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Romantic Recipes

Chocolate Covered Strawberries with Champange
 Tomales Bay Oysters on the Half-Shell Mignone Sauce
 Roasted Game Hen with Citrus-Clove Glaze
 Café Brulot

Chocolate Covered Strawberries with Champagne

 Purchase your favorite Champagne and chill.
 Buy fresh strawberries that have their stems intact. Wash, dry and refrigerate the strawberries. (Cold strawberries will cause the chocolate to harden and there will be less dripping.)
Chocolate dip: Buy a jar of Nutella, European chocolate hazelnut spread Place 1 cup of Nutella in a double boiler or fondue pot. Add 1 to 2 Tablespoons of heavy cream. Heat over low heat! Add more heavy cream as needed until the consistency of heavy cream. Serve your Valentine.
( You can use other Chocolate if  you want 

Tomales Bay Oysters on the Half-Shell Mignone Sauce

12 ea. fresh oysters (we used local Tomales Bay)

Mignonette Sauce:

1 shallot, minced
2 Tbs. virgin olive oil
1/2 Tbs. sherry vinegar
fresh ground pepper to taste
Rock salt


Combine shallots, olive oil, vinegar, and season with pepper. Set aside.
Place a kitchen towel over your hand, place an oyster on top of the towel, tightly gripping the oyster in the palm of your hand. USING AN OYSTER KNIFE ONLY, wedge the tip of the blade into the narrow point at the end of the oyster, working the blade back and forth. Gradually you will feel the muscle release. Run the the blade along the length of the oyster and pry it open. Loosen the meat from the muscle so you can "slide" it out of its shell. Repeat with all 12 oysters. Discard the top shell. Place a bed of rock salt on your serving plate. Place 6 oysters in a circle pattern. Drizzle the mignonette sauce over top of the oysters using a spoon.
Serve immediately.

Roasted Game Hen with Citrus-Clove Glaze

Steamed broccoli and baked sweet potatoes are tasty

1 lemon, very thinly sliced
1. 1 1/2- to 1 3/4-pound Cornish game hen, halved, backbone
1/3 cup all-fruit orange marmalade
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 tablespoons bourbon
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon peel
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves


Preheat oven to 450°F. Arrange lemon slices on baking sheet in two 3 x 5-inch rectangles. Season Cornish game hen halves generously with salt and pepper. Place game hen halves, skin side up atop rectangles of lemon slices. Roast game hen halves 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, combine orange marmalade, fresh lemon juice, bourbon, grated lemon peel and ground cloves in heavy small saucepan. Simmer marmalade mixture over medium heat until thickened to consistency of glaze, about 4 minutes. Season marmalade glaze to taste with salt and pepper. Brush game hen halves with marmalade glaze. Continue to roast hen halves until juices run clear when thighs are pierced and hen halves are deep brown, brushing 2 more times with marmalade glaze, about 10 minutes longer. Serve immediately.
Serves 2, can be doubled.

Café Brulot

In French, brulot means "burnt brandy."

1/4 cup Cognac or brandy
2 teaspoons sugar
2 whole cloves
1-1/2 inch stick cinnamon
1 tablespoon each, lemon and orange zest
1-1/2 cups hot freshly-brewed coffee


 In a small saucepan, combine Cognac, sugar, cloves, cinnamon stick, and  zest. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until sugar is dissolved. Using a long fireplace match, carefully ignite brandy. When flame subsides, add coffee and stir. Pour into cups and serve.
Makes 2 servings.