Happy Valentine’s Day!
What do you have planned? A nice dinner à duex? Lots of red roses and boxes of chocolate? We are here to give you the perfect Valentine’s dinner!
One of the best menu items to begin a romantic dinner with is oysters. We realize that not everyone likes raw oysters, so we’re suggesting small cups for the stew. You can make this ahead of time, and add the oysters at the last minute. You can buy the oysters shucked by the pint.
This is the traditional oyster stew recipe, which you can cut in half for two people.
Maryland Oyster Stew
1 ½ quarts of half-and-half
½ cup of butter
1 quart of shucked oysters, with the liquor (undrained)
Splash of sherry
Heat the oyster liquor and half-and-half slowly and then add the butter until it is melted.* Whisk together. Add the oysters and cook until their edges curl. Add a splash of sherry and serve hot.
If you want to be really fancy, you can add a cup of minced celery and 3 tablespoons of minced shallots. Sautee them in the butter, and then add everything to the half-and-half and oyster liquor.
You can also add a dash of Old Bay® to garnish, but we’re not wild about the way it looks. If you use the celery, garnish with a celery leaf.
From there, we might move on to a Caesar Salad, although easy on the garlic. If you want to ramp it up a notch and impress your love, then GRILL the romaine lettuce! Either grill a leaf at a time for about 30 seconds, or do a small bunch for about two minutes, turning to get the grill marks. Then prepare Caesar salad as usual.
If you’ve got the grill going for the romaine lettuce, then pop on a beautiful piece of steak. Think about a beautiful salt and pepper crusted filet, which you can do either on the stove top or the grill. Pat on the salt and pepper and cook to taste.
To elevate it a bit more, you can make a super simple red wine sauce. Reduce a cup of red wine to about a quarter of a cup, add two tablespoons of butter and whisk to emulsify and add a pinch of salt. Pour over the steak.
For the vegetable, asparagus is perfect and simple to cook.
For the finale, you need chocolate! There is no other dessert to have. Chocolate dipped strawberries are simple to make. You can even use chocolate chips, but make sure they’re decent ones, like Ghiradelli.
Melt them in the microwave for 30 seconds and then 10 second increments, stirring. Nothing is worse than burnt chocolate! Wash the strawberries and pat dry. Dip them in the chocolate and put them on parchment paper. You can do this ahead of time, but if you refrigerate them, they won’t look as good.
It goes without saying that Champagne will be involved. Pick your favorite vintage and serve it chilled in crystal glasses.
Happy Valentines Day from all of us at Halcyon Farm to each of you!
The View From Halcyon Farm is sponsored by Halcyon House Antiques, located at 11219 Greenspring Avenue. For more information visit the Halcyon House website or call 410-828-8889. Halcyon House Antiques is open Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
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