Valentine’s Day can be immensely profitable for businesses that have any association with the holiday. In a study conducted by the Retail Advertising and Marketing Association it was discovered that more than $13 billion is spent a year worldwide on Valentine’s Day. With that in mind, wouldn’t you want your establishment to be an attractive dining option on February 14? Offering a special Valentine’s Day menu is a great way to entice customers to spend their romantic evening at your restaurant. Below, we have included some recipes that we hope will win over your customers’ hearts. Or if you prefer to make your dinner a little more intimate in the confines of your own home, these dishes are sure to make your Valentine feel very special.
Appetizer – Tangy Shrimp Skewers
Shrimp is always a great option for lunch, dinner or for a snack, but we like it best as an appetizer. This tangy shrimp skewer recipe from Culinary.net will start your customers’ or your loved one’s Valentine’s Day meal deliciously. It includes fresh components such as tomatoes, olives, basil, Caesar dressing and mozzarella that will mesh together with the shrimp perfectly for an ideal beginning to a memorable meal. The ingredients can be purchased during a quick visit to the grocery store if you don’t have them already. At only 25 minutes of prep time, putting this appetizer together won’t keep you from focusing on the rest of the meal. This recipe makes 48 large skewers.
1 ½ pounds cooked medium shrimp with tails intact
2 pints cherry tomatoes
1 7 ounce jar stuffed olives, drained, or 1 6 ounce can pitted olives, drained
1 cup light Caesar salad dressing
8 ounces of brick smoked mozzarella cheese
48 small basil leaves (or 24 large basil leaves, halved)
48 4” long cocktail picks
In large bowl, combine shrimp, tomatoes, olives and dressing, tossing well. (At this point, mixture may be covered and refrigerated up to 24 hours). Cut cheese into ½” cubes. Skewer 1 olive, 1 shrimp, 1 cube cheese, 1 basil leaf and 1 tomato on each cocktail skewer. Arrange on serving platter. (May be covered and refrigerated up to 2 hours before serving.)
Drink – Pomegranate-Champagne Punch
If you’re making this drink at your restaurant and have a full-service bar, you should have everything you need already at your fingertips. If you’re preparing it at home or don’t have the ingredients, it will take a special trip to the liquor store. The simple preparation and end result of flavor are a delicious treat. Martha Stewart’s recipe makes one large batch. It is suggested to be served in champagne flutes.
1 ½ cups pomegranate juice
1 cup pear nectar
¼ cup orange-flavored liqueur, such as Grand Marnier
1 bottle (750 ml) Champagne
In a large pitcher, combine pomegranate juice, pear nectar, and orange-flavored liqueur. Slowly add Champagne. Serve over ice.
Dinner – Gorgonzola Stuffed Chicken Breast
Cheese and meat are awesome. Cheese IN meat is even better, especially with bacon. This dish from AllRecipes.com features mouthwatering gorgonzola crumbles along with juicy chicken breast and applewood smoked bacon that brings the entrée together quite nicely. It also includes ingredients bursting with flavor such as shallots, garlic, and parsley. All of the ingredients are easily accessible, if they’re not in your commercial or home kitchen already. With 20 minutes prep time and 35 minutes of cooking, it is a fairly simple, yet impressive entree. This recipe serves two.
2 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
¼ cup crumbled gorgonzola cheese
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
2 tablespoons minced shallots
1 clove garlic, minced
4 thick slices of applewood smoked bacon
Salt and black pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 375°F. Spray an 8” x 8” baking dish with cooking spray. Then, using a sharp knife cut a slit into the thick side of each chicken breast about 2” long and 1 ½” deep. Mash together the Gorgonzola cheese, parsley, shallot, and garlic in a small bowl; season with salt and black pepper. Divide the filling in half, and stuff each chicken breast with cheese filling. Wrap 2 slices of bacon around each breast, and secure with wooden toothpicks. Place the chicken breasts into the prepared baking dish. Bake in the preheated oven until the bacon is browned and the chicken is no longer pink inside, about 35 minutes. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of a breast should read about 165°F.
Dessert – Spiced Chocolate-Pistachio Cookies
Pistachios are delicious as is, but add them to chocolate, and you have a winning combination. This recipe from Midwest Living for heart shaped, spiced chocolate-pistachio cookies will be an ideal way to round out your already robustly flavored meal. They require a little bit of prep and a couple hours of cooling before going into your oven for 10-12 minutes. This recipe makes 24 cookies.
¾ cup butter, softened
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
½ cup packed brown sugar
¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
½ teaspoon chili powder
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¾ cup miniature semisweet chocolate pieces
½ cup semisweet chocolate pieces
1 teaspoon shortening
½ cup finely chopped pistachios
In a large bowl, beat butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed about 30 seconds. Add about half of the flour, the brown sugar, cocoa powder, chili powder and cinnamon. Beat until combined. Stir in the remaining flour. Stir in the ¾ cup chocolate pieces. Wrap and chill dough for 1-2 hours until easy to handle. On a lightly floured surface roll dough 1/4-inch thick. Cut cookies with a 2 ½ inch cutter (Heart-shaped if you’d like). Reroll as necessary. Place 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets.
Bake in a 325ºF oven for 10-12 minutes or until edges are set and tops appear dry. Let stand on cookie sheets 2 minutes before transferring to wire racks to cool completely. In a small saucepan, melt the ½ cup chocolate and shortening over low heat, stirring occasionally. On the counter, set a wire rack over a large sheet of waxed paper. Dip edges or one half of each cookie in melted chocolate (or drizzle chocolate over cookie). Let excess chocolate drip off; roll edges in pistachios or sprinkle pistachios over chocolate. Leave cookies on wire racks until chocolate sets.