Love is in the air! Delightful candlelight dinner recipes

Valentine’s day is not complete without a candlelight dinner- the most romantic gesture of all! Treat your significant other with some delectable food and wine, shared over the cosy and idyllic environment of lit candles around you. Time to escape to your own paradise with some luscious dinner recipes we are sharing with you here, and create delicious memories!

Bring in the wine glasses and let the feast begin!

Strawberry, spinach and avocado salad with honey vinaigrette

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Ingredients:

  • 8 oz. strawberries
  • 2 avocados
  • 5 ounce baby spinach
  • 3 tbsp. Honey
  • 2½ tbsp. lemon juice
  • 3 tbsp. olive oil
  • a sprinkle of  Sea Salt
  • A pinch of ground black pepper

Directions:

  1. Whisk the lemon juice, honey, olive oil, salt, and pepper together. Toss in thee baby spinach and give a good shake.
  2. Scoop out the  avocados and dice strawberries as you wish, and drizzle the vinaigrette over the fruit salad, placed on baby spinach leaves. Serve the juicy fresh salad immediately.

Creamy chicken pasta with mushrooms

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Ingredients:

  • 6 ounces dried spaghetti
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 10 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 10 ounces sliced mushrooms
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • salt
  • 2 small chicken breasts
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened

Directions:

  1. In a large pot, bring salted water to a boil, and cook the spaghetti noodles.
  2. In a large not non-stick skillet, melt the butter and thyme over medium heat. Add the sliced mushrooms to the skillet, and stir to coat in butter. Leave them to cook for a few minutes until a nice crust forms and turn golden brown.
  3. Remove the mushrooms alone from the pan and add oil to the butter and thyme mixture in the pan.
  4. Salt and pepper both sides of the chicken breasts.
  5. Turn the heat up to medium-high, and sear the chicken breasts on both sides in the same pan that the mushrooms were in. Cook until so that a good crust forms. Remove the chicken from the pan, and cover to keep warm.
  6. Turn the heat down to low and add all of the wine. Allow the wine to cook just a bit and make sure you scrape any food stuck to the pan.
  7. Dice the cream cheese and place in a large bowl. Discard the thyme sprigs from the pan, and then pour the hot wine over the cream cheese and stir until it melts.
  8. When the pasta is done, drain it, and immediately pour it over the wine-cream cheese mixture. Toss the noodles to melt and evenly distribute the cream cheese sauce.Stir the mushrooms into the pasta bowl.
  9. Slice the chicken and garnish on top. Serve warm.

Honey glazed salmon

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Ingredients:

  • ¼ c. seasoned rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp. toasted sesame oil
  • ⅓ c. light soy sauce
  • ⅓ c. Honey
  • 2 to 3 tsp. chili-garlic sauce
  • 1 tbsp. Chinese or Dijon mustard
  • 1 skin-on salmon fillet
  • 2 package shiitake mushrooms
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 large bunch green onions
  • 2 package instant microwave Jasmine rice
  • Toasted sesame seeds

Directions:

  1. Heat oven to 475 degrees F. Stir together 3 tablespoons vinegar, 1 tablespoon sesame oil, soy sauce, and next 3 ingredients; set aside 1/2 cup of sauce. Place salmon, skin side down, on a large parchment lined rimmed baking sheet. Brush with 2 tablespoons soy mixture.
  2. Bake salmon at 475 degrees F for 8 minutes. Toss mushrooms and next two ingredients with 1 tablespoon of soy mixture. Scatter vegetables around fish in hot pan and brush fish with soy mixture. Bake 8 to 10 more minutes and vegetables turn tender.
  3. Prepare and stir the  rice and remaining 1 tablespoon each of vinegar and sesame oil in a serving bowl; season with salt and pepper to taste. Lift fish from skin and serve with rice and vegetables.

Mashed garlic potatoes with roasted kale

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Ingredients:

  1. 4 large baking potatoes, peeled and diced
  2. 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
  3. ¼ cup buttermilk
  4. 1 teaspoon salt
  5. ¾ teaspoon black pepper
  6. ½ cup parmesan cheese, grated
  7. 8 garlic cloves, peeled
  8. 1 tablespoon olive oil
  9. 2 tablespoons olive oil
  10. ½ teaspoon salt
  11. ½ teaspoon black pepper
  12. ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  13. 4 cups fresh chopped kale

Directions:

  1. Marinate the garlic cloves in olive oil and a pinch of salt and black pepper and wrap in a foil. Roast in the oven for about 20 to 25 minutes.
  2. Place the potatoes in a medium pot and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil and cook for about 15 to 20 minutes or until fork tender. Drain and add it back to the pot. Add in the butter, buttermilk, salt, pepper, roasted garlic, and parmesan cheese. Mash the mixture well until smooth and buttery. Keep warm on the stove over low heat.
  3. Spread the kale on a baking sheet and toss with olive oil, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes. Spread out onto an even layer and roast for about 10 to 15 minutes or until charred and crispy.
  4. Once the potatoes are done, spoon them out and serve topped with roasted kale. Garnish with shredded cheese or parsley.

