If you want to impress your sweetheart for Valentine’s Day, create a meal at home! Do you really want to make reservations and then stand in line, have a generic Valentine’s menu to choose from, battle parking…and, of course, don’t forget the tip. 

This is an easy recipe for a delicious sauce. Make the sauce, and you can create your own special plate. Let your creativity guide you — the possibilities are endless. My choice was to sauté four prawns and lightly cover with sauce, finishing the plate with croutons, caviar and smoked salmon for a dish I call:

Shrimp, caviar, smoke salmon Chardonnay sauce“Fruits of the Sea for my Sweet Valentine.”


Creamy Garlic Basil Sauce

(serves two)


½ tsp. olive oil

1 tbsp. diced shallots

1 tsp finely chopped garlic clove

3 tsp fresh lemon juice

2 tbsp white wine

3 oz heavy whipping cream

1 tsp chopped basil

1 tsp dijon mustard

Salt & Pepper to taste


  1. 1.Heat olive oil and add shallots and garlic; sweat for 3 minutes, making sure the shallots and garlic do not brown.
  2. 2.Add the lemon juice and wine, and reduce down to one half. 
  3. 3.Add the cream, and reduce to three quarters.
  4. 4.Season with basil, mustard, salt and pepper.

Creating the Plate

Now, you have a great sauce! Time to have fun creating your plate. To make “Fruits of the Sea,” you’ll need these ingredients:

  • 1 tsp caviar of your choice
  • 2 slices of smoked salmon
  • 4 pieces, U-25 (jumbo) raw shrimp, peeled or unpeeled
  • 2 croutons of sliced French bread, toasted

To assemble: First, sauté the shrimp until done (pink), then arrange them on the plate and lightly cover with sauce. Place the toasted croutons on the plate, then garnish with caviar and smoked salmon.

Here are additional tasty ideas to try with Creamy Garlic Basil Sauce: veal medallions, sautéed chicken, assorted mushrooms and vegetables, or pasta. Adding this sauce to just about any protein or vegetable will create an amazing dish!

Brochure on counter photo 12-28 16Daryll Hersche is chef/owner of Your Epicurean Affair, offering cooking lessons and personal chef services in your home (www.yourepicureanaffair.com). Contact him with your cooking questions at epicureanaffair@gmail.com.