Dining With Miss Lil: A Great Valentine’s Day

By Lil Nickelson

Valentine’s Day is this coming and love is in the cold air. Food for lovers can be made and savored in the intimacy of your home. Start the day off by fixing your partner’s favorite breakfast before you leave for work. You can do some advance prep work for your Valentine’s Day dinner on Sunday evening. I’m making some Crabmeat Beignets (a fancy term for small cakes) with Spicy Remoulade, and I will refrigerate them over night and cook them on Monday evening. I’m also making some Chocolate Mousse on Sunday evening as well, and will cover them tightly and refrigerate.

When I get home on Monday from work, I will cook the beignets and prepare a fresh tossed salad for dinner. I will make on own whip cream to go along with the dessert. Here are the recipes:

Crabmeat Beignets with Spicy Remoulade.

 

Adapted from recipe courtesy Debbie Martin.

Prep Time: 25 min Inactive Prep Time: 15 min (or overnight) Cook Time: 20 min Level: Easy Serves: 8 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon Lawry’s seasoning salt or seafood seasoning
  • 1 lemon, zested
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped or minced
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked and chopped crabmeat
  • 3 tablespoons chopped Italian parsley leaves
  • 3 dashes hot sauce (recommended: Louisiana, Tabasco or your favorite)
  • 1 to 1 1/2 cups water or shrimp/seafood stock
  • Canola or peanut oil

Remoulade:

  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup Creole mustard
  • 1/4 cup prepared horseradish, drained
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon salt, plus more for seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Dash cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon chopped Italian parsley leaves
  • 1/4 cup chopped capers
  • 2 green onions, chopped (green and white part)

Directions

Mix together all the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Add the lemon zest, garlic, crabmeat, parsley and hot sauce. Mix gently to combine. Add the water or stock slowly until a loose dough is formed. Set aside for 15 minutes. You can spoon out the beignets the night before and refrigerate them over night.



In a deep-fryer or heavy-bottomed pot, heat enough canola or peanut oil to come halfway up the sides of the pot, to 350 degrees F.

Spoon 1 heaping teaspoon dough into hot oil and cook in batches until deep golden brown, about 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from the oil and drain on paper towels. Sprinkle with salt while still hot. Let temperature of oil return to 350 degrees F between batches.

Remoulade:

Whisk the mayonnaise, mustard, horseradish, lemon juice, salt, pepper and cayenne together in a medium bowl until well blended. Stir in the parsley, capers and green onions and mix well. Refrigerate until ready to use or overnight to let the flavors blend together.

Transfer the beignets to a serving platter and serve with the remoulade sauce.

Here’s the link to a very simple Chocolate Mousse that Chef Anne Burrell gives on the Food Network’s site.

 

To make the whipped cream you will need 1 cup of heavy cream, 1 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract and 1 tablespoon of confectioners’ (10X) sugar. For best results put your bowl, and wire whisk in the refrigerator to make sure they are chilled before you begin making the whipped cream. In a large bowl, whip cream until still peaks are about to form. Beat in the vanilla and sugar until peaks form. Don’t over beat until the cream becomes lumpy and butter like. You won’t buy any more store bought whipped cream after you taste this.

Now I’d like to ask for you to share with me and your fellow Dining with Miss Lil readers your Valentine’s Day meal if you have made them. You can also write in to ask any questions as well. I want to open up the dialogue between us in 2011, so input your comments at the end of the article on the web site.

 

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