Valentine's Day Brunch

The Detroit News
Valentines day table - heart shape fried egg in cast iron skillet, fresh orange juice and coffee. Top view

Valentine's day is approaching! Plan a special brunch for a loved one to celebrate your relationship. The menu is perfect for steak lovers, egg enthusiasts, and chocolate fanatics! Your family member, friend, or soulmate will not be disappointed. 

Cooking brunch allows you to spend time with your loved one in a private place, and save money!

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Valentines Day Menu

Tenderloin Benedict with Sauce Choron
Filet mignon, thin-sliced, one-quarter-inch thick
2 eggs
English muffin
1/2 ounce fresh chives (optional)
Grill both sides of the filet mignon. Add a touch of vinegar to a simmering pot of water. Take the shells off of two eggs and drop them into the simmering water until they turn white and are poached. Place the filet mignon on an English muffin, top with the eggs, then sauce choron (see next recipe). Garnish with chopped chives for color.

Sauce Choron
2 egg yolks
Worcestershire sauce
Tabasco sauce
White wine vinegar
3 ounces clarified butter, at room temperature
Tomato paste
Mix two egg yolks in a metal mixing bowl with a drop each of Worcestershire and Tabasco sauces. Add 1/2-teaspoon water. Put the metal bowl over a pot of boiling water to create a double boiler effect. Whisk the mixture until the eggs peak and stiffen up. Gradually whip in clarified butter with a whisk. Season with salt and pepper. Whisk in a teaspoon each of tomato paste and horseradish sauce.

Organic Roses filled with Honey Masserated Berries, Granola and Chantilly Cream
2 large organic roses
2 tablespoons honey
1/2 pint strawberries
1/2 pint raspberries
1/2 pint blueberries
3 ounces granola
4 ounces Chantilly cream
Make the granola and Chantilly cream in advance (see next two recipes). Place berries in a bowl, add honey and toss. Remove the inner petals from the roses, and, in stages, like a parfait, place the berries, granola and Chantilly cream inside of the rose. Cup the filled rose with your hand and place it onto a plate. Place the inner petals around the roses and serve.

Chantilly Cream
3 ounces heavy cream
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
1/4 vanilla bean or 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Place the heavy cream in a bowl. Cut the vanilla bean in half lengthwise and scrape out the inner seeds. Place the vanilla seeds into the cream and whisk until it holds a shape. Gradually add the sugar. Whisk until the cream holds a stiff peak. Refrigerate until use.


4 ounces oats
1 ounce macadamia nuts, chopped
1.2 ounces wheat germ
1.2 ounces coconut
1 tablespoon oil
1.2 ounces honey
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1/2 ounces dried mango
1/2 ounces dried apricot
Place the oats, nuts, wheat germ and coconut onto a cookie sheet. Toast until the coconut is golden brown. Place in a bowl. Put honey, oil and sugar into a saucepan and whisk as it comes to a full boil. Pour mixture over the oat mix and stir. Add the dried fruit and continue mixing until all is coated. Pour onto a cookie sheet and pat until firm. Let cool. Break up the granola to use.

Chilled Asparagus topped with a Champagne-toasted Almond Vinaigrette and Dried Apricots

1 1/2 pound large asparagus spears
4 ounces champagne-toasted almond vinaigrette
2 tablespoons diced apricots
Prepare the asparagus and champagne-toasted almond vinaigrette ahead of time (see next two recipes). Place the chilled asparagus in the center of the plate, top with the vinaigrette and sprinkle the diced apricots on top.


1 1/2 pound asparagus spears
1 gallon water
1 tablespoon salt
Ice water bath
Snap off the woody ends of the asparagus. Bring water to a boil and add salt. Peel the asparagus with a vegetable peeler, leaving the tips intact. Even out the asparagus by cutting the ends. Blanch the asparagus in the boiling salted water for four minutes. Shock in ice water until cooled. Pull out of the water and pat dry.

Champagne-toasted Almond Vinaigrette
1 ounce champagne
1/2 teaspoon shallots, minced
Pinch of dry mustard
1/4 teaspoon honey
1 ounce white wine vinegar
1/8 cup toasted almonds
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
Pinch of ground white pepper
In a food processor or blender, place champagne, shallots, mustard and honey. Process. Add vinegar. Process. Add toasted almonds. Process. Gradually add vegetable oil. Process. Season with salt and pepper.

Pear French Toast
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup butter
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
2 large pears
3 eggs
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
Day-old French bread
Combine brown sugar, butter and corn syrup in a small saucepan and cook over medium-low heat until thick. Pour into an ungreased 9-by-13-inch ovenproof dish. Peel pears and slice into -inch slices. Arrange the pears on top of the sugar mixture. In a small bowl, beat eggs, milk and vanilla together until well combined. Cut the French bread into 3/4-inch slices and dip them into the milk mixture. Arrange the coated slices on top of the pears. If there is any remaining mixture, pour it over top of the bread. Don’t worry if it looks dry on top — it should.
Cover the dish and refrigerate until morning. In the morning, remove the dish from the refrigerator, place it into a cold oven and set the temperature at 350 degrees.
Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, until it looks a little toasty on top. It will have formed a delectable pear syrup in the bottom, which you’ll want to spoon over each serving.

