These light and refreshing dinner ideas are perfect for a simple and romantic meal this Valentines.
Seared Grouper | Grilled Shrimp Scampi | Smoked-Duck Salad | Fish Tacos | Pineapple and Soy-Glazed Salmon | Steak Salad | Linguine with Shrimp | Spinach & Mushroom Ravioli | Greek Chicken Pasta | Brussels Sprout Salad with Chicken
4 grouper fillets, or other firm fish such as halibut, cod or salmon
1 tsp. Kosher salt
1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper
2 tbsp. olive oil
2 medium zucchini
1 large shallot
1 1/2 c. fresh yellow corn kernels or frozen whole-kernel corn
2 clove garlic
1 1/2 c. cherry tomatoes
2 tbsp. cold butter
1/4 c. torn basil leaves
1. Sprinkle fish with salt and pepper. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.
2. Cook fish 4 minutes on each side until browned and cooked through. remove and keep warm.
3. Saute zucchini and shallot 4 minutes or until crisp-tender.
4. Stir in corn and garlic, and saute 2 more minutes.
5. Reduce heat to low, and stir in tomatoes, butter and basil, cooking until butter is just melted.
6. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
7. Spoon vegetables unto serving plates and top with fish.
1 1/4 c. olive oil
1/4 c. lemon juice
3 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
1 tbsp. minced garlic
ground black pepper for taste
crushed red pepper flakes to taste (optional)
1 1/2 pounds medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
1. In a large, non-reactive bowl, stir together the olive oil, lemon juice, parsley, garlic, and black pepper. Season with crushed red pepper, if desired.
2. Add shrimp, and toss to coat.
3. Marinate in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
4. Preheat grill for high heat.
5. Thread Shrimp onto skewers, Piercing once near the tail and once near the head. Discard any remaining marinade.
6. Lightly oil grill grate. Grill for 2 to 3 minutes per side, or until opaque.
Tip: Aluminum foil can be used to keep food moist, cook it evenly, and make clean-up easy.
1/2 pound smoked duck breast – skin and fat removed and reserved, breast thinly sliced crosswise.
1/2 c. walnuts
2 tbsp. sherry vinegar
2 1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard
1 small shallot, very finely chopped
3 tbsp. walnut oil
1 tbsp. vegetable oil
Freshly ground black pepper
6 ounces frisee lettuce, torn into bite-size pieces (6 c.)
3 c. packed torn Boston lettuce
1 cut raspberries
Preheat oven to 350 degree F.
1. Spread the duck skin and fat in a pie plate and bake for about 15 minutes, until crisp. Drain on paper towels, then break into pieces.
2. Spread the walnuts in a pie plate and toast for 8 minutes, coarsely chop.
3. In a large bowl, mis the vinegar with the mustard and shallot.
4. Gradually whisk in the walnut and vegetable oils. Season generously with salt and pepper
5. Add the frisee, Boston lettuce and walnuts and toss to coat.
Top the salad with the raspberries, sliced duck breast and crackling and serve.
1 c. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. minced capers
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. dried dill weed
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 c. beer
1/2 c. plain yogurt
1 tsp. ground cayenne pepper
1 quart oil for frying
1 pound cod fillets, cut into 2 to 3 ounce portions
1 (12 ounce) package corn tortillas
1/2 medium head cabbage, finely shredded
1/2 c. mayonnaise
1 lime, juice
1 jalapeno pepper, minced
Preheat oven to 350 degree F.
1. To make beer batter: in a large bowl, combine flour, cornstarch, baking powder, and salt. Blend egg and beer, then quickly stir into the flour mixture (don’t worry about a few lumps.)
2. To make white sauce: in a medium bowl, mix together yogurt and mayonnaise. gradually stir in fresh lime juice until consistency is slightly runny. Season with jalapeno, capers, oregano, cumin, dill, and cayenne.
3. Heat oil in deep-fryer to 375 degrees F
4. Dust fish pieces lightly with flour. Dip into beer batter, and fry until crisp and golden brown. Drain on paper towels. Lightly fry tortillas; not too crisp
5. To serve, place fried fish in a tortilla, and top with shredded cabbage, and white sauce.
1 1/4 c. pineapple juice
2 tbsp. low-sodium soy sauce
1/4 c. dry sherry
1 tsp. light brown sugar
2 tbsp. miso
4 skinless salmon fillets
1.4 tsp. fresh-ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
Marinate the Salmon:
1. In a medium saucepan over high heat, cook the pineapple juice, soy sauce and sherry for 20 minutes.
2. Stir in the brown sugar and cook for 5 more minutes.
3. Using a whisk, stir in miso.
4. Remove from heat and allow the mixture to cool
5. Season the salmon fillets with the pepper and place them in a shallow baking dish.
6. Pour the pineapple glaze over the salmon fillets, turning to coast each side and chill for 30 minutes.
Roast the fillets:
1. Place the salmon on the top shelf of the oven and cook until the flesh turns opaque — about 7 minutes.
2. Change the oven temperature setting to broil and cook until the glaze begins to brown — 2 to 3 minutes.
3. Serve immediately.
2 delicata squash, halved, seeds removed, and thinly sliced into half moons
6 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided
6 thyme sprigs
1 pound flank steak
2 tbsp. sherry vinegar
1/2 tsp. honey
5 oz (6 c.) baby spinach
1/2 c. crumbled blue cheese
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
1. On baking sheet, toss squash with 1 tbsp. olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
2. Scatter with thyme springs and roast until golden brown, about 20 minutes. Discard thyme.
3. Season steak generously with salt and pepper.
4. Grease a grill pan with 1 tbsp. olive oil and heat over high heat.
5. Grill steak 5 to 6 minutes per side for medium rare. Let sit 5 minutes, ten slice thinly diagonally.
6. In a small bowl, whisk together vinegar and honey, then slowly whisk in remaining 4 tbsp olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.
