boiling water until cooked to al dente (with a bite to it). While pasta cooks, prepare your salad or other side dishes.
Stir cream into sauce. When sauce returns to a bubble, remove it from heat. Drain pasta. Toss hot pasta with sauce and basil leaves. Pass pasta with crusty bread.
Chocolate Caramel Truffles
There’s a good chance your special someone is in the mood for chocolate at this point in the meal…
1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup heavy cream
3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped (a scant 2/3 cup)
3 tablespoons unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
White, pink, and red sprinkles, for rolling
In a medium saucepan, bring condensed milk, butter, and cream to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring until butter melts. Cook, stirring frequently, until mixture thickens slightly and turns pale golden, 4 to 6 minutes (do not let it get too dark, or mixture will separate).
Remove from heat; let stand 5 minutes. Add chocolate, cocoa powder, and vanilla, stirring until chocolate melts and mixture is smooth and combined. Transfer to a pie dish or a wide, shallow bowl and refrigerate until firm, about 4 hours.
Scoop 1 tablespoon of chocolate mixture into your palm and roll into a ball. Transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet; repeat with remaining mixture. Place sprinkles in bowls (one for each color). Roll truffles in sprinkles until thoroughly coated. Place in paper mini baking cups and serve, or store in refrigerator, covered, up to 1 month.
We hope this helps simplify your Valentine’s Day so you can focus who you’re spending it with and not just what you’re feeding them!