A Very Delicious (& Brown) Valentine’s Day

I know my Valentine’s Day menu is tragically monochromatic, but brown food means flavor! And chocolate! This beef stroganoff was so good I was fighting the crew for leftovers to bring home to Michael. Cubing and dredging ribeye in a bit of flour makes for a super tender and flavorful stroganoff that is perfect over egg noodles with a big dollop of sour cream. It’s a one-dish hit and you really don’t need much else unless you really want to round things out with an obligatory salad. In my house, we’d just have Stroganoff, leaving plenty of tummy space for the Chocolate Tiramisu, a light but decadent dessert that’s so easy to assemble.

Beef Stroganoff

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  • 2 tbsp butter, divided
  • 2 tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 8 oz button or cremini mushrooms, quartered or halved depending on size
  • 7 oz shiitake mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 lb ribeye steak (about 2 steaks) excess fat trimmed and cubed into 1/2 inch pieces
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/4 onion, minced
  • 3/4 cup white wine
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 cup frozen pearl onions, thawed
  • Buttered egg noodles, for serving
  • 1/2 cup sour cream, for serving

Heat a saute pan over high heat and melt 1 tbsp butter with 1 tbsp olive oil. Saute the mushrooms until golden brown and fragrant. Season the steak cubes with salt and pepper and toss with the flour. Shake off any excess and heat the remaining olive oil in a pot or skillet with straight sides over high heat. Quickly brown the meat on all sides to achieve caramelization without overcooking the meat. Transfer the meat to a separate platter and add the remaining tbsp of butter to the pan. Cook the onion for 2-3 minutes and deglaze the pan with the white wine. Reduce for 2-3 minutes and add the beef broth, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, and thyme. Simmer to thicken the sauce, scraping up any floury browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Add the browned mushrooms, pearl onions, and browned meat. Season with salt and pepper and serve over buttered egg noodles, garnished with sour cream.

Chocolate Tiramisu

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Soaking mixture:

  • 1 cup strong coffee
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 tbsp liqueur such as Kahlua, Irish Cream, or Grand Marnier, optional
  • 24 lady finger cookies

Chocolate cream:

  • 1 8-oz container mascarpone cheese
  • 2 oz dark chocolate, melted
  • 2 tbsp powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Chocolate whipped cream:

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tbsp powdered sugar
  • 1 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 tbsp liqueur such as Kahlua, Irish Cream, or Grand Marnier, optional

In a small bowl, mix together the coffee, sugar, cocoa powder, and liqueur, if using. If the ladyfingers are the crisp cookie variety, dunk them in the coffee mixture and lay 6 of them down in a single layer in a loaf pan. If the ladyfingers are the moist, cake-like type, arrange 6 of them in the loaf pan and brush with the coffee mixture.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, whip the mascarpone cheese with the melted chocolate, powdered sugar, and vanilla. Layer half of this mixture over the ladyfingers, followed by 6 more ladyfingers (soaked or brushed in coffee mix), followed by the remaining chocolate mixture and 6 more ladyfingers.

To make the whipped cream, whip the cream, powdered sugar, cocoa powder, and liqueur to soft peaks. Spread half of this mixture over the ladyfingers, followed by the last 6 ladyfingers (soaked or brushed in coffee mix) and finish with the remaining whipped cream. Refrigerate until ready to serve.