30 Minutes Valentines Day Dinner Menu is a quick, delicious, and easy meal!
I’ve made a quick and easy Valentines day dinner that’s under 30 minutes! So , look no further!
Although everyone may have their own way of celebrating Valentine’s Day, whether it’s a romantic dinner out or a cozy dinner in, wearing red and pink with hearts all over, yes to chocolate and roses or not interested in it at all. Either way, its okay, you do you. While I am a believer that Valentine’s Day is a commercial holiday manufactured by the flower and chocolate industry, I can’t help but fall victim to it. I’m pretty sure I went off on a rant about Valentines day in a previous post so I’ll stop now and introduce you to a culinary genius I recently persuaded to join us on Sweet Pillar Food and specifically to create our Valentines day dinner menu, named Yaseen Ramsey (his real name is confidential in order to protect the identity of him and his family haha)
There are people that the kitchen Gods chose to bless and this guy is one of them. Even if he serves a simple scrambled egg, it somehow tastes amazing. Lucky for us, my daughter Ayla and their daughter have been best friends since birth, his wife and I are also both from the east coast and friends for years!
For years, I’ve enjoyed his gourmet cooking and finally persuaded him to allow me to photograph and write down his recipes for our special Valentines Day dinner.
I gave him the challenge of coming up with a quick and easy Valentines day dinner menu that’s easy enough for my husband to cook. And if you don’t know my husband, it’s enough to know that his resolution for the past two years has been to learn how to cook….. an egg. 🤷🏻♀️ However, I am confident that even he can pull off this entire Valentines day dinner menu and I will report back once he gets his apron on!
Yaseen told me the entire Valentines day dinner was going to take 30 minutes and he would start once I got there, yet I was still shocked when I showed up at his house with only an hour of time available and nothing was prepared. Seems like he was serious.
As I set up, photographed and watched him chop and prepare with ease I discovered his secret. It’s simple but important and sometimes not as easy as it seems. He uses FRESH ingredients! Sometimes we’re tempted to use frozen meat or not so fresh herbs because we have them and its easier but it greatly affects both taste and quality.
The great thing about this Valentines Day dinner menu is its easy quick simple and so delicious. In addition, two of the dishes can be made a day or two ahead of time which helps spread out the work load. Therefore, you have no excuses. Happy Valentines Day!
*Note: The Crab Salad and Truffles should be made a day ahead of time, leaving you only with the Pasta and Salmon to cook before the big Valentines Day dinner
Key to Success Note from Yaseen Ramsey: Given each dish is simple and uses only 3-4 ingredients (seasoning included), the critical tip for success is to focus on the quality of the ingredients (do not be tempted to cut corners by using the 8-month old piece of frozen salmon in your freezer or any brand of chocolate chips). Focus on selecting the best ingredients and the rest will come easy. This is key to all cooking, but especially critical in dishes where the main ingredient is the star.
For Individual Valentines Day dinner recipes you can see the individual post:
Crab Salad with Pimento Olives
This salad can be made a day ahead, in fact it tastes even better the next day after the flavors have all settled!
- 3 8- oz Packs of Imitation Crab Meat Note: If you prefer shrimp, 1-1.5 Lb of peeled Shrimp can be substituted for the Crab
- ½ Small Sweet Onion
- 3/4-1 lb of Pimento Stuffed Green Olives preferably from a supermarket olive bar and not jarred
- ½ Cup Mayonnaise
- ½ Cup White Vinegar
- 2-3 Celery stalks finely chopped
- Seasoning: 1 tsp Salt and ½ Tsp Pepper more or less to suit your taste
- Breakup the crab meat by hand into smaller chucks (helps absorb the dressing). (If using raw shrimp instead of crab, put in boiling water for 2-3 minutes until they turn pink, then cut lengthwise into medium chunks)
- Dice the Onion and Slice the Olives lengthwise into circles and add to the crab
- Dressing: Mix the Mayonnaise and Vinegar and Season with Salt and Pepper to taste
- Add dressing (add in half, mix, then add more to taste)
- Refrigerate overnight mixing a few times to distribute the dressing (Note: this dish should sit for at least 12-15 hours to allow for ingredients to marinate and reduce the intensity of the onions)
Dill Lemon Butter Salmon
Flakey salmon with a lemon dill sauce is so delicious and fancy enough for a Valentines day dinner, weekend dinner yet simple enough for another weeknight meal.
