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ROMANTIC RECIPES

Gulfstream Park offers plenty of options for planning a special date night out on Valentine’s Day. But for those wanting an intimate evening at home, here are a handful of decadent recipes from Williams Sonoma to help make your meal another thing to love. (We’re suggesting two recipes for dessert, because obviously.) Images via Williams Sonoma

A PEAR OF BRANDIES A PEAR OF BRANDIES
Prep Time: 5 minutes | Cook Time: 0 minutes | Servings: 1

Ingredients: 1/2 oz. pisco | 1/2 oz. Calvados or other apple brandy | 3/4 oz. St-Germain elderflower liqueur | 1/2 oz. Belle de Brillet | dash of orange bitters | 3 oz. champagne | orange twist for garnish

Directions: In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, stir together the pisco, Calvados, elderflower liqueur, Belle de Brillet and orange bitters. Stir until chilled, then strain into a champagne flute or coupe. Top with the champagne, garnish with the orange twist and serve. Makes 1 drink. Lynnette Marrero, consultant, The Llama Inn, Brooklyn, NY.
BEET AND CARROT SALAD WITH CITRUS VINAIGRETTE BEET AND CARROT SALAD WITH CITRUS VINAIGRETTE
Prep Time: 15 minutes | Servings: 4 to 6

Ingredients: 2 beets, about 1 lb. total | 1 bunch of carrots, about 1 lb. | 1 orange | 3 tbs. fresh lemon juice | 1/2 tsp. grated lemon zest | 1/4 cup walnut oil | kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste | 1/4 cup fresh parsley leaves

Directions: Using a mandoline, thinly slice the beets. Use the mandoline to thinly slice the carrots lengthwise. Grate the zest of the orange and set the zest aside. Using a sharp knife, cut a thin slice off both ends of the orange, then cut away the peel and pith. Cut on either side of each segment to free it from the membrane. In a small bowl, whisk together the orange zest, lemon juice, lemon zest, walnut oil and salt and pepper to taste. In a large bowl, toss the beets with a third of the vinaigrette and divide among 4 to 6 plates. In a separate bowl, toss the carrots with another third of the vinaigrette and arrange the carrots on top of the beets. Drizzle with the remaining vinaigrette and top with the orange segments and parsley. Season with salt and pepper and serve immediately. Serves 4 to 6. Williams Sonoma Test Kitchen.
STEAK FRITES STEAK FRITES
Prep Time: 20 minutes | Cook Time: 30 minutes | Servings: 2

Ingredients for the fries: 2 medium russet potatoes, scrubbed and cut into batons 3/8 by 3/8 inch | 1 tbs. canola oil | kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

Ingredients for the steak: 3 tbs. unsalted butter, at room temperature | 1 tbs. minced fresh chives, minced | 1 tbs. minced fresh flat-leaf parsley | 1 tbs. minced fresh rosemary | kosher salt and freshly ground pepper | 2 New York strip steaks, each about 1-inch thick

Directions: To make the French fries, put the potatoes in a bowl, add water to cover and let soak for 30 minutes. Preheat a Philips airfryer to 360°F. Drain the potatoes and rinse well. Place on a towel-lined baking sheet and pat dry, removing as much moisture as possible. Transfer to a bowl and add the canola oil. Season with salt and pepper and toss to coat. Place the potatoes in the fry basket and insert into the airfryer. Cook for 5 minutes, then increase the temperature to 390°F. Pull out the basket and, using tongs, toss and stir the potatoes. Return the basket to the fryer. Continue cooking until the potatoes are cooked through and golden brown on the outside, about 15 minutes more, opening the basket 2 or 3 times during cooking to toss and stir them. While the potatoes are cooking, preheat a Phillips Smoke-Less Grill fitted with the barbecue grid. In a bowl, combine the butter, chives, parsley, rosemary and large pinch each of salt and pepper. Mash and fold the ingredients until smooth and well blended. Set aside. Season the steaks generously with salt and pepper, patting the seasonings firmly onto the meat. Place the steaks on the grill and cook, turning once, until well-marked and cooked to medium-rare, 4 to 5 minutes per side, or until cooked to your liking. Transfer to platter and let rest for 5 minutes. Place each steak on a plate, top with the herb butter and serve immediately with the French fries alongside. Serves 2. Williams-Sonoma Test Kitchen.
BANANA-COCONUT MILKSHAKES BANANA-COCONUT MILKSHAKES
Prep Time: 5 minutes | Cook Time: 0 minutes | Servings: 2 to 4

Ingredients: 2 bananas, peeled and frozen | 1 pint vanilla ice cream | 1/2 cup milk, plus more if needed | 1/4 cup candied or toasted walnuts | 1/4 cup unsweetened coconut flakes, plus more for garnish | 1/4 cup honey | nut brittle for garnish (optional)

Directions: Break each banana into 3 or 4 pieces. In a blender, combine the bananas, ice cream, milk, walnuts, coconut flakes and honey. Blend until smooth, adding more milk if necessary to achieve the desired thickness. Pour the milkshakes into chilled glasses and garnish each with a sprinkling of coconut flakes and a piece of nut brittle. Serves 2 to 4. Williams Sonoma Test Kitchen.
HEART-SHAPED RED VELVET BUNDT CAKE HEART-SHAPED RED VELVET BUNDT CAKE
Prep Time: 10 minutes | Cook Time: 60 minutes | Servings: 16

Ingredients: 4 eggs | 1 1/2 cups canola oil | 1 1/2 cups buttermilk | 1 tbs. white vinegar | 1 package red velvet Bundt cake mix | confectioners’ sugar for dusting | heart-shaped candy sprinkles for garnish (optional)

Directions: Have all the ingredients at room temperature. Position a rack in the lower third of an oven and preheat to 350°F. Butter and flour a scallop heart Bundt cake pan. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, combine the eggs, oil, buttermilk and vinegar. Beat on medium speed until combined, about 30 seconds. Add the cake mix and beat until blended and smooth, about 1 minute. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl, then beat on medium speed for 30 seconds more. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and, using a rubber spatula, spread evenly. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, about 1 hour. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let the cake cool in the pan for 15 minutes. To level the cake, using a serrated knife, gently saw off any portion of the cake that rose above the edge of the pan. Invert the pan onto the rack and lift off the pan. Let the cake cool completely, at least 2 hours. Just before serving, dust with confectioners’ sugar and garnish with candy sprinkles. Serves 16. Williams Sonoma Test Kitchen.