Have a Feast This Valentine’s Day With These Recipes From Chef Couples

Need some Valentine’s Day mealtime inspiration? Us Weekly has got you covered with this roundup of drool-worthy recipes from famous chef couples who are running restaurants across the country.

If your loved one is a fan of breakfast in bed, look no further than the “Pepper Boy” sandwich recipe from Egg Shop. The trendy New York City eatery is owned by adorable husband-and-wife team Sarah Schneider and Demetri Makoulis, who have been together for more than 10 years.

The dish itself is an elevated take on the traditional BEC (that’s short for bacon, egg and cheese), and in addition to the titular ingredients, this messy meal features some diced green bell pepper and a homemade caramelized onion aioli that tastes like it came straight from a five-star chef’s kitchen. It can also be made into a gluten-free meal.

If omelettes are more your speed for breakfast (or lunch), try the soft omelette-in-a-bag recipe from Anna and David Posey of Chicago’s Elske restaurant. Though the dish sounds complicated, it’s really just an unconventional, yet fun and easy way to make a delicious omelette. Procrastinators might also be relieved to know that this meal, which features cayenne pepper and a squeeze of lemon juice, can easily be prepared early and served at anytime of day.

Should you be in the market for a fancy Valentine’s Day dinner, why not give the short rib meatloaf from Root & Bone’s Jeff McInnis and Janine Booth a shot? Though this dish (which was created accidentally) takes some time to prepare, it’s a crowd-pleaser at the pair’s New York City restaurant and is also a meal that’s especially significant for the Top Chef couple. In fact McInnis credits this meatloaf with bringing him together with his Root & Bone cochef and life partner, Booth.

Scroll through the gallery to see more scrumptious Valentine’s Day recipes from chef couples!

The “Pepper Boy” Sandwich

“With a shared love for the perfect egg sandwich, our Egg Shop Pepper boy has all the goods,” Sarah Schneider tells Us. “We love the soft fluffy scramble with crunchy pepper bacon, delicious Gruyere and the crunch of bell pepper. All of the ingredients compliment each other, just like we do!”

For a gluten-free version of this dish, simply hollow out a bell pepper, spread the inside with aioli and fill with the soft scramble. Then top with cheese and bacon and broil briefly to melt the cheese.

Makes 1 sandwich

INGREDIENTS:

For the sandwich:
• 3 slices maple-cured pepper bacon (we use North Country Smokehouse)
• 1 panini roll
• 1 tbsp vegetable oil
• 3 tbsps diced green bell pepper
• 3 eggs
• 1/4 cup shredded Gruyère cheese
• 2 tbsps caramelized onion aioli (see recipe below)
• Freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
• Pinch of sea salt, to taste

For the caramelized onion aioli:
• 1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
• Pinch of pure cane sugar
• 1 tsp kosher salt
• 1 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
• 1 garlic clove, grated
• 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
• 1 cup mayonnaise

INSTRUCTIONS:

1. To make the aioli, combine onion and sugar in a nonstick pan or cast-iron skillet and cook over medium-low heat until well caramelized, stirring often. It should take 25 to 30 minutes. If you notice any burning, just deglaze with a tablespoon of water and stir (this will also speed up the caramelization process). Cool the onion in the fridge.

2. In a blender combine the cooled onion, salt, pepper, garlic, lemon juice and mayo and puree. Set aside when finished. The aioli will last in the fridge for up to 10 days.

3. In a nonstick skillet, cook the bacon over medium heat until crispy. Split and toast the roll in the same pan. Set the bacon and roll aside.

4. Add the vegetable oil to the pan. Toss in the peppers and sauté for about one minute.

5. Add the eggs and cook them in a soft scramble, incorporating the peppers. Top with the Gruyère and the reserved bacon. Remove from the heat and cover the pan. This will melt the cheese perfectly and warm the bacon as well.

6. Spread both sides of the roll with aioli and use a spatula to place the eggs on the roll. Finish with cracked pepper to taste and a bit of sea salt. Add the top roll and eat!

Credit: David Malosh

Short Rib Meatloaf

When Root & Bone’s Jeff McInnis was developing the menu for a new Asian restaurant in Miami a while back, he was working on a short rib and caramelized onion filling for a spring roll. The Top Chef alum cooked up the mixture, packed it into a pan and stashed it in the fridge. When he returned a couple of days later, he found the filling at the bottom of a stack of pans, solid as a brick. It looked “uniform and unique,” he tells Us, so McInnis decided to fry up a slab and see what he was working with. Happy with the accidental meatloaf he’d created, the chef finessed it into a dish and put it on the menu. In a case of love at first bite, McInnis singularly credits this meatloaf with bringing him together with his Root & Bone cochef and life partner, fellow Top Chef alum Janine Booth.

Makes 16 small servings

INGREDIENTS:

• 2 tbsps, plus 2 tsps olive oil
• 4 cups julienne onions
• Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
• 4 short ribs
• 2 quarts chicken or veal stock

INSTRUCTIONS:

1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

2. Heat two teaspoons olive oil and caramelize the onions very slowly until they are completely golden. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside to cool.

3. Season the short ribs with salt and pepper. Heat one tablespoon of olive oil in a large pan. Sear the shanks in batches on all sides and transfer to a hotel pan.

4. Pour stock and caramelized onions over short ribs. Cover and braise them until they are very tender, approximately five to six hours. Remove the pan and let the ribs cool in the juices.

5. Shred all the meat off the bones, including some fat. Strain the braising liquid and reduce it by half over medium heat.

6.In a large bowl, combine one cup of the braising liquid with the meat and onions. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper.

