Valentine’s Day Dinner a Deux

February 03 00:00 2003 Print This Article

When Valentines Day falls on a Friday, as it does this year, the desire to create a romantic evening at home often collides with workday realities. The start of the weekend can mean a leisurely evening, but you may have very little time to prepare the dinner you envision.

Dining out is one popular solution, especially since many restaurants feature a special Valentines Day menu. But this is a night when restaurants are crowded, even if it is with other romantically inclined couples. Staying home is quieter, more personal, and you can have the dinner you would like to share, whether you cook, bring in prepared foods, or use a caterer.

A catered dinner for two is not so far-fetched. It can be as formal or informal as you want. You can arrange for a private chef to prepare the dinner of your dreams right in your own kitchen, or drop off the meal, ready to heat and serve.

Bringing home prepared foods from a store that offers fancy dishes is another choice. You can create your own menu this way, with only re-heating and serving needed at dinnertime. But making a home-cooked luxurious meal can be easier than you think.

Start with endive salad dressed with a light vinaigrette and a touch of blue cheese. Then serve salmon with an elegant but easy mustard-horseradish sauce. Finish with fruit sorbet and cookies from your favorite bakery, or a bowl of fresh strawberries and chocolate truffles.

The following recipe makes four servings, but the quantities can easily be halved to prepare a Valentines Day Dinner for two.

Roasted Salmon with Mustard Sauce

Makes 4 servings.

  • 2 Tbsp. honey mustard
  • 2 Tbsp. coarse-seed prepared mustard
  • 2 Tbsp. drained white horseradish
  • 2 Tbsp. fat-free sour cream
  • 2 tsp. fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 medium leek, white part only, halved lengthwise and very thinly sliced
  • 1 1/2 cup non-fat, reduced-sodium chicken broth, divided
  • 1 package (10-16 oz.) defrosted frozen chopped spinach, squeezed dry
  • Canola or olive oil spray
  • 1 1/4 pounds salmon filet, skinned and cut in 4 pieces


  1. Preheat oven to 500 degrees.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the mustards, horseradish, sour cream and lemon juice. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside near the oven to warm.
  3. Place a medium, non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add leeks and 1/2 cup broth. Simmer until liquid is almost evaporated and leeks are almost soft, 5 minutes. Add spinach and remaining broth. Cook until spinach is almost tender but still slightly al dente, about 8 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  4. Coat a medium, oven-proof skillet with spray oil and heat over medium-high until hot. Add salmon, skin-side up. Saut until lightly browned on both sides, about 3 minutes.
  5. Transfer pan to oven. Bake until salmon is translucent at the center of thickest part, about 5 to 8 minutes depending on thickness of filets.
  6. Meanwhile, use spinach to make a bed in the center of 4 plates. Set one salmon piece on each bed of spinach. Drizzle sauce across fish and spinach. Serve immediately.

Per serving:
340 calories,
18 g. total fat (3 g. saturated fat),
13 g. carbohydrate,
33 g. protein,
3 g. dietary fiber,
610 mg. sodium

Source: AICR

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