Try this menu for your next date night – don’t forget, this is a couple’s meal! That means you cook it together! Start by getting all of your prep work out of the way – any dicing, chopping, cleaning, cutting, or slicing. You can also do this the night before to save some time. This is the part that usually takes up the most time and can turn your romantic evening into a late meal.

 On the Menu:

  • Smoked Salmon and Crab Salad Bruschetta
  • Pan Seared Shrimp and Scallops on Linguine with Tomato-Cream Sauce
  • Bread Pudding

 If you want to serve the appetizer, I would suggest mixing the salad a day ahead so that you can prepare and serve while you are cooking your meal.

 Appetizer: Smoked Salmon and Crab Salad Bruschetta

  • 1 pound lump or backfin crabmeat
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • ¼ cup spicy mustard
  • ¼ cup green onion (finely chopped)
  • Old Bay seasoning, to taste
  • Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper
  • 1 teaspoon tarragon
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • 1 package smoked salmon
  • ½ loaf Italian bread
  • Olive oil

 Gently mix first eight ingredients in a large bowl. If you are mixing the salad the day before, cover and chill in the refrigerator until you are ready to assemble. Slice the loaf into 1 ¼ inch slices and brush with olive oil. Toast until golden, about 6-8 minutes. Top bruschetta with crab salad, and arrange slices of smoked salmon on top.

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You don’t want to get too full off of your appetizers, so I would suggest only preparing two per person. There will definitely be leftover salad – use it for sandwiches or take some extra bruschetta for lunch the next day.

 Start your meal by preparing your dessert first.  This way, your dessert is done and ready to serve when you are finished your meal. If you’re not a dessert kind of couple, skip this and proceed to preparing your entrée.

Dessert: Bread Pudding

Recipe courtesy Paula Deen

  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 ½ cups Italian bread, cubed (you can use any type of bread if you don’t have Italian)
  • ½ cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg

 Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease an 8x8x8 pan. Mix together granulated sugar, eggs, cinnamon, nutmeg, and milk in a bowl; add vanilla. Pour over cubed bread and let sit for 10 minutes. In another bowl, mix and crumble together brown sugar and butter. Pour bread mixture into prepared pan. Sprinkle brown sugar mixture over the top and bake for 35 to 45 minutes, or until set. Remove from oven.

 Sauce:

  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup ( ½ stick) butter, melted
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 tablespoons brandy

 Mix together the granulated sugar, butter, egg, and vanilla in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir together until the sugar is melted. Add the brandy, stirring well. Pour over bread pudding and serve.

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Now that your dessert is in the oven and happily cooking, it’s time to make the entrée. This recipe makes about 2 servings, so feel free to double the ingredients if you want to have leftovers.

Entrée: Pan-Seared Shrimp and Scallops on Linguine with Tomato-Cream Sauce

  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • ¼ cup shallots, minced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon grated peeled fresh ginger (or ½ tablespoon dried ground ginger)
  • 2 tablespoons whipping cream
  • 1 tablespoon butter, cut into small pieces
  • 2/3 cup chopped seeded plum tomato
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • ½  teaspoon salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 ½ cups cooked linguine
  • Cooking spray
  • ¾ pound large sea scallops
  • ¾ pound large shrimp (10/15 count), deveined and shelled
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro

Combine first 4 ingredients in a medium skillet and bring to a boil. Cook until reduced to ½ cup (about 5 minutes). Add cream and cook over medium heat for 1 minute. Add butter, stirring until melted. Stir in tomato, cilantro, ¼ teaspoon salt, and pepper. Add linguine and toss well. Cover and keep warm.  Heat a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat. Sprinkle scallops and shrimp with ¼ teaspoon salt. Arrange scallops and shrimp in a pan and cook until scallops are not opaque and shrimp is no longer gray. Add scallops and shrimp to pasta mixture and toss gently to combine. 

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Enjoy this meal with a nice Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc.

 Now that you have this great meal prepared, SIT DOWN, share a toast to you and your significant other, and enjoy this fabulous meal and some good conversation.

Happy Eating!

The Fab Foodie

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