Vienna Coffee
6 cups strong hot coffee
1/4 cup sugar (optional)
5 whole cloves
4 whole allspice berries
3 cinnamon sticks, broken
Whipped cream
Combine the brewed coffee and sugar in a slow cooker. Place cloves, allspice and cinnamon sticks on a small square of cheesecloth, form into a sack, tie with kitchen string, and drop into the slow cooker. Cook on low for 3 to 4 hours. Remove cheesecloth sack and discard. Serve in heatproof glasses with a dollop of whipped cream. Sprinkle with nutmeg or cinnamon to garnish, if desired. Serves 6.

Raspberry Lemon Streusel Muffins
Streusel topping
1/4 cup melted butter or margarine
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons finely-shredded lemon peel

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/3 cup sugar
1 tablespoon finely shredded lemon peel
1 egg
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup melted butter or margarine
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 1/2 cups whole frozen raspberries (do not thaw)
1 tablespoon flour
Adjust oven rack to middle position and preheat oven to 400 degrees. Stir all streusel ingredients together to form a soft, crumbly dough. Set aside.
Whisk dry muffin ingredients and lemon peel together. In a separate bowl, combine all liquid ingredients. Add in dry ingredients and stir until almost fully incorporated. Toss frozen raspberries with flour to coat, then gently fold into dough, handling only enough to incorporate the berries. Using paper muffin cup liners, fill each cup until -inch from the top. Crumble streusel topping over each.
Bake for 15 minutes, then reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake for another 10 minutes, or until lightly browned and the muffin springs back when pressed lightly with fingertip.
Makes 9 large or 12 standard-size muffins.

Chocolate mousse

12 ounces bittersweet chocolate
4 ounces butter
6 large egg yolks
10 large egg whites
2 1/2 ounces of sugar
8 ounces heavy cream
Melt the chocolate in a dry pan over a hot water bath. Remove from heat. Add the butter and stir until melted. Add the egg yolks, mixing well. Whip the egg whites with the sugar to form a soft meringue. Fold into the chocolate mixture. Whip the cream until it forms soft peaks. Fold it into the chocolate mixture. Transfer the mousse to serving bowls or individual dishes or molds. Chill for several hours before serving. 

Pear and Spinach Salad with Goat Cheese and Pecans 
3 pears, peeled
1 quart red wine
1 pint of water
2 cups sugar
2 tablespoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup honey
12 ounce bag baby spinach
1 large white onion sliced thin
4 ounces of goat cheese crumbled
4 tablespoons fresh basil chopped
1 cup pecans chopped
1/2 cup dried pears chopped fine
1/2 cup of oil
1/2 cup of red wine vinegar
Combine the wine, water, sugar, vanilla and honey and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat below a simmer. Add pears and submerge under liquid. Poach the pears until fork tender. Remove them from the liquid and set aside to cool. Save the poaching liquid to make the vinaigrette. Once the pears are chilled, slice about 1/4-inch thick. Assemble salad starting with the spinach, then the onions, goat cheese, basil and pecans. Place the pears on top of the salad in a decorative pattern. Drizzle or ladle dressing over salad right before serving. For the sweet wine vinaigrette, use one cup of the poaching liquid, add 1/2 cup of oil and 1/2 cup of red wine vinegar. Whisk them together to combine. The mixture will separate but just mix again or shake before using. The vinaigrette is made to taste, so the oil and vinegar amount may change due to personal preference. 

Asparagus and Sun-dried Tomato Quiche 
2 ounces white onions
8 ounces of leeks, white and light green parts, thinly sliced
Butter or oil as needed
10 ounces of asparagus tips blanched
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon pepper
12 fluid ounces of milk
5 eggs
2 ounces grated parmesan cheese
3 1/2 ounces grated white cheddar cheese
2 ounces chopped sun-dried tomatoes
1 puff pastry sheet
Roll out puff pastry and line a 9-inch pie dish. Pre-bake at 375 degrees for about 10 to 15 minutes. Sauté onions and leeks in butter until translucent. Add the asparagus tips and toss until the tips are coated. Remove from heat. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Whisk together the milk and eggs. Stir in the cheeses and sun-dried tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper. Spread the asparagus mixture evenly over the crust. Add the custard mixture. Set the pie or casserole dish on a sheet pan and bake in a preheated 350-degree oven until a knife blade inserted in the center comes out clean, about 40- 45 minutes. Serve hot or at room temperature.