Valentine's Day recipes for your sweetheart

Valentine's Day Menu with Brian

GRAND RAPIDS, MICH. - Regional Executive Chef Bryan Nader from Mercy Health shares some easy and delicious recipes that you can make at home for your Valentine!

Shrimp Scampi

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp. butter, divided
  • 1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 lb. medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 tbsp. dry white wine (or water)
  • Freshly chopped parsley, for garnish

In a large skillet over medium heat, melt 1 tablespoon butter and olive oil. Add shrimp, garlic, and crushed red pepper flakes and cook until shrimp is pink, 3 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in remaining tablespoon butter, lemon juice, white wine, and parsley. Serve.

Baked Chicken ala Milanese

Ingredients

  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 c. parsley leaves
  • ½ c. seasoned breadcrumbs
  • Zest of 1/2 lemon
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 boned chicken thighs
  • 4 tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 Lemon wedges

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Chop the garlic together with the parsley and place in a small bowl. Add the breadcrumbs, lemon zest, salt, and pepper. Moisten this mixture with 2 tablespoons of oil. Lay the boned thighs in a heavy baking pan and coat the top of the chicken with the breadcrumb mixture. Drizzle the chicken with the remaining olive oil and bake for 25 minutes, or until browned. Serve with lemon wedge.

5-cheese marinara

Ingredients

  • 1lb penne
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • Kosher salt
  • Ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano 
  • 1 28-oz. can crushed tomatoes
  • ¼ cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • ¼ cup shredded fontina
  • ¼ cup ricotta
  • ¼ cup Parmesan
  • ¼ cup asiago
  • Chopped fresh parsley

In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook penne according to package instructions. Drain. In a large skillet over medium heat, heat olive oil. Add onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic and season with salt, pepper and oregano. Cook until fragrant, about 1 minute, then add crushed tomatoes. Bring mixture to simmer and cook for 10 minutes. Stir in the mozzarella, fontina, ricotta, Parmesan, and Asiago. Cook until the cheese is melty and the sauce is creamy. Check for seasoning, adding more salt and pepper if necessary. Add the pasta and stir until the penne is completely coated in sauce. Remove from heat. Garnish with parsley and serve warm.

Cookies and Cream Dream

Ingredients

  • 3 c. heavy cream
  • 1 c. powdered sugar
  • 24 crushed Oreos (about 1/2 package)
  • 48 whole Oreos (about 1 package)
  • 2 boxes instant chocolate pudding, prepared according to package directions
  • 1/2 c. chocolate sauce

Make Oreo whipped cream: In a large bowl using a hand mixer or the bowl of a stand mixer using the whisk attachment, beat cream until medium peaks form. Add powdered sugar and beat until smooth, then fold in 2 cups crushed Oreos. In a 9"-x-13" baking dish, spread a thin layer of Oreo whipped cream (to help the Oreos stay in place!). Top with a layer of whole Oreos, then add a layer of chocolate pudding, a thick layer of Oreo whipped cream, and a generous drizzle of chocolate sauce. Repeat, ending with the Oreo whipped cream. Top with remaining 1/2 cup crushed Oreos and cover loosely with plastic wrap. Refrigerate at least 6 hours and up to overnight to let the Oreos soften. When ready to serve, drizzle with more chocolate sauce.

Strawberry Cheesecake

Ingredients

  • 14 graham crackers, crushed
  • 4 tbsp. melted butter
  • 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
  • 2 blocks cream cheese, softened
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 c. sour cream
  • 1/4 c. sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 c. melted chocolate
  • 12 strawberries

Preheat oven to 325º and line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners. Spray liners with cooking spray. In a large bowl, combine crushed graham crackers, melted butter, and salt and stir until completely moistened. Press graham mixture into paper liners and set aside. In a large bowl, beat cream cheese until light and fluffy, Add eggs, sour cream, sugar, vanilla, and salt and beat until combined. Pour filling over graham bottoms. Bake until center is slightly jiggly, 20 minutes. Let cool in muffin tin, then refrigerate at least 2 hours before topping with chocolate. Spoon melted chocolate over cheesecake tops, then dip strawberries in melted chocolate and rest on top.

Chocolate French Toast

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 c. semisweet chocolate chips, plus more for garnish
  • 1/2 c. heavy cream
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 c. chocolate milk
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp. cocoa powder
  • pinch of kosher salt
  • 1 loaf brioche, sliced 1 " thick
  • 2 tbsp. unsalted butter, divided
  • Whipped cream, for topping

Make chocolate ganache: Place chocolate chips in a medium heat-proof bowl. In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, heat heavy cream just until it bubbles, about 5 minutes. Pour hot cream over chocolate chips. Let sit 5 minutes, then whisk constantly until smooth. Set aside to cool slightly, then transfer to a Ziploc bag. In a shallow baking dish, whisk eggs with chocolate milk, vanilla extract, cocoa powder, and salt. Set aside. Prepare bread: Cut a 2” wide slit into the bottom of each slice to create a deep pocket. Fill each pocket with chocolate ganache. (You should have about half left over for drizzling.) Place stuffed bread into the chocolate custard mixture and let soak, 1 minute per side. In a large nonstick skillet over medium-low heat, melt 1 tablespoon butter. Cook 2 slices bread at a time until golden, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Repeat to cook all slices. Top French toast with whipped cream, a drizzle of ganache, and chocolate chips.

Nutella Stuffed Pancakes

Ingredients

  • 1 c. Nutella
  • Pancake batter, prepared according to package instructions
  • 1 c. sliced strawberries, for serving
  • Maple syrup, for serving

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Dollop about 2 tablespoons of nutella onto the baking sheet and spread into a flat disc, about 2 ½” wide. Repeat with remaining Nutella. Freeze until solid, about 30 minutes to 1 hour. Keep the nutella discs in the freezer until required. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Grease the pan with cooking spray, then spoon a small amount of pancake batter into the pan. Place a nutella disc in the center of the batter and spoon a bit more batter on top of the nutella. When little bubbles appear and start to pop(about 2-3 minutes), flip the pancake. Cook until golden on both sides. Repeat with remaining batter. Serve with sliced strawberries and syrup.

Cheesy Bacon Quiche 

Ingredients

  • 1 refrigerated pie crust
  • 6 large eggs
  • 6 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • 2 tsp. thyme leaves
  • Pinch cayenne
  • 1 c. shredded Gruyère cheese
  • 3/4 c. heavy cream
  • 2 tbsp. chopped parsley
  • kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Heat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large bowl, whisk together heavy cream and eggs. Stir in bacon, cheese and thyme. Season with cayenne, salt and pepper. Pour egg mixture into pie crust and bake 40 to 50 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out clean. Garnish with fresh parsley. Let cool for 5-10 minutes then cut into wedges.

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