Romantic Valentine’s Menu

Surprise someone you love with a delicious dinner for Valentine’s Day from Chef Joe Barkson of http://www.wwrecipes.com. If you adore seafood, you will find just the right recipes to create your perfect meal.

By onetallchef – Warm Crab & Lobster Dip 2, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=35056717

Artichoke and Crab Dip

1 can (15 oz, 425 g) artichoke hearts, drained and coarsely chopped
8 oz (225 g) cream cheese at room temperature
4 scallions (spring onions), green and white parts, finely chopped
4 oz (110 g) crab meat, picked over
1/2 cup (125 ml) grated Parmesan cheese
1 Tbs (15 ml) lemon juice
Hot sauce to taste (optional)
Crackers, thinly sliced bread, melba toast, pita bread, or raw vegetables for dipping

Combine all ingredients except the crackers and place in a lightly greased slow cooker (or baking dish). Cook covered on low for (or in a 200F, 95C oven) 1 to 1 1/2 hours, until the cheese is melted. Stir well and serve with crackers or bread. Serves 6 to 8.


By stu_spivack (purple asparagus) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

Asparagus with Brie Sauce

1 lb (450 g) asparagus
2 Tbs (30 ml) butter
2 Tbs (30 ml) flour
1 cup (250 ml) milk
6 oz (170 g) ripe Brie cheese, rind removed
Salt and white pepper to taste
A grating of fresh nutmeg

Boil or steam the asparagus until just tender and bright green. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a saucepan over moderate heat and stir in the flour. Cook for 2 minutes, then stir in the milk. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Cut the rindless cheese into pieces and add to the sauce, stirring until melted. Season with salt, white pepper, and nutmeg. Spoon the sauce over the cooked asparagus and serve immediately. Serves 4 to 6.


By Naotake Murayama from San Francisco, CA, USA (Scallops with Wine Sauce) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

Scallops in Champagne Sauce

2 lbs (900 g) scallops
2 cups Champagne (“Brut”, or “Extra Dry”) or dry white wine
2 Tbs (30 ml) shallots, finely chopped
4 Tbs (60 ml) low-fat or non-fat sour cream
2 Tbs (30 ml) flour
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
4 Tbs (60 ml) dry bread crumbs.

Combine the Champagne and the shallots in a large saucepan (large enough to hold the scallops) and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer until the amount of liquid is reduced by half. Add the scallops and continue to cook over medium heat for 5 to 7 minutes, until the contents of the pan almost reach a boil and the scallops have become firm and white. The scallops should be under-done at this point. Remove the scallops with a slotted spoon and place in an oven proof gratin dish, quiche pan, or other shallow container. Thoroughly mix the flour with the sour cream and add to the liquid remaining in the pan, stirring to combine thoroughly. Bring the liquid to a boil and continue to boil over high heat until it is the consistency of heavy cream. This may take from 2 to 5 minutes, depending on how much liquid the scallops gave up. Spoon the liquid over the scallops, sprinkle with the bread crumbs, and place under a pre-heated broiler until the bread crumbs have browned, 2 to 4 minutes. Serve immediately. Serves 4 to 6, or 8 as an appetizer.


By Danielle Tsi (Flickr: Lemon Squares) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

Lemon Squares

For the crust:
1/4 lb (110 g, 1 stick) cold unsalted butter cut into
1/2-inch (1 cm) cubes
1 cup (250 ml) all-purpose flour
1/4 cup (60 ml) packed brown sugar
1/2 tsp (2 ml) salt

For the filling:
3 eggs
3/4 cup (180 ml) sugar
6 Tbs (90 ml) lemon juice
The grated zest of 2 lemons
3 Tbs (45 ml) all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp (1 ml) baking powder
Powdered (confectioner’s) sugar for garnish (optional)

Combine the ingredients for the crust in an electric food processor and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse bread crumbs. Place in a greased 8×8-inch (20×20 cm) baking pan and press to cover the pan evenly. Bake in a preheated 350F (180C) oven until golden brown, about 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside.
To make the filling, beat the eggs and sugar until the sugar is dissolved. Add the remaining ingredients and beat until thoroughly mixed. Pour into the baked crust (it’s okay if the crust is still warm) and return to the oven just until the filling is set, about 20 minutes. Cool on a wire rack before cutting into 2-inch (5 cm) squares, and dust with powdered sugar if desired. Makes 16 squares.
Reproduced by permission of Worldwide Recipes.
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