Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day!

Happy Valentine's Day from FoodPair! If you're looking to make a splash outside the typical card-flowers-chocolate playbook, take a cue from FoodPair and cook a romantic dinner at home. Not only will you dazzle and impress your significant other, but you'll avoid all the overwrought $100 tasting menus that always leave us wanting more.

Here are a couple tips for crafting the prefect Valentine's Day menu:
(1) Presentation matters, so pick foods with a red, sultry color. Cook with red wine and tomatoes; make sure your chocolaty desserts include some strawberries, raspberries or cranberries.
(2) Use the favorite foods of your main squeeze. They'll appreciate that you've been paying attention to their likes & dislikes. If they're vegetarian, avoid the steak!
(3) Spice things up with popular aphrodisiacs. Oysters, basil, asparagus, arugula, avocado, honey, chocolate and wine are all popular foods known for their romantic leanings. Choose your favorites for the meal and cupid will be knocking in no time!

To help you assemble a romantic Valentine's Day Menu, we fired up the FoodPair search engine and found the best sultry dinner and dessert ideas from across the Web.

Smoked Oyster and Potato Salad with Arugula
Light & briny oysters are the perfect start to your romantic dinner.
Ingredients in this recipe: olive oil, lemon juice, red onion, parsley, celery, bibb lettuce, oysters, red skinned potatoes

Roasted Carrot and Tomato Soup with Basil
Carrots and basil are both said to increase happiness and the libido!
Ingredients in this recipe: basil, garlic, olive oil, carrot, onion, water, milk, plum tomato, cooking spray

New York Steak with Boursin and Merlot Sauce
A juicy steak with a sultry Merlot sauce is just what Cupid ordered.
Ingredients in this recipe: olive oil, butter, chive, steak, red wine, Italian parsley, Boursin

Baked Fish in Parchment
Open the parchment table-side for a steamy flourish!
Ingredients in this recipe: rosemary, zucchini, lemon juice, cherry tomato, salt, black pepper, white wine, fish, canned artichokes

Valentine Linzer Cookies
This heart-shaped cookie will be the star of your celebration!
Ingredients in this recipe: almond, egg, butter, sugar, lemon zest, vanilla extract, powdered sugar, baking powder, raspberry jam, cinnamon, cake flour

Chocolate Mousse with Cranberry & Orange Chutney
Mousse is easy to make and this one with dark rum and cranberry will make your sweetie sing!
Ingredients in this recipe: chocolate, egg, dark chocolate, salt, milk, whipping cream, dark rum, chutney

Let's get cooking!

Any other favorite ingredients or dishes you'd like us to highlight? Post them in the comments section or on our Facebook page! And while you're at it, "Like" us on Facebook to get helpful updates in your news feed.