7. In a large bowl, drizzle spinach and roasted squash with 2/3 of the vinaigrette, tossing gently to combine. (Add more vinaigrette in you like)
8. Divide mixture among plates and top with grilled steak and blue cheese.
1 1/2 c. grape tomatoes
1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1 tsp. thyme leaves
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
3/4 pound linguine
1 c. heavy cream
3/4 pound large shrimp – shelled, deveined and halved length wise
2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
1 tsp. finely grated lemon zest
1 tbsp. coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
1. In a large ovenproof skillet, toss the tomatoes with the olive oil and thyme and season with salt and pepper.
2. Roast the tomatoes for about 25 minutes, until starting to brown and their skins split.
3. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the linguine until al dente; drain.
4. Add the cream to the tomatoes and bring to a simmer.
5. Cook over moderate heat, gently crushing the tomatoes, until the cream thickens slightly, about 3 minutes.
6. Add the shrimp and simmer over moderate heat until cooked through, about 2 minutes.
7. Season with salt and pepper
8. Add the linguine to the skillet along with the lemon juice and toss over low heat until the pasta is coated, about 1 minute.
9. Add the lemon zest and parsley and toss.
10. Transfer the pasta to warm bowls and serve.
1/2 c. extra-virgin olive oil
2 tbsp. boiling water
6 ounces button mushrooms, sliced
1 (10-ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
1/4 c. mascarpone
1/3 c. grated Parmesan, plus extra for garnishing
6 egg roll wrappers
2 large eggs, beaten with 1 tsp water
1/2 c. mushroom, finely chopped
2 c. tomato sauce
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1. In a large saute pan heat 1/4 cup of olive oil. When almost smoking, add the mushrooms and season with salt and pepper. Cook until all the liquid has evaporated from the mushrooms, about 6 minutes.
2. Add Spinach and cook for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and place mixture into the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until you get a coarse texture. Place in bowl and stir in mascarpone and Parmesan cheese. Check for seasoning and set aside.
3. Line up 3 wrappers on a cutting board. Brush with the egg and water mixture. Using a tablespoon, arrange 4 dollops of the filling on each wrapper – 2 on the first row and 2 on the second – 1 inch apart.
4. Place another wrapper directly on top, pressing around the filling and sealing the edges. Using a fluted ravioli cutter, cut out squares of ravioli. Each filled wrapper will yield 4 raviolis, giving you a total of 12 ravioli.
5. Place ravioli onto a floured baking sheet and keep covered with a linen towel.
6. In a large pot, bring to a boil 4 parts of salted and oiled water. Carefully add small batches of ravioli, about 3 to 4 at a time. This will prevent them from crowding in the pot and sticking together.
7. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Using a spider stainer, carefully remove the ravioli and place on the plate. Tent with foil to keep warm and continue cooking remaining ravioli.
8. In a saute pan, heat remaining 1/4 cup olive oil. When almost smoking, and chopped mushrooms and saute until soft and most of the liquid has evaporated, about 8 minutes. Carefully pour in tomato sauce and simmer for 5 minutes.
9. Divide ravioli between 2 serving plates. Top with mushroom tomato sauce and sprinkle with Parmesan.
1 (16 ounce) package linguine pasta
1/2 cup chopped red onion
1 tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast meat-cut into bite-size pieces
1 (14 ounce) can marinated artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
1 large tomato, chopped
1/2 c. crumbled feta cheese
3 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley/
2 tbsp. lemon juice
2 tsp. dried oregano
salt and pepper to taste
2 lemons, wedged, for garnish
1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook pasta in boiling water until tender yet firm to the bit, 8 to 10 minutes; drain.
2. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic; saute until fragrant, about 2 minutes.
3. Stir in the chicken and cook, stirring occasionally, until chicken is no longer pink in the center and the juices run clear, about 5 to 6 minutes.
4. Reduce heat to medium-low; add artichoke hearts, tomato, feta cheese, parsley, lemon juice, oregano, and cooked pasta. Cook and stir until heated through, about 2 to 3 minutes.
5. Remove from heat, season with salt and pepper, and garnish with lemon wedges.
4 slices bacon, cut into 1/2″ pieces
1 garlic clove, minced
1 small shallot, chopped
3 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
2 tbsp. Dijon mustard
Freshly ground black pepper
1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
4 c. brussel sprouts, trimmed and sliced
1/2 c. fresh parsley, chopped
1 c. croutons
1. In a medium skillet over medium heat, cook bacon until crispy, 6 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate.
2. Add garlic and shallots to skillet and cook until softened, about 2 minutes.
3. Whisk in vinegar and mustard and season generously with salt and pepper. Keep warm.
4. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat olive oil. Season chicken with salt and pepper and sear until golden brown and juices run clear, about 5 minutes per side. Remove from heat and let chicken rest covered in foil.
5. In a large mixing bowl, toss brussels sprouts, parsley and croutons with warm dressing.
6. Serve with chicken and top with additional dressing and bacon.