Hollieats: Food is my favorite Valentine 

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In conjunction with Grace’s article today about recipes for Galentine’s Day, I’ll be sharing some recipes for my ideal Valentine’s Day meal. Both articles are perfect preparation for The Daily Campus Life Section’s special annual Valentine’s Day issue coming out on — you guessed it — Feb. 14. 

As an avid “Parks and Rec” and Leslie Knope fan, as well as a strong supporter of empowering female-identifying individuals, Galentine’s Day has a special place in my heart. Whether you are single or in a relationship, happy about your relationship status or less than content, Galentine’s Day is a great time to put those feelings aside and focus on your female friendships and the wonderful women in your life. However, Valentine’s Day can be just as lovely; I’m a firm believer that Valentine’s Day is not solely about romantic love. If you’re in a relationship with someone and they are your Valentine, congratulations! (Honestly not meant to sound sarcastic.) But even if you aren’t, lavish a bit more love on those who deserve it. Of course, those people deserve love all year-round, but take the holiday to do something a bit special. What screams love more than food? Whether you want to celebrate Valentine’s Day with family, friends or yourself, enjoy yourselves with a special meal. I don’t know if I’ll actually get around to making it, but my dream homemade Valentine’s Day meal would consist of the following components: 

Main Dish: Salmon pasta with creamy garlic sauce (adapted from Salt and Lavender) 

I love creamy pastas as well as seafood, so this dish is a match made in heaven. 

Total Time: 30 minutes 

Cook Time: 20 minutes 

Prep Time: 10 minutes 

Ingredients 

  • Eight ounces of uncooked pasta 
  • My pasta of choice: pappardelle 
  • Half pound of fresh salmon 
  • One-fourth teaspoon of onion powder 
  • One tablespoon of olive oil 
  • One tablespoon of butter 
  • One tablespoon of flour 
  • Three cloves of garlic, minced 
  • One-half cup of dry white wine or chicken broth 
  • Use a wine that you would actually like the taste of! 
  • Three-fourths cup of heavy or whipping cream 
  • Juice from half of a medium lemon (about one tablespoon) 
  • One-half cup of freshly-grated parmesan cheese 
  • One tablespoon of fresh parsley, chopped 

Directions 

  1. Cook your pasta al dente in a pot of boiling, salted water. 
  1. Meanwhile, season the salmon with onion powder and salt and pepper to taste. 
  1. Add the olive oil and butter to a skillet over medium-high heat. Once the mixture is hot, cook the salmon for a couple of minutes on each side. Transfer the salmon to a plate and set aside. 
  1. Reduce the heat to medium. Add the flour to the skillet and cook for about 30 seconds, continuously stirring. 
  1. Whisk in the garlic and wine, letting them bubble for about 20 seconds. Whisk in the cream and lemon juice. Once the sauce is smooth, whisk in the parmesan. 
  1. Add the salmon back to the skillet, and break it up into bite-size pieces. Gently mix them into the sauce. Cook for an additional three to five minutes or until the sauce is thickened and the salmon is cooked through. 
  1. Drain the pasta and add it to the skillet with about one tablespoon of pasta water and the parsley. Gently toss the sauce and pasta. 
  1. Serve immediately with extra parmesan cheese and freshly chopped herbs.

Dessert: Flourless chocolate cake (adapted from Delish) 

Decadent chocolate desserts have a special place in my heart, and they can run the gamut from simple to complicated. Fortunately, this cake seems simple enough while delivering powerful flavor. 

Total Time: One hour, 30 minutes 

Prep Time: 10 minutes 

Ingredients for the cake 

  • Cooking spray 
  • Six ounces of bittersweet chocolate, roughly chopped 
  • One-half cup (one stick) butter, cut into large chunks 
  • One teaspoon of instant espresso powder 
  • One-fourth cup of hot water 
  • One cup of granulated sugar 
  • Four large eggs 
  • Three-fourths cup of unsweetened cocoa powder (Dutch process) 

Ingredients for the ganache 

  • One-half cup heavy cream (if you have some leftover from the first recipe!) 
  • One cup semisweet chocolate chips 

Directions 

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease an eight-inch springform pan with cooking spray. 
  1. Make cake: Place a small saucepan filled halfway with water over medium heat and bring to a simmer. Place bittersweet chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl and set over the simmering pot, ensuring the water does not touch the bottom of the bowl. Stir until chocolate and butter are completely melted. Turn off heat, and remove bowl from saucepan. 
  1. Dissolve espresso powder in hot water. Add sugar and espresso to melted chocolate and whisk until completely combined, then add eggs and whisk to combine. Stir in cocoa powder. 
  1. Pour batter into prepared springform pan and bake until just set in the middle and a thin crust forms — about 35 minutes. 
  1. Let cake cool for 15 minutes, then remove sides of springform pan. Let cake cool completely. 
  1. Meanwhile, make ganache: Place heavy cream in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer. Place chocolate chips in a heatproof bowl, then pour hot cream over chocolate chips. Let sit one minute, then whisk to combine. 
  1. Pour ganache over cake and smooth with a spatula or knife. Cool in refrigerator until set, if desired — about 10 minutes. 
  1. Top with raspberries to serve. 

Pair with: a light, refreshing cocktail, like a Moscow mule, or your preferred white wine (mine would be a riesling) 

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