1-Hour, 3-Course Gourmet Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day is fast approaching!  While I love trying new restaurants and date-nights out with the hubs, I do not love eating out on Valentine’s Day.  I know I’m a crusty-old-married-gal, but I know I’m not alone here.  I hardly know anyone who goes out for Valentine’s honestly, but alas, restaurants are packed so I know young love birds and romantic loyalists are out there.  Maybe I could benefit from fewer romance skeptics and people who reject the notion of greeting card holidays (i.e. 95% of Seattle).  Either way, I’m making a reservation at my own dining room table.  For two, please.

The past two weeks, I posted two complete Valentine’s Menu options.  Three gourmet courses each.  Both ready in one hour!

Restaurant Quality Dishes with Cohesive Menus and Flavors

Each menu is designed to look visually impressive and taste delicious!  By borrowing some simple tricks from the world of professional chefs, dishes pack big punches of flavor, texture, and technique!  In reality, each menu is deceptively simple to make and inspired by two of my favorite regional cuisines!

Selecting your Menu

Both menus follow the same basic format, but with completely different flavors, ingredients, and vibes!

The first courses are salads inspired by regional flavors and ingredients.

Both menus have show stopping main courses!  Both menus include a protein and a side dish of flavor packed roasted vegetables.  Sauces, spices, and herbs are of course part of this beautiful and delicious equation.  Toss in a few easy to learn culinary tricks for elevating the taste and texture of each dish, and you will want to open your own restaurant.  Or, at least thats what happens to me when I make something so seriously bomb-diggity-dog.

To keep the night of dinner simple, a make-ahead dessert is the perfect solution.  So each menu features gorgeous, decadent tarts that can be made up to 3 days ahead of time!  I love both of these tarts so very, very much!

Do you feel like setting the mood with the spices of the Middle East or the seafaring cuisine of Sicily?

 

Here is a sneak peek at what each menu entails….

Middle Eastern Inspired Menu

 

 

 

 

Course 1:

Middle Eastern Green Salad Dressed with Dukkah Olive Oil

Course 2:

Side: Roasted Vegetables with Fresh Mint and Lemon Tahini Sauce

Main: Middle Eastern Spiced Chicken with Olives, Dates, and Bulgar

Course 3:

Tahini Hazelnut Chocolate Tarts

Shopping List for Menu!

 

Sicilian Inspired Menu

 

 

Course 1:

Sicilian Fennel Salad

Course 2:

Rosemary Roasted Fennel and Red Potatoes

Whole Roasted Branzino with Mint Basil Relish

Course 3:

Lemon Ricotta and Pistachio Tarts

Shopping List for Menu! 


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So which will you choose??  Are you feeling like some crispy roasted spiced chicken, a ton of Middle Eastern spices, tahini, and chocolate tart?  Or, leaning towards whole roasted branzino, loads of fresh herbs, pistachios, and lemon ricotta tart?

These menus are some of my absolute favorite recipes on the blog.  I truly hope that you make them for your sweetheart and more importantly that you love them as much as we do!

If you make either menus or any of the individual recipes from them, you can be entered to win a Valentine’s themed surprise from a local Seattle artist!  Just post a picture to Instagram and tag @almostproperly!  I can’t wait to see what you make!

Happy Valentine’s Day!

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