Here's the perfect stress-free way to create a speedy Valentine's Day supper. First, make a call to your local fish store and order ten jumbo shrimp, cooked and cleaned, along with a jar of cocktail sauce. If you live in a metropolitan area and they deliver to your doorman, even better!
Next, on your way home, stop at a market or grocery store. Pick up a roasted chicken (already cooked), a box of couscous, a bunch of parsley, a lemon, a box of frozen baby peas and a container of perfect fresh strawberries (with the stems on if available). If there's time, pick up a bottle of your favorite white wine.
Once home, prepare the couscous by following the directions on the back of the package (it will take about 10 minutes in total).
- Remove the peas from the box, place them in a strainer and run hot water over them while you prepare the cocktail sauce. Add a splash or two of fresh lemon juice to the cocktail sauce. If your sweetie likes spicy food, add a pinch or two of crushed red pepper flakes. Mix the sauce well, taste and correct the seasonings, then transfer it to a pretty glass bowl.
- Place the cocktail sauce in the center of an attractive large plate. Make a bed of parsley around the bowl, then hook the shrimp on the rim. That's the starter for dinner in the living room.
- Meanwhile, for the main course: Using kitchen scissors or shears, cut on either side of the chicken's backbone to create two halves. If the peas need to be reheated, place them in the microwave for 10 to 20 seconds, then divide the peas between two large dinner plates. Place each half of the chicken, cut side down, directly on top of the peas. Fluff up the couscous with chopsticks and transfer it to a side dish. Serve dinner whenever you are ready.
- For the grand finale, simply wipe off the strawberries with a damp paper towel. Place them on a pretty plate and feed each other berries dipped in crème fraiche or chocolate sauce.
Let the seduction begin … Happy Valentines Day!