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Valentine's Day Cheese Board Dinner

February 14, 2017

 

 

 Happy Valentine's Day everyone!  I've been wanting to add a blog to our website for awhile- somewhere I can share recipes, happenings, food musings and such.  As Valentine's day was approaching,  I thought  Perfect.  A reason to eat cheese, and wine and chocolate.  Though, you shouldn't need a reason- just celebrating being alive is enough.  As a thank you for stopping by our blog today, please use this code on our website for 14% off of your purchase:  VDAY14

 

Steve and I love cheese board dinners- they come together so quickly with a good salad, and give us a chance to put out all those little jars of jams, chutneys, and pickles that take up a ton of fridge space.  I always find that after a really long day, there is nothing better than talking over a glass of wine and sharing some good cheese and bread with my husband.  It never fails to change my perspective on the day- I think there are magical properties in wine, cheese, and chocolate!  

 

This was our Valentine's Day menu:

 

Salad of butter lettuce, fennel, blood and cara cara oranges, avocado, and mint with a

champagne vinaigrette

 

Cheese board:  Triple creme brie with tart cherry preserves, Alta Badia, Point Reyes Blue, Taste's Lemon Walnut honey, pickled asparagus, Turkish apricots, spiced pecans, and candied hazelnuts. 

Served with a baguette and Rustic Bakery Olive oil and Sel Gris flatbreads.

 

Dessert:  Dark Chocolate Ricotta Mousse

 

Wine:  Domaine D'Ourea Vaqueryas, 2013  

 

 Winter Citrus salad with Triple creme Brie. 

 

Winter Citrus Salad Recipe:

 

1 head butter lettuce, torn into small pieces

1 Cara Cara orange, peeled and sliced

2 Blood oranges, peeled and sliced

1 fennel bulb, halved, and thinly sliced (a mandolin works well for this)

1 avocado, sliced

Mint to taste, chiffonade, I used about 8 leaves

 

Champagne vinaigrette recipe: 

6 Tablespoons orange juice (I used 2 blood oranges)

1 Tablespoon honey (I used our Lemon Walnut honey)

2 Tablespoons Champagne vinegar

2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1/2 tsp Dijon mustard (smooth, not wholegrain)

1/8 tsp sea salt

1/8 tsp black pepper

 

Preparation:

1.  Place butter lettuce in large serving bowl.

2.  Arrange oranges, fennel, avocado, and mint over top of greens.

3.  Make the dressing by whisking all ingredients together until emulsified.

4.  Dress salad just before serving. 

5.  Enjoy!

 

 

 Cheese board:  Alta Badia, Point Reyes Blue, Taste's Lemon Walnut honey, pickled asparagus, Turkish apricots, spiced pecans, and candied hazelnuts. Served with a baguette and Rustic Bakery Olive oil and Sel Gris flatbreads.

 

 

 Triple Creme Brie with tart cherry preserves from last summer's harvest, and candied pecans.

 

 

 Point Reyes Blue with Lemon Walnut Honey, candied hazelnuts, Turkish apricots, and

Rustic Bakery's Olive Oil and Sel Gris flatbread.

 

 

 

I want to share with you a favorite recipe of mine for Dark Chocolate Ricotta Mousse.  It's super simple, delicious, and can easily be customized.  Here I served it with whipped cream and raspberries- both Steve's and my favorite. 

 

Dark Chocolate Ricotta Mousse

 

15 oz container of whole milk ricotta cheese

7 oz of your favorite dark chocolate (I used 2 bars of Valrhona's Le Noir Amer, 71%)

1 tsp vanilla

3 Tbsp of a liquid of your choice (cream, milk, espresso, Cointreau, etc...)

Toppings of your choice:  whipped cream, raspberries, pomegranate seeds, cacao nibs, broken up toffee, shaved chocolate, cherries in liqueur, etc...

 

Preparation:

 

1.  Melt chocolate on the stove in a double boiler over low heat.  Alternately, you could put the chocolate in a microwave safe bowl and microwave at 30 second intervals until melted.  Be careful putting chocolate in the microwave- it is easy to ruin.  After every 30 second interval, Stir!

 

2.  Put ricotta cheese in your food processor along with vanilla and the liquid of your choosing.  Blend for a minute- you'll see the ricotta getting smooth and a little fluffy.  Slowly add the melted chocolate and continue to process for another minute, scraping the sides if necessary. 

 

3.  Place mousse in individual bowls for serving and refrigerate.

 

4.  Enjoy!

 


 

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