Valentine’s Day Dinner Recipes

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Romance should be on the menu for a special Valentine’s Day dinner. From the appetizer to the dessert, your choices should be easy to prepare, delicious to taste, and say, “I love you” with every bite.

Salad

Start your dinner with a salad to whet your appetite. The surprise of flower petals makes it extra-special, and adds color. Pansies are widely available in garden centers, and come in a wide range of colors. They have a mild, lettuce-like flavor.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups baby greens
  • ½ cup fresh dill
  • ½ cup fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 large basil leaves, chopped
  • 1 large lemon
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • ½ cup toasted walnuts
  • ½ cup crumbled feta cheese
  • ½ cup fresh pansy flower petals

Directions:

  1. Toss greens and herbs in large bowl.
  2. Cut lemon in half, squeeze juice over salad greens.
  3. Season with salt and pepper, toss to mix.
  4. Add feta cheese and walnuts, mix.
  5. Divide salad onto two plates, and garnish with pansy petals.
Ready for Planting Finished Product

Main Course

Move on to a main course that is worthy of a special occasion. Treat your special someone to fillet mignon marinated in an unusual, delectable blend of ingredients. Serve with asparagus, reputed to produce feelings of love, and a savory rice pilaf.

Beef Burgundy Fillet

Ingredients:

  • 2 (6 ounce) fillet mignon fillets

Marinade

  • 1 cup Burgundy wine
  • ¼ cup canola oil
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • ½ cup oyster sauce
  • ¾ teaspoon fresh garlic, minced
  • ¼ teaspoon oregano, dried

Topping

  • 2 tablespoons butter, softened
  • ¼ teaspoon Burgundy wine
  • 1 teaspoon shallots, minced
  • 1 teaspoon green onions, minced
  • ¼ teaspoon white pepper, ground

Directions:

  1. Mix all marinade ingredients in saucepan. Bring to a boil, then remove from heat.
  2. Refrigerate marinade for 1 hour.
  3. Set fillet mignon fillets in a baking dish, and pour chilled marinade over them. Cover with foil and refrigerate for at least five hours.
  4. While meat marinates, cream butter and ¼ teaspoon Burgundy in a mixing bowl.
  5. Add shallots, green onion and white pepper, mix well.
  6. Cover bowl tightly and refrigerate.
  7. Heat broiler. Grill marinated fillets to desired doneness, turning once.
  8. Heat oven to 200 degrees Fahrenheit.
  9. Place grilled fillets in a baking dish. Top each with half the burgundy butter mixture.
  10. Place in oven for 1 minute to allow butter to melt.

Asparagus with Lime

Ingredients:

  • ½ teaspoon butter
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon fresh garlic, minced
  • ½ shallot, minced
  • ½ bunch fresh asparagus, trimmed
  • ¼ lime
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Melt butter with olive oil in large skillet.
  2. Stir in garlic and shallots, cook for 2 minutes.
  3. Add asparagus spears, cook until tender, around five minutes.
  4. Squeeze lime over asparagus for juice, season with salt and pepper.
  5. Garnish with lime wedge.

Rice Pilaf

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • ¼ cup orzo pasta
  • ¼ cup onion, diced
  • 1 teaspoon fresh garlic, minced
  • ¼ cup uncooked white rice
  • 1 cup chicken broth

Directions:

  1. Melt butter in skillet with lid.
  2. Add orzo pasta; cook while stirring until lightly browned.
  3. Stir in onion, cook until translucent.
  4. Add garlic, cook for 1 minute.
  5. Mix in rice and chicken broth.
  6. Bring to boil, then reduce heat, cover and simmer until liquid is absorbed, around 20 to 25 minutes.
  7. Let stand 5 minutes, fluff with fork and serve.

Dessert

Finish your meal with a touch of scrumptious whimsy. Red velvet whoopie pies end your Valentine’s dinner with a combination of delicate cake and creamy filling.

Ingredients:

Cake

  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • ¼ cup + 2 tablespoons sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • ½ teaspoon red food coloring
  • ½ cup + 2 tablespoons flour
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ cup buttermilk

Filling

  • 3 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • 3 teaspoons buttermilk
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Line large sheet pan with wax paper.
  3. Start cakes by beating butter, sugar and vanilla together in large bowl.
  4. Add egg yolk and food color, mix well.
  5. Sift in the flour and baking soda. Beat together, while slowly adding buttermilk.
  6. Form eight mounds of batter by using a scoop to drop 2 teaspoons each on the wax-paper spread baking sheet. Press each gently into a slightly flattened circle shape.
  7. Bake for ten minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean. The cakes will be soft.
  8. Let cakes cool on wire rack completely.
  9. While cakes cool, make filling by beating together all ingredients.
  10. Spread ¼ of the filling onto each of four cakes, then top with four remaining cakes to make whoopie pies.

Make your Valentine’s Day extra-special by cooking a meal that you both will remember far into the year. Serve on your finest plates, and accompany with a bottle of your favorite red wine. Your sweetheart will taste the love in every bite of this delicious meal.

Last Updated: January 5, 2012
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About Michelle Ullman Michelle Ullman has lived and gardened in Southern California since childhood. A freelance writer, she covers topics ranging from gardening to home improvement to health issues. She also has experience as a catalog copywriter and poet. Michelle has trained and worked as a respiratory therapist and surgical technologist, but prefers to spend her time gardening, and walking with her dog. Michelle holds a Bachelor's Degree from Redlands University in Business Management. 

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