Great Falls, VA (Vocus/PRWEB) January 11, 2011
“Valentine’s Day comes at the best time of year,” says Chef Jacques Haeringer, owner and chef at the legendary L’Auberge Chez François, outside of Washington, D.C. “The darker, shorter days, and colder temperatures cause us to seek warmth, comfort, and light, many of the same elements of love.” Chef Jacques feels we should embrace this mid-winter holiday with small treats to show the special people in our lives how much they mean to us.
“Winter is also a great time to be in kitchen.” Say Jacques. “No matter how cold it gets outside it’s always warm by the stove.”
But, you don’t have to labor over a hot stove, or spend a lot of money to create special treats this Valentine’s Day. Chef Jacques has some fun suggestions that are sure to create romantic sparks:
To add a bit of spice to your Valentine’s Day celebration, Chef Jacques recommends these quick and easy recipes:
Oysters with Horseradish Sauce
Oysters have a reputation for being an aphrodisiac. Casanova, referring to oysters in his memoirs, confessed that to eat “so delicate a morsel must be a sin in itself.” This recipe adds a dash of heat to spice up your night.
10-12 Bluepoint oysters
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 teaspoon grated horseradish
freshly ground pepper
Open the oysters and place the oysters on the half shell in a plate to collect any oyster liquor.
Combine the heavy cream and oyster liquor in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over high flame and continue to boil for 3-4 minutes to reduce volume by half. Whisk in the grated horseradish and bring up to a boil again. Remove from heat and season with salt, pepper, and more horseradish, if desired. Keep warm.
Preheat the broiler.
Place each oyster on the half shell on a special oyster baking dish or on a bed of rock salt to hold them level. Place the oysters under the broiler for about 1 minute or until just warm, being careful not to overcook. Coat each oyster with approximately 1 teaspoon of the warm sauce and serve immediately.
Variation: Use any fresh local oysters such as Belon, Moonstone, Winter Point, etc.
For 6 – 8 servings, double the recipe
The combination of chocolate and love is a double whammy. Chocolate contains caffeine-like substances which excite the system as well as the taste buds. There is nothing like whipped chocolate for dessert!
5 ounces semi-sweet chocolate
1 cup heavy whipping cream
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon rum
Whip the heavy cream in a chilled medium mixing bowl and then refrigerate.
Place the chocolate in a small mixing bowl and set over a pot of boiling water. Heat for 1-2 minutes until the chocolate melts. Whisk thoroughly. Remove from heat and add the vanilla extract and rum, blending well.
Fold the chocolate mixture into the heavy whipping cream with the aid of a rubber spatula.
Pipe or spoon the mousse into ½ cup size or larger stemware or dishes. Top the mousse with a pinch of cocoa powder, if desired.
Recipes can be reprinted with the following credit:
Copyright Chef Jacques Haeringer from Two for Tonight,
Bartleby Press; $26.95; ISBN: 0-910155-43-7
About Chef Jacques Haeringer
Chef Jacques is one of America’s most respected and innovative culinary personalities. Continuing in his father’s footsteps, Jacques loves to create and serve contemporary French fare at his restaurant, L’Auberge Chez François, in Great Falls, Virginia. His menus feature reinterpreted Alsatian and French cuisine for American palates. When he isn’t in the kitchen, he can be found teaching his popular gourmet cooking classes. Jacques is often asked to author magazine articles, cook up recipes at culinary events, and to be a guest on television and radio shows across the country.
Jacques is the author of Two for Tonight, a collection of recipes that inspire romance through food and togetherness, and the Chez François Cookbook, the bible of classic Alsatian cuisine featuring some of the restaurant’s most popular recipes. He lives in Northern Virginia and is currently working on a new cookbook and television show.
For more information on L’Auberge Chez François, Chef Jacques, and his books and cooking classes, visit him online at http://www.ChefJacques.com, on Facebook @JacquesHaeringer, and Twitter @ChefJacquesH.
Two for Tonight: Pure Romance from L’Auberge Chez François
By Chef Jacques Haeringer
$26.95; ISBN: 0-910155-43-7
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