While many couples head to a restaurant on Valentine’s Day, there’s much to be said for avoiding the crowds and cooking a romantic dinner for two at home. So this year, rather than fighting for reservations and braving unpredictable February weather, plan a cozy home-cooked meal. Whether it’s splitting a steak for two, sharing an Italian meal or preparing an impressively presented whole fish or fowl for your valentine, cooking a romantic meal is a time-honored way to show you care.
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Valentine’s Day Meals for Two:
A Celebratory Breakfast Omelet by Beverly Mills and Alicia Ross: When it comes to romantic gestures for a special occasion, breakfast in bed still reigns supreme. This hearty, protein-filled omelet is stuffed with mushrooms, green pepper, tomato, olives and cheese.
Grilled T-Bone Steak for Two by Dave Zino: A T-bone steak consists of the top loin and the tenderloin, two mouthwatering cuts. In the wintertime, try a sauce made with coffee for an extra kick.
Pan-Roasted Whole Flounder or Fluke with Brown Butter, Lemon and Capers by Jasper White: Cooking a whole fish makes for an impressive presentation, especially when seasoned with parsley and capers. Small red potatoes, roasted or steamed, and leafy greens like kale serve well as side dishes.
Roast Cornish Hens with Brandied Cherries by Liana Krissoff: Make the brandied sweet cherries in this recipe a day ahead. The Cornish hens can conveniently be purchased frozen and thawed in under an hour.
‘21’ Club’s Steak Diane by Arthur Schwartz: This New York classic presents steak tableside, with a final touch that ensures the Valentine’s Day flame is still going strong.
Fettuccine with Shiitakes by Amy Farges: How about sharing a big bowl of pasta, Lady and the Tramp-style? This quick, easy and inexpensive recipe allows you to prepare a romantic dinner with no fuss or stress.
Salmon Caviar Hearts by Julee Rosso and Sheila Lukins: This recipe makes 60 hors d’oeuvre servings, a must-have if you’re hosting a Valentine’s Day cocktail party. With a heart-shaped cookie cutter and electric mixer, they’re surprisingly easy and very impressive.
If your plans for February 14 involve socializing with other friends or attending a Valentine’s Day party, or if you’d like to prepare a loving gesture for someone special, these sweet baking projects show you care.
Chocolate-Cherry Cupcakes by Nigella Lawson: Cherry jam fills these cupcakes, equally appealing to young and grown-up taste buds. A dark chocolate icing is enough to remember what Valentine’s Day really is about.
Peanut Butter and Jam Hearts by Lauren Groveman: These sweet sandwich cookies are a showstopper to serve at a Valentine’s Day party or just to bake for someone lucky.
Chocolate Tarts by Judith Choate and Jacques Torres: Want to be the queen (or king) of hearts? Try these chocolate tarts, which can be served simply or decorated however you like.
Red Velvet Cake by George Geary: While the color of this popular confection originally came from a reaction between the cocoa and an acidic ingredient such as buttermilk, most modern recipes now use food coloring to enhance the effect.
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