You can make a very special Valentines Day dinner – for two or for ten! I am sharing three of my favourite recipes – one with beef, one with chicken and another one with shrimp. You can make just one of them or all three if you are having a larger group of people to celebrate the love holiday!
Prepare the Beef Wellingtons ahead of time and you’ll have enough time to change into something more comfortable before you sit down to dinner. Just the two of you.
- 3 tbsp. of butter, divided
- 1/3 cup of minced shallot or red onion
- 1-1/2 cups of coarsely chopped mushrooms
- 1/4 cup of red wine
- 2 beef tenderloin steaks — 4 oz. each, cut 1 inch thick salt and pepper to tast
- 1/2 pkg. of frozen puff pastry dough, thawed
- 1 egg
- 1 tbsp of water
- Melt 2 tbsp of the butter in a heavy skillet over medium heat.
- Add the minced shallots and cook, stirring, just until softened — about 2 minutes.
- Add the mushrooms and continue to cook, stirring frequently, until mushroom liquid has evaporated and the mushrooms have started to brown.
- Add the wine and cook, stirring, until it has evaporated.
- Season to taste with salt and pepper and transfer to a bowl.
- Add the remaining 1 tbsp of butter to the skillet and increase the heat to high. As soon as the butter has melted, add the steaks to the pan, sprinkling them with salt and pepper and quickly sear both sides until browned — about 1 minute per side.
- Remove steaks from pan immediately. Let cool.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll the block of puff pastry dough out to a 12-inch square. Cut the square in half, then cut one of two halves in half again (reserve the remaining half of the dough).
- Beat together the egg and the water and brush lightly over the surface of the two small squares of dough.
- On each square, spoon half of the mushroom mixture and top with one steak. Pull the corners of the dough up and over to wrap the whole thing up like a package — seal up any openings by pinching and folding them together.
- Turn over and arrange on a baking pan.
- Brush with egg mixture. Using a heart-shaped cookie cutter, cut shapes out of the reserved pastry dough to decorate the top of each packet and brush with egg wash.
- You can prepare the Wellingtons to this point as much as 3 or 4 hours before you want to serve them. Refrigerate, covered until about one hour before you want to begin baking.
- Remove Wellingtons from the refrigerator at least 30 minutes before baking to allow them to come to room temperature.
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F
- Place Wellingtons in the oven and bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until puffed and golden. Let stand for about 5 minutes before serving.
Chicken in Champagne and Mushroom Sauce
Now that you’ve opened that bottle of champagne to use in this wonderful recipe – you will have to drink the rest of it!
- 1/4 cup of all purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp. of salt
- 1/4 tsp. of black pepper
- 2 tbsp. of olive oil
- 4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts (about 6 oz each)
- 1 tbsp. of butter
- 3 cups of sliced mushrooms
- 1 cup of champagne (or other sparkling white wine)
- 1 cup of whipping cream
- In a small bowl, combine the flour, salt and pepper.
- Dredge the chicken breasts in this mixture, one at a time, and arrange them on a plate.
- In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat.
- Add the chicken breasts and cook quickly until lightly browned on both sides, turning once — 1 to 2 minutes per side.
- The chicken should be browned but not cooked through.
- Remove to a plate.
- Add the butter to the skillet, then dump in the mushrooms.
- Cook, stirring frequently, until the mushrooms have released their liquid and it has evaporated.
- Pour in the champagne, stir around to dissolve any crusty bits from bottom of the pan, then stir in the whipping cream.
- Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and let the sauce simmer for about 5 minutes.
- Return the chicken breasts to the skillet, nestling them into the mushroom sauce, lower the heat to medium and cook, uncovered, until the chicken is cooked through and the sauce is thickened — 6 to 8 minutes.
- Serve immediately with crusty bread or steamed rice to soak up the velvety sauce.
Sexy Shrimp Scampi
This wonderful dish will surprise everyone and is perfect for that special Valentine’s Day dinner!
- 30 medium shrimp – peeled and deveined
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- 2 tablespoons of butter, melted
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon of ground black pepper
- Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F
- Toss the shrimp in a bowl with the olive oil, melted butter, garlic, salt, and pepper; set aside for 10 minutes.
- Arrange the shrimp in a circular pattern in a round casserole dish.
- Bake in the preheated oven until the shrimp are pink and cooked through, about 15 minutes.
Have a wonderful Valentines Day dinner and please share your experiences and send in your comments and suggestions – your input is always very much welcomed!