Couples Cooking: Recipes for a Romantic Valentine’s Day Dinner

By Karen Elizabeth Watts

valentine's day

This Valentine’s Day, make the kitchen the most romantic spot in the house.

Forget about jockeying for a dinner reservation and stay in for date night: Cooking as a couple can be a perfect way to fan the flames or reignite that spark.

To make it easy, we’ve put together a romantic menu for two with some fancy dishes that even beginning cooks can execute with spectacular results. We’ve numbered the recipes in order of preparation and divvied up the workload. Make the lobster, drink a glass of wine, then finish making the rest of the meal.

BROILED LOBSTER TAILS 

One cook: Preheat oven, melt butter, juice lemon, cut lemon
Two cook: Cut lobster tails, place tails in the oven, pull hot tails from the oven

2 (5-ounce) lobster tails
4 tablespoons of butter, melted, divided use
Juice of 1 lemon, plus 1 lemon for garnish, cut in half
Additional melted butter, if desired

Preheat oven to broil.

Use kitchen scissors to cut through the shell of lobster, cutting all the way to the tail.

Place lobster tails on a sheet pan so cut is facing up. Drizzle 1 tablespoon of butter on each tail and drizzle with juice of 1 lemon. Add lemon halves to the sheet pan.

Place prepared lobster in the oven for 4 to 5 minutes, checking early to make sure you do not overcook. (The lobster will continue to cook after it is removed from the oven; a rule of thumb for lobster tails is 1 minute of cooking time per ounce.)

To serve: Top with remaining butter and garnish with broiled lemon half. Serve with additional melted butter, if desired.

Per serving: 338 calories (64 percent from fat), 24 grams total fat (15 grams saturated), 197 milligrams cholesterol, 3 grams carbohydrates, 27 grams protein, 654 milligrams sodium, trace dietary fiber.

CUCUMBER AND BABY HEIRLOOM TOMATO SALAD 

1 cucumber, washed and sliced
1 pint baby heirloom tomatoes, cut in half
1/4 cup crumbled blue cheese
2 tablespoons pomegranate seeds (see note)
Your favorite herbed vinaigrette

Arrange cucumbers and tomatoes on two chilled plates. Top with blue cheese and pomegranate seeds. Dress with herbed vinaigrette just before serving.

Note: Look for pomegranate seeds in the refrigerator case in the produce aisle of a well-stocked supermarket.

HONEY BALSAMIC BRUSSELS SPROUTS

1 tablespoon honey
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/3 pound Brussels sprouts, about 1 cup
2 teaspoons pomegranate seeds
2 tablespoons shallots, minced

In a large sauté pan, over medium-high heat, add honey and balsamic vinegar and cook for 5 minutes. Add olive oil and Brussels sprouts and continue cooking for 5 additional minutes. Garnish with pomegranate seeds, shaved Parmesan and minced shallot.

Note: Look for pomegranate seeds in the refrigerator case in the produce aisle of a well-stocked supermarket.

GARLIC ROASTED BABY POTATOES 

1 pound baby potatoes, cut in half
2 sprigs fresh rosemary
2 sprigs fresh sage
1 sprig fresh thyme
2 small cloves garlic, left unpeeled
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 500 degrees. Spray a sheet pan with vegetable cooking spray.

In a medium bowl, toss potatoes, rosemary, sage, thyme and garlic. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Pour potatoes on prepared pan. Place in oven and reduce heat to 425 degrees. Roast for 15 to 18 minutes, until crispy outside and fork tender inside.

DECONSTRUCTED BEEF WELLINGTON 

2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup dry sherry
1 pint artisan mushrooms (such as baby portobello, shiitake, oyster, etc.), cut in quarters
1 pint cremini mushrooms, roughly chopped
1 shallot, peeled and roughly chopped
1 cloves garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
2 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves only
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 center-cut beef tenderloin filets, trimmed
Extra-virgin olive oil

Puff pastry hearts:
1/2 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed
1 egg, beaten
Minced chives, for garnish

In a large sauté pan, over medium heat, add butter, olive oil, sherry, mushrooms, shallot, garlic and thyme. Sauté for 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Place mushrooms in a bowl and cover to keep warm.

Drizzle beef filets with olive oil, season with salt and pepper. In a large sauté pan, over medium-high heat, sear filets for about 2 to 3 minutes per side. Turn off heat and cover, allowing meat to rest for 10 minutes.

Use a 3-inch heart-shaped cookie cutter to press out 4 hearts from puff pasty. Brush with egg-wash and bake according to package directions.

To assemble: To place a puff pasty heart on each plate, top with filet, add mushroom mixture and top with additional puff pasty hearts. Garnish with minced chives.

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