Do you have plans for this Valentine’s Day, or do you prefer to pretend it isn’t happening? Whether you’re an unapologetic romantic who loves making February 14 a special occasion, would rather have a quiet night in, or will just be hanging out with friends, we’ve got some recipe ideas just for you.
The origins of Valentine’s Day as a romantic celebration are a little unclear – there is more than one Saint Valentine, for a start. Medieval English writer Geoffrey Chaucer provided the earliest example of a link between Valentine’s Day and romance back in the 14th Century – but it may have been a different Saint Valentine, and a different day to February 14 (by the way, although we found this interesting we accept no responsibility for the consequences if you decide to start lecturing your date about the history of Valentine’s Day over a romantic dinner). The celebration really took off after the reduction in postage prices in England – some 400,000 valentine cards were sent the year that a new cheaper stamp was introduced, proving once and for all that there is nothing more romantic than being frugal.
Unfortunately for those of us who like to save money, Valentine’s Day has since become big business. The National Retail Federation in the United States estimates that this year Americans will spend over $27 billion on the celebrations!
We all know about the classic aspects of a modern Valentine’s Day – cards, chocolates, flowers, a romantic meal. Of course, there is no right or wrong way to celebrate Valentine’s Day – if you want to celebrate it at all. But if your plan this year involves eating at home, well, we can certainly help you with that.
So whatever your opinions on Valentine’s Day, we hope we can all agree that cooking up some responsibly produced seafood isn’t a bad way to spend any night at home. And here at ASC we want to help you do just that with a few recipes you might like to try. These are all taken from our recipe pages, so if nothing below takes your fancy make sure you check out the rest.
For the Fine Dining Experience: Pan-seared Cobia with Jalapeno
If you’ve decided to stay in this Valentine’s Day, but still want that fine-dining experience, this cobia dish from Open Blue is ideal. Not only does it look impressive, you can save yourself some time on the day by preparing the tomato jam in advance.
The Show Stopper: Squid Ink Pasta with Prawns
For those who really want to impress that special someone (but would still like to keep things a bit simple) this deceptively easy pasta dish is the perfect way to enjoy some responsibly farmed prawns. All you really need to do here is season and cook the prawns, fry the veg and cook the tagliatelle, but the inclusion of squid ink to colour the pasta really makes the dish a show-stopper. Now it’s up to you if you reveal to your other half how simple it was to make: we’re not judging.
Quick and easy: Pasta with Mussels
Not much goes together better than mussels and pasta, and the beauty of this dish is its simplicity. Just cook the linguine in one pot, and everything else in another pot. This is a perfect meal to share, and doesn’t require many pots, so you can avoid any arguments about washing up!
Fun to Prepare: Pizza with Shrimp
Cooking should be a fun activity, right? And making a pizza together is a great activity – for couples, friends, family, whoever! Shrimp is a delicious pizza topping, but this recipe is just a starting point – the beauty of making your own pizza is you can add pretty much whatever you like!
Perfect For Me-Time: Salmon Burger
We know that Valentine’s Day isn’t for everyone, and some of us will want to ignore all of the hype and enjoy some time on our own this Friday. If so, what better way to treat yourself than these tempting salmon burgers with guacamole? Much healthier than the beef variety but still delicious, and if you’re using ASC certified salmon then they’re good for the planet too. Each burger simply requires one salmon fillet meaning this recipe is easy to scale up or down depending on whether you’re cooking for a whole family, or treating yourself.
Whatever you’re doing this Valentine’s Day, we hope we’re inspired you to try out some responsibly-produced seafood soon. Whether it’s a brand new recipe or one of your old favourites, if you are using ASC certified seafood then you’re making a real difference by rewarding farmers who are minimising their environmental and social impacts.