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This Valentine’s Day make a special dish

The Recipe Gals

With Valentine’s Day around the corner some people like to celebrate by going out to eat, others like to stay in and make a meal. Whatever your preference is I hope you celebrate it with someone special.

The first recipe is kind of a new twist on a chicken dish — chicken piccata. Or, try making a flat iron steak with cherry bourbon sauce for your sweetheart. Don’t forget the chocolates on Valentine’s Day, though, and make chocolate cake with peanut butter icing or molten chocolate lava cakes.

The chicken piccata a gluten-free recipe. If you want to add more chicken breasts to the dish add more almond flour and starch for coating. The same would apply for the sauce, just add a little of each of the broth and lemon juice. Serve this dish with rice and a salad and you have a very nice Valentine’s Day dinner.

Chicken piccata

4 to 6 ounce boneless, skinless chicken breasts, 1/2 inch thick

1/2 teaspoon salt, additional to taste

3 tablespoons arrowroot starch or corn starch

2 tablespoons almond flour

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons ghee or butter

1 cup chicken broth

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

1/2 cup unsweetened coconut cream

2 teaspoons mustard powder

1/4 cup drained capers

1 tablespoon fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped

Season chicken with salt and pepper. On a plate, combine arrowroot or cornstarch and almond flour. Dredge chicken in flour mixture, set aside.

In a large skillet add oil and ghee or butter. Add chicken and cook until golden brown on the underside, about 4 minutes. Flip and brown on the other side until cooked through, about 3 minutes. Transfer to plate.

In the skillet, add broth and lemon juice. Increase heat to medium-high, bring to a boil, scraping skillet with a wooden spoon to dislodge any bits on the bottom of the pan. Cook to reduce sauce slightly.

Add coconut cream and mustard powder. Bring to a simmer and add capers. Return chicken to skillet and reduce heat to a simmer. Cook to heat chicken through, turning to coat in the sauce, about 2 minutes. Season with additional salt and pepper. Sprinkle with parsley.

— Pam Rolley

Flat iron steak with cherry bourbon sauce

1 pound flat iron steak

Olive oil

Kosher salt

Pepper

1 shallot, finely chopped

1 1/2 cups bourbon of your choice or 1 1/2 cups beef broth

1/2 cup dried cherries

Drizzle both sides of the steak with olive oil and sprinkle with kosher salt and pepper and set aside.

In a saucepan add butter and shallot and cook for about 2 minutes, then add dried cherries and bourbon (substitute beef broth) and simmer on low heat for 15 or 20 minutes until liquid reduces and cherries plump.

In a large skillet (I used cast iron) over medium high heat add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and place the steak in the center of the pan. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes, flip and cook an additional 3 to 4 minutes for medium-rare to medium doneness. Remove the steak and place it on a cutting board to rest. The steak can also be cooked on an outside grill.

Slice the steak against the grain and serve with cherry bourbon sauce.

— Karen Sick

What is Valentine’s Day without some sort of chocolate on the menu? This recipe was given to me by a dear friend of mine, Faye. I have made this dessert many times over and have given out this recipe many times over. The whole cake is light and fluffy your friends and family will love it.

Chocolate cake with peanut butter icing

1 box chocolate cake mix (dark, light, extra chocolate)

1 cup marshmallow fluff

1/2 cup chocolate chips

Follow directions on cake mix and add the marshmallow to the ingredients. Once mixed take your chocolate chips and lightly coat them with some flour before putting them in the batter. Put chips in batter and lightly mix with a spatula. By putting the chips in some flour it keeps them from sinking to the bottom of the cake when baking.

Follow the pan size and baking instructions on the back of the cake mix.

Peanut butter frosting

Chef’s tip: I only use 1 stick of butter and the icing turns out great. Add more peanut butter if you wish, depending on your taste. This icing is so light and not real sweet.

3 cups marshmallow fluff

1/2 cup peanut butter

2 sticks butter softened

Mix all three ingredients together and put on cooled cake.

— Pam Rolley

Here is a great Valentine’s Day meal and dessert that I hope you try. This chocolate lava cake recipe is the perfect dessert for your Valentine sweetheart. Happy Valentine’s Day to everyone!

Molten chocolate lava cakes

Yield: 2 servings

2 ounces dark chocolate or bittersweet baking chocolate

1/4 cup unsalted butter

1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar

1 large egg and 1 egg yolk (discard white or save for another use)

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon instant espresso coffee granules (to enhance the chocolate flavor)

Ice cream, whipped cream and fresh berries optional

Preheat oven to 425 F and spray two 4 ounce ramekins with cooking spray, place ramekins on a baking sheet; set aside.

In a medium microwave-safe bowl, add the chocolate, butter and heat on high power to melt, about 1 minute. Whisk until smooth. If needed, return the bowl to the microwave and heat in 15-second increments until chocolate can be whisked smoothly.

Add the sugar, egg, egg yolk and whisk until smooth.

Add the flour, espresso granules and stir until just combined; don’t overmix.

Pour batter into prepared ramekins, divided evenly.

Bake for about 12 minutes, or until edges are set but the center is still soft. Don’t overbake. Allow cakes to cool in ramekins for about 1 minute, gently rim the edges of ramekins with a paring knife, and invert over serving dishes to dislodge cakes.

Optionally, serve with ice cream and/or whipped cream. Garnish with fresh strawberries or raspberries and mint leaf. Cakes are best warm and fresh.

— Karen Sick

The Recipe Gals, Pam Rolley and Karen Sick, together have more than 60 years’ experience as nutritionists in the public school and university settings. You’ll find their delicious offerings every other week in the Williamsport Sun-Gazette’s section, The Taste.