Gourmet Date Night Dinner for Two

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I am thrilled to say my first teaching experience in Tallahassee last weekend was a success! My “Love at First Bite” cooking class, demo and dinner at Browns Kitchen Center sold out so quickly that I was asked to do it again the next night! I had the honor of teaching two different fun and engaged classes how to prepare a 5-star meal just in time for Valentine’s Day, and it was an incredible experience. I am humbled to be able to share my passion and show everyday people that they, too, can create healthy, budget-friendly, gourmet meals right at home.

I want to express my thanks to those who came out to my cooking class on Thursday and Friday night. I was delighted to see so many new, excited faces, answer your questions and share some of my kitchen tricks. Whether you attended or wish you had been able to, Valentine’s Day is tomorrow so I am sharing my special date night recipes right here for you to enjoy!

I am looking forward to returning to Tallahassee to teach more specialty classes at Browns Kitchen very soon. Until then, follow the easy recipes below and subscribe to my mailing list to receive delicious recipes straight to your inbox, and you’ll be cooking like a pro in no time!

Mustard-Rubbed Rack of Lamb with Black-Cherry Walnut Kirschwasser Sauce


8 bone rack of lamb
1 tbsp. of coarse ground mustard
½ c. of panko breadcrumbs
1 can of black cherries in a light sauce
1 tbsp. of whole butter
1 oz. of Kirschwasser black cherry liqueur
1 handful of toasted walnuts
Rock salt and black pepper to taste

Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. Sprinkle salt and pepper onto raw lamb. Pan sear or grill the lamb for 3 minutes on each side. Place lamb in a baking dish and bake for 5 minutes. Remove from the oven and rub mustard all over meat. Put back in the over for another 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and encrust meat with panko breadcrumbs. Place back in the oven for 1 more minute. Remove from oven and let sit for 5 minutes before serving. Reserve the juices at the bottom of the baking dish to use in the accompanying Black Cherry-Walnut Kirschwasser Sauce.

Strain the can of cherries and preserve the juice. In a mixing bowl, add the cherry juice, butter, kirschwasser cherry liqueur and reserved juices from the lamb. Mix all together before adding whole cherries and chopped toasted walnuts.

Macadamia-Crusted Mahi-Mahi with Lemon-Butter Meuniere


8 oz. of mahi-mahi
1 oz. of lemon juice
1 c. of white wine
1 tsp. of Worchester sauce
2 tbsp. of whole butter
1/4 c. of panko breadcrumbs
1/4 c. of macadamias
Salt and pepper to taste

Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. Pan sear or grill the mahi-mahi for 1 minute on each side. Place the mahi-mahi in a baking dish and add mixture of lemon juice, white wine, butter, Worchester sauce, salt and pepper. Bake in the oven for 5 minutes. While fish is baking, mix chopped macadamias with panko breadcrumbs. Remove the fish and encrust with the mixture. Place mahi-mahi back in the over and bake for another 5 minutes. Remove and reserve the juices in the pan to serve with the fish.

Hearts of Palm Salad with Watercress Honey Vinaigrette


3 bunches of watercress
1 clove of garlic
1 clove of shallot
2 oz. of white vinegar
3 oz. of olive oil
1 oz. of honey
1 dash of Worchester sauce
Salt and pepper to taste
Hearts of palm (3 per salad)

Cut off the ends off the watercress and wash carefully. In a blender, combine watercress, garlic, shallot, vinegar, olive oil, honey, Worchester sauce and salt and pepper to taste. Blend until smooth.

Cut the hearts of palm in half lengthwise and dress with vinaigrette.

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