Romantic Valentine Dinner Ideas

by Jessica Breger

Staff writer

 

Its always a good idea to start with a nice salad. You can pick up a salad already made at Walmart for two or three dollars. Add a bit of diced chicken breast and parmesan cheese for a restaurant-quality look.

For the main course there are several options to choose from. Here are a few ideas to get you started.

 

PESTO TORTELLINI WITH OVEN-

FRIED CHICKEN

Start to finish: 30 minutes

Servings: 2

2 1/2 cups prepared three-cheese tor-

tilini, store-bought

3 cups prepared basil pesto sauce

3 boneless chicken breast fillets

2 large eggs

1/2 cup flour

1/2 vegetable oil

Pre-heat oven to 350 F.

In mixing bowl, combine eggs and

beat slightly. In separate bowl, season flour with salt, pepper and garlic.

Let chicken soak in egg for approximately 5 seconds. Meanwhile, heat oil in medium-size skillet at medium-high temperature.

From egg wash, place chicken in flour  and let rest for 5 minutes in refrigerator.

Repeat process, if desired.

Fry chicken in oil on stove-top until breading is golden-brown, approximately 3-5 minutes on each side.

Place chicken in oven and cook approximately 10-15 minutes or until thoroughly cooked (when fork prong is inserted into chicken breast, the juice should run clear).

Cook tortellini as directed on package. Drain water from pasta.

Lightly toss cooked pasta in pesto sauce in large mixing bowl (carefully as pesto has very strong flavor).

*This also works well in an alfredo sauce or you can mix pesto and alfredo sauces, if you are feeling experimental.

Serve tortellini with sauce on plate next to the oven-fried chicken.

 

WHITE PIZZA

Start to finish: 40 minutes

Servings: 4

20-ounce ball prepared pizza dough,

room temperature

15-ounce jar white cheese sauce

(found next to alfredo sauce *you

can even use cheesy alfredo if you

like)

8 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese

4-6 ounces Italian sausage (ground if

you can find it)

Heat oven to 400 F. Lightly spritz

large baking sheet with cooking spray.

Chop italian sausage, if not ground,

and fry on stove top in large skillet at medium-high heat.

Roll out pizza dough on lightly floured

surface, to desired thickness.

Spread sauce liberally on dough.

Spread cheese to cover pizza.

Sprinkle cooked sausage on top.

Bake 20-25 minutes, or until crust is

browned and cheese is melted through in the center of the pizza.

 

FANCY STEAK AND POTATOES

Start to finish:

Package of two filet mignon steaks

2-3 medium-sized white potatoes

4 ounces sour cream

2-3 ounces crumbled bacon pieces

Chopped chives, to taste

2-3 tablespoons butter

1-2 ounces whole milk or cream

2-4 ounces mixed shredded cheeses

Preheat oven to 350 F. Cook filet mignon as directed on package, 5-10 minutes, depending on taste.

Boil potatoes until they are easily broken with fork, then lightly, but leave them semi-chunky.

Stir in milk and butter to your preference. Mix in sour cream, chives and bacon pieces until desired flavor is reached.

Place potatoes in a small baking dish, cover with a thin layer of cheese and sprinkle bacon pieces and chives on top.

Bake at 350 F approximately 5-8 minutes or until cheese is melted.

 

Dessert ideas

If you can get your hands on a heart- shaped cookie-cutter, bake her favorite cookies in heart shapes and use icing to write sweet phrases (but make them more personal to the two of you).

Chocolate-covered fruit is always nice, but a bit over-done, so I would only suggest this if it is you first V-Day together. (At this point, cliche is cute.)

You can also easily pick up pre-made ice cream cakes or cheesecake. Both look romantic. If you go for cheesecake and you aren’t sure what kind she likes, get the sample platter.

Top the cake or cheesecake with half of a strawberry (cut top to bottom to make a heart shape).