Many people dread the arrival of Valentine’s Day. The fight to get a table at the right restaurant, that is then usually overbooked and never lives up to the hype, ruins the romantic holiday for many people. However, there is no need to dread the next Valentine’s Day. You can save yourself the hassle, headache and actually lots of money, by dining in this year. You can break out the good dishes, set a romantic, candlelight table, and best of all you don’t have to worry about privacy. Keep in mind that you don’t have to be a gourmet chef to make these menu items work. So put on your favorite romantic music and take a look at these Valentine’s Day Recipes-
- Seafood Stuffed Avocados-Your special someone will be bowled over by this elegant appetizer. The avocado halves are filled with a delicious mixture of shrimp, crab, and cucumber. The recipe yields 2 servings.
1/2 cup flaked cooked crabmeat
1/2 cup cooked small shrimp
2 tablespoons peeled and diced cucumber
1 tablespoon mayonnaise
1 teaspoon chopped fresh parsley
1 pinch salt
1 pinch ground black pepper
1 pinch paprika
Directions: In a bowl, mix the crab, shrimp, cucumber, mayonnaise, and parsley. Season the salad generously with salt, and pepper. Cover, and chill until serving. Slice the avocados lengthwise, and remove the pit. Scoop out the flesh of the avocado, leaving about 1/2 inch on the peel. Spoon the seafood mixture into the hollowed centers of the avocado halves. Sprinkle the tops with paprika.
- Filet Mignon with Rich Balsamic Glaze-This main course is a little expensive, but still cheaper than the restaurant and will go a long way, toward impressing your special someone. Considering serving it with red potatoes and steamed asparagus. The recipe yields 2 servings.
2 (4 ounce) filet mignon steaks
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper to taste
salt to taste
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup dry red wine
Directions: Sprinkle freshly ground pepper over both sides of each steak, and sprinkle with salt to taste. Heat a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Place steaks in hot pan, and cook for 1 minute on each side, or until browned. Reduce heat to medium-low, and add balsamic vinegar and red wine. Cover, and cook for 4 minutes on each side, basting with sauce when you turn the meat over. Make sure that you do not overcook the steaks, since they don’t have a lot of fat. Remove steaks to two warmed plates, spoon one tablespoon of glaze over each, and serve immediately.
- White Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake-Nothing says Valentine’s Day more than chocolate. Best of all, cheesecakes are easy to make and can even be made a day ahead. Garnish with white chocolate curls if desired. The recipe yields 1 9 inch cheesecake.
1 cup chocolate cookie crumbs
3 tablespoons white sugar
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 (10 ounce) package frozen raspberries
2 tablespoons white sugar
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1/2 cup water
2 cups white chocolate chips
1/2 cup half-and-half cream
3 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Directions: In a medium bowl, mix together cookie crumbs, 3 tablespoons sugar, and melted butter. Press mixture into the bottom of a 9 inch spring form pan. In a saucepan, combine raspberries, 2 tablespoons sugar, cornstarch, and water. Bring to boil, and continue boiling 5 minutes, or until sauce is thick. Strain sauce through a mesh strainer to remove seeds. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In a metal bowl over a pan of simmering water, melt white chocolate chips with half-and-half, stirring occasionally until smooth. In a large bowl, mix together cream cheese and 1/2 cup sugar until smooth. Beat in eggs one at a time. Blend in vanilla and melted white chocolate. Pour half of batter over crust. Spoon 3 tablespoons of the raspberry sauce over batter. Pour remaining cheesecake batter into pan, and again spoon 3 tablespoons raspberry sauce over the top. Swirl batter with the tip of a knife to create a marbled effect. Bake for 55 to 60 minutes or until filling is set. Cool, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 8 hours before removing from pan. Serve with remaining raspberry sauce.