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Old 02-09-2013, 11:27 PM   #1
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Valentine's Day Dinners.. Any suggestions?

Hi everyone,

I was hoping to make a dinner for my boyfriend and myself this coming thursday, but wasn't sure what to make. We've been dating a long time now, so it's not like I have to impress him or something, I just figured I would do something special for him, since he is always treating me. That being said, I really don't plan on making a five course meal, just something flavourful, not terribly time consuming (I have a seriously busy schedule) and delicious! I was thinking maybe a pasta, but I'm still up in the air. Any suggestions? What are you guys doing for your special someone this Valentines Day??


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Old 02-10-2013, 12:21 AM   #2
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pasta can be messy, but since you've been together a while it's a good idea for a quick meal.

if you like seafood and pasta, pick up 3/4lb each of bay scallops, shrimp, a small container of lump crabmeat, 2 cans of san marzano tomatoes, a couple of shallots, evoo, dried oregano, dried parsley, fresh basil, a small can of tomato paste, and a package of cappelini (angel hair pasta).

open the cans of tomatoes and pour into a bowl, remove the whole tomatoes to a cutting board, chop finely, then return them to the bowl.

heat a deep saute pan over medium high, mince a couple of large shallots, add a tbsp or two of evoo to the pan and put in the shallots. fry the shallots for just a minute, stirring, then add the tomatoes. add the dried oregano and parsley, and reduce the heat to medium. simmer the tomato sauce for about 15 to 20 minutesuncovered, stirring occasionally to prevent burning, until it starts to thicken.

while making the sauce, put a large pot of salted water on to boil.

when the sauce has reduced, add the peeled and cleaned shrimp and bay scallops, stir into the sauce, cover the saute pan with a lid, and simmer just a minute more, chop the fresh basil and stir into the sauce (reserving a little basil for a garnish), cover and turn off the heat.

put the capellini into the boiling water, cook for 2 to 3 minutes (or package directions), drain, and set aside.

when the pasta is ready, check the sauce. if it's too thin, stir in a tbsp of tomato paste to help it thicken up.

when plating, use a pair of tongs to lift the pasta, turnng it as you lift it and twist it down onto the plate. spoon a good amount of the shrimp, scallops, and sauce over the pasta pushing it down a bit, then add the lump crabmeat on top.

garnsh with the remaining chopped fresh basil.

start with a nice salad, then serve the pasta and seafood with crusty italian bread.

dessert is on you.

if he's lucky...

"Thunderbolt and lightening,
very, very frightening me!" Galileo
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Old 02-10-2013, 12:50 AM   #3
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Hi and welcome to DC.

Yes, Valentine’s Day is too special. Everyday should be special, some days more so than others.

This will be our ~44th Valentine’s celebration. Even though we haven’ t been married the last 20 years, we are in a longer BFF phase that we wish to continue. And that is one reason why everyday is a day to celebrate.

Our dinner date is going to be Friday, not Thursday this year as she has a busy day leading 2 senior citizen groups exercise classes. Not physically tiring, but mentally strenuous. She says Friday is better.

Menu plans, and I better firm these up pretty soon too, Grilled chicken, (even if it’s cold, well, not too cold). Some kind of glaze. If I have to cook indoors, then I will switch to a broiled and sliced steak. I think one steak to share is more fun than 2 individual hunks of meat. Both are pretty straight forward and easy to make. It ’s going to be dark out by the time I cook and one porch light. Chicken I can do in the dark w/ a thermometer, Can’t see as well how a steak looks . She’ll ask what we are having, as she will bring a surprise to go with. I can tell her that part.

My surprise is that I am planning an indoor picnic dinner. Homemade Tabbouleh, because it is soooo not in season, cold green beans marinated in a little oil/ lemon/ /Dijon/ garlic dressing. For starters while whatever grills/ I will pick up some hummus and toast some pita triangles and carrot stix. I think I should add some olives from the deli to my grocery list. No potato. A personal sacrifice.

Dessert is going to be a pear ginger crumb cake with chopped candied ginger mixed inside. We like ginger.

Good luck and Happy Valentine's Day !
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Old 02-10-2013, 02:00 AM   #4
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Dungeness Crab Ravioli with Marinara, simple green salad with a balsamic vinaigrette. Chocolate Indulgence cake with coffee. That's it for us.
“There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.” - Albert Einstein
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Old 02-10-2013, 07:24 AM   #5
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I think that something very special for Valentine's Day are the entrees encrusted with puff pastry. I wrap fish and other seafood in puff pastry and cut it in the shape of fish or for Valentine's Day a heart. I have also wrapped chicken and steak with puff pastry in the shape of hearts for Valentine's Day.

