6 Dinner Recipes to Impress Your Date on Valentine’s Day

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Rather than venturing out to fight the holiday restaurant crowd, spend Valentine’s Day with your loved one enjoying an elegant dinner. Consisting of tender meats, rich glazes, zesty pasta dishes, and aromatic spices, these six recipes will ensure you have a special supper to share with the person that matters the most. Cooking a cozy dinner for two is the perfect way to spend Valentine’s Day!

1. Filet Mignon with Rich Balsamic Glaze

Filet mignon | iStock.com

Serve a sophisticated supper for two by preparing AllRecipes.com’s Filet Mignon with Rich Balsamic Glaze. The balsamic vinegar and red wine glaze give the steaks a distinct and complex flavor that will please any palate. This recipe pairs perfectly with Food Network’s Steamed Asparagus.

Ingredients:

  • 2 (4-ounce) filet mignon steaks
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • Salt, to taste
  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
  • ¼ 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. Remove steaks to two warmed plates, spoon one tablespoon of glaze over each, and serve immediately.

2. Ruby Chicken

Chicken in cranberry sauce | iStock.com

Chicken breasts are simmered in a zesty orange sauce and topped with cranberries, resulting in a dish that has great flavor and a splash of red for Valentine’s Day. Taste of Home’s recipe for Ruby Chicken yields 2 servings.

Ingredients:

  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 bone-in chicken breast halves
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • ½ cup fresh of frozen cranberries
  • ⅓ cup sugar
  • ⅓ cup orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons chopped onion
  • ½ teaspoon grated orange peel
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground cinnamon

Directions: In a large resealable plastic bag, combine flour and salt; add the chicken. Seal bag and toss to coat. In a nonstick skillet, brown chicken in butter. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, combine the remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Pour over chicken. Cover and simmer for 35 to 40 minutes or until a meat thermometer reads 170 degrees Fahrenheit.

3. Harissa Spaghettini

spaghetti

Spaghetti | iStock.com

Whole-wheat spaghetti, earthy, spicy harissa, olives, pine nuts, lemon, and kale create a stunning vegetarian dinner dish. If you don’t have any harissa on hand to prepare 101 Cookbooks’ Harissa Spaghettini, you can make your own using Smitten Kitchen’s recipe for Homemade Harissa.

Ingredients:

  • 3 medium cloves garlic, peeled
  • Big pinch of fine grain sea salt
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons harissa
  • 8 ounces whole-wheat spaghettini
  • 1 small bunch kale, well-washed and deveined
  • ½ cup oil-cured black olives, pitted
  • ½ cup pine nuts, toasted
  • Zest of 1 lemon

Directions: Bring a big pot of water to a boil. In the meantime, place the cloves of garlic on a cutting board and sprinkle then with a big pinch of salt. Crush with the flat side of a knife. Continue crushing and chopping until you have a garlic paste. In a small bowl, whisk together the garlic paste, harissa, and olive oil. Set aside. Generously salt the boiling water, add the pasta, and cook per package instructions.

Just before the pasta is done add the kale to the pasta water, count to six, drain and set aside. Heat half of the harissa dressing in the now empty pasta pot. Add the pasta, kale, black olives, pine nuts, and lemon zest. Stir over the heat for a minute or so, then turn everything out onto a platter and drizzle with the remaining harissa olive oil.

4. Citrus Salmon Fillets with Raspberry Salsa

Salmon | iStock.com

A vibrant salsa adds bright colors and fresh flavors to your salmon fillets. You can use your crockpot to cook your Citrus Salmon Fillets with Raspberry Salsa; just make sure you begin preparing it about 3 hours before you plan to eat. Better Homes and Gardens’ recipe yields 2 servings.

Ingredients:

  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • ¼ cup water
  • 4 (½ inch) thick orange slices
  • 2 (6 ounces) salmon fillets with skin on
  • 1 teaspoon canola oil
  • ¼ teaspoon dried tarragon leaves, crushed
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
  • 1 recipe Raspberry Salsa
  • 1 small lemon quartered

Raspberry Salsa:

  • ¼ teaspoon finely shredded orange peel
  • ¼ cup diced orange sections
  • ½ of a fresh medium jalapeño chile pepper, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped red onion
  • ½ cup fresh raspberries

Directions: To make the salsa, in a small bowl combine orange peel, diced orange sections, jalapeño pepper,  and red onion. Toss gently until combined. Fold in fresh raspberries and let stand about 15 minutes to blend flavors. To make the salmon, lightly coat an unheated 1½-quart slow cooker with variable heat settings with cooking spray. Pour the water into the slow cooker. Place orange slices in bottom of cooker, overlapping slightly if necessary.

Rinse salmon fillets and pat dry. Place salmon, skin side down, on top of orange slices; drizzle oil evenly over the fillets. Sprinkle evenly with tarragon, salt, and black pepper. Cover and cook on low-heat setting for 2½ to 3 hours or on high-heat setting for 1½ hours or until salmon is opaque in center. Using a flat spatula, carefully remove salmon and place on dinner plates. Discard oranges and cooking liquid in cooker. Serve salmon with Raspberry Salsa and lemon wedges.

5. Gnocchi with Fresh Arugula-Walnut Pesto

Gnocchi in pesto | iStock.com

Fresh Tastes’ Gnocchi with Fresh Arugula-Walnut Pesto is a wonderful vegetarian entree to prepare for your Valentine’s Day dinner. Arugula’s bold flavors and garlic’s distinct aroma create a delicious-tasting gnocchi dish that will treat your loved one and your tastebuds. The recipe yields 4 servings.

Ingredients:

  • 1 package whole wheat or regular gnocchi, about 3 cups
  • 4 cups baby arugula, packed
  • ¼ cup chopped walnuts, toasted
  • ¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus additional for serving
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • Sea salt and black pepper to taste

Directions: In a food processor or high-speed blender, combine the arugula, garlic, walnuts, and cheese. Process until smooth. With the motor running, slowly drizzle in the olive oil and continue processing until you have a smooth, bright green pesto. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cook the gnocchi in boiling salted water until they float. Drain and then place back into the pot. Add ½ cup of the pesto and toss to coat. Serve bowls of gnocchi with additional Parmesan cheese on top.

6. Roasted Rack of Lamb

Rack of lamb | iStock.com

Deliver a delectable dinner for two by preparing House Beautiful’s recipe for Roasted Rack of Lamb via Delish. Fresh rosemary creates a warm and fragrant entree, while bread crumbs give the lamb a crisp and crunchy texture.

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup fresh bread crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 (7 bone) rack of lamb, trimmed and frenched
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

Directions: Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Move oven rack to the center position. In a large bowl, combine bread crumbs, garlic, rosemary, 1 teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Toss in 2 tablespoons olive oil to moisten mixture. Set aside. Season the rack of lamb all over with salt and pepper. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large, heavy oven-proof skillet over high heat. Sear rack of lamb for 1 to 2 minutes on all sides. Set aside for a few minutes. Brush rack of lamb with the mustard.

Roll in the bread crumb mixture until evenly coated. Cover the ends of the bones with foil to prevent charring. Arrange the rack bone side down in the skillet. Roast the lamb in preheated oven for 12 to 18 minutes, depending on the degree of doneness you want. With a meat thermometer, take a reading in the center of the meat after 10 to 12 minutes and remove the meat or let it cook longer depending on your taste. Let it rest for 5 to 7 minutes, loosely covered, before carving between ribs.

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