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Valentine's Date Night In with Recipes & Wine Pairings

Valentine's Date Night In with Recipes & Wine Pairings

Valentine's Day is on Sunday and so many of you asked about ideas for a date night in. To be honest, Will and I never go out for Valentine's Day. We don't like fighting the crowds and we love having a cozy, romantic night at home, so this is the usual for us. However, this year, we don't really have a choice! Even if COVID wasn't a favor, it's so. stinking. cold. in Texas right now and getting out in this weather is just not appealing at all. I know a lot of people across the country have been snowed and iced in, so this is the perfect cozy, intimate way to spend with your honey without leaving your home. 

I have done all the hard work for you on this, y'all! I have put together a romantic evening for you and yours and all you have to do is follow a couple recipes. I've got your dinner, dessert, and wine pairings all lined out just for you (you're welcome). 

For dinner, I wanted something that would be easy but impressive, so I chose to make Shrimp & Garlic Butter White Wine Linguine. It's creamy, delicious, and it has sage mixed in the sauce so it's full of flavor. What I love about this dish is that it's not complicated to make but it tastes like heaven. 

For dessert, I chose a fun twist on a brownie. It's a brownie in a ramekin with vanilla ice cream and strawberry sauce and it makes the perfect amount for two. This is something that would be easy to make ahead of time and pop in the oven when you're ready to bake. 

Scroll down for the recipes! At the bottom of each recipe, you will see links to wines that would pair really well with each of these dishes!

Shrimp & Garlic Butter White Wine Linguine

INGREDIENTS: 

  • 4 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced, divided
  • 4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 lb. linguine
  • 1 lb. jumbo raw shrimp
  • 3/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh sage
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 lemon
  • salt and pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS: 

  1. Heat two tablespoons butter in a large pot over high heat. Add half of the garlic and sauté, stirring constantly, for one minute.
  2. Add the broth and water; bring to a boil. Add the pasta and boil until the pasta is cooked. Lower the heat and simmer until most of the liquid is absorbed. Do not drain – there should be some liquid left in the pan to help coat the noodles.
  3. While the pasta is cooking, heat two tablespoons butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the shrimp and saute for 1-2 minutes on each side until the shrimp are almost cooked through.
  4. Add the garlic, sage, and white wine to the shrimp pan. Let the shrimp cook for another 3-5 minutes or until most of the wine has evaporated and the shrimp are lightly browned on the outside. Remove from heat and set aside. Cover so the shrimp stays warm.
  5. Add the shrimp, whipping cream, Parmesan, and parsley to the cooked pasta. Toss everything together and finish with a squeeze of lemon juice, salt, and pepper.

WINE PAIRING: I used Sauvignon Blanc for the recipe, so that's what we ate with our dinner. This one by Amici is great! Other dry white wines would work great like Chardonnay (like this one by River Road) and Pinot Grigio (like this one by Elk Cove). 

Ramekin Brownie w/ Vanilla Ice Cream & Strawberry Sauce

*makes 2 6oz ramekins (these from World Market are adorable!)

  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips (plus more for on top)
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • Vanilla ice cream, for serving

Strawberry sauce: 

  • 1 Tablespoon cornstarch
  • 3 Tablespoons warm water
  • 1 lb strawberries, hulled and sliced in half (you can also use frozen, don't thaw)
  • zest and juice from 1/2 small lemon
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar

DIRECTIONS: 

Brownies: 

*you can make this ahead of time and cover with plastic wrap and then pop in the oven when you're ready! 

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease 2 6oz ramekins with cooking spray.
  2. In a medium saucepan, melt the butter and 1/2 cup chocolate chips, stirring often so it doesn't burn.
  3. Remove from the heat and whisk in cocoa powder, sugar, and salt (batter will be a little grainy - this is normal).
  4. Whisk in the egg and vanilla until smooth. 
  5. Switch to a rubber spatula and stir in the flour.
  6. Divide the batter evenly between the two ramekins. Place a few chocolate chips into the middle of each brownie; press the chips lightly into the batter.
  7. Bake 20-25 minutes or until the tops look dry and crisp (they will still be bubbly but the tops should be firm). Let cool for 15 minutes then serve with vanilla ice cream and strawberry sauce (recipe below). 

Strawberry Sauce: 

*you can also make this ahead of time and heat it up quickly in the microwave before serving.

  1. Using a fork, whisk the cornstarch and water together until all the cornstarch has dissolved. 
  2. Place the cornstarch mixture, along with the rest of the ingredients, into a small saucepan over medium heat. Using a wooden spoon or rubber spatula, stir the mixture as it cooks. Break up some of the strawberries as you stir.
  3. Bring it to a simmer and allow to simmer for 5 minutes, stirring constantly. After 5 minutes, remove pan from the heat and allow to cool. The mixture will thicken as it cools.
  4. You can serve the sauce warm before it cools completely if desired, or store in the refrigerator. Strawberry topping will be thick after refrigeration, so microwave for 15 seconds or warm on the stove to thin out, if desired.

WINE PAIRINGS: Red wine goes great with chocolate desserts. Some great reds are Cabernet Sauvignon (like this one by Juggernaut) and Zinfandel (like this one by The Prisoner Saldo). 

*recipes from Pinch of Yum, Homemade in the Kitchen, and Sally's Baking Addiction