We are now entering the month of February, home of that magical or monstrous day known as Valentine’s Day. If you are in love, try cooking up something special for your sweetie this year. It doesn’t have to be difficult to be amazing and the thought behind the gesture is sure to get you a little bit of lovin’. If you are single, more for you… and, frankly, that is a serious win.
Here are some romantic foodie ideas from two of America’s most iconic couples.
Presidential Orange Crush
Grate the yellow rind of four lemons and two oranges upon two pounds of loaf sugar. Squeeze the juice of the lemons and oranges; cover the juice and let it stand until the next day. Strain it through a sieve, mix with the sugar; add a bottle of champagne and the whites of eight eggs beaten to a stiff froth. It may be frozen or not, as desired. For winter, use snow instead of [crushed] ice.
We all know these snacks are the ultimate aphrodisiac and this was Jackie’s favorite snack to feed her bae.
• 24 shucked oysters on the half shell
• 10 ounces fresh spinach, chopped
• 3 Tbsp butter
• 1 large shallot, finely chopped
• 1 garlic clove, minced
• 1/3 cup chopped prosciutto
• Light cheese sauce (below)
• Salt and pepper
• Panko bread crumbs
Light Cheese Sauce:
• 2 Tbsp butter
• 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
• 1 ¼ cups half and half
• ½ cup shredded parmesan
• ½ cup shredded cheddar
• ½ tsp fresh nutmeg
• Salt and pepper
• Make sure your fish monger shucks the oysters for you. Keep them on ice until you need them.
• In a medium skillet, melt the butter. Add the shallot and garlic. Sauté 5 minutes.
• Add the prosciutto and spinach. Cook for 2-3 minutes. Remove any excess water from the spinach.
• Add cheese sauce and stir. Add salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate until completely cool.
• Preheat the oven to 375°F
• Add 1 Tbsp of filling to the oyster. Sprinkle with panko breadcrumbs and a little bit of paprika.
• Bake on a baking sheet until browned and bubbling, 15-20 mins
• Serve with a slice of lemon
For the sauce:
• In a medium saucepan, melt the butter. When liquid, add the flour. Stir to combine.
• Add half and half, whisking to thicken
• Add cheese, nutmeg, and salt & pepper. When it has melted take off heat.
Mary Todd Lincoln’s Courting Cake:
It is well documented that Mary Todd was an avid baker and she won over Abraham’s heart with this cake even though she was dating several guys at the time. He was quoted as saying “My wife is as handsome as when she was a girl, and I…fell in love with her; and what is more, I have never fallen out.” Blush.
• 1 cup blanched and finely chopped almonds
• 1 cup butter
• 2 cups sugar
• 3 cups flour
• 3 tsp baking powder
• 1 cup milk
• 6 egg whites
• 1 tsp vanilla [or almond] extract
• confectionary sugar
• Preheat oven to 350°F
• Cream butter and sugar.
• Add flour and baking power to creamed butter and sugar, alternating with milk. Add chopped almonds and mix well.
• Beat egg whites until stiff and fold into the batter. Stir in vanilla extract.
• Pour into greased and floured Bundt pan.
• Bake for 1 hour, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool on wire rack. When cool, sift confectionary sugar over top. Serve with ice cream and strawberries.