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Feel Like Cooking for Valentine’s Day? I’m Here To Help!

By February 10, 2021No Comments
Ahi Tuna Poke

Hi Friends!

I’m a person who believes you should show people you love them all the time-not just on prescribed holidays- but I also love a good excuse to smother it on a little thick once a year! Valentine’s Day is the perfect excuse.  (This is a written warning to my kids that I’m about to lay it on thick with the hugs and kisses.)   I love expressing my love and appreciation to all of the important people in my life.  So whether your have plans for your friends, family, sweetie pie, or yourself,  I say let’s spread the love!  My favorite way to show my gratitude for the loves in my life is through cooking of course.  (And also by purchasing unnecessary amounts of chocolate, sweetheart candies, and pink jelly beans. )

So if you feel like cooking this weekend, we’ve put together a list of recipes for all types of food-lovers.  I’m going to celebrate by making myself the Tuna Poke and the Chocolate Coconut Brownies.  YUM.

I’d love to see what you’re making!  Tag me @amandahaascooks on Instagram if you try any of the ones below.

Have a wonderful Valentine’s Day.  I’ll be celebrating my love and appreciation for all of YOU!


Tuna Poke with Miso Mayonnaise and Pickled Cucumber – The poke trend is here to stay and nothing let’s someone know that they are special quite like splurging on a little Ahi-grade tuna. Rice crackers work just fine if you don’t want to do any frying on Valentine’s day!

Grilled Rib-Eyes with Hasselback Sweet Potatoes and Preserved Lemon Gremolata – Couldn’t get that Valentine’s day steak-house reservation? This recipe brings the steakhouse to you! Rich, buttery ribeye may be the star here, but don’t sleep on those Hasselback potatoes! They are the darn cutest (and functional) technique to get more surface area for that preserved lemon gremolata to shine and give the dish an additional layer of texture.

Curry-Roasted Cauliflower with Haas Sauce– A total show-stopper. My good friend and cookbook author Ronny Joseph Lvovski came up with this stunning dish and the addition of my famous “Haas Sauce” makes this the sexiest whole-roasted cauliflower in existence. I may or may not have eaten this entire dish in one sitting at some point…

Chocolate Coconut Brownies– The decadent dessert that everyone asks for. Whether you’re with your special someone, a great group of friends, or your kids (like me!), you cannot go wrong with chocolate. Coconut oil gives these brownies an extra smooth and silky texture!

Strawberry Lime Granita – Chocolate isn’t the only option for a sweet treat. A citrusy dessert can be the perfect way to end your night on a bright note. Plus, what is a Valentine’s day without strawberries?! This granita is my take on a frozen version of my favorite agua fresca.

Ahi Tuna Poke

Feel Like Cooking for Valentine’s Day? I’m Here To Help!

Amanda Haas
Tuna tartare was all the rage when I moved to San Francisco in 1994, and it’s been on menus ever since! And with good reason: the silky texture of high-quality tuna contrasted with the crunch of nuts or cucumbers is highly addictive. The best part about tuna tartare is that it’s incredibly versatile. You can take it from Latin to Asian-inspired simply by changing the oil or acid you choose. This version is influenced by the Hawaiian tuna poke bowl. Sesame oil and tamari lend depth, and the cucumber, green onions, and macadamia nuts give it crunch and contrast. If you want, you can skip the rice paper and mayo, but with it, it is the most decadent, perfect poke you’ll ever taste. 
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Servings 6 people


Pickled Cucumber

  • 1/2 English cucumber, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup rice vinegar
  • 3 tbsp packed brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp kosher salt

Miso Mayonnaise

  • 1 tbsp miso paste
  • 1 tbsp hot water
  • 3/4 cup mayonnaise

Rice Crisps

  • Canola oil, for frying
  • 10 spring roll rice wrappers, cut into sixths
  • Kosher salt

Tuna Tartare

  • 1 lb fresh ahi-grade tuna, cut into 1/2 inch dice
  • 1 avocado, cut into 1/2 inch dice
  • 1/2 cup macadamia nuts, chopped
  • 3 green onions, white and light green parts only, thinly sliced
  • 2 tbsp tamari
  • 2 tbsp mirin
  • 1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
  • Black sesame seeds for garnish


To make the Pickled Cucumber

  • Place the sliced cucumber in a ceramic or glass bowl. In a small saucepan over high heat, combine the water, vinegar, sugar, and salt and bring to a boil. Stir to dissolve the salt and sugar, then pour the liquid over the cucumber. Let stand until cooled to room temperature, then cover and refrigerate until ready to use. 

To make the Miso Mayonnaise

  • In a small bowl, whisk together the miso paste and hot water until smooth. Stir in the mayonnaise. Set aside.

To make the Rice Crisps

  • Fill a medium saucepan two-thirds full with canola oil and heat to 350°F. Carefully place a few rice wrapper triangles in the oil until they turn white and puff, about 30 seconds. Transfer to a paper towel–lined plate, and sprinkle with salt. Repeat with the remaining wrappers.

To make the Tuna Tartare

  • In a large mixing bowl, gently fold together the tuna, avocado, macadamia nuts, and 2 Tbsp of the green onions
  • Drain the pickled cucumber slices from their liquid, and add the slices to the bowl. 
  • Add the tamari, mirin, and sesame oil, and gently fold to coat the tuna mixture. 
  • Place 1 tsp of the miso mayonnaise on a rice crisp, then top with tuna tartare. Repeat with the remaining crisps, mayonnaise, and tuna. 
  • Arrange them on a platter, then garnish with black sesame seeds and the remaining green onions. Serve.


Reprinted from The Vibrant Life by Amanda Haas with permission by Chronicle Books, 2019
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