Searching for the perfect way to show your Valentine just how much you care: Get in the kitchen to prepare these deceptively easy, bite-size treats from Chris Santos, chef of NYC Beauty & Essex restaurant (Kim Kardashian dines here!).
Parmigiano-Reggiano Fritters with Balsamic-Spiked Crushed Tomatoes
4 tbsp plus 4 tsp water
4 tbsp plus 4 tsp whole milk
2 tbsp unsalted butter
1/2 cup ap flour plus more for rolling
1 cup parmigiano
Combine water, milk, butter and a pinch of salt. Bring to boil over medium heat. Add flour and stir until the batter pulls away from the sides of the pot and forms a ball. Transfer to a bowl and cool slightly. Fold in cheese and eggs and refrigerate until chilled.
Divide the cold dough into 4 pieces. Roll each piece on a floured surface into a 10-inch log. Cut the log into 20 pieces and roll into balls. Place them on a parchment-lined sheet and refrigerate for 30 minutes while making the sauce (below).
Pan-fry the fritters in hot grapeseed or vegetable oil in a sauté pan. Drain on a towel and lightly toss with salt, pepper, grated parmigiano and chopped basil. Serve with sauce.
Balsamic-Spiked Crushed Tomatoes
26 ounce can whole peeled tomatoes
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp chopped parsley
2 tbsp chopped basil
1 tbsp chopped garlic
2 tbsp grated parmigiano
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
½ bunch Scallions chopped fine
in a large pan, heat olive oil over a medium-low flame. Add garlic and cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add parsley and basil and cook while stirring for 10-12 minutes, or until the olive oil becomes a bright green color. Add tomatoes, increase the heat to medium and cook for 20-30 minutes. Season with salt, pepper and parmesan. Remove from heat and stir in vinegar and scallions.
Whoopie Pies with Marshmallow Filling
4 oz butter
6 oz light brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
8 oz flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 cup buttermilk
In a bowl, combine flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt. Using an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Slowly add the egg and vanilla. Add half of the dry ingredients and half of the buttermilk, mixing slowly. Add rest of the dry ingredients and buttermilk. Mix until combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix well.
Fill a piping bag with the batter (or scoop with mini cookie scooper) and pipe 1 1/2 inch circles on a parchment-lined sheet pan.
Bake at 325-degrees F for 5- 8 min or until top springs back when touched.
Marshmallow Fluff Filling
2 oz egg whites
1 cup light corn syrup
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup powdered sugar
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 sheet gelatin
Using an electric mixer with the whisk attachment, whip the egg whites, corn syrup and vanilla until doubled in volume. Slowly add the sugar and salt. Bloom the gelatin in water, strain and dissolve. Add to the egg white mixture. Whip until fluffily. Chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. Pipe onto cooled cookies and sandwich them together.