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Planning a French Valentines Dinner

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I am going to cook a romantic French dinner at home on Valentines Day. I want it to be really decadant and will be channeling my inner Julia Child. Does anyone have any ideas what to serve Boeuf Bourguignonne with? Great crusty french bread or should I have a side Potato dish?
Also, I was looking for some salad course suggestions? Leeks vinnaigrette?

I am certain of these courses:

Oysters
Boeuf Bourguignonne
Tarte Tatin

I am open to any and all suggestions. Also, I plan to use beef chuck. Does anyone with experience with this dish recommend another cut?

Thanks!

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  1. i just made some yummy braised leeks. sliced off the roots and most of the greens. kept the top intact, and sliced through vertically. rinsed and blanched in chicken stock. drained and put in a shallow dish. covered with salt, sugar and pepper, then olive oil and butter. bake for about 15 mins. WOW. i'd skip the potatoes and serve this as a side.

    maybe a romaine or frisee salad after. don't want dinner too heavy <<wink>>.

    1. You can serve Boeuf Bourguignonne with buttered noodles (nice with parsley), mashed potatoes, boiled potatoes (buttered, also nice with parsley). I've also seen it served over toasted, buttered slices of French bread, too.

      In sticking with the French theme, your salad could be a lovely Frisee aux Lardons..with or without a poached egg on top. Many recipes online for this. If you can't find one let me know and I'll post it.

      1. For wine the obvious choice for the Oyster course for a romantic dinner is a Blanc de Blanc Champagne (although a pink Champagne would be even more romantic). However French Chablis is another food friendly option for oysters. For the burgundy beef course the logical choice would be the same wine used in the preparation of the course. Finally for the Tart Tatin I'd choose a late harvest Pinot Gris from Alsace or a dessert Vouvray.

        As for possible decadent and romantic additions to your thoughtful menu I'd suggest a Foie Gras or a Pate course (white truffles worked in there somehow) and maybe a small cheese course in between the main and dessert.

        1. cheese between main and desert...wasn't sure of that! Thanks all...great recs. Braised leeks sound fab and I had forgotten about frisee au lardon

          1 Reply
          1. re: Mollusk

            Good luck! As for the cheese, it is of course optional (but you did say decadent). Actually a little cheese provided after the main (to be consumed with the remaining red wine from the main) is fairly common.

          2. A suggested fallback in case the leeks aren't tops. (The ones in the stores here locally have been large and tough-looking.) Braised endive is delicious.
            Also plain old celery, sliced on the bias in large pieces and braised in chicken stock, takes on a totally different and unexpected flavor - almost like fennel without the anise.

            Other possibles for the salad:
            Beets! Deep, deep red. With a lemon and olive oil dressing. A few finely minced shallots.
            Hearts of palm with a fine julienne of sweet red pepper. On a bed of micro-greens.

            Chuck is a great cut to use for BB. Do at least a day ahead for flavors to meld and to remove any fats.

            1. Hey, are you stealing my moves? :-) You've basically outlined the same menu I made for my in-laws last year: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/28182...

              I like bouef bourguignon w/ buttered egg noodles. Julia's recipe is really good. I did a soup course instead of salad, but a salad for Vday would be great. While not traditional French, I get the image of frisee (or arugula), roasted beets and oranges w/ a shallot vinaigrette in my little head. I think it would look pretty for Vday and would also taste delicious! There is some good discussion about tarte tatin in the thread above. Bon Appetit!

              1. If you want to do a potato dish, definitely do potatos au gratin. So rich and French. Mmmm. Carb Lover's salad sounds delish.

                1. Wow Carb lover! That is pretty spot on close to my idea! I hope mine turns into the success that yours was! Oh and re:tarte tatin. I made one years ago for a French class in college that was outstanding. Oddly enough I took a gamble and used a recipe that called for Fuji apples.