Food: A romantic dinner for two (recipe) |

Food: A romantic dinner for two (recipe)

Arica Davis
Tribune Food Columnist
Make this meal for two —for Valentine's Day or whenever!
Courtesy Arica Davis |

Valentine’s Day is almost here — what do you have planned for your sweetheart? Maybe you’re not a planner and like to do things last minute, or maybe you’ve just been looking for the perfect dinner to cook at home. These recipes take some time and effort, but your honey will know how much he or she means to you after you present these delectable short ribs and polenta. This dinner pairs well with a nice bottle of Grenache, Sangiovese, or a Bordeaux along with something chocolate for dessert.

Have a lovely Valentine’s Day!


Makes 2 servings


2 pounds bone-in beef short ribs

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 onion, chopped

2 carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces

1 parsnip, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces

1 rutabaga, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces

3 garlic cloves

2 cups dry red wine, Cabernet or Barolo

1 cup beef broth

2 sprigs of thyme

1/4 cup toasted pine nuts


Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Season ribs with salt and pepper. Heat olive oil in a Dutch oven over medium high heat. Add the beef and cook without moving for 5-6 minutes, browning the beef on each side. Remove beef and set aside. Add onions to the Dutch oven and cook for 10 minutes, or until softened. Once softened add the wine, broth, and thyme sprigs. Bring to a boil over medium high heat, stirring often to scrape up any little brown bits. Continue until liquid is reduced by half. Place ribs back into the Dutch oven, cover, and transfer to oven, and cook 1 1/2 hours. Remove pot from oven. Stir in carrots, parsnip, rutabaga and garlic. Return to oven; cook until tender, about 1 hour more. While the vegetables are roasting, start the polenta.

Once the beef and vegetables are tender, remove from the Dutch oven and set aside covered.

Pour the remaining Dutch oven liquid through a strainer into a small pot. Simmer over medium heat about 5 minutes, until reduced by half.



2 1/2 cups water

2 cups milk

1 cup polenta

1 teaspoon butter

1 teaspoon lemon zest

4 ounces goat cheese

Salt and pepper to taste


In large pot with high sides, combine water and milk and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low and slowly pour in the polenta while whisking constantly. Cook the mixture for at least 5 minutes, stirring with a wooden spoon until thickened and cooked. Stir in the butter, goat cheese and lemon zest. Season with salt and pepper.

To serve: Spoon polenta on each plate, top with root vegetables and short ribs. Spoon a little sauce over the plate and garnish with toasted pine nuts. Buon Appetito!

Chef Arica Davis is owner/operator of Yummy Fixins, Personal Chef Services and Pasta Parties. Visit or call 530-539-4504 to book your next dinner party.

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Food & Drink