INTIMATE DINNER FOR VALENTINES DAY
By: Chef Frank Maldonado Sazón Restaurant, NY
This is one of the pleasures I mostly enjoy, using all the senses that were given to us by God; taste, smell, touch, vision & hearing. We use all of these senses within the Culinary Art & when it comes to love, one comes in hand with the other. If we want to create a Gastronomical love ambiance you don’t need to invest lots of money nor be an expert in the kitchen.
What counts most is the essence of our hearts. Let’s start by deciding which theme we want to accomplish in the kitchen according to our budget, and of course we want to drink champagne, because this will be the climax of our celebration. After we have decided with what theme we will be going; most of us have fantasies of a specific culture, for example I love the Oriental & Spanish. We now have the task of getting our ingredients, drinks, music & ambiance. Latin, Italian is one culture that we can accomplish easily without the burden of being expensive & it can be prepared prior to the engagement. I love this celebration because it is characterized by the color red & red is a color that entices passion.
SPRIMP AL MOJITO (SHRIMP IN A GARLIC SOUCE) TOSTONES A LA CAPRESSA (FRIED PLANTAINS A LA CAPRESSA)
MAIN DISH SALMON CON GUAYABA Y RUM GLACE (GUAVA IS A THICK SWEET PASTE SPREAD SIMMERED WITH THE SALMON AND TOP WITH A RUM GLAZE)
FRESAS CON CREMA DE AMARETTO (STRAWBERRY WITH AMARETTO CREAM)
2 oz. of Rum Don Q Crystal ½ lime cut into small squares 7 Mint leaves 1 tbs. of sugar 1 Sprite 6 or 12 boiled shrimp
In a cup mash the lime, mint & sugar, add the rum & 4oz. of Sprite. Chill with ice & serve ½ in a Martini glass & garnish with the shrimp.
PLANTAINS A LA CAPRESSA
1 green Plantain ½ lb. of fresh mozzarella cheese 1 sliced tomatoes Cilantro, salt & pepper Canola oil for frying
Peel the plantains & cut into 6 pieces @ a 45º angle, cut & fry @ 300º. Once they are cooked, smash them & raise the temperature to 350º & fry again. For the presentation of the plate, place 3 plantains in each plate, on top of the plantains put the fresh mozzarella cheese, the sliced tomatoes, season with the salt & pepper & garnish with the cilantro.
GUAVA SALMON WITH RUM GLAZE
2-8oz, pieces of fresh Salmon 1 cup of guava paste 2 oz. of rum 2 oz. of vinegar Mashed pumpkin
Mix the guava paste with the rum & vinegar in a sauce pan @ medium heat, stirring occasionally until you get a sauce with a thick consistency. In a frying pan heat up 3 tbs. of olive oil, season your salmon filets with salt & pepper, sear them on both sides until golden brown & place in oven for 5 minutes @ 400º. Serve on a plate over the mashed pumpkin & top with the guava sauce.
STRAWBERRIES WITH AMARETTO CREAM
18 fresh strawberries 1 cup of heavy cream 2 tbs. of sugar 2 oz. of amaretto Mint leave for garnishing.
Whip the cream a little by little, when it starts getting fluffy add the sugar & the amaretto & keep whipping until you get a merengue like consistency. Put in a martini glass, cut the strawberries in four & garnish the cream with the strawberries & mint leave.