Fish · vegetables

A Valentine’s Worthy Dinner

Yay for Valentine’s Day! I think it’s nice having a day built in for recognizing the people that you love. After much debate, I planned my Valentine’s Day dinner menu: Pan Roasted Cod with Sauteed Shiitake Mushrooms, Broccolini with White Beans, Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes and Chocolate Chip & White Chocolate Chunk Blondies for dessert. The recipe for the Blondies is a gem in my back pocket that is easy to throw together and people love them. Or maybe I just love them, and use any excuse to make them. The recipe can be found in this old post.
(But this time I used white chocolate chunks instead of chips…)
Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes

2 sweet potatoes

Dash cinnamon

Dash nutmeg

Dash ginger

1 tbsp cream cheese

1 tbsp brown sugar

Pop the sweet potatoes in the microwave, one at a time, for 6 minutes each. Let cool a while before slicing open and scooping out the soft insides into a bowl, but reserve skins. Mix together with remaining ingredients, then scoop back into sweet potato skins. Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes.
The two other recipes I adapted from Sara Foster’s Casual Cooking Cookbook.
Broccolini with White Beans

1 bunch broccolini, trimmed (or broccoli rabe)

1 tbsp butter

2 tbsp olive oil

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 15 oz can cannellini beans, or navy beans, rinsed and drained

1 cup chicken broth

Salt & pepper

Freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Bring a pot of water to boil and add salt. Add the broccolini and blanch for 20-30 seconds, until it turns bright green. Drain the broccolini and rinse with cold water until completely cooled. Pat dry.
Heat the butter and olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat until hot. Add garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the beans and broth, and season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes. Add the broccolini, stir to combine, and cook about 2 minutes more. Top with Parmesan cheese.

Pan-Roasted Cod with Sautéed Shiitake Mushrooms

3 tbsp olive oil

4 6-oz cod fillets

Salt and pepper

4 tbsp butter

4 oz shiitake mushrooms

1 shallot, minced

1/4 cup dry white wine

Juice of 1 lemon

2 tbsp chopped fresh chives

Heat 1 tbsp of the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Season fillets with salt and pepper and place skin side down in the skillet to cook for 3 to 4 minutes, until golden brown and crisp. Flip the fillets and cook for another 3-4 minutes, until cooked through. Remove the fillets to a platter and cover loosely with foil to keep warm.
Meanwhile, heat 2 tbsp of the butter with the remaining 2 tbsp olive oil in the skillet that you just cooked the fish in over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms and shallot, and cook and stir until mushrooms are golden, about 2 minutes. Add the wine and lemon juice, bring to a boil, and reduce it for about 1 minute. Remove skillet from heat. Add remaining butter to the sauce, and swirl until creamy. Serve the fish fillets with the mushrooms spooned over and around them and chives sprinkled on top.

Dinner felt celebratory and special 🙂 Even when a car alarm went off for 15 minutes right outside my house. Just crank up the music! For my Valentine’s gift, Evan got us a couples massage at this beautiful hotel’s spa while we’re in Santa Barbara!
This trip keeps getting better and better…


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