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Chef Stacy believes that cooking from scratch and using the best ingredients are the secrets to preparing delicious and memorable meals. She has created dozens of classes for the home chef and teaches students how to master culinary techniques and recipes in just one session. Read on to see what she's dishing up for The Oakland Press today....

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Valentine's Day Menu

Happy Valentine's Day! Here are the recipes for the rest of the menu we've suggested for your special meal. Enjoy!

Italian Vinaigrette

1/4 cup red wine vinegar

4 garlic cloves

3 teaspoonsDijonmustard

2 tablespoons fresh oregano

2 tablespoons fresh basil

3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil


Combine the vinegar, garlic, mustard, and oregano in the bowl of a food processor . Add the olive oil in a slow, steady stream while the processor is running, until all the oil is incorporated. Season and refrigerate in an airtight container until ready to use or up to 1 week.

For the salad, wash and dry green leaf and red leaf lettuces. Tear into bite sized pieces. Garnish the salad with slices of thinly sliced red onion, roasted fennel (recipe follows), and halved grape tomatoes.

Roasted Fennel

2 large fennel bulbs
1/4 cup good olive oil
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Parmesan shavings


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Remove the stems of the fennel and slice the bulb in half lengthwise. With the cut side down, slice the bulb vertically into 1/2-inch-thick slices, using a mandolin, cutting right through the core. Spread the fennel slices on a baking sheet, coat with olive oil, salt, and pepper and toss with your hands.

Roast the fennel slices for about 1 hour, turning them once after 30 minutes, until the edges are crisp and brown. Remove from the oven and cover with Parmesan shavings. Taste for salt and pepper and serve.

Lemon Chicken with Garlic F

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper

4 chicken cutlets, about 1/4-inch thick

2 tablespoons olive oil

3 tablespoons unsalted butter

6 tablespoons dry white wine

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

2 tablespoons salt-packed capers, soaked in water 20 minutes, then drained, rinsed, and drained again

As needed grilled artichokes (available at the Olive Bar at Joe's Produce)

1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

1 box fettuccine pasta

2 cloves garlic, minced

4 Tb. butter, melted


Dredge chicken: Spread flour in a shallow dish; add 3/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper and whisk to combine. Place chicken in seasoned flour, turning to coat thoroughly, then tap off excess.

Saute chicken: Heat the oil and 1 tablespoon butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat until butter starts to sizzle. Cook the chicken in batches, if necessary, to avoid crowding the pan (the cutlets should fit snugly in a single layer) until golden and cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes for each side. The cooking time will depend on the thickness of the cutlet. Transfer the chicken to a platter. Pour out any excess fat from the pan.

Meanwhile, melt some butter in a small sauce pan. Add the minced garlic and lightly "toast" it to bring out the aroma. Cook the pasta in boiling, salted water to al dente. Drain and toss with the melted butter and garlic.

Deglaze pan and make sauce: Return pan to medium heat and add wine, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon. Cook until the liquid is reduced by half, about 30 seconds. (If the liquid is reducing too quickly -- before all the browned bits have been incorporated -- take the pan off the heat.) Remove pan from heat. Add lemon juice, capers, and remaining 2 tablespoons butter and swirl until melted and combined, then add parsley and season with salt as desired.

Serve: Immediately pour the sauce over the chicken, and serve with fettuccine that has been tossed with melted butter and toasted garlic.

Chef’s Candy

1 ¼ lb. semisweet chocolate, chopped fine

3 cups heavy cream

2 oz. butter

8 each egg yolks, at room temp.

1 ½ oz dark rum (use Meyers)

1 cup toasted hazelnuts


Line a loaf or pate/terrine mold with saran wrap. If you do not have a pate mold, simply use a loaf cake pan. Set aside.

Bring the cream, butter and rum to a boil. Pour over the chocolate and stir to combine. Carefully add in the egg yolks.

Fold in the nuts and pour into the mold. Freeze until set.

When set, unmold and slice.

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