With Valentine’s Day falling on a Monday this year, many couples may be interested in having a simple, romantic dinner at home. Few things show love as much as a home cooked meal, and BILL.F has the tools to make it easy.
Appetizer - Charcuterie Board
By now, you probably know your Valentine’s favorite meats and cheeses. Use that knowledge to create a stunning display on one of BILL.F’s Acacia Wood Cheese Board and Knife Set, which also doubles as a sweet gift!
Below are some tips from Elias Cairo, salumist and founder of Olympia Provisions, on how to make the perfect board:
- Factor an amount of meat per person - As a general rule, serve two ounces of charcuterie per person is good.
- Variety is pleasing to the eye and the palate - For example, instead of putting three hard salamis on the board, use some hard salamis like chorizo or sopressata, some thinly sliced meats like jamón or prosciutto, and softer paste like a pâté, mousse, or rillette.
- Cheese is necessary - Nothing goes better with cured meats than cheese. Cairo recommends two or three cheeses per board, in a variety of textures. “Make sure to get something hard alongside something creamy.”
- Add the extras - Cairo suggests accenting the board with acidic pickles, crunchy nuts, whole grain mustard, tinned fish, and something sweet like quince jam or a drizzle of honey.
- Finishing touches make all the difference - Just before serving the board, drizzle the hard and soft meats with good olive oil, then sprinkle the pâté, rillettes, and mousse with flaky sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.
- Don't forget the wine - Nothing pairs better with an epic charcuterie board than wine.
Main Dish - Garlic Butter Steak
Impress your Valentine with this hearty and delicious steak from Taste of Home, that they won’t believe you made at home. A piping hot cast iron skillet is your best friend in this situation, and adds a beautiful char to the meat. And of course, your BILL.F’s 18-Piece Knife Set and Rubberwood Salt & Pepper Mill Set is the perfect tool for preparing the ingredients and cutting the steak perfectly, so you don’t lose any juices or flavor.
2 tablespoons butter, softened, divided.
1 teaspoon minced fresh parsley.
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic.
1/4 teaspoon reduced-sodium soy sauce.
1 beef flat iron steak or boneless top sirloin steak (3/4 pound), brought to room temperature.
1/8 teaspoon salt.
1/8 teaspoon pepper.
- Mix 1 tablespoon butter with parsley, garlic and soy sauce.
- Sprinkle steak with salt and pepper. In a large skillet, heat remaining butter over medium heat.
- Add steak; cook until meat reaches desired doneness (for medium-rare, a thermometer should read 135°; medium, 140°; medium-well, 145°), 4-7 minutes per side.
- Let the steak rest!
- Serve with garlic butter and maldon salt to finish.
Dessert - Flourless Chocolate Cake
Few things are more decadent than a flourless, rich chocolate cake. This simple recipe from King Arthur (https://www.kingarthurbaking.com/recipes/flourless-chocolate-cake-recipe) can be served on your BILL.F’s 2-Tier Cake Stand and makes an impression that you won’t soon forget.
1 cup (170g) semisweet chocolate chips or bittersweet chocolate chips.
8 tablespoons (113g) unsalted butter, room temperature.
3/4 cup (149g) granulated sugar.
1/4 teaspoon salt.
1 to 2 teaspoons espresso powder, optional.
1 teaspoon vanilla extract, optional.
3 large eggs.
1/2 cup (43g) Dutch-process cocoa.
1 cup (170g) semisweet chocolate chips or bittersweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup (113g) heavy cream
- Preheat the oven to 375°F. Lightly grease a metal 8" round cake pan; cut a piece of parchment to fit, grease it, and lay it in the bottom of the pan. See "tips," below.
- To make the cake: Put the chocolate and butter in a microwave-safe bowl, and heat until the butter is melted and the chips are soft. Stir until the chips melt, reheating briefly if necessary. You can also do this over a burner set at very low heat. Transfer the melted chocolate/butter to a mixing bowl.
- Stir in the sugar, salt, espresso powder, and vanilla. Espresso enhances chocolate's flavor much as vanilla does; using 1 teaspoon will simply enhance the flavor, while 2 teaspoons will lend a hint of mocha to the cake.
- Add the eggs, beating briefly until smooth. Add the cocoa powder, and mix just to combine.
- Spoon the batter into the prepared pan.
- Bake the cake for 25 minutes; the top will have formed a thin crust, and it should register at least 200°F on an instant-read thermometer inserted into its center.
- Remove it from the oven, and cool it in the pan for 5 minutes.
- Loosen the edges of the pan with a table knife or nylon spreader, and turn it out onto a serving plate. The top will now be on the bottom; that's fine. Also, the edges will crumble a bit, which is also fine. Allow the cake to cool completely before glazing.
- To make the glaze: Place the chocolate in a heatproof bowl. Heat the cream until it's not quite at a simmer, but showing fine bubbles around the edge. Pour the cream over the chocolate, stir very briefly to combine, and let rest for 5 minutes. Stir again — at first slowly, then more vigorously — until the chocolate is completely melted and the glaze is smooth. If any bits of chocolate remain, reheat briefly in the microwave or over a burner, then stir until smooth.
- Spoon the glaze over the cake, spreading it to drip over the sides a bit. Allow the glaze to set for several hours before serving the cake.