LUX Funny Valentine: Date Night In Recipes

Do the words dinner for two scare you? Especially when you're preparing that dinner at home and you want it to be filled with savory magic! Real talk - cooking for your significant other, or the one you hope to become your S.O., can at times be incredibly nerve-wracking. You want to impress him or her, but you don’t want to get in over your head and be a stress-case in the kitchen! So lets cut to the chase - what should you prepare? We’ve picked out a few recipes that are bound to impress and won't have the fire department joining in on your date. Bon appetit this Valentine's Day!


  Image via thefoodcharlatan.com

Image via thefoodcharlatan.com

1. Prosciutto-Wrapped Chicken - Classy, pretty and super easy, this show-stopping meal is nothing you can’t handle. All it requires is chicken breast, flour, prosciutto, asparagus, pesto, cream, and olive oil, but it’s packed with flavor and totally decadent.

Ingredients:

1 pound chicken breast, sliced thin (2-3 breasts)
salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons flour, or more
4 slices prosciutto
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 bunch asparagus
1/4 cup basil pesto
1/3 cup cream

Directions:

If the chicken breasts are thick, slit them in half lengthwise to make them thinner. Pat them dry with a paper towel, then sprinkle with salt and pepper; go easy on the salt, the prosciutto is salty. Rub the chicken with the flour. Wrap each piece of chicken with a piece of prosciutto.

In a large skillet, heat the olive oil on medium. When it is hot, add the wrapped chicken. Cook for 5-6 minutes, then flip and cook for another 4-5 minutes or so, until browned and it reaches 165 degrees.

Meanwhile, add about 3 inches of water to a small pot, cover, and put it on to boil. Wash the asparagus and snap off the woody ends. Cut the asparagus into 2 inch pieces. Add to a steamer basket, and when the water in the pot is at a rolling boil, put the basket on top and cover. Cook for about 5 minutes, or until tender. Immediately rinse with cold water to stop the cooking and set it aside. (If you don't have a steamer, you can roast the asparagus, or saute it with some oil).

In a small bowl whisk together the pesto and cream. When the chicken is fully cooked, pour the mixture over the chicken, and add the asparagus. Bring the mixture to a boil, then turn off the heat. Serve with potatoes or crusty bread.


  Image via  howsweeteats.com

2. Coconut-crusted Tilapia with a pretty pomegranate salsa - Light, unique and beautiful in presentation. You can't go wrong with the ingredients and your date will be super excited to dive into such a delightful meal!

Ingredients:

4 tilapia filets
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 lemon, cut in half
3 tablespoons coconut oil
1/3 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

Salsa:


1 tomato, chopped
1/2 red onion, finely diced
1/2 cup pomegranate arils
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
the juice of 1/2 lime
the juice of 1/2 orange
1/4 teaspoon salt

Directions:


To toast coconut, add to a saucepan over low-medium heat and stir, cooking for about 4-5 minutes. As soon as mine starts to turn golden, I use a wooden spoon and toss continuously until it's evenly toasted. Set aside.

Season tilapia on both sides with salt, pepper and lemon juice. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium to medium-high heat and add coconut oil. Once the oil is completely melted, add tilapia and cook until the edges are opaque, about 3-4 minutes. Using a spatula, gently flip the fish. Immediately cover in half of the toasted coconut mixture, and as the fish cooks the coconut will somewhat "adhere" to it. Once the tilapia is easily flaked with a fork, remove it from the skillet and top with the remaining toasted coconut if desired. Serve with pomegranate salsa on top!

Salsa - Combine all ingredients together and mix! Can be stored in the fridge for 2-3 days.


