How to Cook the Perfect Valentine’s Dinner for Two
Going out to dinner at a special restaurant may seem like the natural thing to do on Valentine’s Day (according to the National Restaurant Association, 25 percent of Americans will go out to eat this Valentine’s Day), but consider this: the most romantic setting for a special dinner for two is one where you won’t have to make a reservation, wait for a table, or feel pressured to leave so that the next round of hungry diners can sit and eat. If want to give your valentine the perfect dining experience, why not stay home and cook this year?
Don’t be intimidated by the idea of cooking Valentine’s Day dinner. Instead, start by considering your skill level and the amount of time that you have to dedicate to cooking. If you want your home-cooked dinner to be a success, be reasonable about what you can accomplish based on these two factors. Whether you’re looking for a menu that’s suited for a beginner in the kitchen, one that can be put together quickly, or one that’s tailored to a more seasoned cook, you’ll find that there are a number of special dishes perfect for the occasion.
Then, regardless of the type of menu you put together, add a few special touches to make even the simplest dishes feel like a gourmet meal. Valentine’s Day is the time to splurge on things like edible flowers to garnish the plate or to spend extra time cutting paper into a heart-shaped stencil so that you can dust the tops of your chocolate soufflés with powdered-sugar hearts.
If you’re not sure where to start, we’ve put together three delicious menus for you. Whether you’re looking for a menu that is easy, one that is quick, or a three-course meal perfect for an expert cook, you’re sure to make your Valentine swoon with these delicious dishes.
Easy Appetizer: Salad
This simple and delicious crab and avocado salad from chef Walter Pisano of Tulio Ristorante in Seattle is an elegant way to start a meal. The key to this salad is a stunning presentation; rather than cubing the avocado, try cutting it into slices and fanning them out on a plate, alternating with the orange segments. Click here for the recipe.
Easy Entrée: Rustic Fish in Parchment Paper
The great thing about cooking fish in parchment paper (aside from it being easy) is that you can use just about any fish, seasonings, and vegetables you’d like. When the fish is done cooking, leave it in the parchment paper — cutting the parchment paper pouches open at the table will release a delicious aroma and give the dinner a nice, rustic feel. Click here for more about cooking fish in parchment paper.
Easy Dessert: Chocolate Fondue
Everything is better dipped in chocolate. Including dessert. Click here for the recipe.
Kristie Collado is The Daily Meal’s Cook Editor. Follow her on Twitter @KColladoCook.