Thursday, February 14, 2013

A Sweet and Spicy Valentine's Dinner

Back in the day my Valentine’s Day dinner dates were nothing but spectacular. I can really say that my husband put a lot of effort in planning which new restaurant we would be trying. Now…this post is not me complaining about the fact that this year we have chosen to stay in, or that as the years go by our Valentine’s Day dinner dates get less fancy and more low key. This year will be the first time in two years that we will actually get to spend Valentine’s Day together. These last two years we have skyped on all major holidays due to being away at trainings or on deployment. So with that being said, this year’s Valentine’s Day dinner has a ‘sweeter’ meaning because I am very grateful to have my Airman home to celebrate this lovely holiday. I have been working on this post for a few weeks now, trying to plan a nice, sweet, and delicious dinner that my valentine would enjoy. I knew I wanted to make a special meal for him this year, but didn’t want to spend ALL day in the kitchen. I played around with a couple of recipes, including various dessert recipes that were a no-go, and finally came across two recipes that I liked and worked out! This year’s dinner menu ideas were provided by no other than my friend, The Pioneer Woman. Ok…maybe we don’t talk everyday, or ever, but I am a true fan of hers and her cooking. I decided on making Spicy Lemon Garlic Shrimp. This dish is not only easy to make, but the flavor is so delicious. What makes this dish even better is the ‘scampi’ style sauce that the shrimp are cooked in soaked up with some warm crusty bread! Considering that this dish is so rich (member the two sticks of butter the recipe calls for), I decided to pair it with asparagus roasted in the oven with a little olive oil, salt , and pepper. I didn’t want a side dish that was too heavy or rich because I already knew that the dessert I would be serving was…well lets just say…nothing from the Skinny Cow dessert line. The Molten Chocolate Cake was the perfect dessert for this meal. I wanted something that was chocolate, somewhat easy to make, and delicious. May I add that it’s the perfect portion for you and your sweetheart? A Valentine’s Day dinner date doesn’t necessarily mean reservations for two and a bottle of wine. It can also be just as sweet with a homemade dinner for two and, in my case, a bottle of white…sparkling grape juice. ;)

Spicy Lemon Garlic Shrimp
Serves 6

2 lbs raw shrimp, deveined, shells on
2 sticks unsalted butter (room temperature)
1 tsp salt
3-4 garlic cloves, minced
¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped
½ tsp crushed red pepper
Zest and juice of 1 whole lemon

  1. Preheat oven to 375.  Arrange shrimp in a single layer on a baking sheet.
  2. In a bowl, combine butter, salt, garlic, parsley, crushed red pepper, zest and juice of lemon. Spoon chunks of butter mixture over shrimp
  3. Bake until shrimp are opaque. (about 23 minutes)
  4. Serve with crusty bread and a light side dish

Note: Using unsalted butter is very important. Otherwise, the shrimp will come out very salty using regular butter.

Molten Chocolate Cake
Serves 4

4 pieces semi-sweet Baking Chocolate
½ cup butter (room temperature)
1 cup powdered sugar
2 whole eggs
2 egg yolks
6 Tablespoons all purpose flour

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Spray four custard cups with pan and place on cookie sheet.
  2. 2. Microwave chocolate and butter or 1 minute, until butter is melted. Stir until chocolate is melted as well.
  3. Stir in powdered sugar until well blended. Stir in eggs and egg yolks. Stir in flour
  4. Divide mix between the four cups.
  5. Bake cups for about 13-14 minutes or until sides are firm and center is soft. Let stand for 1 minute.
  6. Invert cakes on dishes and top with whipped cream or ice cream.    
Source: Pioneer Woman.

1 comment: