There's no need to trek out to an expensive, crowded seafood restaurant this Valentine's Day. We've planned a foolproof menu for a romantic meal to make at home. Filled with citrus, pomegranate, warm spices, and rich flavors, here is a meal guaranteed to make anyone swoon.
We know -- cooking such a big and beautiful meal sounds ambitious for a Tuesday night, but with our tips for thinking ahead (see The Plan below), you will be glowing with triumph by the time Tuesday night rolls along. For those of you who are not crazy about seafood but love a good steak, you might also like to try our Classic Steakhouse Dinner from last year.
Here's how you can break down your cooking to make the evening go smoothly:
The day before
• Whip up the compound butter for the oysters. Stick it, and a bottle of Champagne, in the refrigerator.
• Toast and chop the almonds for the couscous and the pistachios for the salad. Or mix and match -- we won't tell.
• Get together your pomegranate vinaigrette for the salad. Sample a little of it on some greens with your dinner!
• Make your Burnt Caramel Pudding and get those cute little ramekins in the refrigerator.
As soon as you get home from work
• Start plumping your raisins in orange juice for the couscous.
• Mix the punch (minus the Champagne) and chill. Set aside two glasses and some lime slices for when that doorbell rings.
• Wash and dry arugula and romaine lettuce for salad and finish prepping the couscous.
Right before serving
• Pop open the Champagne, and add it to the punch. Doing this at the last minute will guarantee that your drinks will be sparkly and fresh.
• Butter and broil oysters. If they need to be shucked, shuck them together! Just be careful. Trips to the emergency room aren't romantic.
• Toss together your salad while you roast the salmon -- it cooks in just 10 minutes! We highly recommend drizzling the last bit of cream at the table.