Treat your sweetie to a romantic evening with one of these recipes
February 14th marks one of the most romantic days of the year and a chance for you to enjoy a relaxing candlelit meal with the one you love. Perhaps you are considering world-class cuisine at a top notch restaurant or maybe even thinking about a weekend getaway.
But, have you considered the romance of cooking together at home? It’s a great way to escape the crowds, avoid the traffic, save money AND guarantee the meal you want will definitely be on the menu!
So whether you are craving beef, chicken or fish, grab a couple of matching aprons and try your hands at one of these delicious Valentine’s Day dinner recipes you’re sure to love almost as much as each other:
- 1 (16-ounce) Certified Angus Beef ® strip steak
- 2 tablespoons whole peppercorn blend (black, white, red, green)
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 3 tablespoons butter (dice 2 tablespoons into small cubes and keep refrigerated)
- 1 tablespoon minced shallot
- 1/4 cup brandy
- 1/4 cup beef stock
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 2 tablespoons sour cream
- Crack peppercorns with the back of a skillet. Cut strip steak in half. Press cracked pepper firmly into both sides of each steak. Season with salt.
- Heat oil and 1 tablespoon butter in medium sauté pan over medium high heat. When butter foams, place steaks in pan, pressing firmly. Lower heat to medium and sear about 5 minutes on each side. Transfer steaks to a clean plate and tent with foil to keep warm.
- Add shallots to the pan and, holding the pan away from heat, add brandy. Return pan to medium high heat. Expect a flame while the alcohol burns off. Cook a minute until brandy thickens. Add stock, bring sauce back to a boil and reduce until thickened to a sauce consistency.
- Whisk in Dijon, sour cream and cold butter. Taste sauce and add salt to taste; remove from heat. Spoon sauce on plates and place steaks on top.
- 2 to 2 1/2 pounds Certified Angus Beef ® flank steak
- 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
- 8 ounces chopped walnuts, about 1 3/4 cups
- 5 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese, divided
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic (2 cloves)
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 2 teaspoons coarse kosher salt, divided
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 2 cups loosely packed baby arugula
- 8 ounces jar sun-dried tomatoes, packed in olive oil
- 2 teaspoons dried rosemary, hand crushed
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- Butcher’s twine
- Butterfly flank with the grain to 1/4-inch thick, yielding about an eleven by fourteen inch rectangle. Place in a shallow baking dish with balsamic vinegar. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate while you prepare walnut paste. (Do not refrigerate longer than 30 minutes.)
- In a food processor, pulse together walnuts, 3 tablespoons parmesan, garlic, red pepper flakes and 1 teaspoon salt to the consistency of coarse cornmeal. Add olive oil while blending to make a paste; set aside.
- Preheat oven to 450° F. Remove flank, pat dry and lay flat on a cutting board. Layer with walnut paste, arugula and sun dried tomatoes. Roll and tie roast to the 11-inch length. Season the exterior evenly with remaining 2 tablespoons parmesan, 1 teaspoon salt, rosemary and pepper. Set in roasting pan with rack, uncovered.
- Roast for ten minutes. Reduce heat to 325° F and roast an additional 60 minutes for medium rare. Allow to rest ten minutes before slicing, two slices per person.
- 1 1/2 pounds Certified Angus Beef ® top round steak 1 1/2-inches thick
- 1/3 cup soy sauce
- 1/4 cup bourbon
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons minced garlic
- 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon Lea & Perrins® Worcestershire Sauce
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger (optional)
- 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup chopped cantaloupe
- 1 cup chopped honeydew
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 teaspoon snipped fresh mint
- Combine soy sauce, bourbon, sugar, oil, garlic, mustard, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, ginger, pepper and salt. Marinate steak 6 to 8 hours or overnight.
- Prepare a melon salsa by combining cantaloupe and honeydew with honey and mint. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
- Remove steak from marinade and discard marinade. Place steak on grill over medium heat. Grill to desired doneness, turning once. Transfer steak to cutting board and allow to rest 5 minutes. Slice diagonally across the grain into thin strips.
- Serve with salsa.
Chicken Parmesan Hearts
• 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
• 1/2 cup buttermilk
• 1 teaspoon olive oil
• 1/2 cup Panko breadcrumbs
• Salt and pepper
• 3 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
• Olive oil cooking spray
• 2 thick slices mozzarella cheese
• 1/2 cup marinara sauce
Special equipment needed:
• 2 heart shaped cookie cutters (One larger than the other – size will depend on the size of your chicken breasts)
• 1 baking sheet
• 1 metal cooling rack
• Tin foil
1. Lay chicken breast on a cutting board. Press a large heart shaped cookie cutter into the breast. Use kitchen shears or a knife cut though the chicken breast, cutting around the heart shape. Reserve excess chicken.
2. Season chicken breasts with salt and pepper and set in a shallow dish. Pour buttermilk over chicken. You can press together your chicken scraps into a flat oval and soak them in the buttermilk as well (then proceed with the recipe using the scraps.) Cover the dish in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30-45 minutes. Remove and flip chicken breasts over. Return to refrigerator for 30 more minutes. The buttermilk will work to denature the proteins in the chicken which will make it more tender. You can leave the chicken soaking in the buttermilk for up to 3 hours, but be aware that if it is in the buttermilk for too long, the chicken will become mushy.
3. While chicken is marinating, prepare the crunchy Parmesan coating. Pour panko bread crumbs into a cold skillet. Add olive oil and toss to coat. Place over medium low heat. Stir often until the bread crumbs become golden brown. Do not leave the crumbs unattended. They will burn easily, if not stirred often. Remove toasted crumbs from the heat and pour into a shallow bowl. Allow to cool. Stir in grated Parmesan cheese. Set aside.