Caramelized onion tart

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Ingredients:

  • 3 c. grated Gruyère cheese
  • 8 oz. cream cheese
  • 1 tbsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp. Chopped fresh oregano
  • ¾ tsp. fresh ground pepper
  • 2 tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 2 large sweet yellow onions
  • 2 tbsp. fresh thyme
  • Puff Pastry
  • ½ c. Kalamata olives

Directions:

  1. Heat oven to 400 degrees F. Mix Gruyère, cream cheese, mustard, oregano, and pepper in a small bowl and set aside. Melt butter in a large skillet, add onions, and cook, stirring occasionally, over medium-low heat until dark brown and caramelized — about 1 hour. Stir in the thyme and set aside.
  2. With a sharp knife, cut the puff pastry dough into 8 equal-sized pieces. Roll each piece out to 8- by 6-inch rectangle. Spread about 1/4 cup of the cheese mixture on the dough, leaving a 1/2-inch border all the way around.
  3. Top with 1/4 cup of the caramelized onions and 1 tablespoon of the olives. 

Baked mussels topped with cheese

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Ingredients:

  • 2 dozen large mussels
  • 1 cup marinara sauce
  • ⅓ cup butter, melted
  • 3 cloves minced garlic
  • 1½ cups crusty bread crumbs
  • 1 tsp chopped fresh thyme
  • pinch coarsely ground black pepper
  • ⅓ cup Parmesan cheese, finely grated

Directions:

  1. Choose only the good mussels and discard those with broken shells. Wash the mussels thoroughly until clean.
  2. Bring 1 inch of water to a boil in a large covered pot. Add the mussels, cover the pot and let them steam for only 3 minutes to open the shells. Remove the top shell and loosen the mussels from the half of the shells that they are attached to before laying them in a baking dish.
  3. Spoon about a teaspoonful of marinara sauce over each mussel in their shells.
  4. Over medium heat melt the butter in a small saucepan and add the the garlic. Cook for just a minute to soften it.
  5. Add the bread crumbs, chopped thyme and black pepper. Stir to combine well, then toss in the Parmesan cheese. Spoon the crumbs evenly over the marinara sauce covered mussels. Press the crumbs down gently and bake at 375 degrees F for 15 minutes.
  6. Serve immediately while piping hot.

Pumpkin Cannelloni

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Ingredients:

  • 1½ lb. pumpkin
  • 1½ tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 large Garlic cloves
  • ½ c. ricotta
  • ½ c. grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • 1½ tsp. finely chopped fresh sage
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. Freshly ground pepper
  • 1 package oven-ready lasagna sheets
  • 6 tbsp. unsalted butter

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Place pumpkin, along with 3/4 cup water, in a large skillet over medium heat. Cover and steam until tender, 20 minutes. Remove to a medium bowl and mash until smooth.
  3. Heat 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil in a small skillet and sauté garlic until golden. Transfer garlic to a mortar and pestle, then crush to a paste. Stir cheeses, chopped sage, salt, pepper, and garlic paste into mashed pumpkin. Set aside.
  4. Bring a large pot of water to boil. Cook lasagna sheets until tender, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a plate and drizzle with olive oil to prevent pasta from sticking together. Reserve 1/4 cup pasta water.
  5. Liberally brush a medium baking dish with oil. Place a lasagna sheet on a clean work surface. Add 4 tablespoons pumpkin mixture to center of lasagna, roll into a cannelloni tube, then transfer to prepared baking dish. Repeat with remaining sheets.
  6. Pour reserved pasta water over lasagna and cover tightly with foil. Bake until heated through and pasta is tender, 20 to 25 minutes. Cook butter and sage leaves in small skillet over medium-high heat until golden-brown. Drizzle over pumpkin cannelloni and serve immediately.

