It's that time of year again.
You know the day I'm talking about. Chocolate, candy and cheesy cards are passed around classrooms. Couples flock to restaurants with hands locked. Red, white and pink are everywhere. And for the unfortunate single guys and girls out there - it's just another day.
Valentine's Day. Love it or hate it, it's happening soon - like this Sunday soon. The good thing about this year's V-Day is the fact that Chinese New Years falls on the same date. So, even if you're not spending it with that special someone, you can go celebrate the new year by going out to eat tasty dim sum (or slutty Chinese food, whatever works for you).
Lets say for instance that you forgot to make reservations at that favorite restaurant and you have to cook at home. Or maybe eating at home this year was the plan all along. The question still remains - what do I make for dinner? There's no need to overthink things here folks, especially if you're cooking for a guy. Men are simple creatures and the equation is simple. "Meat + potatoes + booze = full, happy man". So why not combine everything in one, easy, simple dish and spend the rest of the night cuddling over a chick flick? (this is probably the only day out of the year you girls can get us guys to watch one without complaining)
This is taken out of the Les Halles Cookbook so when you present dinner, you can say impress your date furthermore by saying you made a faux-filet au beurre rouge on top of a pomme puree. I believe someone said that, "French is the language of love" right?
Les Halles Pomme Puree
All you need are 6 potatoes sliced half lengthways, 2 cups of heavy cream, 6 tablespoons of butter, salt, pepper and a little bit of patience. In a large pot, fill it with cold water and add a tablespoon of salt. Add the sliced potatoes into the cold water and bring up to a boil. Cook the potatoes for about 15 minutes or until a knife goes through. Drain. Remove the skin once it's cool enough to handle. While waiting for it to cool...
Add cream and butter to a saucepan. Bring it up to a simmer. Make sure you keep an eye on this because it'll boil over in a blink of an eye. I'm notorious for boiling milk/cream over. Don't be like me - keep an eye on the cream. After the potatoes have been peeled, mash it inside the same pot you used to cook it in with a potato masher or use a ricer to get a smoother texture. Add the cream/butter mixture to the potatoes in thirds making sure to incorporate well in between. Don't overwork the potatoes. Mix until it just comes together. Season with salt and pepper (it'll need it) and season to taste. It's your Valentine's Day meal so do whatever you want at this point! Chives? Spring onions? Hell, truffles?! Throw it in. Now onto the steak...
Faux-Filet au Beurre Rouge
Don't let the name fool you - this is just sirloin with red wine butter. Fancy name, easy as hell and tasty results. Start out by making the red wine butter. Soften a stick of butter by leaving it out at room temperature. Once the butter has softened, finely chop a small shallot and combine it in a saucepan with a quarter cup of red wine. Turn the heat on high and let it reduce down until almost evaporated. Make sure the shallots aren't burning at the bottom though. Remove from heat to cool slightly after reducing.
In a food processor, add the softened butter, reduced wine, shallots, and finely chopped of parsley from 1 sprig. Blitz until everything's combined. Once red and combined, remove the butter and place in the middle of a plastic wrap. Roll it into a cylindrical shape and set in the fridge until needed.