By Crystal Hessong
This Valentine's Day, make it an evening to remember. Skip the crowds at restaurants and prepare dinner at home. You won't have to invest a lot of time in preparation with easy-to-make dishes. These romantic recipes will get you in the mood for love.
Filet Mignon with Tarragon Mushrooms
Nothing says, "special occasion" quite like steak. This recipe from Healthy Seasonal Recipes for filet mignon with tarragon mushrooms creates a large impact with little preparation. In fact, this dish for two is ready to eat in just 40 minutes. For perfectly cooked steaks, use a combination of the stove and oven. Sear the steaks on the stove top to seal in their juices, then finish cooking them in a hot, 425 F oven.
Spinach and Mushroom Ravioli
Italian food accompanied by music and wine highlights many Valentine's Day dinners. You can get the same meal at home you'd have at an Italian restaurant with this recipe from Giada de Laurentiis for spinach and mushroom ravioli. Rather than making homemade pasta dough, this recipe takes a shortcut of using egg roll wrappers instead, but if you still find this dish too daunting, substitute your favorite brand of refrigerated ravioli coupled with a homemade tomato sauce. For the best flavor, make the sauce the day before and reheat it on Valentine's Day. This method will not only save you time on dinner, but also boost the flavor of the meal. Pasta sauce always tastes better the second day after the flavors have a chance to meld.
Veal with Mushroom Wine Sauce
Veal has a distinctively tender texture and succulent flavor. Get inspiration from Taste of Home's recipe for veal with mushroom wine sauce or prepare veal with your favorite toppings. Since it's so delicate, don't overcook the meat. Cutlets only need to cook for 2 to 3 minutes per side over medium heat.
Linguine with Clams
Linguine with clams couldn't be easier to make. Prepare the pasta, make a garlic butter, and steam the clams in some white wine until they open. Delish has a more detailed recipe for this simple, yet fancy dinner that gets you out of the kitchen faster to spend more time with your significant other on Valentine's Day.
Lamb Rib Chops
Many Americans don't eat much lamb. Change that by serving flavorful lamb rib chops this Valentine's Day. Lamb chops, like other young meats, should not be overcooked. Sear them in a skillet until they reach medium-rare, 145 F. Top the chops with your favorite sauce, or make Epicurious's lamb rib chops with a quick cherry pan sauce.
Salmon is an ideal Valentine's Day entrée. It perfectly matches the color scheme of pinks and reds, and it's heart-healthy for you and your loved one. Bake salmon on parchment paper for the easiest dinner possible. The parchment prevents the salmon from overcooking and reduces clean up. Chef John's recipe for salmon in parchment is easy to follow, but you could make your own with your favorite marinade and vegetables. It only takes 15 minutes to bake the wrapped fish in a 400-degree oven.
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