Entertainment

02.13.14

Cat Cora’s Valentine’s Day Menu for Single People

Your soul might feel empty, but your belly doesn’t have to! Iron Chef and Food Network star Cat Cora gives her favorite comfort recipes for singles to make on Valentine’s Day.

According to psychological studies, comfort foods are usually consumed to evoke positive emotions, to relieve negative psychological effects, or to increase positive feelings. Well, on what day do you need more positive emotions than Valentine’s Day when you’re single?

It’s for that reason that I’ve curated these yummy recipes for all you unattached guys and gals. Here are six delicious take-in-your-bed-because-there’s-nobody-else-in-it-so-it-doesn’t-matter dishes to sooth your aching heart this Valentine’s Day. Your soul might feel empty, but your belly doesn’t have to!

Cheddar & Herb Drop Biscuits
Makes 18 biscuits

4 tablespoons vegetable shortening
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, plus 4 tablespoons melted for brushing
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 TBS finely chopped fresh chives
¾ cup grated white cheddar cheese
3/4 cup cold buttermilk
½ cup sour cream

Line two baking pans with parchment paper and preheat the oven to 450-degrees F.

Cut the vegetable shortening and 6 tablespoons of butter into very small pieces and place on a plate or in a small bowl and chill in the freezer for about 10 minutes.

Sift the dry ingredients over a piece of parchment paper and then pour into a medium bowl. Remove the butter and shortening from the freezer, and toss them with the dry ingredients, coating them well. With a pastry blender, a fork, or simply with the tips of your fingers, break the butter and shortening up into very small pea-sized pieces until the flour mixture looks like a coarse meal. Mix in the chopped chives. Make a well in the center of the flour. Pour in the buttermilk, cheddar, and sour cream and stir it quickly into the flour with a fork making sure all of the dry ingredients are moistened and the dough has come together in a ball. Be careful not to over mix. The dough will be wet and sticky.

Melt the remaining 4 tablespoons of butter over the stove or in the microwave. Drop the biscuit batter by the heaping tablespoonful onto a prepared baking sheets allowing about 1- inch between mounds. Brush the tops of the biscuits with melted butter.

Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until biscuits have almost doubled in size and are a nice golden brown color on top. Remove from the oven and serve immediately.

Crepes

½ cup of all purpose flour
1 egg, beaten
1 cup of milk
1 small package of cream cheese
½ cup of powdered cocoa
1 tablespoon sugar
10 strawberries, sliced thinly
1 jigger of grand marnier
½ tablespoon butter

Method:

In a mixing bowl, mix the flour,egg and milk together until smooth. The batter should be loose and light. Heat a small non-stick pan on medium high. Butter the pan lightly with a quarter of the butter. Wipe out any excess. Pour the batter in the pan and swirl so that the batter coats the bottom part of the pan. When the crepe is golden on the bottom, turn over and a cook the other side until golden. Remove and let cool.

In a bowl, mix the cheese and cocoa together. Add a dash of milk to loosen, although you want the mixture thick. Spoon it into three crepes and roll them until closed. Place side by side on the serving plate.

Heat a large sauté pan on high heat. Toss in the butter and then the strawberries. Cook them lightly and add Grand Marnier. Be cautious when doing this and stand back from the pan. Let the acohol cook off and remove from the heat. Sprinkle in the sugar and toss until blended well. Spoon over the crepes and serve warm.

Artichoke and Sun-dried Tomato Frittata
Makes 6 servings

6 large eggs
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 (15 ounce) can artichoke hearts, drained and coarsely chopped
1/4 cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes
2 ounces Crumbled Feta Cheese
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves

Preheat the oven to the broil setting.

In medium size bowl, using a fork, blend together eggs, Parmesan, salt, and pepper. Place a large oven-safe sauté pan over medium heat and coat with the oil. When the oil is hot, add the artichoke hearts. Cook for a few minutes until beginning to brown. Add the sun-dried tomatoes to the pan and sauté for 1 minute. Pour the egg mixture into the pan and stir with rubber spatula. Cook for 4 to 5 minutes or until the egg mixture has set on the bottom and begins to set up on top. Sprinkle with the feta and parsley.

Place pan into oven and broil for 3 to 4 minutes, until lightly browned and fluffy. Remove from pan and cut into 6 servings. Serve immediately.

Orange Blueberry Granola Pancakes
Yields 4 servings

1 cup plain flour
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon baking soda
1 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp melted butter
1 egg, bea
ten
1 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon orange zest
½ cup fresh blueberries
½ cup granola
1 teaspoon butter

Preparation:

1. Mix flour, salt, baking soda, and sugar in a large bowl
2. Add melted butter, egg, buttermilk, and orange zest and whisk until incorporated
3. Heat non stick pan and dot with butter
4. In a small, lightly buttered pan over medium heat, spoon ¼-cupfuls of batter. Sprinkle with 1 TBS each granola and blueberries. When batter begins to bubble, turn pancake and cook until golden brown.
5. Keep warm until ready to enjoy

Honeydew Cucumber Smoothie
Serves 4

1 1/2 lb piece ripe honeydew, seeded, rind discarded, and flesh cut into 1/2-inch pieces (3 cups)
1 (8-oz) cucumber, peeled and chopped (1 cup)
½ cup fresh or frozen blueberries
1/2 cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt
2 tablespoons fresh mint leaves
1 tsp agave nectar
1/2 tsp fresh lime zest
1 cup coconut water

Blend all up in a blender with ice, and serve immediately.

Farmers’ Market Bloody Mary
Make 4 drinks

This is a fantastic way to use heirloom tomatoes from the farmers’ market or those sunwarmed beauties straight from the garden. Fresh tomato juice makes an incredible difference in the drink.

20 ounces (21/ 2 cups) fresh tomato juice
1 1/ 4 teaspoons drained bottled horseradish
3/ 4 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
1 1/ 4 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
3/ 4 teaspoon celery seed
3/ 4 teaspoon fleur de sel
1/ 2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/ 2—1 cup (4—8 ounces) vodka
2 cups crushed ice
4 small celery stalks from the heart, leaves left on, for garnish

In a large measuring cup or a large glass container with a tight lid, whisk or shake all ingredients together except the vodka, ice, and celery. For each drink, pour 5 ounces (about 2/3 cup) of the tomato juice mixture into a cocktail shaker with about 1 ounce of the vodka. (Taste and add more vodka if you like a stronger drink.) Add ½ cup ice and shake until chilled, about 20 seconds. Pour into a double old-fashioned glass (don’t strain out the ice) and add a celery stalk.