These casually elegant seafood recipes are a smart choice for a cozy dinner for two, a special date night in, or a Valentine’s Day splurge.
Sure, you could make another fabulous steak for the love of your life, but I’ve got a different idea. Seafood is easy to cook, healthy, and so chic! Some say seafood is a natural aphrodisiac, and can boost the dopamine and norepinephrine in our brains. Those are some nice perks, but I love it just because it’s delicious.
Let’s dig in
Want to impress, but short on time? I love making risotto in the Instant Pot because it takes just 6 minutes of pressure cooking. Browned butter makes this dish extra voluptuous.
Tip: There’s no need to wrestle with the whole crustacean, check out the seafood counter at the best supermarket in your area, they’ll often stock easy to cook lobster tails around Valentine’s Day and other special occasions.
Dessert pairing for Instant Pot Lobster Risotto ~ for a light yet seductive finish to your meal, try my Chocolate Pot de Crème.
Turn up the heat with this delicious shrimp scampi, it’ll only takes minutes for a spicy dinner for two. It’s your favorite pasta, dressed up for date night.
Tip: If you can’t find fresh shrimp, frozen can be just as good if not better. Look for wild caught, or sustainably raised. In the shell is best.
Dessert pairing for Shrimp Scampi Fra Diavolo ~ keep the spicy theme going with my Hot Chili Pepper Truffles.
You can make restaurant worthy scallops on the table in 20 minutes with just a handful of ingredients. They make a stunning presentation, and practically melt in your mouth.
Tip: Keep your scallops very cold and whisk them from the seafood counter to your fridge asap. Use them within a day of purchase.
Dessert pairing for Seared Scallops ~ lemon is the flavor of the night with Meyer Lemon Cake
Crisp and delicate crab cakes on a fresh green salad topped with remoulade sauce showcases the lighter side of Valentine’s Day.
Tip:If you live in an area where you can find fresh picked crab meat, go for it! For the rest of us, I recommend pasteurized crab meat, found in cans in the refrigerated section near your store’s fish counter.
Dessert pairing for Crispy Crab Cakes ~ Fresh Strawberry Shortbread Cookies!
This dish is elegant, seasonal, and simple to make. Cooking fish in parchment paper allows for delicate steaming and also makes for a pretty presentation. It proves that healthy doesn’t have to be boring.
Tip: If you can’t find blood oranges, use lemons. Meyer lemons would be especially nice.
Dessert pairing for Fish with Blood Orange ~ for a winter citrus treat that complements this fish, try my Meyer Lemon Pudding.
The creamy lemon sauce makes this skillet salmon extra luxurious ~ you can’t go wrong with the classic flavors of lemon, dill, and fresh cream. Pair it with a simple salad, pasta, or a vegetable side like sautéed spinach or kale.
Tip: This dish is best made with heavy cream, if you try to use milk or half and half, the sauce can curdle from the lemon juice. Trust me, it’s worth the splurge.
Dessert pairing for Creamy Lemon and Dill Salmon ~ Ina Garten’s Chocolate Cake is the ultimate ending to this meal (or any meal!)
Simple ingredients like butter, shallot, garlic, thyme, and mustard infuse the beer broth for this aromatic dish.
Tip: Allow 1/2-1 lb of shell-on mussels per serving, depending on whether they’ll be a starter or a main course.
Dessert pairing for Steamed Mussels ~ Easy Chocolate Soufflé is an appropriately French finish to this meal.
With a deep, on-theme crimson hue, this Romesco sauce is bold in flavor and color. It’s a great, unexpected way to cook shrimp and comes together quickly and easily. Just add some fresh crusty bread and you’ve got a cozy shareable dinner.
Tip: Leave the tails on your shrimp, they make it easy to eat, no utensils needed. What could be sexier?
Dessert pairing for Shrimp in Romesco Sauce ~ my Dark Chocolate Truffle Tart can hold its own against this bold shrimp.
This gorgeous juicy salmon recipe proves that a romantic meal can also be a spectacularly healthy meal!
Tip: If you can’t eat a whole side of salmon, lol, you can do this same recipe with smaller fillets.
Dessert pairing for Salmon with berry salsa ~ how about more berries? Simple Berry Pavlova rounds out a healthy meal.