Episode 4 – Valentine’s Day

Although February is Valentine’s month. Now, I KNOW WHAT YOU’RE THINKING, “Oh, no! Valentine’s Day… The same ‘ol thing… going out to a restaurant, dinner, chocolates, flowers… ho hum…”Well, Foodies, we’re here to make your life a little easier. First off… Why go out and blow a ton of money when you can do something less expensive that shows you REALLY care. Second… You DON’T need a holiday to treat that special someone to a great, romantic meal —that YOU prepared YOURSELF. Last, We’re going to make YOU LOOK LIKE A SUPERSTAR IN YOUR OWN HOME by teaching you—in a simple way—how to prepare the kind of romantic dinner you’d only find at a fine restaurant. “Why”?” Because That’s what we do at FOODIES…We all know it… February means Valentine’s Day, but you DON’T need a holiday to prepare a romantic meal for your husband, wife, boyfriend or girlfriend, and nobody knows food OR romance better than the Italians. That’s why we’ve asked Tommasso Gargiulo from Peppercorn’s Grille & Tavern in Worcester to plan your next romantic meal.

Tommasso hails from Naples, Italy, more specifically, the beautiful sea-side touristic attraction known as Sorrento on the sun-lit, lemon-lined Amalfi Coast. He’s been featured on The Today Show for his culinary artistry, and he’s joining us on FOODIES to give you FOODIES at home a refresher course, well, you know…


1. WARM TOMATO SALAD Sauté tomato wedges in olive oil; add garlic, fresh basil, salt and pepper. Serve over a grilled crostini and sprinkle with goat cheese.




  1. 6-8 Ounce beef tenderloin – rub with coarse salt and cracked black pepper
  2. 2 tbsp olive oil and canola oil


  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 garlic clove crushed
  • 1 thyme sprig
  • 1 rosemary sprig
  • 2 tbsp cognac/brandy
  • 1 tbsp port wine
  • 2 cups beef or chicken stock
  • 1 tbsp of Dijon mustard
  • chopped parsley
  • 1 chopped shallot

Brush the tenderloin with olive oil then pan roast in a non-stick skillet over a high heat and give color to all sides. Put tenderloin into a preheated oven of 250-300 degrees turning a few times over the next 8-10 minutes. This will give you the temp of med rare depending on the thickness of the tenderloin. Rest tenderloin on plate; please note that the meat will continue to cook for the next few minutes as it rests. Pour the contents of the original skillet into a small bowl and put to the side. Return the skillet to med to high heat and add 1 tbsp of butter, two finely chopped shallots, 2 tbsp cognac, 1 tbsp of port wine, 1 thyme sprig, 1 rosemary sprig, flame the alcohol but please be careful. Add 2 cups of low salt beef or chicken broth, 1tsp of Dijon mustard and a ½ tbsp of cracked black pepper. Reduce contents of skillet by ½ then add in the drippings from the original skillet from the bowl you put aside. Remember the sauce can be prepared ahead of time just remember to add the dripping at the end.  Serve with your favorite vegetable.



  • 1 ½ stick unsalted butter
  • 1 ½ cup sugar
  • 1 ½ tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 8 lg. eggs (lightly beaten)
  • 1 ½ cup bitter sweet chocolate
  • 3 ½ cup heavy cream
  • ½ cup Dutch cocoa powder
  • 5-6 brioche rolls

Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees

In a steel bowl mix 1 stick butter, 1 cup sugar, 1 ½ tsp. cinnamon and 1 tsp. vanilla.  Add 8 large eggs and mix well, make sure no lumps.  Add 3 ½ cup cream, 1 ½  cup chocolate, ½ cup Dutch cocoa powder and mix.  Place bowl with mixture over pan of simmering hot water (double boiler) and wisk slowly until sugar and chocolate dissolve in mix.

Lightly butter a 9” x13” baking dish.  Break up the brioche bread in 1” pieces and layer in the pan.  Pour egg mixture over and let soak 8-10 minutes. You will need to push brioche down into mixture to ensure even coverage.  Cover with foil and bake for 45 minutes in a hot water bath.  Remove foil and bake another 10 minutes to brown the top.

  • Publisher: Mercury Media and Entertainment
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