Themed dinner menus

Quick Valentine's Menu

Valentines menu, Italian-style

This Valentines menu is quick, easy to do and cheap. You can also make it when you want to plan a romantic evening in the year!
Look also at our ideas to set up the table for an unforgettable evening.
The most important features of this Valentines menu are:

  • - you need only 60 to 90 minutes (preparation and cooking time)
  • - the recipes are easy to do and everyone can make them but they taste fantastic!
  • - there is no garlic and onion and this is very important for a romantic evening
  • - what are your names? You can compose your initials in every dish. Your partner will be astonished pleasantly! Look at the photos for more details. C and L are respectively the initials for my husband and me

Shopping list

  • 1 50g (1 3/4 ounces) can black truffle slices in oil or whole black truffle
  • Frozen crispy battered potato slices
  • 200g (7 ounces) fully cooked polenta
  • 100g (3 1/2 ounces) ready-to-use pizza dough
  • 8 quail eggs
  • 1 egg or 30g (1 ounce) bacon
  • 1 little mozzarella cheese
  • 200g (7 ounces) lean beef, cut into very thin slices
  • Frankfurters
  • Fresh orange juice
  • Sparkling wine
  • Red wine (Corvo rosso from Italy)
  • Assorted pastries

and besides

  • Puréed tomatoes
  • Dried chives
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt

If you have any trouble to find blak truffle, look at these pages
This website sells a lot of specialities, black truffles too
Another store that sells black truffles on line

Step-by-step instructions

The day before: chill the sparkling wine.

Set up the table. Your decorations (centerpiece and place cards) must be yet ready. Arrange all pastries on the serving plate composing the initials. Look at the photo at the end of this page for more details. Put this plate apart. You can buy pastries but if you are a good cook, you can prepare them the day before. Prepare little tarts with jam or fresh fruit, for example.

Begin cooking an hour before (or 90 minutes before if you are not so good as cook)
Remove truffle slices from olive oil and put them in a little dish separately.

Then prepare beef roulades. You need about a quarter of an hour. You can use preserving oil of black truffle to brush meat surface. Begin cooking your roulades. If you think there are too many eggs in this menu, you can substitute frittata with few bacon slices. But you have to know that 5 quail eggs are equivalent to one hen egg.

Prepare your appetizers made with pizza.
Grate mozzarella cheese. Grease a baking sheet.
For little square pizzas. Roll out your pizza dough on a lightly floured surface. Cut it into strips and then into little squares. Use kitchen scissors for a quick step.
If you prefer the other idea for initials, cut pizza dough into as many rectangles as the parts in which initials can be divided.
Preheat oven to 200°C (400°F).
Prepare some tablespoons of puréed tomatoes seasoned with extra virgin olive oil, dried chives and salt.
Distribute this tomato sauce on pizza pieces with a teaspoon.
Slice frankfurters and arrange them on little pizzas as you can see in the photo.
If you are making the other initials, cut frankfurters lengthways and put them on the rectangles after tomato sauce and a bit of grated mozzarella; at this point roll pizza dough around every frankfurter piece and close its end pressing with your fingers. So you have some pizza rolls filled with tomato sauce, grated mozzarella and frankfurter. They taste fantastic! Bake pizza rolls until pasta is golden, about 15 to 20 minutes.
Cooking time for little square pizzas is about 10 to 15 minutes. In this case you have to add grated mozzarella a minute before the end of cooking.

Meanwhile cut polenta into slices, grease a baking sheet and arrange all polenta slices on this baking sheet.

Prepare the cocktail but chill it until serving.

Look at the table for the last touch: is everything OK?

Prepare the pan for cooking quail eggs. Choose a non-stick frying pan. Pour in olive oil and put apart. Prepare a baking sheet for the frozen crispy battered potato slices.

Arrange pizza pieces on a serving plate composing the initials. Put this plate on the table. They can be eaten warm, cold or hot.

Serve your cocktail with the accompaniment of pizzas.

There are still two last steps. Completing polenta slices and baking frozen crispy battered potato slices. Make them after eating pizzas. Let your lover help you in the kitchen. It can increase your complicity.

Bake the frozen crispy battered potato slices according to the instructions.
Fry quail eggs and complete polenta slices. Eat them while potatoes are in the oven.

Then warm up the beef roulades. Arrange them in a serving dish surrounded by potato slices. Eat them hot.

Complete your menu with assorted pastries.