There are two days of the year when we never go to a restaurant: Mothers’ Day and Valentine’s Day. There are several reasons, and they are all very simple. First and most important, everyone else goes out to eat on those days. The effects of that are that one absolutely must have a reservation; even with a reservation it is guaranteed that you will have to wait – sometimes for hours; the menu is usually limited and often with nothing that is appealing; even in the best of restaurants the rush impacts the quality of service and the execution of the meal – to suggest that it may taste like cafeteria food is probably an overstatement, but not much; and finally, none of the staff really wants to be there – they would rather be at their own table – and you can sense that in their lack of smile and even civility.
That’s a long-winded way to say that we always cook dinner at home on Valentine’s Day. This year it was pan-sautéed beef filet, french fries, asparagus with aioli, hard rolls, and dessert.
Dessert was coeur â la crème made in a beautiful French ceramic mold that we have had for as long as we have been married. The Americanized version of the dish uses cottage cheese, sour cream, yogurt, and whipped cream. Since that didn’t seem like enough calories, I topped it with a fresh strawberry coulis, and fresh strawberries. The heart-shaped mold was a perfect ending to a quiet Valentine’s Day dinner at home.
Coeur à la Crème
- 1 cup small-curd cottage cheese
- ½ cup sour cream
- 2 tablespoons plain yogurt
- ½ cup heavy cream
- Place the cottage cheese, sour cream, and yogurt in the beaker of a food processor
- Blend thoroughly until the mixture is smooth.
- Pour into a medium bowl
- Whip the heavy cream and then stir into the mixture.
- Line a porous mold with three layers of moistened cheese cloth.
- Pour the mixture into the mold. Cover with the ends of the cheese cloth and place the mold in a rimmed plate.
- Refrigerate overnight.
- Unmold on a plate. Top with strawberry coulis. Garnish with fresh strawberries. Serve.
- 1 pint fresh strawberries + more for garnish
- 4 tablespoons sugar
- 4 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
- Place all of the ingredients in the beaker of a food processor and blend until smooth.
- Use immediately or refrigerate for up to three days until ready to use.