Are you planning on going out for a romantic dinner on Valentine’s day this year?
You might want to reconsider. My husband and I prefer to have our special dinner at home because years ago we would go out and we were always disappointed. The restaurant charges were higher than normal and the food was not always up to expectations. The restaurant was crowded, they had lots of reservations, the staff were exhausted and we were rushed through dinner. Got to turn those tables! Some advice. Instead, stay home, cook a great meal and enjoy a romantic evening at home. Below is a special dinner you can make at home and, even with beef tenderloin and lobster on the menu, you won’t spend anything like what a restaurant meal will cost you on Valentine’s day.
For 2 divide the finished risotto in half and serve half for dinner with the lobster. Save the other half for another dinner or some great arancini. I am not in favor of making half a recipe for risotto because I think the taste is affected.
- 1 lb frozen lobster tails (about 2 medium), thawed
- 5 cups salt-free chicken broth
- 2 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
- 1/4 cup minced shallots
- 3/4 cup finely chopped onion
- 1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan
- 2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley, plus more for garnish
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Bring a medium saucepan of salted water to a boil. Add the lobster tails and boil over medium-high heat for 8 to 10 minutes or until the lobster meat turns white.
Drain and set aside to cool.
When cool, remove the lobster meat from the shell and chop it into 1-inch pieces; set aside.
Warm the chicken broth in a medium saucepan and keep it hot over low heat.
In a large saucepan, melt 1 tablespoon of butter over medium heat. Add the shallots and onion and cook, about 3 minutes.
Add the rice and stir to coat with the butter. Add 1/2 cup of the hot stock and stir until almost completely absorbed, about 2 minutes.
Continue adding the stock, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly and allowing each addition of stock to be absorbed before adding the next.
Cook until the rice is tender but still firm to the bite, about 20 minutes. Remove from the heat.
Stir in the Parmesan cheese, the remaining tablespoon of butter, half of the lobster meat and 2 tablespoons parsley.
Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
Place in a serving dish and top with remaining lobster pieces; garnish with parsley.
Beef Tenderloin with Balsamic Tomatoes
- ½ cup good quality balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 cup coarsely chopped, seeded tomatoes
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 2 beef tenderloin steaks, cut 3/4 inch thick (each about 4 ounces)
- 1 teaspoon snipped fresh thyme
In a small saucepan bring vinegar to boiling. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, 5 minutes or until reduced to about 1/4 cup. Remove the pan from the heat and stir the tomatoes into the hot vinegar reduction. Set aside.
Sprinkle the steaks with salt and pepper. In a medium skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the steaks and reduce the heat to medium. Cook, turning once.
Allow 7 minutes for medium-rare (145 degrees F) and 9 minutes for medium (160 degrees F).
Spoon the vinegar tomato sauce over the steaks and sprinkle with thyme.
Green Beans with Hazelnuts and Shallots
- 12 oz green beans, trimmed
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 large shallots, thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup hazelnuts, roughly chopped
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium. Add the shallots and cook for one minute. Add the green beans and season with salt and ground pepper.
Cover and cook, tossing occasionally, until green beans are crisp-tender, about 8 minutes. Sprinkle with chopped hazelnuts and serve.
Chocolate Crepes with Raspberry Sauce
For the sauce:
- 4 cups fresh or frozen raspberries
- 3/4 cup water
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1/4 cup sugar
For the crepes:
- 1 cup white whole wheat flour
- 3 tablespoons unsweetened dutch cocoa powder
- 1 1/2 cups reduced fat milk
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 2 large egg whites
- 1 large whole egg
- 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
- Non-stick cooking spray
- Powdered sugar
Place water and 3 1/2 cups of the raspberries in a blender; cover and process for 3 minutes until smooth. Strain the raspberry puree and discard the seeds.
Place the puree in a small saucepan along with the cornstarch and 1/4 cup sugar; bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Set aside.
In a blender, blend flour, milk, cocoa powder, 3 tablespoons sugar, eggs and oil until smooth.
Heat a small nonstick skillet on medium-low flame. When hot, spray with cooking spray to coat bottom of pan.
