Valentine’s Day: Romantic Recipes to Make at Home
Going out to eat is always more expensive than eating at home, and Valentine’s Day is no exception. Valentine’s Day is one of those holidays that we feel obligated to make a reservation at the fanciest restaurant in town, just to let that special someone know how much we care. Here at CreditBox, we think it means more to make a homemade Valentine’s Day meal, and it saves quite a bit of money, so it’s a win-win. We’ve scoured the Internet for the perfect recipes for a romantic Valentine’s Dinner. Just follow along, light some candles, and show your sweetheart how much they mean to you.
French Onion Soup Gratinee
This savory version of French Onion Soup will start the meal off with an impressive display – and it’s just as good, if not better than what you’d get for $15 at a high-end restaurant. It won’t cost you nearly that much to make, and you’ll even have leftovers! This recipe is courtesy of Jersey Tomato on allrecipes.com.
Ready In: 1 Hr. 15 Minutes | Serves: 4
· 4 tablespoons butter
· 1 teaspoon salt
· 2 large red onions, thinly sliced
· 2 large sweet onions, thinly sliced
· 1 (48 fluid ounce) can chicken broth
· 1 (14 ounce) can beef broth
· 1/2 cup red wine
· 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
· 2 sprigs fresh parsley 1 sprig fresh thyme leaves
· 1 bay leaf
· 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar s
· alt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
· 4 thick slices French or Italian bread
· 8 slices Gruyere or Swiss cheese slices, room temperature
· 1/2 cup shredded Asiago or mozzarella cheese, room temperature
· 4 pinches paprika
1. Melt butter in a large pot over medium-high heat. Stir in salt, red onions and sweet onions. Cook 35 minutes, stirring frequently, until onions are caramelized and almost syrupy.
2. Mix chicken broth, beef broth, red wine and Worcestershire sauce into pot. Bundle the parsley, thyme, and bay leaf with twine and place in pot. Simmer over medium heat for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove and discard the herbs. Reduce the heat to low, mix in vinegar and season with salt and pepper. Cover and keep over low heat to stay hot while you prepare the bread.
3. Preheat oven broiler. Arrange bread slices on a baking sheet and broil 3 minutes, turning once, until well toasted on both sides. Remove from heat; do not turn off broiler.
4. Arrange 4 large oven safe bowls or crocks on a rimmed baking sheet. Fill each bowl 2/3 full with hot soup. Top each bowl with 1 slice toasted bread, 2 slice Gruyere cheese and 1/4 of the Asiago or mozzarella cheese. Sprinkle a little bit of paprika over the top of each one.
5. Broil 5 minutes, or until bubbly and golden brown. As it softens, the cheese will cascade over the sides of the crock and form a beautifully melted crusty seal. Serve immediately!
Blue Cheese Crusted Steak with Port Wine Sauce
Steak is one of the most romantic meals that you can cook. Your choice of beef paired with blue cheese and a port wine sauce is the perfect decadent dish for Valentine’s Day dinner. This recipe is courtesy of Hebegebe on allrecipes.com.
Ready In: 50 Minutes | Serves: 4
· 1 tablespoon butter
· 1/2 cup minced white onion
· 3 cloves garlic, minced
· 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
· 3/4 cup low-sodium beef broth
· 1/2 cup port wine
· 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
· 4 steaks (your choice of steak, 1 1/2 inch thick)
· 3/4 cup crumbled blue cheese
· ¼ cup panko bread crumbs
1. Melt butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic and thyme. Cook, stirring constantly, until onion is tender. Stir in the beef broth, scraping any onion bits from the bottom of the pan, then stir in the port wine. Bring to a boil, and cook until the mixture has reduced to about 1/2 cup. Set aside. This may also be made ahead of time, and reheated.
2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Heat oil in a cast-iron or other oven-safe skillet over high heat. Sear steaks quickly on both sides until brown, then place the whole pan into the oven.
3. Roast steaks in the oven for about 15 minutes for medium rare - with an internal temperature of 145 degrees F (63 degrees C). You may adjust this time to allow the steaks to finish just below your desired degree of doneness if medium is not what you prefer. Remove from the oven, and place on a baking sheet. Stir together the panko crumbs and blue cheese. Top each steak with a layer of this mixture.
4. Preheat the oven's broiler. Place steaks under the preheated broiler until the cheese topping is browned and bubbly. 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from the oven, and let stand for at least 15 minutes before serving. Serve with warm port wine sauce.
No meal is complete without a side dish, and prosciutto-wrapped asparagus is a delicious, decadent twist on a vegetable – perfect for your Valentine. Whether you’re a new couple or you’ve been together for decades, this recipe is sure to impress. An added bonus? This side dish is really easy and presents beautifully, so you can focus your efforts on the other, more complicated elements of your romantic dinner. This recipe is courtesy of Trish on allrecipes.com.
Ready in: 30 Minutes | Serves: 4
· 1/2 pound prosciutto, sliced
· 1/2 (8 ounce) package Neufchatel cheese, softened
· 12 spears fresh asparagus, trimmed
1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C).
2. Spread prosciutto slices with Neufchatel cheese. Wrap slices around 2 or 3 asparagus spears.
3. Arrange wrapped spears in a single layer on a medium baking sheet.
4. Bake 15 minutes in the preheated oven, until asparagus is tender.
Chocolate Covered Strawberries
There are few, if any, more romantic desserts than chocolate covered strawberries, and Valentine’s Day is the perfect excuse to take the time to make some from scratch. For less than half the price of what you’d pay for just 2 or 3 of these decadent berries at a restaurant, you’ll be able to make dozens of chocolate covered strawberries at home. You’ll save money and have dessert for days. This recipe is courtesy of Kitten on allrecipes.com.
Ready in: 15 Minutes | Serves: 24
· 16 ounces milk chocolate chips
· 2 tablespoons shortening
· 1 pound fresh strawberries with leaves
1. In a double boiler, melt the chocolate and shortening, stirring occasionally until smooth. Holding them by the toothpicks, dip the strawberries into the chocolate mixture.
2. Insert toothpicks into the tops of the strawberries.
3. Turn the strawberries upside down and insert the toothpick into styrofoam for the chocolate to cool.
If you still need a little extra cash to help make your Valentine’s Day meal special enough for your significant other, turn to CreditBox. Apply online today and have your cash in time to make a romantic feast for February 14th.