Seafood can be an excellent choice for appetizers or main courses on Valentines Day. Oysters, shrimp, lobsters, crabs, scallops, and fish are delicacies that are traditionally served as part of these romantic meals.
Oysters are thought to be aphrodisiacs in many cultures. These delicate shellfish are the perfect choice at variety of Valentines Day dinners. A popular dish is raw oysters on the half shell with light servings of vegetables and champagne.
For diners that prefer their shellfish cooked, a good choice for a main dish is steamed or roasted oysters. Cooked oysters are usually served with sides of melted butter, brown vinegar, cocktail sauce or other spicy sauces. Oysters can also be served as appetizers or as a first course, with the most popular soup being oyster stew.
Shrimp are another popular type of seafood that can be served on Valentines Day. Shrimp cocktail is an excellent appetizer to begin a romantic dinner. Other ideas include main courses such as stuffed shrimp, grilled shrimp or scampi.
Lobster is often chosen for serving on this popular holiday. Lobster bisque can be served at the beginning of a meal. For main courses, whole boiled American lobster is always popular. Lovers can be served individual lobsters or a large specimen can be shared among couples. Another popular main dish is split, grilled lobster tails, especially in southern areas where fresh rock lobster tails are available.
A wide range of crab meals are appropriate for serving on Valentines Day. Alaskan king crab is the largest and most extravagant of the Pacific crabs. These large crab legs are among the most colorful of main dishes. Snow crab legs are similar, but slightly smaller and easier to open. Crab leg assortments can also be served, usually consisting of king, snow, and Dungeness crab sections.
In some areas, fresh whole Dungeness crabs may be available and can be steamed or boiled and served whole. Maryland blue crab cakes are out of season in February, but several companies offer excellent frozen crab cakes and other products for serving at winter meals. Another option for serving blue crabs during this holiday is crab soup, which is a delicious way to enjoy these popular shellfish.
The delicate flavor of scallops makes them perfect for serving on Valentines Day. The largest of this group are jumbo sea scallops, which are often bacon wrapped and broiled. Smaller sea scallops can be sauted. Bay scallops are another popular item and are delicious served in a number of presentations.
Fish can be served on Valentines Day. Mild white fish are often chosen such as flounder, cod, haddock, sea bass, or monkfish. These light, flaky fish can be broiled or baked and served with colorful vegetables and semi-dry to dry white wines.
Salmon are another choice of fish that makes a nice meal for this lovers’ holiday. Not only does salmon have a wonderful, delicate flavor but its pink to orange flesh helps create excellent visual appeal.
Originally published: January 29, 2011.