Anti-Valentine´s Menu 2012

" Tous les hommes sont menteurs, inconstants, faux, bavards, hypocrites, orgueilleux et lâches, méprisables et sensuels ; toutes les femmes sont perfides, artificieuses, vaniteuses, curieuses et dépravées ; le monde n'est qu'un égout sans fond où les phoques les plus informes rampent et se tordent sur des montagnes de fanges ; mais il y a au monde une chose sainte et sublime, c'est l'union de deux de ces êtres si imparfaits et si affreux. On est souvent trompé en amour, souvent blessé et souvent malheureux ; mais on aime, et quand on est sur le bord de sa tombe, on se retourne pour regarder en arrière et on se dit : J'ai souffert souvent, je me suis trompé quelquefois, mais j'ai aimé. C'est moi qui ai vécu et non pas un être factice créé par mon orgueil et mon ennui. "
Alfred de Musset, On ne badine pas avec l'amour.
This long tirade comes from a play written by a French author, Alfred de Musset and I wanted to publish it today. I could not find the translation in English, and as strange as it sounds, I do not dare to translate it myself and damage this amazing text.
The essence of this text is that men and women are not perfect and have a lot of defects, but the union of these 2 human beings creates a kind of perfection. There is nothing more important than to love and not arrive at you grave and realize that you did not love at all in your life! If you love, you live! truly.

You are wondering why I make this so long introduction,... today is San Valentine's and for a little bit less than 1 year, I am single again. If I look behind, I suffered a lot, and made mistakes sometimes,... but I loved!

I hope that all of you loved once in his/her life.

For me, today is a great day to cook something special! I want to treat myself with a special dinner to comfort me after so much suffering and tears, and also treat my friends for all the supports they gave me and all the love they provided me these last months!

This is not the menu I would like before I die, but the menu I would cook with love for my beloved!

- Guacamole and nachos
- Citric scallops
- Strogonoff beef stew with mushrooms and fresh pasta
- or a big special meatloaf from Italian inspiration with potatoes
- Chocolate Millefeuilles

To drink, I will have a couple of bottles of one of my favorite wines, Château de Targé. It is the most refined and delicate Loire Valley wine I have ever had! With the dessert, I will open a bottle of Cava 1+1=3 from my friend Anouk!
My guacamole is kindly prepared with ripened avocados, lime juice, garlic, spring onions and fresh coriander! I like it well seasoned with salt, pepper and chili.
Nachos will be put under the oven grill for 10 minutes with young grated gouda cheese before to dip them in the guacamole,...

The citric scallops are just fresh scallops cooked with butter in a frying pan for 5 minutes each side. Add the juice of clementine just at the end. Serve hot with salt, pepper, and fresh cut parsley.

My Italian friends Alessandro and Cristina cooked several times a beautiful meatloaf - they call it a poltone - that I really love to share with friends! This a big meatloaf stuffed inside with an omelette, bacon, mozzarella, spices and cooked with potatoes,...obviously you do not eat everyday! But this a perfect warm and comforting dish that is made to be shared!

For the dessert, which I tried for the first time for New Year's Eve, you need to prepare first a nice chocolate mousse. Besides we make a puffy pastry and slice small rectangles of dough. Spread some sugar on top of the rectangle and put it 5 to 10 minutes in the oven at 200ºC. 

You will get a puffy high rectangle, you will slice in the middle and stuff with the chocolate mousse. I recommend to let everyone to prepare one and offers it to your friend next to you. For New Year's Eve, we all had been stuffing the millefeuilles while chatting and offering them to each other. It was a nice moment of sharing and caring!

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