Avoid the restaurants this year and dine in. Here are 10 ideas for Valentine’s Dinner you can cook on your Smoker or Grill.
I used to be one of the many Valentine’s Day haters. You know the ones. Those who harp on the day for being an overly corporate holiday. Hater’s gonna hate.
I was like that and would be annoyed at Sean for even bringing me flowers, because he, a) spent too much money on them, and b) they’d die quickly, and c) it’s so cheesy and predictable!
But since having kids I’ve realized that it’s not about the Hallmark-ness of the holiday, or buying lots of chocolate (though there will likely be lots of chocolate consumed in my house), but instead teaching my kids to recognize and appreciate love. You can read this post I wrote a couple years ago about this realization (and yes I am now ok if Sean brings me flowers).
I also get that kids shouldn’t show their love just one day a year, but be taught to show it everyday (we all should, and we’re all guilty of being terrible examples of this). But we need to start somewhere, right? This is a good day to help them recognize the love in their lives, in all of its forms, and to celebrate it.
And that’s what we’re going to do in our house. Make the food they love the most, make some cheesy-ass cards for each other, drink our favorite drinks, and indulge in the desserts we love the most (chocolate for me, vanilla for Sean, anything with sugar will please the kids).
But it’s certain that we won’t be going out to eat this year. One, because Valentine’s Day falls on a weekday, and two, we live a half hour from any decent restaurants, and three, restaurants are crazy busy on V-day (and my kids are impatient at restaurants).
Instead we will be cooking something fun and festive that night.
If you’re looking for some inspiration you can cook on your smoker or grill for this heart-shaped holiday, here are our thoughts (and no, none are actually shaped like hearts).
Whether you’re cooking a romantic dinner for two, or a family dinner for 6, these are some of my favorites.
Remember that one time when I was a vegetarian? This was THE cut of meat that taught me to appreciate and enjoy meat — my first beef short rib. It was life changing. While this Smoked Beef Short Rib Stew may or may not change your life, it will certainly please your palate. Pair this with a Rhone Style red. Find the magic here.
This recipe, posted earlier this week, has both the “wow” factor of its presentation, and also the elegance you want at a special dinner. This is what we’re eating this year since one of our kids has become a “pesca-bacon-tarian” (don’t know what that means? Read this post to find out.). Try this with a semi-sweet Riesling or a New World Pinot Noir. Find it here.
Speaking of salmon, this dip is sure to impress as an appetizer for your fancy dinner. It’s one of our all time favorite appetizers, and for good reason. Find the salmon goodness here.
Another elegant starter for your romantic evening and a great reason to splurge on some true Dungeness crab. You guys, these are da bomb! Pair this with your favorite Chardonnay (I recommend one from Oregon! Yassss!). Crab cake love awaits you here.
If there was one dish that would woo my husband over without fail, it’s these Reverse Seared Smoked Rib Eyes. He could eat this every day of the week if his cardiologist would approve (don’t get any ideas, Sean!). Show me the steak love.
If you wanted to combine those Rib Eyes from above and do a little Surf ‘n’ Turf action try these easy Grilled Garlic Chardonnay Shrimp. This is another good one for Chardonnay, especially if you use it for the sauce. Doooooo it.
This classic French dish is a close second to winning my heart after the short rib stew. True love for this one! We take a classic dish and bump it up a few dozen notches. I’d stick with a red Burgundy (French Pinot Noir) for this, or go big with a Chateauneuf-du-Pape, from the Rhone Valley. Cook this NOW!
Considering V-day falls on a weeknight you may need something quick and easy. This Red Wine Marinated Smoked Tri Tip with Chimichurri Sauce is a fantastic option, and is incredibly flavorful. Between you and me I could eat this every day of the week! Make it happen!
Yeah of course I put two short ribs on this list because to me, short ribs = true love. This one skips the stew and makes the short ribs the star of the meal. Vegetarians beware, this could turn you to the dark side. Find out how to turn to the dark side too!
Finish your night with these ridiculously tasty Smoked Pot de Crème. You can even make them in advance the night before and they’ll be ready for you to eat on the day of your dinner. Everyone will love these. The ultimate chocolate dessert for smoked food lovers. You can thank me later.
I recently remembered this article I wrote up for Wine4.Me a couple years back showing you how to create a three course salmon dinner at home, including putting together an elegant cheese and charcuterie plate, and short cuts for dessert. Make yo-self a full-on elegant 3- course dinner for two!
I’m all about the bubbles for Valentine’s Day.
And it doesn’t have to be Champagne (though I never resist a glass of Champagne). This year I’m seeking out some DOCG Prosecco. It’s elegant, crisp, and much more affordable than Champagne.
Whether you celebrate or not, let us know if you try any of these recipes and feel free to rate them or tag us in your Instagram posts with the hashtag #vindulge.
For more tasty recipes, BBQ tips and tricks, check out the Recipe Index.