This is the recipe I chose for Valentine’s Day per my husband’s request. It is a recipe I came up with and have tweaked and perfected over the years. It's a great winter meal.
We normally don’t go out for Valentine’s Day because I don’t like holidays where the restaurants have a set menu and the place is packed. Usually the service and the food suffer and it ends up being a less-than-stellar experience and, quite frankly, a waste of money. (I feel this way about New Year’s Eve too.) I think these busy, popular holidays are a good excuse to cook at home and make something a little extra special.
|Romantic Table Setting|
Fish Soup Recipe
- 1 Leek (chopped)
- 3 Garlic cloves (minced)
- 1 small Shallot (minced)
- 2 Tbsp. Flour
- 1 cup White Wine
- 1/3 cup lemon juice (juice of one lemon)
- 2 bottle of clam juice
- 1 tsp. Saffron threads
- 1 can diced tomatoes (pureed in food processor until smooth)
- ¼ cup Whipping Cream
- 2 Tbsp. butter (unsalted)
- 1 lb. mussels
- 8 shrimp
- ½ lb. Bay scallops (small scallops)
- 6 oz. fish (halibut or grouper)
- 1/3 cup grated parmesan
- Salt & Pepper
- Red Pepper Flakes (depends how much heat you like, but about 1-2 tsp.)
- 2 Tbsp. Olive Oil
|Cutting the Leeks|
|Mincing the Shallots|
|Minced Garlic - Using my favorite kitchen gadget (mini food processor)|
- Melt butter in a big pot over medium heat (do not substitute olive oil). Sweat/sauté leeks for about 1 minute, add shallots and sauté for another minute, then add garlic and sauté until soft (don’t let it get golden).
- Add the flour. Make sure to cook out the flour until it starts to turn golden (4-6 min.).
- Add the wine and reduce for about 5 minutes over medium heat.
- Add the lemon juice and pureed tomatoes.
- Add the saffron, red pepper flakes, and clam juice.
- Simmer on medium-low for 30 minutes.
- After 30 minutes, while the “broth” is still simmering, sauté the shrimp and fish in a pan with olive oil.
- Make sure to season the shrimp and fish with salt, pepper, and cayenne. The shrimp will take about 2 minutes on each side and the fish about 5 minutes each side depending on thickness. I add the shrimp and fish to the bowls and set aside (cover with foil) - I don't put them in the broth because I do not want them to get overcooked (the mussels and scallops are more forgiving). The will warm back up once you pour the hot broth on top.
- Cook the mussels in a separate pot (you can use wine, clam juice, or chicken stock). Just put a little bit of liquid in the bottom of a sauce pan, bring to a boil, add the mussels and put the lid on. Stir occasionally. When all of the mussels are open add them to the broth.
- Sauté the scallops for 1-2 minutes (they won't be fully cooked but lightly seared) and add to the broth.
- Turn the heat up for the broth to medium-high. Add the cream and parmesan. Taste the broth before adding salt (the cheese will add a salty flavor). Add salt and pepper to taste. You can also add more cream or red pepper if you feel it is necessary.
- Dish into bowls and enjoy!
|Stirring in the flour with the leeks, garlic, and shallots.|
|Adding the tomatoes and the saffron.|
|Cooking the fish and scallops|
|Setting the shrimp aside in the bowl|
Sides: I served it with a Bibb lettuce salad and French baguette, which is perfect for dipping in the broth.
|Bibb Lettuce Salad|
|Miko can smell the cheese on the counter.....|
Pairings: I like to serve this dish with a creamy, lightly oaked Chardonnay from Burgundy, France or a brut-style Champagne.
Dessert? Strawberries dipped in Chocolate fondue.
What is your favorite “romantic” meal to cook or eat? Talk to me…..