10 February 2010

Valentines Day: Awesome Romantic Meal

Romance by Or Hiltch @ flickr

From Denny: The New York City Scottos chefs are quite popular on The Today Show, visiting regularly to offer up simple meals for special days. This is their idea of the perfect Valentine meal for your special someone.

The video that went with this was messed up. Will try back later to see if it's working. They didn't feature any photos either. That's OK, I'm good at using my food imagination. :)

Recipes Featured:

Risotto with lobster and asparagus
Dover sole with poached oysters, leeks, champagne, chives and Osetra caviar
Soft bittersweet chocolate biscotti with toasted almonds, sun-dried cherries and caramel gelato

From The Today Show: Want to do something special for your partner? Why not make them a delicious meal? The Scottos are here to help: Below, the family from the New York restaurant Fresco by Scotto shares their mouthwatering recipes for risotto with lobster and asparagus, Dover sole with poached oysters, leeks, champagne, chives and Osetra caviar and a soft bittersweet chocolate biscotti with toasted almonds, sun-dried cherries and caramel gelato.

Risotto with lobster and asparagus

From: The Scottos

6 servings


For Lobsters

• 3 1-pound lobsters, cooked and meat shelled, and set aside for finished risotto

Lobster brodo

• 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
• Lobster bodies chopped into large pieces, tail meat and claw meat reserved for risotto
• 2 shallots
• 1 sprig thyme
• 4 black peppercorns
• 1 bay leaf
• 1 carrot, medium-size rough chop
• 3 cloves garlic, smashed
• 3 tablespoons tomato paste
• 1 cup dry white wine
• 7 cups water


• 3 1-pound cooked lobsters, shelled, tail and knuckle meat cut into 1-inch pieces and claws either left whole or split in half
• 1 bunch pencil asparagus with 2-inches of base trimmed off and discarded, and remainder of asparagus cut into 1-inch bias lengths, blanched and shocked in cold water, drained and set aside
• 1 small onion, finely chopped
• Salt and pepper to taste
• 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
• 2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) sweet unsalted butter
• 2 cups Arborio rice
• 5 to 6 cups lobster stock



1. Heat extra-virgin olive oil in 4- to 5-quart stockpot over medium-low heat.

2. Add chopped lobster bodies and sauté in oil for 5 minutes.

3. Add shallots and cook for 5 minutes until translucent. Add thyme, pepper, bay leaf, carrot, and garlic cloves; mix and stir for additional 5 minutes.

4. Lastly add tomato paste, sauté, and mix well with lobster shells for about 5 minutes.

5. Deglaze with white wine, raise heat to high, and bring to a boil. Cook wine for 5 minutes and reduce by half, then add 7 cups of water. Stir well, bring to a boil, then simmer stock for approximately 30 to 45 minutes.

6. Strain liquid through a fine-mesh sieve and discard all ingredients. Should be left with approximately 5 cups lobster stock.


1. Bring the stock to a boil in a medium saucepan, then reduce the heat and keep at a bare simmer. Melt the butter with the olive oil in a large, heavy saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until softened and translucent, about 3 minutes. Add the rice and cook, stirring, for about 3 minutes, until every grain is coated with butter and oil. Then add the wine and stir until absorbed. Add 1 cup of the stock and stir until the liquid is absorbed. Continue adding stock, about 1/2 cup at a time, stirring frequently and making sure all the liquid is absorbed before adding more stock. Cook until the rice is just tender and creamy but still al dente, about 15 to 20 minutes. You may have leftover stock.

2. Remove risotto pan from heat and season with salt and pepper. Add the shelled lobster meat that has been cut into 1-inch pieces, and the claws, either left whole or split in half. Add the pencil asparagus, toss well and serve immediately so as not to overcook the lobster but just to heat it through.

Dover sole with poached oysters, leeks, champagne, chives and Osetra caviar

The Scottos

6 servings



• 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil plus 2 tablespoons sweet unsalted butter
• 6 filets Dover sole or Lemon sole filets
• Salt and pepper to season filets
• 1/2 cup all-purpose flour

Poached oysters in champagne

• 1/2 cup chiffonade of heart of leek (inside yellow part)
• 1 shallot, finely minced
• 1/2 cup dry champagne
• 2 tablespoons butter (1/4-inch stick)
• 3 tablespoons oyster liquor (the liquid inside the shell)
• 3/4 cup heavy cream
• 18 shucked oysters, either East coast or West coast
• 3 tablespoons chives, sliced thin
• Salt and pepper
• 2 ounces Osetra caviar for garnish


1. To prepare sole: Heat oil and butter in nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.

2. Sprinkle filets with salt and pepper, and dust both sides lightly with flour. Add to skillet and cook until golden brown and just opaque in center; about 2 minutes per side. Transfer fish to a serving platter, cover and keep warm.

3. To prepare poached oysters in champagne: To the same skillet, add leeks, shallot, and butter and sauté briefly over medium-low heat until just soft. Deglaze pan with champagne and bring to a boil. Reduce by 1/3, add oyster liquor and cream. Simmer sauce for 3 to 5 minutes or until sauce begins to thicken, lightly coating a spoon, then just before serving, add oysters, and continue to simmer for 1 minute; add chives. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper to taste.

To assemble: Spoon oysters and champagne sauce over sole filets and top each filet with small spoonful of Osetra caviar.

Soft bittersweet chocolate biscotti with toasted almonds, sun-dried cherries and caramel gelato

The Scottos

6 servings


• 2 cups self-rising flour
• 1/2 cup Valrhona cocoa powder
• 1/2 cup granulated sugar, plus 3 tablespoons for dipping
• 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
• 1 cup sun-dried cherries, chopped
• 1 cup bittersweet chocolate chips, chopped
• 2 cups heavy cream
• 6 tablespoons melted butter, in a small bowl
• 1/2 cup sliced almonds
• 1 quart caramel gelato or 1 quart Dulce de Leche ice cream


1. Stir the flour, cocoa, sugar and salt together in a bowl, then stir in dried cherries and chocolate.

2. Add the cream and stir until mixture comes together to form a somewhat stiff dough.

3. Turn out on work surface and press the dough together with your hands into 6 x 2-inch square. Using a heart-shaped cutter or knife, cut out biscotti biscuits.

4. Dip biscotti into melted butter and top with sliced almonds and sugar.

5. Place biscotti two inches apart on a greased baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes or until biscotti spring back when pressed lightly. Set aside at room temperature for up to 4 hours.

6. To serve, preheat oven to 350°, split biscotti in half and put in oven for 3 to 5 minutes or until warmed through. Top with caramel gelato and serve.

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