My Honey Infused Valentine’s Day Menu for You and Your Honey

While it’s nice to treat your special someone to a romantic Valentine’s Day dinner at one of Miami’s finest dining destinations, there’s much to be said about staying in for the evening, and treating the one you love to a home-cooked meal. Whichever you choose, here are some recipes that I’ve created, perfect for Valentine’s Day or any old day you’re feeling extra affectionate.  You can make these as standalone dishes or, if you’re feeling ambitious, make all as a three-course feast.

Honey roasted and raw shaved pear salad, ricotta Salata, and arugula

Serves 4:

4 of your favorite pears peel and core 2 of them

3 tablespoons honey

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 cup baby or regular watercress, trimmed of its

1 cup baby arugula

2 Belgian endive, sliced thin just before serving (with a Japanese mandolin, don’t soak)

1 fennel bulb, slice paper thin just before serving (with a Japanese mandolin, don’t soak)

8 chives cut into 4 (1 inch) pieces

1Ž4 cup chervil

1 cup smoked, salted almonds

1Ž4 lb. piece of Ricotta Salata cheese

1Ž4 cup extra virgin oil

Juice of 1 lemon

1 teaspoon honey

Salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 400 F.  Slice the peeled pears into about 6 slices each, toss with the honey and olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Place on a non stick-baking sheet and bake for about 12 minutes. Allow to cool. Remove from the pan.

Core the other two pears. Slice paper-thin on a Japanese mandolin or with a very sharp knife. Toss the raw pears with the watercress, arugula, endive, fennel, chives and chervil.Just before serving, mix the oil, lemon and honey. Season with salt and pepper. Dress the salad with the vinaigrette. Top with the almonds, roast pears andusing a peeler, shave the Ricotta Salata right over the salad.

Sweet, spicy and salty grilled organic chicken, Brussels sprouts with honey mustard miso glaze

4 chicken breasts and 4chicken legs

1Ž2 cup honey

1Ž4 cup soy sauce

1Ž4 cup limejuice

1 – 2 Serrano chilies, sliced

1 tablespoon garlic, minced

2 tablespoons ginger, peeled and minced

1Ž2 cup olive oil

Mix all marinade ingredients together. Add the chicken and cover, allow to marinate for at least one hour outside of the cooler.

Heat the grill on medium heat. Remove the chicken from the marinade; place the marinade into a saucepan with a cup of water. As you grill the chicken on both sides until cooked through, reduce the marinade until it coats the back of a spoon.

Drizzle the sauce over the chicken.

Honey Miso Brussels sprouts:

1Ž4 cup yellow miso paste

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

2 tablespoons honey

2 tablespoons rice winevinegar

1 tablespoon soy sauce

2 tablespoons canola oil

4 cups Brussels sprouts, trim, cut in quarters

1 cup chicken stock or broth

Combine the mustard, honey, vinegar and soy sauce.

Heat a large sauté pan on medium heat. Add the oil and Brussels sprouts. Cook, stirring. Add the chicken stock, reduce by half, add a few spoonfuls of miso to your liking. Cook, stirring. Serve.

Fig and honey clafouti, hazelnuts, brown butter ice cream

1/3 cup honey

1 1Ž2 cups milk

1 cup crème fraiche

4 eggs

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1Ž2 cup AP flour

1Ž2 cup almond flour (or ground almonds to a fine powder)

1Ž4 teaspoon salt

6 tablespoons fig marmalade

1 pound fresh figs, quartered

1 tablespoon olive oil

Heat the oven to 350F. Spray 4-6 small, shallow 2 ounce baking dishes (like crème brulee dishes) with oil. In a blender puree the milk, crème fraiche, honey, eggs and vanilla until smooth.  Sift the flour together and salt into a bowl. Slowly whisk the pureed mixture into the dry ingredients until smooth. Strain the batter. Spoon about a tablespoon of fig marmalade into each baking dish; flatten the marmalade onto the bottom with a spoon. Pour the batter slowly into each of the baking dishes, just over the marmalade. Arrange the figs, cut side up on top of the batter. Drizzle a little oil over each one and bake until golden and set, about 20-25 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.