Valentine’s Day is not complete without candy, flowers, cards, and of course, a special dinner. Instead of dining out this holiday, show how much you care by preparing a special gourmet meal for your significant other. Below are four delicious seafood dinner recipes for the special someone in your life.
- 1/2 pound lobster meat
- 2 cups Arborio, carnaroli or other short-grain rice
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 shallots, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
- Large pinch of saffron
- 1/4 cup white wine (Vermentino is ideal)
- 1 quart lobster (or fish or chicken) stock
- Finely chop half the lobster meat.
- Crush the saffron into the white wine and stir well.
- In a heavy, medium-sized pot, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat and saute the shallots for 2 to 3 minutes. Do not let them color.
- Add the garlic and the rice and stir well for about a minute. Add the finely chopped lobster meat, about a 1/4 teaspoon of salt and the white wine-saffron mixture and stir to combine. Bring to a boil.
- Let the wine boil down, stirring frequently — about once every 90 seconds or so. Turn the heat to medium and start adding the lobster stock, about 1/2 cup at a time, stirring frequently.
- Cook until the rice is done, but still a little al dente. You don’t want mushy rice. Add the rest of the lobster meat and the parsley, then check to see if it needs more salt — add some if needed.
- Serve at once with white wine. A perfect match would be a Sardinian Vermentino or a Sicilian grillo, but an unoaked chardonnay, white Cotes-du-Rhone blend or an off-dry riesling would be fine as well. A Spanish Albarino would also be a good pairing with lobster risotto.
Scallops and Shrimp with Balsamic Strawberries
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1/4 cup light brown sugar
- 3-4 large strawberries, stems removed and sliced (or quartered)
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 cup thinly sliced shallots
- 6 cups (lightly packed) arugula or spinach leaves (large stems removed)
- 2 tablespoons grape seed oil or light olive oil
- 4 extra jumbo scallop (U-6 or U-10)
- 6-8 uncooked jumbo (or larger) shrimp, peeled & deveined
- Coarse sea salt or Kosher salt
- In a bowl, stir together the vinegar and sugar until the sugar is dissolved. Fold in the strawberries, cover, and chill for at least one hour. Remove from the fridge when you’re ready to start cooking.
- Heat the extra virgin olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Saute the shallots until softened, then add the leaves and turn until well mixed. Cook just a minute or two until all the leaves have wilted but are still fully green. Remove greens to a strainer and keep warm.
- Dry the scallops and shrimp well and sprinkle with the coarse salt. Heat a skillet or saute pan over medium-high heat until quite hot. Add the grape seed or light olive oil, let oil heat a moment, then carefully add the scallops and shrimp (there will be some spattering.)
- Let the shrimp sear for about 1 minute per side until just opaque. Remove and keep warm. Don’t move the scallops until you can see a brown edge forming around the bottom (about 2 to 2 1/2 minutes.) Carefully lift one scallop — if the surface has a nice caramelized color, turn them over.
- Cook for just another minute until the scallops are springy but not quite firm. Remove the scallops and keep warm.
- Wipe out the pan, then add the strawberries and vinegar. Remove the strawberries after they are heated through (about 30 seconds) and let the balsamic cook down briefly until thickened to a syrupy consistency.
- To serve, place the green on a plate, top with the scallops, shrimp, and strawberries, then drizzle the balsamic reduction over the scallops and shrimp.
Baked Flounder Florentine
- 5 tablespoons butter (divided)
- 1/4 cup onion (minced)
- 1 package/10 ounces spinach (chopped, cooked, cooled, and squeezed dry)
- 1/2 teaspoon oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 2 pounds flounder fillets
- 1/2 cup white wine (dry)
- 3 tablespoons flour
- 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
- 1 cup milk
- Garnish: fresh grated Parmesan cheese
- Garnish: paprika
- Melt 2 tablespoons butter in skillet.
- Add onion and saute until translucent.
- Stir in spinach, oregano, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper.
- Put about 1 1/2 tablespoons spinach mixture on each flounder fillet; roll up.
- Put the fish rolls in baking dish, seam side down. Add wine.
- Cover and bake 25 minutes at 350 F.
- Drain and reserve 1/2 cup of the liquid.
- Keep fish warm.
- Melt remaining 3 tablespoons of butter in a saucepan over medium-low heat; add flour, salt, pepper, and mustard. Add reserved liquid and milk.
- Stir until thick and bubbly.
- Pour over stuffed flounder rolls. Sprinkle with Parmesan and paprika just before serving.
Easy Bacon Wrapped Scallops
- 24 large sea scallops (about 2 pounds)
- 12 slices bacon partially cooked
- A dash of seasoned pepper
- Cook bacon gently until partially cooked but not crisp and still very flexible.
- Rinse scallops under running cold water, pat dry with paper towels. If you notice any tag-like pieces on the side of the scallops, this is a tough muscle and should be removed. Just pinch it with your fingers to remove.
- Cut each bacon slice crosswise in half; wrap each half around a scallop and secure with a toothpick.
- Sprinkle scallops lightly with seasoned pepper. Preheat broiler.
Place scallops on a rack in broiling pan. Broil 4 to 5 inches from heat for 8 to 10 minutes, or until scallops turn opaque throughout, using tongs to turn scallops frequently so the bacon browns evenly on all sides.