The world celebrates February 14th by exchanging candy, flowers and gifts with loved ones all in the name of good old St.Valentine. Legend has it that Valentine fell in love(while in prison) with the jailor's daughter and before his death, he sent a letter expressing his love to her- signed "from your Valentine" that's how the expression came to be used. A heart is full of joy in times of achievement and it may break in the face of loss. A heart can race in times of distress, but it can also burst with pride, skip a beat and always signifies a relationship built on care. After all, it's no coincidence that February is the month in which Valentine's Day falls and this year it is also American Heart Month.
I've been blog-hopping today, tempted by more chocolate cakes and cookies than I have been in the past few months! I am not going to bake today, but a little cheer up meal wouldn't hurt. I am paying homage to the queen of the kitchen, Julia Child, and making my version of a Croque Madame/ Croque Monsieur. My version uses heart shaped potato slices and for dessert, decadent chocolate covered strawberries. This is a perfect home-made meal for two imperfect people. As Sam Keen once said.........."You come to love not by finding the perfect person, but by learning to see an imperfect person perfectly… "
4-6 slices of white bread
4 thin slices of white fish filet(tilapia)
4 slices of pepperjack cheese
pepper, a dash of hot sauce, salt
Quail eggs- 3
2 Tblspn butter
To assemble the sandwiches.
1. Cut the bread, fish and cheese into a heart shape making sure they are all the same shape and size. keep aside.
2. Butter the bread and place them aside.
3. In a skillet cook the fish on both sides lightly with butter until just cooked.
4. Place one slice of bread buttered side down and place first the cheese slice and then the
fish. Top with a second bread slice buttered side up.
5. Turn over gently to let both sides toast evenly and get a golden color. Remove.
6. Add some butter and crack the eggs one at a time being careful not to break the yolks.
7. Cook the eggs lightly right inside of a heart shaped cookie cutter. and center one fried egg over each sandwich.
Serve with Heart shaped fries
Instead of fish slices, use deli ham and make croque monsieurs. Make a store bought bechamel sauce or even a homemade sauce with 1 cup of cream, 1 Tablpn butter and 1 Tblspn flour salt and pepper. Pour over the sandwich into the heart shaped portion, warm to thicken and serve.
Chocolate Covered Strawberries
Confectioners sugar-1 Tblspn
Water- 1 Tblspn
Chocolate Ganache(you could make home made ganache or get a store bought one like me)
Fresh Strawberries with the stem or leaves still on- 1 pint.
Walnuts- 1/2 cup chopped fine.
1. Follow the instructions on the back of the store bought dulci ganache and dip the chocolates
using a fork to hold the leafy end to dip. Rotate until covered well and place on a wax paper.
2. Mix together just enough water to the confectioners sugar to make a thick frosting. Fill in the
Sandwich bag and snip the end slightly to make a thin hole.
3. Pipe thin lines over the chocolate over and back until lines are formed.
4. Roll some of the chocolate covered strawberries in the same way but covering with finely chopped walnuts. Cool in a fridge before serving. Enjoy!