By Allison Davis, Chic Chef at Wild Thyme Cooking
Throughout history our love affair with food has remained constant. George Bernard Shaw claimed “There is no sincerer love than the love of food,” while Virginia Woolf professed “One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.” Alan D. Wolfelt may have said it best, “Food is symbolic of love when words are inadequate.” Nothing says “I love you” better than heartwarming fare. After all, isn’t the key to anyone’s heart through their stomach?
Valentine’s morning is the perfect time to indulge and stay in bed together. Forget the corny heart-shaped pancakes, spice things up this year with a fresh take on some breakfast classics. And if cooking solo, these lovely leftovers make for a great “Binner” (breakfast for dinner) or share with a friend for brunch. “If you really want to make a friend, go to someone’s house and eat with him… the people who give you their food give you their heart.” -Cesar Chavez
Sunshine Smoothie (aka Peaches and Cream) - Serves 2
2 cups diced frozen mango
2 cups frozen peach slices
1 to 1 ½ cups freshly squeezed orange juice
6 ounces full fat vanilla yogurt
¼ tsp almond extract
¼ tsp cinnamon
Combine the ingredients in a blender and process until smooth. Serve immediately.
Sweet Potato & Bacon Fritters - Serves 2-4
¼ lb bacon, coarsely chopped
½ large sweet potato, scrubbed and patted dry
¼ cup buttermilk, or as needed
1 large egg, beaten
1 ¼ cup all-purpose flour
2 TBS sugar
2 TBS cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
½ TBS baking powder
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp ground nutmeg
¼ tsp ground allspice
Canola oil for frying
Preheat oven to 400*F. Place bacon strips on baking sheet and cook until crisp. Place sweet potato on another sheet pan and bake until tender.
Cut sweet potato open and let cool 5 minutes. Spoon flesh into a bowl and mash with a potato masher. Measure out ½ cup and place in large bowl. Whisk in the buttermilk and egg.
Blend flour, sugar, butter, baking powder, salt, nutmeg, allspice in a food processor until a fine meal forms. Add flour mixture to the sweet potato mixture and stir until soft dough forms, adding more buttermilk, 1 TBS at a time, if dough is dry. Add bacon and blend. Cover bowl and let stand 10 minutes.
Heat a deep pan with canola oil and heat to 350*F. Drop level tablespoonful of the dough into the oil. Turn occasionally, until cooked through and brown. Drain on sheet pan with paper towel. Serve the fritters hot with maple syrup.
Asparagus & Goat Cheese Frittata - Serves 2
1 tbs unsalted butter
2 tbs minced onion
1 garlic clove, sliced
½ cup asparagus cut into ¼ inch pieces
½ cup roasted red and yellow bell peppers, cut into strips
¼ tsp kosher salt, plus a pinch
¼ cup heavy cream
4 large eggs
¼ cup crumbled goat cheese
Preheat the broiler.
Cook the butter, onion, and garlic in an 8 inch sauté pan over medium heat. Once they become opaque, add the asparagus, roasted peppers and a pinch of salt. Sauté the mixture for 2 minutes.
In a separate bowl, beat the eggs with ¼ tsp salt and ¼ cup of cream. Add the eggs to the pan and stir with a rubber spatula, scraping down the edges and across the bottom to mix the eggs thoroughly with the asparagus.
Cook, without stirring, over medium heat until the edges are firm and begin to set. Add the goat cheese and transfer the pan directly until the broiler. Broil the eggs until the center is firm, cheese is melted and the edges are slightly brown.