A Simple But Sensuous Valentine’s Dinner For Two

This year, 2021, most of us will be cooking and eating at home on Valentine’s Day, but that is no reason not to make it a celebration! Here is a simple but sensuous three course menu made with accessible ingredients (even if you have your Covid Quarantine groceries delivered) that won’t break the bank, or leave you frazzled. But it will help you create a Valentine’s Day to remember. Cook together! Use your best dishes, light some candles, pour the wine (Champagne is always a good choice) and share the love.

TOMATO TARRAGON SOUP

Amount Measure Ingredient — Preparation Method
——– ———— ——————————–
1 small minced shallot
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 15 oz can petite diced tomatoes
1 tablespoon concentrated tomato paste
1 vegetable or chicken bouillion cube
1/2 teaspoon dried tarragon
1/2 cup dry white wine
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup dry, cubed bread (I use day old Challah)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
1/8 teaspoon granulated garlic

FOR THE SOUP

Saute the minced shallot and garlic in the olive oil until translucent.

Stir in the curshed bouillion cube and the tomato paste.

Add the tomatoes (do not drain) and tarragon. Being to a boil.

Reduce the heat, add the white wine and simmer for 20 minutes.

Keep warm or reheat just before serving.

FOR THE CROUTONS

Heat the butter and olive oil on medium high heat together in a skillet. Add the bread cubes and saute till crispy, adding more oil or butter if needed. Drain on paper towels and season with the granulated garlic.

GINGER CURRIED ROASTED SWEET POTATOES

Amount Measure Ingredient — Preparation Method
——– ———— ——————————–
1 medium sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch dice
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon finely minced ginger root
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup scallion greens
1 teaspoon sweet curry powder (or a mixture of cinnamon and cumin)

Combine all the ingredients in a one quart ziplock bag, and refrigerate for at least an hour.

When you are ready to cook, preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Place the potatoes in a small, shallow baking dish and roast for 20 minutes or until the potatoes are crisped and cooked through.


SEARED FISH WITH SWEET AND HOT SALSA

Amount Measure Ingredient — Preparation Method
——– ———— ——————————–
2 6 oz fish steaks (such as sea bass, salmon, or tuna)
2 tablespoons olive or vegetable oil
1 cup cilantro leaves, coarsely chopped
1 cup fresh tomatoes, coarsely chopped
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
1 small avocado, cubed
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1/2 teaspoon minced fresh ginger root
1 teaspoon honey (or more to taste)
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1 pinch each dried orange peel, red pepper flakes, and salt
2 cups arugula leaves OPTIONAL

Earlier in the day. Combine all ingredients for the salsa. Refrigerate for at least one one hour. Adjust seasoning and bring to room temperature while you sear the fish.

Pat the fish dry. Season with salt, pepper and your favorite seasoning, perhaps cumin.

Heat the oil in a heavy (or cast iron) skillet till very hot but not smoking.

Sear the fish on both sides till nicely browned, adjusting the heat to prevent scorching the fish. The time will depend on the thickness of your fish, but count on 2-3 minutes per side. Cover and remove from the direct heat.

Place the fish on a bed of arugula (optional) and serve topped with the salsa.

CHOCOLATE PISTACHIO RICOTTA CREAM WITH STRAWBERRIES

Amount Measure Ingredient — Preparation Method
——– ———— ——————————–
1 cup ricotta cheese
2 tablespoons dark chocolate chips
1 tablespoon roasted lightly salted pistachio kernels
1/4 teaspoon dried orange peel
2 teaspoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
1/8 teaspoon almond flavoring
2 large strawberries

Combine the first seven ingredients. Cover and chill for at least an hour to allow the flavors to meld.

Serve in small dishes, and top with the strawberries.

This entry was posted by Glyn Ruppe-Melnyk.

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