Valentine’s Day Dinner

February 15, 2009  •  Appetizers, Fish & Seafood, Menus, Wine

I spent the afternoon cooking for friends for my Valentine’s Day dinner and everything turned out delicious. We started with some snacks for everyone to nibble on when the arrived: prosciutto wrapped bread sticks with truffle butter and Parmigiano Reggiano, an assortment of olives, and some rosemary roasted Marcona almonds that unfortunately I overcooked because I was busy chatting. Here is the Italian themed menu from the evening:

Mixed greens with lemon vinaigrette topped with limoncello shrimp (recipe below)
Pappardelle with duck ragu
Swordfish with a rosemary, orange, and balsamic glaze
Broccoli braised with lemon and garlic
Chocolate tart with hazelnut crust drizzled with sweetened mascarpone and creme fraiche and garnished with raspberries

We also had some great wines during the evening:
Laurent Perrier Brut Champagne
Collosorbo Rosso di Montalcino 2006
Cline Ancient Vines Zinfandel 2006
Silver Oak Cabernet Sauvignon 2003 and 2001

OK! On with the recipe… The ingredients are simple and short for this flavorful shrimp recipe – shrimp, lemon (use the zest and the juice) garlic, EVOO (not pictured), Limoncello, and parsley. Combine the shrimp with the lemon zest, lemon juice, minced garlic, chopped parsley, limoncello, EVOO, salt and pepper…
…and stir it all together to marinate for about 15 minutes in the refrigerator. Don’t let it sit any longer or the acid in the lemon juice will begin to cook the shrimp and you’ll end up with ceviche. Cook the shrimp in a large skillet making sure not to overcrowd the pan. When you place the shrimp in the pan, do it in an orderly way because just about the time you get the last one into the pan it will be time to begin turning them and you want to turn them in the same order you put them down to make sure they are all cooked evenly. After you turn them, by the time you’ve turned the last one, the first one will be just about ready to come out. In the summer I do this recipe on the grill and they get a nice char on them which you don’t really get in the pan.

Valentine’s Day Dinner
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Appetizer,Entree
Serves: 8
  • 1½ pounds medium shrimp, in shells, deveined
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oi
  • 14 cup limoncello
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon parsley, minced
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon cracked black pepper
  1. Combine all marinade ingredients and mix well. Toss shrimp with marinade and let sit for 15 minutes, and then grill over medium high flame until cooked through, about 2 minutes per side. Alternatively, cook in a skillet on the stove. Serve warm or refrigerate until ready to serve.


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