  Image via gomakeme.com

Image via gomakeme.com

3. Thai-style Filet - This method of steaming fish "en papillote" or cooked in the bag is a fool-proof way to steam fish sucessfully every time. Simply seal the fish first, then place in a "bag" (made from folded and creased baking paper), then place in the oven to let the juices work their magic. Divine

Ingredients:

4 x 150g White Fish Fillets (I used Ocean Perch)
Olive Oil
Salt and pepper
Bok Choy

Marinade:


1/2 red chilli with seeds removed, thinly chopped
1 clove garlic cut finely
4 spring onions, thinly chopped
1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
1/3 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup mirin
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
2 tablespoons brown or palm sugar
1/2 lemon juiced
Coriander

Directions:

Pre-heat oven to 200oC. Tear off 4 long sheets baking paper and set aside.

Place all marinade ingredients except garlic in a bowl and mix.

Rub fish fillets with a little olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place fish in a pre-heated non stick pan (making sure pan is quite hot) and cook for 1 to 2 minutes on each side. We are just sealing the fish for a little color, not cooking it through. Remove fish from pan and set aside
In the same pan, add a little oil and garlic and cook for a minute. Add the rest of the marinade and gently simmer until sugar has dissolved

Place two to three leaves of Bok Choy on one side of the baking paper. Place a fish portion on top. Fold over the other side of the baking paper so the edges meet at one edge, Make little folds and continue folding around each side to half-way. Pour in a quarter of the marinade and continue to fold the bag until fully sealed containing all of the marinade. Place on a baking tray. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes. Serve in the bag and gently make a tear across the top. Sprinkle with coriander and serve with steamed rice.


4. Famous Chicken Picatta - Everything about this dish spells DELISH! Chances are you have probably feasted your taste buds on picatta at a restaurant, but have you tried preparing at home? Anything with capers and we are in!

Ingredients:

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
Salt and pepper
5 tablespoons olive oil
4 tablespoons butter
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons capers, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 cup chicken broth
4 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
Cooked pasta

Directions:

Using a mallet, pound the chicken breasts until slightly flatten. Season with salt and pepper, and dredge both sides of chicken in flour. Shake off the excess flour. Melt 2 tablespoons of butter and oil in a large skillet. Fry chicken breasts in hot oil, about 5 minutes each side, until cooked through and golden brown in color. Transfer chicken breasts to a plate. Add the remaining butter to the skillet, add garlic and capers. Add lemon juice, wine, and chicken stock, bring to boil, scraping off the brown bits from the skillet.  Season with salt and pepper. Return chicken breasts to the skillet. Cook for another 5 minutes until the sauce is slightly reduced. Transfer chicken to a large plate, pour the sauce over the chicken and sprinkle with chopped parsley. Serve with cooked pasta.


  Image via pinchofyum.com

Image via pinchofyum.com

5. Mushroom Pasta with Goat Cheese - LOVE is for the way I look at mushrooms, goat cheese, spinach, and light creamy-sauce-coated pasta with a generous crackle of pepper over the top!

Ingredients:

16 ounces uncooked whole wheat farfalle pasta
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons oil
24 ounces fresh mushrooms, sliced (I used cremini and shiitake)
¼ cup minced garlic or shallots, or a combination of both
A splash of white wine (about ⅓ cup)
½ cup heavy whipping cream
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup chicken or vegetable broth (as needed)
¼ cup Parmesan cheese
2 cups spinach, chopped
6 ounces goat cheese

Directions:

Pasta: Cook the pasta according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
Mushrooms: Heat the butter and oil in a large skillet or pot over medium high heat. Add the mushrooms and saute until golden brown and soft, 5-10 minutes. The mushrooms will cook down and reduce in size. Add the garlic and white wine (it should sizzle a bit) and give it a few good stirs. Add the whipping cream and salt. Toss: In a large pot, toss the pasta with the mushroom sauce from step two. Add some or all of the broth if you feel like you want there to be more sauciness (it sort of depends on personal preference - we had it with the added broth, and without, and it was good both times). Serve: While the pasta is still warm, stir in the Parmesan cheese. Just before serving, stir in the spinach and goat cheese, or just top each serving with a few hunks of goat cheese.