Are you one of those of lucky ladies who books a babysitter for Valentine's Day so that she gets a chance to spend some romantic uninterrupted time with the one she loves? Or are you someone who who feels that Valentine's Day is just a night like any other, except that your kids refuse to eat their dinner (the homemade pizza that you made with the heart-shaped pepperoni) because they are all hopped-up on sugar-overload from digging into their Valentine's goodie box? Me? I kind fall somewhere in between.
But it doesn't have to be a night just like any other night….
You can make a special meal that doesn't involve a crust. But it doesn't have to be hard. This Valentine's dinner of Shrimp Scampi, pasta, garlic breadsticks, a salad, and a beautiful and delicious dessert of molten chocolate cake can be pulled together in 30 minutes. The shrimp is made from a big bag of frozen, peeled, and deveined shrimp- making it an inexpensive yet “fancy” dish. The chocolate cake is made from ingredients that you probably already have on hand…. butter, chocolate chips, eggs, and powdered sugar. I make the cakes while the shrimp is baking and then pop them in the oven after I have served the shrimp right before I sit down to eat. So if you are looking for a little Valentine's dinner at home inspiration… allow me to share this with you!
Simple Shrimp Scampi
*adapted from The Barefoot Contessa
2 pounds frozen shrimp, peeled and deveined (I used 31-40 count)
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons white cooking wine (or whatever you have in your fridge!)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
4 teaspoons minced garlic (4 cloves)
2 tablespoons dried parsley
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 egg yolk
2/3 cup panko (Japanese dried bread flakes)
Defrost the shrimp by placing in the fridge the night before. (Or if you forget, submerge the shrimp in cool water an hour before before using).
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
Place the shrimp in a mixing bowl and toss gently with the olive oil, wine, 2 teaspoons kosher salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Allow to sit at room temperature while you make the butter and garlic mixture.
In a small bowl, mash the softened butter with the garlic, parsley, lemon juice, egg yolk, and panko until combined.
Arrange the shrimp in a single layer, ideally standing up on end (mine however, wouldn't stand… so just do what you can do). Pour the remaining marinade over the shrimp. Spread the butter mixture evenly over the shrimp. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes until hot and bubbly. I wanted the top browned, and my oven doesn't do a great job of that, so I transferred the dish to my toaster oven and boiled until the panko became golden brown and crispy.
Serve the shrimp scampi over a bed of cooked fettuccine.
Easy Molten Chocolate Cake
*adapted from Bon Appetit
Ingredients:5 ounces of semi-sweet chocolate chips 1 1/4 sticks of butter 3 large eggs 3 large egg yolks 1 1/2 cups of powdered sugar 1/2 cup flour
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Spray 6 ramekins with baking spray and place inside of a rimmed baking sheet.
Stir chocolate chips and butter in a heavy saucepan over low heat until melted. Cool slightly. Whisk eggs and egg yolks in a large bowl to blend. Whisk in powdered sugar, then chocolate mixture, and then the flour. Pour batter into the ramekins, dividing equally.
Bake caked until sides are set but the center remains soft and runny- about 15 minutes. Run sharp knife around sides to loosen.Place a dessert plate on top of the ramekin and flip both the plate and ramekin upside down. Gently remove the ramekin, plating the cake.
Serve with whipped cream or ice cream!
How will you be spending this Valentine's Day?