Any of these makes a beautiful presentation and the taste is so good. They are very easy to make if you purchase the puff pastry. I always buy my puff pastry because it is so easy and the quality is good.

I have pictures I wanted to show you but I can't locate on my computer. If you have any questions let me know.
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Old 02-10-2013, 08:45 AM   #6
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I would say start with antipasto. Good cheese, good bread, slivers of pastrami, olives etc.

Then make a simple pasta dish with good ingredients. Perhaps seafood liguine or cheese ravioli with fresh pesto. Then some chocolate dipped strawberries with some champagne. Chocolate fondant or fondue will be good too.

Simple, hands on and a bit sexy!

Plus sharing is prefect for valentines day
"I used to jog but the ice cubes kept falling out of my glass."

"I hear voices and they don't like you "
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Old 02-10-2013, 01:03 PM   #7
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fHey, Bucky.. I just figured out your last line LOL
I can resist anything, but temptation. Oscar Wilde
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Old 02-10-2013, 02:24 PM   #8
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This recipe always turns out really good !

For the tagliatelle:
about 3/4 cup flour
a pinch of salt
1 medium egg
3 tablespoons cold water
For the sauce part 1:
about 1/4 cup tomato paste
a handfull sugar
salt, pepper and dried organo
1/2 cup of cherry
a half of a carrot
2 medium mushrooms (champignons)
a half of a onion
olive oil (normal)
a few drops of sour cream
For the sauce part 2:
about 1/5 cup tomato paste
salt, pepper and dried oregano
a few drops of sour cream

First you have to start with the dough. Beat the egg with the water and mix it all with the flour and salt. After ten minutes of kneading you make a ball of it and put in in the fridge for about 30 - 45 minnutes. It must be rolled as this as possible, then you roll it up and cut into really small pieces. After unrolling the tagliatelle are ready to cook, this will last for about two minutes.

For the sauce part two you bake the chopped onions on the olive oil. The carrot (sliced) and the mushrooms (diced) can also go in there. Season it with the herbs. After that, you can pour the cherry all over it. Let it evaporate. Now add the water and sugar an let it caramelize. At the end the tomato purree goes in it. This must blubble at medium heat.

After ten minutes you will see the sauce is getting thicker. Now it is time to put the tagliatelle in the sauce. The rule is here: the pasta goes in the sauce, and not the sauce goes over the pasta.
Because some people will find the sauce a little bit to few, you can add the sauce part 2. This one is really simple, you heat up the tomato paste with the water and herbs, let it thicken en put it to the rest of the sauce part 1.

Everything will be combined en warmed. Watch out for the tagliatelle, it will cook in the heat. Turn the heat of and add the sour cream.
And your vegeterian and delicious meal is ready !

Bon Appétit !
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Old 02-10-2013, 06:14 PM   #9
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My Valentines menu for this year is as follows:

Sumac Calamari: Dust scored slices of calamari with a mix of sumac and plain flour. Deep fry and salt before serving. I will serve this with a salad of mesclun lettuce mix, roasted red capsicum, diced lemon and walnuts, and a garlic aioli.

Chicken Tagine and CousCous
Put 6 or so skinless chicken thigh fillets in an oven proof dish. Chop a handful of dates, some dried apricots and throw on top, with a few smashed garlic cloves. Add a cinnamon stick, a few crushed cardamom pods and sprinkle of ground cumin. bring a litre of chicken stock to the boil. Add a few table spoons of honey, and a pinch of saffron. I also add the juice of an orange - though if you have access to blood oranges, all the better. Steep the saffron for a good 20 minutes,then pour allthe liquid over the chicken. Cover and bake at around 160 degrees celcius for about an hour, hour and a half. This can be made the day before and re-heated.
Make the cous-cous as directed by the packet. Toss through some roasted pumpkin, coriander, toasted hazelnuts or pistachios, dried apricots and a squeeze of orange juice.

Chocolate and rose tart. Simply a chocloate ganache flavoured with rosewater. Poured into a baked chocolate pastry tart shell and chilled in the refrigerator.
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Old 02-10-2013, 07:15 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by lyndalou View Post
fHey, Bucky.. I just figured out your last line LOL


"Thunderbolt and lightening,
very, very frightening me!" Galileo
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day, dinner, love, pasta, valentines

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