4. Pre-heat your oven to 475 degrees. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Lay a metal cooling rack over pan and spray with olive oil cooking spray. Remove chicken breast hearts from refrigerator. Pick up a chicken breast and allow the excess buttermilk to drip off. Lay chicken in the crunchy Parmesan coating. Press the coating onto the chicken. Pick up the chicken and allow excess coating to fall off before setting it on the prepared baking sheet. Spray chicken breasts with olive oil cooking spray. Bake for 20 minutes.Note: Using a cooling rack will allow for a nice crispy crust. If you bake it directly on a baking sheet, flip the chicken midway through cooking.
5. Meanwhile, prepare your cheese shaped hearts. I used thick slices of fresh mozzarella and thought it tasted great, but deli sliced mozzarella will work well also. Cut cheese using a heart shaped cookie cutter that is smaller than the cutter used for the chicken. You can also just sprinkle on shredded cheese, if you prefer. Once the chicken has baked for 20 minutes, remove it from the oven and place a slice of cheese on top of each chicken breast. Return to oven and heat for about 5 minutes until the cheese is melted, and the chicken registers 165 degrees on an instant read thermometer.
6. Heat your marinara sauce on the stove or in the microwave until it reaches the desired temperature for serving. Pour some hot marinara sauce on a dinner plate and top with the heart shaped chicken Parmesan. If you want, you may drizzle some sauce over the chicken breast and add some decorative drops of sauce. I poured some sauce into a squeeze bottle, and piped it out onto the plate. Serve hot.
Cacciatore Chicken Breasts
- 1/2 medium onion, sliced and separated into rings
- 1/2 medium green pepper, sliced
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 boneless skinless chicken breast halves (5 ounces each)
- 3/4 cup canned stewed tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons white wine or chicken broth
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
- 1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed
- 1/8 teaspoon pepper
- In a large skillet, saute onion and green pepper in oil until crisp-tender. Remove and keep warm. Cook chicken over medium-high heat for 4-5 minutes on each side or until juices run clear. Remove and set aside.
- Add the tomatoes, wine, garlic salt, rosemary and pepper to the skillet. Stir in onion mixture and heat through. Serve with chicken.
- 1/2 lb lobster meat
- 2 cups Arborio or Carnaroli (or other short-grain) rice
- 4 T. olive oil
- 2 finely chopped shallots
- 2 finely chopped garlic cloves
- 1 T. chopped parsley
- Large pinch of saffron
- 1/4 cup white wine (Vermentino would be ideal)
- 1 qt. lobster (or fish or chicken) stock
1. Take half the lobster meat and chop it finely.
2. Crush the saffron into the white wine and stir well.
3. In a heavy, medium-sized pot, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat and saute the shallots for 2-3 minutes. Do not let them color.
4. Add the garlic and the rice and stir well for about a minute. Add the finely chopped lobster meat, about a 1/4 teaspoon of salt and the white wine-saffron mixture and stir to combine.
5. Bring to a boil.
6. Stirring frequently — about once every 90 seconds or so — let the white wine boil down. Turn the heat to medium and start adding the lobster stock about 1/2 cup at a time, stirring all the while.
7. Keep cooking until the rice is done, but still a little al dente. You don’t want mushy rice. Add the rest of the lobster meat and the parsley, then check for salt — add some if needed. Serve at once.
Pomegranate Glazed Salmon with Apple Horseradish Cream & Baby Shallot Potatoes
- 2 skinless salmon fillets (about 6 oz each)
- 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1 Tbsp pomegranate molasses
- Coarse salt
- Coarsely ground black pepper
- For the sauce:
- 1/2 of an apple
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 2 Tbsps finely chopped fresh horseradish
- 1/4 cup cottage cheese
- 1/4 tsp salt
- For the potatoes:
- 1 Tbsp bacon fat (or olive oil)
- 8 ounces tiny potatoes
- 2 Tbsps finely chopped shallots
- 1 Tbsp thinly sliced scallion (green parts only) or chive strips
1. Sprinkle the salmon fillets on all sides with a little coarse salt. Let sit for about 5 minutes, then dry the fillets thoroughly.
2. Mix together the balsamic vinegar and pomegranate molasses. Brush the fillets on all sides with the glaze and place them on a plate. Sprinkle with a generous amount of freshly ground black pepper.
3. Dry the glaze by aiming a small fan at the fillets (or place uncovered in the refrigerator) until the top surface is no longer shiny (about 5-10 minutes.)
4. While the salmon is drying, prepare the sauce. Peel, core, and chop the apple, and toss with the lemon juice. Set aside.
5. Pulse the horseradish in a food processor or blender to get it as fine as possible. Add the apple and pulse til very finely minced. Add the cottage cheese and salt, and process until completely smooth.
6. Melt the bacon fat in a skillet and add the potatoes, tossing to coat. Cook the potatoes over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until they begin to color (about 7 minutes.) Stir in the shallots and cook until potatoes are softened and shallots are caramelized. Keep warm.
7. Place the salmon on a broiling pan and broil on Low (or in the lower position) for 3-5 minutes, depending on thickness. When the thickest part feels lightly firm, it’s done.
8. To serve, sprinkle potatoes with coarse salt and pepper and toss with the scallion or chives. Divide the potatoes between two plates. Set the salmon on top and spoon the sauce on top. Garnish with chives and pomegranate arils, if desired.
What are some of your favorite Valentine’s Day recipes?
Do you prepare them at home with that special someone?
Tell us about them!