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Romantic Meal for Two

Executive Chef Jim Coleman
Rittenhouse Hotel
Philadelphia, Pa.

Butterhead and Mesclun Salad with Grilled Starfruit
Red Snapper with Grapes
Coeur a La Creme

Butterhead and Mesclun Salad with Grilled Starfruit and Edible Flowers

For the dressing:
3 Tablespoons champagne vinegar
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/4 cup finely chopped mixed herbs, such as chives, tarragon, parsley, and thyme
1/3 cup olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

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For the salad:
1 Starfruit, cut crosswise into 1/4 inch slices
1 butterhead lettuce, such as Boston or Bibb, washed and leaves separated
2 cups mesclun salad mix or other mixed greens, washed
1/2 head radicchio, finely sliced
16 edible flowers

Method: To prepare the dressing, combine the vinegar, garlic, herbs, salt, and pepper in a mixing bowl and allow to steep for 15 minutes. Slowly whisk in the oil until completely emulsified.

Prepare the grill (or, alternatively, use a grill pan or broiler.) Lightly grill or broil the star fruit for about 3 minutes on each side. Place the lettuce leaves on serving plates and mound the mesclun greens on top. Garnish with the radicchio and arrange the edible flowers and star fruit on the butterhead lettuce leaves around the edge of the salad. Drizzle the dressing over the salad.

Valentine's Day Red Snapper Fillet With Red Grapes


2 tablespoons olive oil
2 Red Snapper fillets, 6 to 8 ounces each, skin on
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
1 1/2 cups freshly squeezed orange juice
1/4 cup dry white wine
30 to 35 red seedless grapes
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro leaves
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley leaves
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons soy sauce

Heat the oil in a non-stick pan set over medium heat. When hot, add the red snapper, skin side down first. To keep the fillets from curling, spray a piece of foil with nonstick spray and lay over the fish. Then lay a pan or weight on top of the foil. Sear for 4 minutes or until the skin is crisp; remove the foil and weight, turn the fish over, and cook for 2 minutes longer. Add the garlic, lime juice, orange juice, and wine and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer, turn the fish over and cook for another 2-3 minutes until done. Remove the fish from the pan and keep warm.

Method: Mash half of the grapes in a bowl and add to the pan with cilantro, salt, pepper, and parsley. Turn up the heat to high and reduce the liquid by one-third. In a cup, stir together the cornstarch and soy sauce and add to the pan. Stir until the sauce thickens and remove from the heat.

Place the snapper on the warm serving plates and top with the sauce and the remaining grapes.

Coeur A La Creme with Blackberry Sauce

For the Coeur a la Creme:
1 Cup Mascarpone cheese, softened
1 1/4 cups heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 teaspoon raspberry liquer (Chambord)
1/2 cup sifted confectioner's sugar

For the Raspberry Sauce:
1/2 pint fresh raspberries
1/2 pint fresh blackberries or blueberries
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

Cut a piece of cheesecloth into four 6-inch squares. Dampen and wring out lightly. Press a cheesecloth square into each of 4 heart-shaped pan molds and set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, whisk together the mascarpone, 1/4 cup of the cream, vanilla, lemon juice, and the Chambord until thoroughly blended. Transfer the bowl to the refrigerator and chill. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the remaining 1 cup of cream and the confectioner's sugar until the stiff peaks form. With a rubber spatula, fold the whipped cream into the chilled cheese mixture in three increments, incorporating each one thoroughly. Spoon the mixture into the prepared molds on the counter to remove any air pockets between the mixture and the molds. Refrigerate on a cookie sheet for ar least 2-3 hours.

To prepare the sauce, place the raspberries, 1/2 tablespoon of the sugar, and the 1/2 teaspoon of lemon juice in a blender or food processor and puree until smooth. Taste the sauce for sweetness and adjust the sugar and lemon juice as necessary. Strain into a bowl, cover, and refrigerate. Repeat for the blackberries and the remaining sugar and lemon juice, and strain into a separate bowl.

Unfold the cheesecloth covering hte molds and drape over the sides. Invert each mold onto a serving plate. While pressing down on the corners of the cheesecloth, carefully lift off the molds. Remove the cheesecloth slowly and smooth the top with the back of a spoon. Spoon both berry sauces onto the plates around the heart and garnish with fresh berries and mint leaves.

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