- 1-1.5 Lbs of fresh Salmon fillet with skin-on cut into two pieces (it is typically tough to find a quality piece of wild salmon, so even though farmed is “frowned upon”, I would recommend farmed salmon from a trusted source – e.g. Whole Foods)
- 3-4 Tbs of Unsalted Butter
- 1 Lemon
- 2-3 Stalks of Fresh Dill
- Seasoning: 1-2 tsp Salt and 1 Tsp Pepper more or less to suit your taste
- Preheat Oven to 400 F on Bake
- Place Salmon in oiled Baking Dish (Porcelain/Pyrex) and top with fresh dill, butter, Salt and Pepper and a small squeeze of lemon (rest of lemon will be used before serving)
- Bake for 20 mins (17-18 Mins for thinner pieces – salmon should flake with a fork and be slightly pink in the thickest part)
Bow-tie pasta with Parsley Cream Sauce
This creamy parsley sauce is so delicious and so simple to make you're going to be shocked at how quickly it comes together and you're going to eat it straight from the pot because its that good!
- 1- lb Farfelle Bowtie Pasta
- 1 Cup Grated Pecorino Romano Cheese
- ½ Cup Heavy Cream
- 4 Tbs Unsalted Butter sliced
- ½ Tsp Cornstarch optional, but will thicken the sauce and allow it to adhere to the pasta more effectively
- 2 Tbs Finely Chopped Flat-leaf Parsley
- Reserve 1 Cup of Pasta water for the sauce
- Seasoning: Salt and Pepper to taste
- Boil Water and Salt (water should taste salty)
- Add Pasta to Boiling Water and cook (follow package directions, typically 10-11 mins)
- In a separate bowl add the grated Cheese and Cornstarch, toss to combine
- Add the Heavy Cream, Sliced Butter to the cheese
- When pasta is done cooking, reserve 1 Cup of Pasta Water, drain the pasta and return to pot
- Add in the Sauce Mixture, return to low heat and mix until sauce is melted and evenly coats the pasta
Add in the pasta water and mix
Add in the chopped parsley and mix
Taste the pasta and add fresh pepper and salt to taste (this dish does well with a lot of pepper)
Marzipan filled Dark Chocolate Truffles
Simple and decedent truffles can be made ahead and put in the fridge saving you time day of. They're so delicious you're not going to be able to stop at one!
- 1 Cup Heavy Cream
- 2 Cups Semi and/or Bitter Sweet Chocolate Chips 2 Cups Semi-sweet if you prefer sweeter chocolate or substitute 1 cup of Bitter Sweet if you prefer dark chocolate – Ghirardelli makes the best quality chocolate chips that are widely available
- 1 Packet of Marzipan baking section of your supermarket
- Cocoa Powder for Dusting
- Add heavy cream and chocolate chips to a saucepan
- Place on medium-low heat and mix until chocolate melts and is evenly incorporated with the heavy cream (this should take approx. 5 mins but must be stirred continuously to keep it from burning. If mixture starts to bubble, lower the heat)
- Refrigerate for 2 hours until mixture hardens
- To assemble the truffles,
- scoop a portion (approx.. 1 tbs) of the truffle mixture with a spoon and flatten in the palm of your hand
- place a small ball of Marzipan in the center, then close the truffle mixture over the marzipan
roll in your hand until the chocolate covers the marzipan and forms a ball (just like rolling a piece of playdough into a ball)
- Plate Truffles and dust with cocoa powder – keep in refrigerator until ready to serve
Note: You will have a lot of left-over mixture with the portions below, but this quantity makes it easier to achieve the right proportion