Valentine's Day 2013 with Friends


Valentine’s Day is one of those holidays you either look forward too with your significant other or you dread it because you’re single. Well I’m one of those single men who try to overlook the day and wait impatiently for the 15th. This year sitting around with friends and asking them what they had planned for the their big V-Day. Everyone was just going to stay home and in the blink of an eye, I said; “Like hell you are! You’re all coming to my house and I’ll prepare a feast!”

12oz Pan-Seared Grilled Salmon
12oz Pan-Seared Grilled Salmon topped with sauteed Jumbo Shrimp. Side of White Wine Aspargus & Orange Slices.

Now to pull off a small dinner party! I am use to cooking for four most of the time, but eight? Well I had to use some ingenuity in the kitchen! My 19 year old son, Austin and I headed to our local HEB grocery store as they had the freshest Alaskan Salmon at the butcher. The butcher was kind enough to cut eight thick salmon filets and remove the skin as we were going to grille these 8 to 12 ounce salmon steaks indoors. While at the store, we picked up fresh jumbo shrimp from the Sea of Cortez and all of the other goodies for the big night!

In the kitchen and trying to figure out a plan to grill these monsters, I crowned my son, Austin to be the head chef of the evening. He came up with a great plan. A Pan-Seared Grilled Salmon. How did he do it you ask? Well, since my grilling pan only holds four salmon steaks tightly and I am one who serves food hot all at once! My son seasoned them with Feiny’s Citrus Rub, Worcestershire sauce, garlic powders & basil. With the grilling pan and skillet on medium heat, four steaks were placed in each pan. The trick for Pan-seared Grilling was quite simple … when it was time to flip the salmon, they were flipped into the other pan! Genius! Of course! Then they were glazed with a Ginger & Habanero sauce. My son being the thinker that he is, wanted to be sure the final presentation to plate was achieved, so each steak with it’s grilling marks were placed upright. Sauteed jumbo shrimp marinated in chili, lime & garlic sauce were bathing in another pan at the same time.

Multi-colored Roses as the Centerpiece for Valentine’s Day.

The aroma in the kitchen was incredible! As we were finishing in the kitchen, everyone was making their way to the dinner table I decorated myself for Valentine’s Day. Picnic style tablecloth, white plates with red salad plates along with a box of candy for each guest placed in the middle. Black napkins offered a nice compliment to the bright colors. Chalkboard napkin rings with each guest names written in chalk and we cannot forget fresh multi-color roses as the centerpiece and candied hearts strewn across the table!

Back in the kitchen, asparagus was steamed in white wine and garlic. You gotta infuse those flavors! The asparagus was highlighted with orange slices. I find oranges to be a nice compliment to seafood as lemons overpower the mesh of seasoned flavors you work so hard to infuse.

Dinner was dynamite! I enjoy giving to others. Was it the best Valentine’s Day ever? For someone who is single it was truly the best! Preparing such a feast for friends who also enjoy the art of cooking, conversation and laughter. Valentine’s Day of 2013 will go down in my history book as one of the most memorable!

Below is the menu that was prepared.

Enjoy! …and I have to give a big thanks to my son Austin for being the designated Chef on the Salmon. Totally rocked it!

Valentine’s Day 2013 Menu:

Appetizer: Spicy Chipolte Ranch Dip & a Dill Dip with Rosemary Chips.

Salad: Tossed mixed greens with spinach, Italian dressing, White Cheddar French Bread crouton, pan friend bacon and aged Parmesan cheese.

Entree: 8oz-12oz Alaskan Salmon steaks grilled & pan-seared using Feiny’s Citrus Rub, Worcestershire sauce, garlic powders & basil. Then glazed with a Ginger & Habanero sauce. Topped with sauteed jumbo shrimp marinated in chili, lime & garlic sauce. Finished with fresh bacon crumbles & ages Parmesan cheese. With a double side of steamed white wine & garlic asparagus and orange slices.

Dessert: Sliced Mango Cake (Thank you AJ & Camille!)
Piper-Heidsieck Champagne Brut

Wine: Liberty Hill Chardonnay 2011

LaMerika Pinot Noir 2011
Bogle Sauv Blanc 2011 (Thank you Paolo & Ingrid!)
LeCrema Chardonnay (Thank you Kathy!)

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