Valentine's Dinner with Seafood

Looking for something a little different for Valentine's this year? I think we all want a little something different but simple and easy are always a big hit in this house! And why not start with dessert! This fondue get to the point fast and kids will love it too! My favourite milk chocolate to use is Toblerone, a little twist on a favourite with strawberries or any other dried or fresh fruit. Why not try a biscotti or two as well!

Easy Chocolate Fondue
This simple fondue is easy enough for anyone to make and enjoy. A great dessert to share with friends or keep it small enough for 2. Leftovers can be melted in the microwave if desired.

6 oz (180 g) Toblerone, milk or bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1/4 cup (50 ml) unsalted butter 
1/4 cup (50 mL) 35 % whipping cream

Favourite dippers: 
Dried fruit, strawberries, pineapple, banana 

In small saucepan melt chocolate chips, butter and cream over low heat, stirring frequently, until smooth. Pour into lit fondue pot. Using fondue forks, dip fruit into warmed chocolate.

Makes 4 servings.

Tip: Substitute 1 cup (250 mL) bittersweet or semi sweet chocolate chips for the milk chocolate.

Seafood is always popular for Valentine's day and this is one my husband and I love! I always enjoyed Grazie Restaurants Seafood salad in Toronto that I decided I needed to have my own version.

Mixed Seafood Salad
Here is a cold salad that is perfect for a small appetizer or to serve on a larger scale for people to help themselves. This needs to be made ahead to enjoy the full flavour of the seafood and citrus flavours.

4 small calamari, cleaned
6 large sea scallops
4 oz (125 g) medium raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/4 cup (50 mL) extra virgin olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 tsp (1 mL) hot pepper flakes
1 jar (750 mL) pickled vegetables, drained and chopped
1/4 cup (50 mL) slivered green olives
1/4 cup (50 mL) chopped Italian parsley
1 tbsp (15 mL) capers
2 tbsp (25 mL) white vinegar
2 tbsp (25 mL) lemon juice
Pinch pepper
Leaf lettuce leaves

Slice calamari body into rings and separate tentacles. Cut scallops into quarters and shrimp in half.

In saucepan of simmering water, cook calamari for 1 minute. Remove with slotted spoon. Repeat with shrimp and scallops; set aside.

In non-stick skillet, heat oil over medium heat and cook garlic for 30 seconds. Add calamari, shrimp, scallops and hot pepper flakes. Toss and cook for 2 minutes. Scrape into large bowl. Add pickled vegetables, olives, parsley, and capers and toss to combine. Add vinegar, lemon juice, salt and pepper and toss well. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1hour or for up to 12 hours. Serve on lettuce.

Makes 6 servings.

And look more seafood! It simply is an aphrodisiac I'm sure, so spice it up and enjoy this dipping sauce with it. Serve this shrimp on top of a juicy steak and you will have everyone excited about Valentine's day for sure!

Prosciutto Wrapped Shrimp with Spicy Dipping Sauce
Buy jumbo tiger shrimp and make sure everybody gets at least one. The bigger shrimps can handle the special wrapper of prosciutto and its touch of saltiness. Simply dressed it’s a perfect pick up appetizer with the dipping sauce alongside.

12 raw jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 tbsp (15 mL) extra-virgin olive oil
Pinch pepper
6 thin slices prosciutto, halved

Spicy Dipping Sauce:
¼ cup (50 mL) extra-virgin olive oil
2 tbsp (25 mL) red wine vinegar
2 tbsp (25 mL) chopped fresh Italian parsley
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tsp (10 mL) capers
½ tsp (2 mL) dried hot pepper flakes
Peel and devein shrimp leaving tails intact. In bowl, toss shrimp with oil and pepper. Wrap each shrimp with prosciutto. Place on plate and cover and refrigerate for up to 4 hours.

Spicy Dipping Sauce: Meanwhile, in bowl stir together oil, vinegar, parsley, garlic, capers, pepper flakes and season with salt to taste. Cover and let stand at room temperature for up to 2 hours.

Place shrimp on greased grill over medium-high heat and grill for about 5 minutes, turning once or until shrimp are firm and prosciutto is crisp. Serve with Dipping Sauce.

Makes 6 servings.

Tip: You can use large sea scallops for the shrimp for another seafood option.


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