A TABLE FOR TWO, WITH DINNER PREPARED BY YOU. HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY!

8 Feb

Valentine’s Day is one of the most popular date nights of the year. It’s the special day when couples can get dressed up in their latest appealing finery, sit across a table from each other and emote love for one another. Maybe there will be quick kisses or hand holding and even timid, shy glances, barely seen through the soft glow of the candlelight that flicker in the middle of the table. Or, maybe the date is spent at a play, dancehall or concert. The choices are endless for those wanting to celebrate their love with a night on the town.

However, maybe you are interested in staying home, making your own special dinner and checking out the latest video via Netflix. Personally, that’s what I like to do. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy the idea of Valentine’s Day. And, I absolutely love going out to a nice restaurant and having a wonderful dinner. If you know me or even from reading my posts so far, you know that I take the art of “wine & dine” quite seriously. Good food, great ambiance and impeccable service are all things I enjoy immensely when dining out. Which, may be the reason I just prefer not to have a romantic dinner in a restaurant on the busiest day of the year. So, for the last few years I have made my own special meal.

THE MENU

So for this year I might try something different. I’m feeling inspired by a Hawaii themed restaurant I recently went to. Therefore, I’ve decided that the main course will be Mahi Mahi with a fruit salsa on a bed of garlic spinach. As a side dish I will add some of Wegmans Golden Jewel Blend (A blend of Israeli Couscous, Tri-Colored Orzo Pasta, Split Baby Garbanzo Beans & Red Quinoa). I’m thinking the colors will be quite pretty on a white plate. My hubby is not really into desserts. So instead of a dessert I’m going to serve this dinner with a special drink. You can’t have a special dinner without a special drink. So this year the drink will be ……French Martini. It’s sweet, it’s red and it has champagne in it. If that doesn’t say Valentine’s Day, then what does?

INGREDIENTS & RECIPE

1 bag of spinach
1/2 cup of chicken or vegetable broth

1/2 a package of Wegmans Golden Jewel Blend
1 cup of chicken or vegetable broth
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
1-2 Tablespoon Shredded Parmesan Cheese (Optional)

4 3-4oz pieces of fresh Mahi Mahi
Pan Searing Flour
Salt & Pepper
2 Tablespoon Olive Oil
1 Tablespoon Basting Oil

1/4 Cup Mango
1/4 Cup Granny Smith Apple
1/4 Cup Red Onion
1 Tablespoon Chopped Cilantro
1/2 Tablespoon Lime juice
1/2 Tablespoon Olive Oil
1-2 Tablespoon Orange Juice
1 Teaspoon combined salt & pepper

THE DRINK (French Martini)

2 Shots of Chambord
2 Shots of Vanilla Vodka
2 Shots of Pineapple Juice
A splash of chilled Champagne

DIRECTIONS

1st place fish in a large ziplock bag. Pour the Basting Oil over the fish and lightly season with salt & pepper. Be careful not to over season as the pan searing flour has seasoning already in it. Let fish marinate for 10-15 minutes.

Then chop all of your fruit and onions into small cubes. Add in chopped cilantro, lime juice, olive oil, orange juice and salt and pepper. Stir, making sure all ingredients are well blended. Cover and refrigerate.

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.

Take your fish and coat with the pan searing flour. In a non-stick pan heat the oil. Once oil is hot, place fish in pan and sear fish until it is a light golden brown on both sides (about 3 minutes on each side). Remove fish from skillet and place in another pan (or do what I do and use aluminum foil) and put into the oven. Let cook for about 10-15 minutes or until fish has an internal temperature of 140 degrees.

While fish is continuing to cook in the oven, you can start on the pasta. Bring 1cup of broth to boil. Add in the 1 tablespoon of oil and the Parmesan Cheese. Then add the Wegmans Golden Jewel Blend. Bring to a boil and then turn down to a simmer and cook for 10-12 minutes.

Since the spinach takes the least amount of time it is the last item you will work on. Pour the 1/2 cup of broth into the skillet and once it starts to simmer add spinach. Cook spinach until just wilted.

Now that dinner is pretty much almost done, don’t forget to make the special drink. (I won’t forget as it is my favorite part, haha)

Mix the Chambord, Vodka & Pineapple Juice in a shaker with about 1 cup of ice cubes. Pour the drink into two chilled martini glasses. Leave about a 1/4 inch of space for the Champagne. Then top off the drink with the chilled Champagne. (Note: I suggest you buy the mini bottle of Champagne so you are not wasting an entire bottle for this recipe).

Ok, so finally you are ready to plate everything up.  Take your steaming fish out of the oven and add the beautiful multicolored fruit salsa on top of it.  Add your a heaping serving of the superfood otherwise known as spinach and then add a serving of the pasta on the side.  Serve with a chilled glass of the French Martini and enjoy.

Now, to make this a really special event you can dress your table with pretty linens and even add some beautiful flowers. However, I must admit, I just scrubbed all of the remnants of my kids arts and crafts off of our kitchen table and said Bon Appetit to my hubby….and kids. Yes, the kids shared the special meal with us. Only their special drink was simply pineapple juice. Hey, Valentine’s Day is for the ones you love and just like my husband, my kiddies are certainly my loves! 

                                                                                         BON APPETIT & HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY

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8 Responses to “A TABLE FOR TWO, WITH DINNER PREPARED BY YOU. HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY!”

  1. Tamyka February 14, 2011 at 12:27 pm #

    I can’t wait to try this!! It looks so good! You should submit this recipe to Wegmans!

    • pennylove February 17, 2011 at 7:17 pm #

      Thanks for the suggestion. I did submit it to them and also went on their blog.

  2. Wegmans Fresh Stories Blog February 14, 2011 at 4:54 pm #

    Hi Penny Love!

    Thanks for sharing your special Hawaiian inspired menu. We’re honored that included some of our products too! Looks like you had a lovely night in with your “loves” (kiddies included).

    If you are looking for another island-inspired menu, may we suggest 2 of our latest recipes from winter 2011 issue of Menu. http://www.wegmans.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?langId=-1&storeId=10052&catalogId=10002&productId=715024

    We also shared the “back story” about our new grains on our blog- http://www.wegmans.com/blog/2011/01/grains/

    Thanks again for all the love : )

    Happy Valentine’s Day!

    -Wegmans Fresh Stories Blog

  3. Fanny February 15, 2011 at 2:42 pm #

    hmmm yummy!! all your recipes looks so good!
    i follow you ! x

    • pennylove February 17, 2011 at 7:15 pm #

      Thanks so much. I appreciate your feedback. Let me know if you make any of them.

  4. veronica lee February 22, 2011 at 3:51 pm #

    Hi! Stopping by from MBC. Great blog.
    Have a nice day!

  5. Jernell March 1, 2011 at 11:08 pm #

    Another great article, that French Martini looks FIRE!!!

    • pennylove March 6, 2011 at 4:38 am #

      Thank Jernell, this is a yummy drink. You & Stephanie have to try it.

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