Beef wellington

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Ingredients:

  • 2 filet mignon
  • 2 Tbs oil, divided
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 Tbs butter
  • 8 ounces chopped white mushrooms
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • ½ tsp thyme dried
  • 2 Tbs dijon mustard
  • 2 Tbs sour cream
  • 1 sheet puff pastry defrosted
  • 1 egg

Directions:

  1. Place the steak on a plate greased with 1 Tbs oil and 1 tsp salt and allow to sit until it defrosts well. 
  2. Preheat the oven to 400 F with rack in center position. 
  3. Heat a heavy bottomed pan or pot to medium high heat with 1 Tbs oil. Sear steaks on all sides for 30 seconds to 1 minute per side, including the edges. The outer bit has to be a deep brown sear. Keep aside.
  4. Melt the butter in a saute pan over medium heat and toss in garlic, mushrooms and thyme, sweating out the mushrooms a bit, stirring occasionally for 3 to 5 minutes. Then add in the mustard and sour cream and continue to simmer, reducing to medium low until the mixture is not watery and is thick and creamy. Place your puff pastry on a clean work surface and roll it a bit longer and thinner, slicing it down the middle into two square pieces. Divide the mushroom mixture onto each of the two pieces of cut pastry, then place a steak on top of each pile of mushrooms.
  5. Fold up the pastry by pulling up the left and right side up over the steak and to the same with the top and bottom edges, securing with egg wash on the bottom. Cut off excess pastry if needed. Flip the pastry so that the seam is on the bottom and place on a baking sheet. Repeat with the other pastry.
  6. Brush both pastries with egg wash all over.
  7. Bake at 400F for 10 minutes then rotate the pan for even baking and browning. Bake for an additional 8 to 10 minutes until the pastry is a golden brown and baked all over until crusty.
  8. Serve warm with shredded cheese or a salad if you wish.

Creamy stuffed crabs

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Ingredients:

  • white fish to stuff – 2 pounds
  • olive oil – 1 tablespoon
  • onion – 1/2 cup or small onion chopped
  • garlic – 2 cloves minced finely
  • crab meat – 1 cup
  • cream cheese – 2 tablespoons
  • Old Bay Seasoning – 1/2-1 teaspoon or to taste
  • salt and pepper – to taste
  • garlic chives – 2 tablespoons chopped finely
  • butter – 2 tablespoons
  • lemon – juice of one lemon

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 190 degrees C (375 F).
  2. In a medium sauce pan add olive oil and heat to medium heat. Add in onions until they begin to sweat down and even start to caramelise a little bit and then add garlic. Add chopped up crab meat/imitation crab meat, cream cheese, old bay seasoning, salt and pepper and garlic chives and stir until well incorporated. Remove crab mixture from heat and allow to cool.
  3. Lay out the white fish, remove all bones, skin and wash and dry and lie on cutting board with the back side up and top side facing down. Layer on a thick layer of crab meat mixture on to each fish fillet and spread until it is even.Roll up each fish fillet and lay with seam side down on a greased baking pan
  4. Melt butter and in a small cup mix melted butter and lemon juice, some salt and pepper and drizzle over the tops of the crab stuffed flounder.
  5. Bake crab stuffed whitefish for about 20-25 minutes or until they flake easily with fork. Check if your fish is ready every 10-15 mins and make sure you drizzle the lemon-butter mixture when you do.
  6. Serve the crab stuffed whitefish hot out of the oven with a drizzle of the lemon butter sauce.

Molten chocolate lava cake

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Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 3/4 cup butter
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • Powdered sugar

Directions:

  1. Grease six 8- to 10-ounce ramekins with butter and place ramekins in a 15x10x1-inch baking pan and set aside set aside.
  2. In a heavy small saucepan, combine chocolate and the 3/4 cup butter. Cook and stir over low heat until chocolate melts. Remove pan from heat and keep aside.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, beat eggs, egg yolks, granulated sugar and vanilla with an electric mixer on high speed for 8 to 10 minutes or until thick and lemon colored. Fold one-third of the chocolate mixture into egg mixture. Fold remaining chocolate mixture and flour into egg mixture. Spoon about 2/3 cup batter into each prepared ramekin, dividing evenly.
  4. Bake in a 425 degree F oven about 12 minutes or until cake edges feel firm. Cool in ramekins on a wire rack for 2 to 3 minutes. Using a knife, loosen cake from sides of ramekins. Invert onto dessert plates. Sift with powdered sugar. Garnish with fresh raspberries and mint leaves if desired and serve immediately.

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