Homegrown | Heart Healthy Valentine’s Dinner at Home

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Welcome to Homegrown In the Kitchen. It’s Valentine’s Day and some of you may be
looking for a reservation for that hot new restaurant, but instead of that, let’s make
an easy three-course meal for you to enjoy at home. Even a non-cook can make the dishes that we’ve
come up with for you, so let’s get started. The first course is going to be a spring mix
salad with balsamic vinaigrette. We’re going to make our own vinaigrette by
using a jar, any jar will do, that has a tight-fitting lid. We’re going to start by adding about a teaspoon
of Dijon mustard. Measuring is not super important because this
is a dressing, so it’s not important that we strictly measure. What we want is about, we’ll start with about
half and half portions of vinegar and olive oil, and then we’ll add a little more olive
oil to that. Again, not super important that we measure. That’s about four tablespoons of balsamic
vinegar. We’re going to add, probably going to start
with about five tablespoons of olive oil. We’re not going to use all of this in our
salad today, we’re just going to use a little bit of this and just a pinch of salt. To get it started so we can taste it, we’re
going to put the lid on really tight and just shake it. This is a great way to make salad dressing
without having to know how to make that emulsification that you might understand from a French recipe
or might know about from a French recipe. You see how it starts to look creamy? We’re going to taste this, make sure we’re
on point. It’s really good. It’s perfect. We’re going to put some of this on our dressing. We’re not going to add all of this. We’re only going to add a couple of tablespoons
of this to this bowl of spring mix. We’re just going to toss this together. Get each leaf coated. We’re going to add a couple of grinds of pepper
to this. You want to delicately toss it onto the plate
from a height so that it gets some interest and it’s not just tight on the plate. See how that has some height to it, like you
would see in a restaurant? You want to impress your Valentine guest with
your culinary skills and you eat with your eyes first. Let’s make our salads beautiful as well as
delicious. Now we want to add to this some sliced almonds. You could also add shredded carrots or cherry
tomatoes or anything like that, that you’re interested in adding. But I’m just going to add just a few sliced
almonds to this around the edge and a few on top. There is our first course. Now there are salads are done and in the refrigerator
waiting for us, let’s turn our attention to our entree. We’re going to make a shrimp basil tomato
pasta. Shrimp can be kind of costly and this dish
is a great way to stretch shrimp. You only need a few per person. I purchased some North Carolina shrimp. Five per person, so I have 10 total here. I’ve got my pan started on medium high heat. I’m going to add just a little bit of olive
oil in the pan and let that get hot. I’m going to cook our shrimp off. They’re not going to cook very long at all. I’m going to put all 10 of these in the pan
and we’re just going to cook them until they’re pink on both sides. Just a little olive oil and a little lemon
that I’ll put on them in just a second. A quick flip on either side to get them pink
on both sides, and they are delicious. I’m going to add a little bit of lemon juice. Just to give them a bright citrus flavor. We like to add citrus with seafood. Not only does it brighten the flavor, it lets
us use a little bit less salt because lemon lifts the flavor just like salt would. These shrimp are done. That’s how quick they cook. This pasta dish has some great basil flavor. It’s got fresh basil in it. A wonderful way to cut up basil is to chiffonade. We’ve talked about this before in Homegrown
in the Kitchen, and there’s a video for you to watch. But just to refresh our memory as to what
chiffonade is, you take the basil leaves, and it just takes a minute, and you stack
them together roughly. You don’t have to be perfect. But what we’re going to do is get them all
in a stack and roll them up and then slice them really thin to make really thin ribbons
or chiffonade. Now that we have them stacked, we just roll
it really tightly. Make sure we get our hand out of the way. Using our chef’s knife, we just make really
thin cuts along this stack of basil that we’ve rolled up and it makes these perfect ribbons
so that when you’re putting this in your pasta, you’re not getting great big pieces of basil,
but it’s distributed throughout the dish. We have cooked four ounces of whole wheat
penne pasta. That is a shape that’s sort of like a small
rigatoni. We’ve cooked it in salted water and it’s cooking
over there, waiting for us. We’re going to finish out our pasta starting
with a little olive oil. The pan is on. This is the pan that we cooked the shrimp
in. I just wiped it out with a paper towel. Let the olive oil get hot. We’re going to add about a pint of cherry
tomatoes, cut in half. We’re going to let that start cooking. A little bit of salt. We want to build flavors as we cook, so we
season each component. The predominant flavor in this dish, however,
is the wonderful fresh basil. I think this is a great dish for Valentine’s
Day because of the color, obviously. Now we want to add in our fresh basil into
the tomatoes. Now we’re going to add in our pasta. This is four ounces of just cooked to package
directions a 100% whole grain penne pasta. Another little trick that I’m going to share
with you is how to sort of make this pasta come together like a composed dish is to add
a little bit of the pasta water. When I drained the pasta, I saved just a tiny
bit of the water. I’m not going to add all of this. I’m just going to add a couple of tablespoons. That starchy water really brings the dish
together. It gives it a little more depth of flavor. Now this is pretty much done. Now it’s time to plate our pasta. I’ve chosen a shallow bowl. If you have that in your kitchen, I encourage
you to use that just so that it looks really pretty. We’re going to plate this in the center of
the bowl. As we said when we were cooking the shrimp,
we cooked 10 shrimps. That means each person gets five shrimp. I like to plate them across the top. You can do it however you like. The last part is to top it with a little feta
cheese. You can leave this out if you don’t like the
cheese or you can serve it at the table and let people do their own amount. But I think just a little bit adds a really
great – you want to do this from high just like you do when you’re salting – just a tiny
bit on top has a really great flavor. What I’d like to make for you today is a Grand
Marnier strawberry parfait. If that sounds too difficult, although you’ll
see in a minute it’s not, I have an alternative for you. Simply some strawberries with dark chocolate. That will do just as well. You want to get some relatively large bowls
because we want some drama here to this dessert. Start with just about a tablespoon of orange
liqueur in the bottom of a bowl. If you have younger guests joining you or
you don’t consume alcohol, you certainly can leave this out, but it does make a nice addition
to the strawberry parfait. Then we want to put in about a half a cup
of strawberries per parfait. These are just sliced strawberries that have
been capped and sliced. Now I want to top that with just simple graham
cracker crumbs. I just crushed these by hand. I didn’t use a food processor or anything. A couple of tablespoons per parfait on top. Now it wouldn’t be Valentine’s without chocolate. We have some dark chocolate that I’m going
to grate on top of this. I’m just going to add just a little bit of
dark chocolate. The final step to completing your strawberry
Grand Marnier parfait is something that we don’t use very much here in the Dinah Gore
Kitchen and that’s whipped cream, but it is Valentine’s Day. We’re going to use just a little bit of whipped
cream for not only some special flavor but some drama to the top of this Grand Marnier
parfait. Then just for some extra special color and
look to this dish, we’re going to grate a little bit more chocolate on top of that. So here’s your three-course, made-at-home
Valentine meal, starting with spring mix with balsamic vinaigrette tossed with some toasted
almonds. Then we moved to a whole wheat penne pasta
with shrimp, tomato, basil and a little bit of feta on top. Then we end with a Grand Marnier parfait with
strawberries, Grand Marnier, graham cracker crumbs, whipped cream and shaved chocolate. I wish you a very happy Valentine’s Day, I’m
Carolyn Dunn from Homegrown In the Kitchen.

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