Friday, February 15, 2008

To eat by candlelight

You know G and me, we really go all out. Our entire Valentine's Day plan consisted of putting the kids to bed and then having a nice, simple dinner together before catching up on House online and folding laundry.

It's more romantic than you think to go to bed knowing the laundry is all folded.

Anyhow, I thought you might enjoy instructions for how to recreate my romantic dinner. Wine and butter are inherently sensuous ingredients, and we loved the sweet-sharp flavor of the marjoram with the wine and the velvety polenta studded with sweet, crispy corn kernels.

This is really kind of four different dishes, but I am just writing it as one recipe to show you how to do things in order so they're all done at once. Sometimes that's tricky for me, but with this dinner things go really fast so you can just take it one step at a time.

Valentine Chicken Fillets with Soft Sweet-corn Polenta and Sauteed Vegetables

1 red bell pepper, julienned
1 yellow bell pepper, julienned
4 c loose raw spinach, washed and stemmed
1 small clove garlic, minced or pressed

5 tsp. butter, divided

2 chicken breasts, pounded thin

1 tsp. dried marjoram, divided
salt and pepper
3/4 c. white wine

4 c. water
3/4 c. yellow corn meal
1/2 c. corn kernels, thawed if they were frozen

1. Set 4 c. water to boil in a large saucepan with 1 tsp. salt.

2. Melt 1 tsp. butter over medium-high heat in a skillet. Saute bell peppers with salt, pepper and about 1/2 tsp. marjoram. Divide in two and place on plates.

3. Melt 1 more tsp. butter in the same skillet. Add garlic and spinach. Saute until wilted. Divided in two and place on plates.

4. By this time the water should be boiling. Slowly add the corn meal in a thin stream, whisking thoroughly to avoid lumps. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer, whisking occasionally while you complete the remaining steps.

4. Season chicken breasts with salt, pepper and 1/2 tsp. marjoram. Melt 1 more tsp. butter in skillet and brown chicken lightly on both sides. Add wine and cook it until you're comfortable enough alcohol has boiled off and/or until chicken is cooked through. Plate the chicken.

5. Reduce remaining liquid in pan by about half to two-thirds. Stir in another teaspoon of butter and salt and pepper to taste.

6. Stir corn and last teaspoon of butter into polenta. Plate polenta (you will not use it all ... I like to have leftover polenta).

7. Pan sauce goes over chicken and polenta.

8. Serve by candlelight.

By the way, we are going out tonight ... we have to dress G for his upcoming job interview trip. Should be interesting. Those of you who have shopped with my husband know. I am planning on an In-n-Out Burger, animal style, to fortify me for the experience.


Julie P said...

In-N-Out? Animal Style? My mouth is watering. 5 1/2 weeks until my next one, and then after that...who knows. ENJOY.

SalGal said...

Oh that sounds so wonderful! I'm glad you had a good evening together. Ours was fantastic as well! I'll call you about it.