5 Valentine’s Day meal ideas that are sure to wow your significant other

eightWest

Valentine’s Day is just a 2 days away and if you’re looking for a dinner reservation you might be too late, but it’s never too late to impress your Valentine with a homecooked meal! So today we’re getting some recipe inspiration from Chef Jen!

Meal Idea #1: Chicken Milanese with Basil Pesto Linguine

Wine pairing: Chardonnay

Chicken Milanese

  • ½ cup seasoned breadcrumbs
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
  • Freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 thin-cut boneless skinless chicken breasts

Salad:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 ripe tomato, diced
  • Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
  • 3 cups baby arugula

All you do:

1. Preheat oven to 450. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. Combine breadcrumbs, parmesan and black pepper in a small bowl. Combine lemon juice and olive oil in another bowl. Dip each chicken breast in the olive oil mixture then toss in the breadcrumb mixture until well coated. Transfer to the prepared baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, combine olive oil, balsamic and tomatoes in a small bowl. Season with salt and pepper.

4. Once out of the oven, top chicken with arugula and marinated tomatoes. Serve pesto linguine on the side.

Fresh Basil Pesto Linguine

Pesto:

  • 1 cup fresh basil leaves
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • ¼ cup grated pecorino cheese
  • ¼ cup toasted pine nuts
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ½ pound linguini pasta

All you do:

1. Combine pesto ingredients in a food processor or blender until combined.

2. Prepare pasta in salted boiling water and drain. Add pesto to the cooked pasta and toss to combine.

Meal Idea #2: Braised Short Ribs with Cheesy Polenta

Wine pairing: Syrah

Short Ribs

  • 2 lb. beef short ribs
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • crushed 1 carrot
  • diced 1 celery rib
  • sliced ½ small yellow onion dice
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • ½ bottle red wine
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 cup beef stock

All you do:

1. Preheat oven to 350.

2. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium high heat in a large Dutch oven. Season the short ribs with salt and pepper and brown on both sides (do this in batches); transfer to a bowl once browned. 3. In the same pot, cook the carrots, celery and onion until tender (3-5 minutes), making sure to break up any brown bits that have accumulated on the bottom of the pan. Add flour and tomato paste and cook 1 minute longer. 4. Add the red wine and ribs back into the pot and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook 15 minutes. 5. Add the rosemary, thyme and beef stock. Cook 2 1/2 hours. Meanwhile, cook the polenta (recipe below). 6. Lay the ribs on a platter. Strain the sauce and adjust seasonings as needed. Serve over the ribs and polenta.

Cheesy Polenta

  • ¾ cup 2% milk
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • ½ cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 tablespoon butter

All you do:

1. Bring milk and chicken stock to a boil. Add cornmeal and bring to a boil.

2. Reduce heat to low and simmer polenta for 20-25 minutes, stirring often with a whisk. Season with salt and pepper.

3. Once polenta is creamy and cooked through, add cheddar cheese and butter. Serve immediately.

Meal Idea #3: Peach Glazed Salmon with Corn and Edamame Succotash

Wine pairing: Chenin Blanc

Peach Glazed Salmon

  • 2 (8 oz.) salmon filets, skin removed
  • 1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon peach jam
  • Juice of 1 lime

All you do:

1. Combine Cajun seasoning and brown sugar in a small bowl. Rub the mixture over the salmon.

2. Heat oil in a nonstick pan over medium-high heat. Cook salmon for 4 minutes per side.

3. Blend the peach jam and lime juice and add to the hot pan. Swirl around gently to coat the fish. Remove fish from pan and pour any pan sauce over the top.

Edamame Succotash

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ small red onion, chopped
  • 1 (8 oz.) bag frozen shelled edamame, thawed
  • 3 ears corn, kernels removed (or 1 cup frozen thawed corn)
  • 1 Roma tomato, diced
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil

All you do:

1. Heat oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.

2. Add edamame and corn and cook until heated through, about 3 minutes. Stir in tomato, salt, pepper and basil and serve.

Meal Idea #4 (vegetarian option): Mushroom Risotto

Wine pairing: Rioja Red Blend

  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 8 oz. cremini mushrooms, sliced
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup Arborio rice
  • ½ cup white wine
  • ½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley

All you do:

1. Bring vegetable broth to a simmer in a small saucepan over medium heat.

2. In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat oil and butter over medium heat. Add shallot and garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add mushrooms and dried thyme and cook until softened, about 4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

3. Add rice and stir for 1 minute. Add wine and cook until mostly absorbed. Add one ladle of stock at a time, stirring well after each addition. Cook until the rice is al dente and creamy, but not mushy (you might not need all the broth).

4. Finish the risotto with parmesan and parsley.

Dessert for two: Chocolate Mousse

  • ¾ cup milk chocolate chips
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 egg yolk
  • ½ cup very cold heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon powdered sugar

All you do:

1. In a medium glass bowl, add the chocolate chips and butter. Microwave until the chocolate is melted, about 1 minute. Once melted, stir in the egg yolk.

2. Whip the cream using an electric mixer on high. Once the cream has soft peaks, add the powdered sugar and all of the melted chocolate.

3. Divide the mousse between two serving dishes.

4. Serve immediately, or chill for up to 3 days.

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