How to create an easy and elegant 3-Course Salmon Dinner Date Night at Home for Valentine’s Day, or any night.
I have friends in the restaurant industry who jokingly consider Valentine’s Day “amateur night,” because some folks will shell out a ridiculous amount of money for the special Valentine’s Day multi-course menu, getting suckered into paying a premium for dinner and wine and having to book reservations weeks or months in advance. I don’t consider it “amateur night” at all, but instead refer to it as “impossible to find a babysitter night.” We’re usually stuck at home, not by choice, but by necessity.
But we don’t let that stop us from having a date night. We just do date night at home!
Valentine’s Day aside, Sean and I enjoy a lot of date nights at home, after the kids have gone to bed. With a little help from the store, and a couple simple recipes, you can enjoy an awesome multi-course meal at home, for V-day or really any chance you can get to enjoy a quiet and elegant meal with your partner.
Starting with appetizers. We’re huge fans of cheese plates around here. So when it comes to date night we hit the store for a selection of cheeses and local charcuterie. I always get at least 2-3 different kinds of cheese (a hard cheese, a soft cheese, and something fun like a smoky blue), some spicy salumi or prosciutto, something crunchy (salty Marcona almonds in this case), and something sweet (quince and/or honey).
Make sure to add some grill roasted garlic to spread on that bread!
For the main dish you have several options. But I love salmon for a date night.
Salmon (Grilled or Smoked)
Before owning a grill or smoker I’d make salmon similar to they do in a restaurant; by starting the cook on the stovetop, and then finishing in the oven over broil to crisp up the top. It really is a great way to cook salmon without a smoker or grill. But with your grill or smoker, you can create even better salmon dishes! No oven needed.
Some of my Favorite Salmon Recipes for the Grill or Smoker:
- Maple Chipotle Cedar Plank Grilled Salmon
- Grilled Salmon with Orange Maple Glaze
- Easy and Tender Smoked Salmon Fillet
- Perfect Grilled Salmon
I’m ridiculously indecisive when it comes to choosing a dessert. I want to try everything! The nice thing about making dinner at home is that you CAN have everything. I like to go to the dessert counter at my local market or bakery and choose a few small bites.
But if you’re feeling ambitious and want to make your own dessert, here are some favorites:
- Smoked Pot de Creme
- Grilled Apple Crisp
- Grilled Strawberry Sundaes
- Smoked Whipped Cream
- Grilled Blackberry Crostata
Wine for Valentine’s Day Date Night
The best part of date night at home is that you can splurge a little on the wine since you’re saving money by eating at home instead of paying restaurant markups! I like to start with a glass of sparkling (as all good dates should!). Then move onto a nice Pinot Noir for the salmon. My favorite pairings for our salmon recipes is usually Oregon Pinot Noir. Oregon Pinot Noir and Salmon is a match made in heaven, kind of like peanut butter and jelly! A few of my favorite Oregon Pinot Noir producers include: Stoller Family Estate, Soter Vineyards, Eminent Domain, Cristom, Patricia Green Cellars, The Eyrie Vineyards, Bergström, J. Christopher, and so many more!