Chow BELLA: A Meal Made with Love

Jake Smollett, star of the Food Network show “Smollett Eats,” shares some of his favorite recipes to make a sultry winter meal—just in time for Valentine’s Day.

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Goat Cheese Pesto Lobster Pasta
4 lobster tails
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp chili flakes
1/3 cup rice flour
1/2 lb angel hair pasta
1 cup vegetable oil (for frying)

Pesto Sauce Recipe
Handful fresh basil
Handful fresh parsley
1/3 cup pine nuts
2 cloves garlic
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 cup olive oil
4 oz goat cheese
1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
2 tbsp pasta water

Directions:
1. Boil water for the pasta in a large pot. Add angel hair pasta for about 2-3 minutes or until desired softness. Before draining the pasta, save some of the boiling water for your pesto sauce. Drain and rinse in cold water to stop the cooking process. Let sit while you prepare your pesto and lobster.
2. In a food processor, add the basil, parsley, pine nuts, garlic, and salt. Set the food processor to high and slowly pour in the olive oil. Let everything combine, then let sit.
3. In a medium pot on medium to low heat, add in the goat cheese and heavy whipping cream. Once the cheese is melted, add in the pesto and the pasta water to loosen it up. Stir until smooth and toss with the pasta.
4. In a large mixing bowl, season the lobster tail meat and coat with the rice flour.
5. In a medium pan, add vegetable oil on high heat. Once the oil is hot start frying the lobster tails for about 4-5 minutes or until crispy and golden brown. Drain the lobster on paper towel.
6. Plate the angel hair pasta and top with two lobster tails per plate. You can top with chili flakes and fresh parsley.

Dark Chocolate Strawberry Crumble 
1 cup semisweet (60%) chocolate chips
4 tbsp heavy whipping cream
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs (about 8-9 full graham crackers)
1/4 cup black coffee beans
1 cup chopped strawberries
Whipped cream (topping)

Directions:
1. Boil water in a small pot. Place a small bowl on top of the pot creating a double boiler and add the chocolate chips into the bowl along with the heavy whipping cream. Stir until smooth.
2. Add graham crackers and the coffee beans to a large zipper bag and crunch them up, creating the graham cracker coffee bean crumb crust.
3. Finely chop 1 cup of fresh strawberries.
4. Using a small cup or bowl to spread the coffee bean graham cracker crust at the bottom, then add a layer of fresh strawberries, melted chocolate, another layer of coffee bean graham cracker crumbs, and top with whipped cream.

Raspberry Mint Bellini
1 bottle champagne
3 cups fresh raspberries
6 mint leaves

Directions:
1. In a blender, add the raspberries and mint leaves. Blend on high until pureed.
2. Pour champagne into champagne glass and add in the mint raspberry puree.

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