I hate Valentine's Day.
In fact, for the past couple years I've thrown an Anti-Valentine dinner party where we eat unromantic dishes...garlicky, oniony, spicy, sour, bitter, salty, messy, & stinky foods. My favorite appetizer to put out is a big hunk of blue cheese with a "Love Stinks" sign. Anything with a face still attached is always welcome.
The first year I made Angry Lobster, and my guests had to murder their own crustacean. Last year, I made Pasta Puttanesca, a pungent sauce with anchovies, olives, and capers...for the whores.
This year, my theme is "Let's Fork!" I am asking guests to bring an appropriately un-love-ly appetizer to share. I'm thinking of making pissaladiere and chicken liver pate. But, I have so many other ideas...red foods (like beet pasta) and black foods (like crostini with spicy homemade ricotta & black lentils) are on the top of my list.
Here are some other ideas for the perfect "Anti" dinner:
- Bagna Cauda
- Black Garlic Noodles
- "Broken Hearts" Salad (bitter greens, artichoke hearts, hearts of palm) with Roasted Garlic Vinaigrette
- Garlic Knots
- Savory Garlic Ice Cream
- Brandada (whipped salt cod & potato spread)
- Dill Pickle Popcorn
- Fried Smelts
- Salt & Pepper Tofu
- Smoked Trout Deviled Eggs
- Avocado Sour Cream Mousse
- Fresh Herb, Grapefruit, & Fennel Salad
- Goat Cheese Crostini with Orange & Black Pepper Marmalade
- Pickled Shrimp
- Sour Citrus & Feta Bruschetta (recipe below)
- Curry-Lime Chicken Wings
- Lamb & Chorizo Chili
- Spicy Peanut Dipping Sauce
- Squid Ink Pasta with Lobster Fra Diavolo Sauce
- Vodka-Spiked Cherry Tomatoes with Pepper Salt (use a pepper vodka!)
- Black Rice Pudding
- Brown Sugar Cake with Almond Brittle
- Dark Chocolate Tart with Pretzel Crust
- Red Hot Cinnamon Macarons
- Slut Red Raspberries in Chardonnay Jelly
Sour Citrus & Feta Bruschetta
1 firm pink grapefruit
1 firm clementine
1 medium shallot, minced
1/2 teaspoon white wine vinegar
1/4 teaspoon yellow mustard seeds
1/2 teaspoon minced tarragon
1/2-inch-thick baguette slices, toasted
- Remove the peel and white pith from the clementine. Working over a skillet, cut between the membranes to release the sections. Cut the grapefruit in half & cut out the sections as well. Squeeze the juice from both fruits into the skillet.
- Add the shallot, vinegar and mustard seeds. Cook over moderately high heat, stirring, until most of the juice has evaporated and the fruit has started to break down, 2 minutes.
- Let the relish cool to room temperature, then stir in the tarragon and season with salt. Spread the relish over the toasted bread.