Ina Garten Is Revealing Her Valentine's Day Menu—Including an Elegant, 7-Ingredient Main Dish
If you know and love Ina Garten, the entertaining and cooking whiz behind Barefoot Contessa, then you probably know and love Jeffrey Garten, too. Ina's husband tends to linger at the edges of her episodes, occasionally popping in to say that something tastes delicious or looks beautiful. (Ina even dedicated her 10th cookbook, Cooking for Jeffrey, to his favorite recipes!)
The love for Ina and Jeffrey's pretty adorable marriage runs deep—if you don't believe us, just check out the comments on any of Ina's Jeffrey-centric Instagram posts. And though you might not be able to grab dinner with Ina and Jeffrey anytime soon, you can absolutely steal their Valentine's Day dinner menu to create your own gourmet romance.
Ina has been sharing recipes on her V-Day menu for the past few days on her Instagram, and they're pretty simple—she classifies all of them as "beginner" recipes. So far, Ina has shared her Panko-Crusted Rack of Lamb, Roasted Broccolini, Puréed Potatoes with Lemon and Easy Chocolate Mousse, all of which could serve about four to six people.
"It's almost Valentine's Day, so I'm planning my menu all this week," Garten wrote on Instagram. "Panko-Crusted Rack of Lamb is absolutely delicious and so easy to prepare on a weeknight."
The lamb has just seven ingredients—creamy goat cheese, panko, garlic, fresh rosemary, fresh thyme, lamb and Dijon mustard. The preparation is simple—just combine the goat cheese, panko, garlic and herbs with some salt, pepper and olive oil. After cooking the lamb at 450°F for a few minutes, spread mustard over the lamb, then spread on the crumb mixture as well. Put it back in the oven to finish baking, and soon enough you'll have tender, juicy lamb with a savory coating.
You'll want to roast the broccolini while the lamb rests after coming out of the oven, since it needs to bake at 375°F. That recipe is even simpler than the lamb—just trim the broccolini, spread them on a couple of sheet pans, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. They cook up into a tender, yet crisp, side in just 15 minutes.
The lemony potatoes are also approachable, though you might want to put the potatoes on to boil before you start the lamb. It's a very basic recipe using just Yukon Gold potatoes, unsalted butter, whole milk and lemon zest—plus salt and pepper. When the potatoes are tender, use a food mill to finely process them into a large saucepan. Then add cold cubes of butter to the potatoes, whisking after every addition so everything is perfectly incorporated. With all the butter added, slowly add in hot milk and whisk until they reach your perfect consistency. Add salt, pepper and lemon zest, and you're good to go.
Related: Ina Garten's New Favorite Date Night In with Jeffrey Is Breakfast for Dinner—Here Are the 3 Meals They Adore
Even Ina's dessert, which is the most complicated recipe of the four, is easy enough, though you will need a makeshift double boiler (and a stand mixer might come in handy). The good news is that you can make it a day in advance. First, melt bittersweet and milk chocolate with freshly brewed coffee in a bowl over simmering water. Once melted, take the bowl off the heat and add in Kahlúa and vanilla, then let the mixture cool slightly before incorporating two egg yolks.
As it cools, whip up four egg whites with a pinch of salt with your hand mixer or in a stand mixer until the peaks are soft. Add the egg whites to the warm chocolate in two batches, whisking in the first half and folding in the second. Pour the mixture into your serving dish and let it cool in the fridge overnight—then serve with whipped cream.
If you've got your own menu already planned, you can always add a touch of Ina's style to your romantic dinner by tuning into her Valentine's Day playlist on Spotify or Apple Music—trust us, it pairs well with whatever you make.