Sunday, February 20, 2011

for the LOVE of food...

Valentine's Day with the roomies :)

Stuffed Chicken Valentino, Penne Alfredo, Parmesan Crusted Asparagus

Chocolate Molten Lava Cake

Valentine's Day. The day hated by singles, the day of chocolates and flowers, the day of giggly girls and blushing boys. For years, I have hated this day. But this year was wonderful because I got to make a romantic dinner for my roommates. I made Stuffed Chicken Valentino, Penne Alfredo, Parmesan Crusted Asparagus, and Chocolate Molten Lava Cake for dessert. I had a blast and the food was delicious, according to my roommates.

Stuffed Chicken Valentino
  • 4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
  • 1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
  • 4 tablespoons cream cheese
  • 4 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup roasted red peppers and onions (see below)
  • 4 tablespoons shredded mozzarella cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Slice a chicken breast in half lengthwise, leaving the halves attached on one side: opened and laid flat, the chicken breast should resemble a butterfly. Place between two sheets of plastic wrap, and pound flat. Repeat with remaining chicken breasts.
  2. Combine Parmesan cheese and cream cheese with Italian seasoning and spread over chicken breasts. At one end of each breast, place 3 strips of roasted pepper. Top with 1 tablespoon shredded Mozzarella cheese. Roll each breast up, starting on the side with the peppers and cheese. Insert a toothpick in each roll to prevent unrolling. Place in an oiled baking dish. Season rolls with salt and pepper to taste, and drizzle with olive oil.
  3. Bake in preheated oven for 20-25 minutes. Set oven to broil, and continue cooking for 5 to 10 minutes. Remove from oven, slice to display the colorful filling, and serve.
  4. *For the roasted peppers and onions: Cut 1/2 red pepper into slices. Cut 1/2 onion into slices. On a baking dish, drizzle pepper and onions slices with olive oil and garlic. Roast for about 30 minutes at 425 degrees, until soft.

Penne Alfredo
  • 16 ounces dry penne pasta
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 pint heavy cream
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 dash powdered garlic, or garlic salt
  • 1 cup grated Romano cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese


  1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add penne and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente; drain.
  2. In a large saucepan, melt butter into cream over low heat. Stir in cheese over medium heat until melted; this will thicken the sauce. Add salt, pepper, and garlic to taste.
  3. Serve immediately with warm pasta.

Parmesan Crusted Asparagus
  • 1 pound thin asparagus spears
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup shaved Parmesan cheese
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar, or to taste


  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C).
  2. Place asparagus on a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil, and toss to coat. Arrange asparagus spears in a single layer. Spread Parmesan cheese over asparagus, and season with freshly ground black pepper.
  3. Bake 12 to 15 minutes in the preheated oven, until cheese is melted and asparagus is tender but crisp. Serve immediately on warm plates, sprinkling with balsamic vinegar to taste. 

Chocolate Molten Lava Cake
  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 8 ounces semisweet chocolate chips, or bars, cut into bite-size chunks
  • 5 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 4 teaspoons flour
  • 8 extra-large paper muffin cups (or use regular paper muffin cups, which will make 12 cakes)
  • 1 cup raspberries or sliced strawberries
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar


  1. Melt butter and chocolate in a medium heat-proof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water; remove from heat. Beat eggs, sugar and salt with a hand mixer in a medium bowl until sugar dissolves. Beat egg mixture into chocolate until smooth. Beat in flour until just combined. (Batter can be made a day ahead; return to room temperature an hour or so before baking.)
  2. Before serving dinner, adjust oven rack to middle position; heat oven to 450 degrees. Line a standard-size muffin tin (1/2 cup capacity) with 8 extra-large muffin papers (papers should extend above cups to facilitate removal). Spray muffin papers with vegetable cooking spray. Divide batter among muffin cups.
  3. Bake until batter puffs but center is not set, 8 to 10 minutes (it is very important that batter is not cooked all the way through). Carefully lift cakes from tin and set on a work surface. Pull papers away from cakes and transfer cakes to dessert plates.
  4. Top each with strawberries or raspberries. Sprinkle with powdered sugar. Serve immediately.

1 comment:

  1. Mmmm...Sarah, you inspire me to cook. I want to make these foods, they look delicious! We should cook together sometime :)


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