7. Pack the mixture into an 8 x 8–inch pan, top with parchment and press another pan on top bottom-side down. Compress the top pan with four or five large cans. Set it all on a baking sheet to collect any juices. Refrigerate overnight or 48 hours for best results.

8. Run a knife around the edge of the meatloaf pan and heat the bottom briefly (15 to 20 seconds) over the stove to release the meat. Turn the pan upside-down to release the loaf. Slice it into 2 x 2–inch squares.

9. For each serving, heat a cast-iron pan over medium-high heat. Sear each meatloaf square on both sides and transfer them to a 350 degree oven for five to 10 minutes to heat through.

Credit: Matt Hinckley, Root & Bone

Soft Omelette-in-a-Bag

“Omelettes were the first thing David made me when we started dating, and has made throughout our relationship,” Anna Posey tells Us. “David has perfected his egg game throughout the years, and I’m very happy being his test subject.”

Adds David: “Eggs are so simple, but can be very difficult to cook. We love making an omelette with a salad and good bread and butter for dinner when there’s nothing to eat and you don’t want to cook a huge meal. And Anna’s been a good sport about my ‘not so great’ omelettes!”

Makes 4 omelettes

INGREDIENTS:

• 12 large eggs
• 100 g cream cheese
• 4 tbsp butter, unsalted
• Salt, to taste
• Cayenne pepper, to taste
• 1 tbsp browned butter
• Chives, for garnish
• A squeeze of lemon juice

INSTRUCTIONS:

1. Blend eggs and cream cheese together until smooth.

2. Set up an ice bath with a medium bowl set in a large bowl of ice.

3. Place a pot or pan over medium heat. Add the butter to the pan and melt.

4. Add the eggs and cook, stirring constantly until the mixture thickens and you end up with small curds. You want the eggs to be very loose and under cooked, (but not too soupy) so they stay soft and runny for the final omelette.

5. Quickly add cooked eggs to the ice bath and stir to cool quickly. Once cooled, season with salt and cayenne pepper.

6. Separate cooled egg mixture into four small Ziploc bags. Seal the bag, making sure all the air in the bag is removed. Push all the mixture to the bottom of the bag. With all the eggs pushed to the bottom, roll the bag up into a little ‘taquito’, making sure the eggs form a nice and even tube. Use a piece of tape to hold the bag in place. These can be made in advance and stored in the fridge for a few days.

7. To serve, bring a large pot of boiling water to a boil. Add the egg bags to the water and cover with a lid. Boil for about three and a half  minutes, depending on your preferred doneness.

8. Carefully remove the bags from water and cut the scotch tape. Unroll the bag and carefully slide the omelette onto a plate. If the first omelette breaks open, add the other eggs to the water and cook a little longer.

9. Season all the omelettes with warmed browned butter, chives and a few drops of lemon juice.

Credit: Elske

Strip Steak with Seaweed Sauce and Romaine

This recipe comes to Us courtesy of chef Junghyun Park from New York’s Atoboy and Atomix – a pair of restaurants he owns and operates with his wife Ellia, who is also a chef. The dish itself is a Korean take on a classic skirt steak, and although it has several components, they all seamlessly come together to create one balanced and flavorful meal.

Makes 4 servings

INGREDIENTS:

For steak quick-brine:
• 1/2 cup soju (substitute: vodka)
• 1/2 cup water
• 1/4 cup mirin (substitute: cooking wine)
• 2 tbsp salt
• 2 cloves garlic, minced

For the steak:
• 4, 8-10 oz strip steaks (about 1.5″ thick)
• 1 heart of Romaine lettuce

For seaweed sauce:
• 1 tbsp sugar
• 2 tbsp soy sauce
• 1/4 cup water
• 10 sheets gim (nori seaweed), cut into small pieces
• 1/4 cup canola oil
• 1.5 tbsp toasted sesame oil

For brown butter (to dress the charred lettuce):
• 1/2 tbsp pine nuts
• 5 tbsp unsalted butter
• Pinch of salt
• Pinch of sugar
• 1/2 tbsp fresh parsley, minced

For the horseradish relish:
• 2 tbsp horseradish (freshly grated or store-bought)
• 1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
• 1 tbsp soy sauce
• 1 tsp mirin
• 1 tbsp canola oil
• 1 tsp sugar

INSTRUCTIONS:

1. To make the quick-brine, combine all ingredients in a bowl and stir.

2. Let the steaks steep in the quick-brine for about one to two minutes.

3. Sear both sides of each steak until golden brown, then cook for about five minutes more on each side. Let the steaks rest for a minimum of five minutes.

4. Once rested, slice the steaks against the grain into the desired size.

5. To make the seaweed sauce, add all ingredients to blender and blend until smooth. Set aside.

6. To make the brown butter, toast pine nuts on low heat. Set aside.

7. Prepare the rest of the brown butter sauce by heating the butter on medium-low heat.

8. When the butter starts to froth, stir it constantly so the solids don’t stick to the bottom.

9. Once the butter turns nice and brown after five to seven minutes on low heat (should not be too dark), incorporate the toasted pine nuts, salt and sugar.

10. Turn off the heat and mix in the parsley.

11. For the horseradish relish mix all ingredients together in a bowl. Set aside.

12. For the romaine lettuce, cut the heart of romaine in half lengthwise.

13. Char the romaine hearts with ribs side down for about one to two minutes on each side on high heat.

14. Remove from heat and chop into bite-sized pieces. Season with salt.

15. To plate the dish, spoon the seaweed sauce on the bottom of the plate. Place the sliced steak pieces atop the seaweed sauce, and dollop some of the horseradish relish on top of the steak. Finish by placing the chopped romaine on top or on the side, and dress the lettuce with the brown butter sauce.

Credit: Atoboy

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