Pour 1/4 cup of the crepe mixture into the pan, swirling the pan slightly to make crepe thin and smooth. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes or until the bottom of the crepe is light golden brown.
Turn the crepe over and cook 30 seconds to 1 minute or until light golden brown. Repeat with remaining cooking spray and crepe mixture.
This should make 12 crepes. You can freeze the extra crepes for another time.
Spoon 2 tablespoons of the raspberry sauce into the center of each crepe. Fold into quarters, top with some of the remaining sauce, a few of the remaining fresh raspberries and dust each with powdered sugar. Serve warm.
February 10, 2016 at 8:34 am
What a delicious menu! You’re right about inflated prices and overcrowded restaurants. Now all I need is to be able to do this on two electric rings…
February 10, 2016 at 8:37 am
I wondered how your kitchen redo is coming along? You can do this menu on 2 burners – just keep switching the pots.
February 11, 2016 at 7:01 am
House deep clean finishes tomorrow. Kitchen rebuild will be next but not for a few weeks then all to be repainted. Not a quick process. Will have to buy new bbq utensils and wear a coat at this rate.
February 11, 2016 at 7:03 am
Thanks for the update. BBQ it is for now. Hope everything goes smoothly.
February 10, 2016 at 8:36 am
I especially like the beef tenderloin recipe. Will mark it as a favorite for future reference.
February 10, 2016 at 8:38 am
February 10, 2016 at 10:10 am
Looks and sounds delicious without the hustle of a crowded restaurant! The question now is… who to cook it! 😛 (my husband is useless in the kitchen, and I require a break… perhaps a joint effort is necessary!). I especially love the lobster risotto recipe.
February 10, 2016 at 10:17 am
Compromise for sure. Maybe your husband can do the prep work. To me the risotto has the most work but cooking the lobster can be done earlier in the day or even the night before. The steak and beans go in a pan and come together quickly. The crepes can be made days before and warmed before serving. Just store them with waxed paper between each one. That’s my game plan. anyway – have a Happy Valentine’s Day.
February 12, 2016 at 3:16 am
It can be fun if the work is done together! 🙂 Thank you for those tips, Jovina, I will be sure to use them 🙂 Happy Valentine’s to you, I hope you have a wonderful time.
February 10, 2016 at 11:57 am
Looks like a perfect menu and plan! We always prefer to have Valentine’s dinner at home, too. But this year, we will be having a family Valentine’s Day dinner so I can cook something special for my daughter and son in law (the new mom and dad live just 2 miles away), and we can all play pass the baby. But I will copy this menu and put it away for another special time like a birthday. Thanks for some great ideas!
February 10, 2016 at 11:59 am
Lucky daughter and son-in-law. Thanks Anne – have a very happy Valentine’s Day
February 10, 2016 at 1:10 pm
Terrific recipes as usual. Thanks! N.
February 10, 2016 at 3:53 pm
Marisa Franca @ All Our Way
February 10, 2016 at 2:11 pm
Your menu is perfect!! My Honey and I always stay home — besides flowers being hiked up during this week as well as all of the restaurants. And yes, we frugal Italians may splurge once in a while but we like value for our dollars. I think we will save your menu for when we are back home — I love working in my own kitchen with my own equipment. It’ll be a welcome home for us. BTW — what have you done with the warm weather?? Have a great day!!
February 10, 2016 at 3:55 pm
I don’t know where the warm weather went. It has been my experience lately that February can give us southerns some pretty cold days.
February 10, 2016 at 9:05 pm
Dinner is served!
February 10, 2016 at 9:06 pm
Reblogged this on My Meals are on Wheels.
February 11, 2016 at 1:46 am
Mouth watering indeed. Thanks sharing. :))
February 11, 2016 at 8:36 am
Sounds like we are on the same page when it comes to Valentine’s. I think I’m going for lamb this year.
For the Love of Cooking
February 11, 2016 at 11:33 am
A beautiful and romantic meal for sure!
February 15, 2016 at 2:44 pm
I could almost taste that, looks so delicious!