Even the lowly spud can be transfigured into Valentine elegance.
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3 leeks, bulb only, sliced into rings
1 onion, sliced
1 tablespoon butter
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram
1 bay leaf
salt and pepper to taste
5 cups chicken broth
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
In a large stock pot melt butter over low heat. Add leeks and onion, cover, and cook for 10 minutes.
Add potatoes and season with salt and pepper. Add thyme, marjoram, bay leaf and stir well. Cover pot and continue to cook for 12 minutes. Add chicken stock and bring to a boil, reduce heat and cook, partially covered for 30 minutes. Puree soup in blender or food processor and cool. Prior to serving add cream. Classically served chilled. However, if wishing to serve warm–reheat the soup slowly so that the cream does not change consistency.
Potato Cups with Caviar
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
Salt to taste
1/4 cup sour cream
2 ounces caviar ( or lumpfish roe )
Steam the potatoes over boiling water until barely tender, about 5 minutes. Let the potatoes cool slightly on a plate. Cut each potato in half and use a small melon baller to scoop out an indentation, leaving a 1/4-inch shell. Cut a thin slice from the bottom of each potato cup so it won’t wobble. Preheat the oven to 400° and line a large baking sheet with foil. In a bowl, toss the potatoes with the olive oil and season lightly with salt. Arrange the potatoes, scooped side down, on the baking sheet and bake in the lower third of the oven for about 25 minutes, or until the undersides are golden. Let cool slightly. Arrange the potatoes on a platter, mound each with sour cream and top with caviar and chives.
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