Chocolate, chocolate,chocolate! Cloverfields Farm & Kitchen's Janine Washle helps you impress your Valentine with a chocolate pasta and use it in a restaurant worthy entree. Plus she has a dessert idea using chocolate pasta that will wow and woo your special someone!
There are several legends surrounding Valentine's Day. The most famous is that Valentine, a doctor and priest, began treating the blind daughter of one of Emperor Claudius II's prison guards in an attempt to restore her sight. He fell in love with his patient and sent a note to the girl, signed "from your Valentine." He was incarcerated for his religious beliefs and refusal to renounce Christianity. After his execution, allegedly the girl's vision was posthumously-restored by his treatment and faith at the very time she was reading his last words. Valentine was canonized by Pope Gelasius in 496, and his feast day was celebrated until its removal in 1969 from liturgical calendars.
Other historians believe the holiday derives from the Roman festival of Lupercalia, which was celebrated on February 15. This was a fertility celebration of the Roman god Faunus, the god of flocks and fertility, to ensure fertility and easy births by the women of the community. One custom was for young maidens to write love letters, which would be drawn by unmarried men who subsequently courted the ladies.
Another icon associated with Valentine's Day is the ever-present Cupid (aka: Eros and Amor), the little cherub who was the son of Aphrodite, the goddess of beauty. The young, playful god was known as the god of love, and is most often depicted in art flying around with a bow and arrow, shooting love into the hearts of the unsuspecting. Of course, Cupid and the heart became the symbols of love and Valentine's Day.
Most likely, all these stories merged together over the centuries to become the holiday we celebrate today. Food plays a major part in the celebration of this holiday. Chocolate being the most famous food of love has antioxidants to fight aging, compounds that enhance feelings of happiness, mineral compounds that fight depression, and contains a chemical that increases concentration and focus. Taking this clinical approach to chocolate and translating it into everyday language means that chocolate makes us look younger, act happier, feel better, and smarter. So why not indulge?
Chocolate is most often associated with desserts, but there are savory recipes that feature chocolate too. Many Mexican sauces, moles, contain cacao, quite a few chili recipes use chocolate as a complex note, and one of the trendiest pastas on the market today is chocolate pasta. Italian dishes especially pasta recipes in general have an air of romance surrounding them. After all, who can resist creamy sauces and supple pasta? Whether you purchase a bag of chocolate pasta or make it at home, the subtle taste of chocolate enhances the entire meal. If chocolate pasta for dinner is a tough sell, don't despair it works well in desserts too. For the chocolate lover in your house, an all chocolate dinner from entrée to dessert just may be the ticket to celebrate your love.
Savory Chocolate Bourbon Sauce
Makes: Approximately 2 cups
(This sauce works with steak, beef roast, and pork)
4 TB unsalted butter
1 cup chopped onions
1 cup chopped button or baby portabello mushrooms
½ tsp sea salt
¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 cup Kentucky bourbon
¼ tsp thyme
¼ tsp smoked paprika, optional
1 cup heavy cream
Melt butter in a large saute pan over medium high heat. Add onions and mushrooms, stir to coat with butter. Stir in salt and pepper. Saute until onions and mushrooms have sweated out all moisture and vegetables begin to brown around the edges, 20-25 minutes.
Stir in cocoa powder. Deglaze pan with bourbon by pouring in bourbon and stirring to remove bits from bottom and sides of pan. Once pan is deglazed, stir in thyme and heavy cream. Cook an additional 7-10 minutes or until cream has slightly reduced to a sauce-like consistency. Serve hot over steak, roast, or pork. Store leftovers covered in refrigerator.
NOTE: For a smooth sauce, process in two batches in a food processor then strain through a fine mesh strainer back into pan. Reheat over low heat if necessary.
FREE RECIPE BOOKLET:
Cloverfields Farm and Kitchen also has a special Valentine Recipe Booklet available by email. To ask for a complimentary copy, just email Janine Washle at firstname.lastname@example.org
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CloverFields Farm & Kitchen
Hardin Springs Area
Big Clifty, KY 42712
About Cloverfields Farm & Kitchen:
Janine Washle and her family live at the Cloverfields Farm and Kitchen in Big Clifty, Kentucky in Hardin County. CloverFields Farm & Kitchen, part of a century old farmstead, is our home and business. The McGuffin house, the original farmhouse, is a registered state landmark. CloverFields Farm has a prosperous farming history. They are continuing this rural story in their own unique way by the addition of CloverFields Kitchen a place to explore the past through food and merge it with our modern lifestyles.
CloverFields Farm is dedicated to the preservation of southern, especially Kentucky, food traditions. The kitchen is commercially-outfitted compliant with Health Department standards. In this kitchen I develop new recipes based on original ideas, inspirations from my culinary research, and most often according to what is in season.
On the farm, they make many gifts and specialty items. She is currently working on her first cookbook, but she also has a long resume developing recipes for several companies. She has also won several contests and cook-offs with her original recipes.