Special Valentine’s Day Dinner Menu for Two

Special Valentine's Day Dinner Menu for Two

Special Valentine’s Day Dinner Menu for Two


There may be one thing more romantic than cooking for another: cooking together.

Knowing the rhythm of each other’s daily movements, like how to fold clothes and cook — or bake bread — is one of the best ways to get to know someone. For senior couples, preparing a meal together can serve as a gentle reminder to each other to check in. If that’s what you do every night, why not get a little extravagant on Valentine’s Day?

Here’s an elegant menu that lets you do just that. These three dishes are easy to put together, proving that the quality of a meal doesn’t need to depend on hours of prep time. This is especially useful for you on days like Valentine’s Day, where spending more time with your partner is everything.

The first course is radicchio, its purple leaves with lightning-fast white patches that go well with camembert, taleggio, or other soft and trendy cheeses that puff at room temperature. Together, they make an ideal appetizer that you can nibble on while tackling other dishes (and sipping your first glass of wine).

After being briefly roasted in the pan, the bitter endive tastes otherworldly and the cheese melts nicely in the hot pan. When seasoned with honey and sherry vinegar, this dish sings a sultry tune. (Think of Ariana Grande’s velvety “Thank you, next.”)

Entrees are more luxurious but with a modern approach. English Beef Wellington – slices of beef wrapped in puff pastry – is usually a big item. But the joy of this single-serving version is that store-bought puff pastry wraps individual filet mignons, which are easier to assemble, making it less intimidating. There are two people in the kitchen, you can divide the labor, just like life, and meet at the end.

Pâté de foie gras and prosciutto are common ingredients in traditional Wellington, but they are omitted here in favor of lighter and more balanced flavours. Also common are the deeply caramelized mushroom and shallot mixtures known as duxelles, which give beef a rich, earthy umami. In this version, a dash of red wine and heavy cream add richness to the vegetables.

Serve baby wellingtons warm with baked potatoes, a delicious green salad, or a more cheesy endive dish.

Dessert is a make-ahead thing. The night before or earlier in the day, one can whip cream to make ice cream, while another can melt chocolate to make hot fudge. For efficiency, olive oil ice cream and sauces are drizzled on top like lava, minimizing potential waste.

Fruity olive oil, with its delicate fat coating the tongue and beautifully tucked into salty-sweet cream – a rogue chartreuse scarf snuggled in the folds of a snow-white duvet on laundry day.

The ice cream is churning-free, which means you don’t need an ice cream maker to prepare it. Instead, add whipped cream to the condensed milk base and fold in gently. Once this fluffy mass is frozen and scooped out, the silky texture will make you wonder: Why would anyone stir?

recipe: Sautéed Endive with Soft Cheese | Personal Steak Wellington | No-churn Olive Oil Ice Cream with Hot Fudge

Beef Wellington is a dish that pairs perfectly with a good red wine. Whether you’re serving Valentine’s Day or not, it’s a great excuse to open up to something good. A good Burgundy or Barolo would be my go-to, especially in some vintages, which will help pair the wine with mushroom flavors. Depending on the vintage, Burgundy 1st Crus take at least 10 years, while Barolo takes longer. A properly aged Pomerol is also a good choice. If none of these are available, other red wines would be great too. Selections include classic Chianti, Rioja Reserve, restrained Pinot Noir and savory Syrah from around the world, whether from the Northern Rhone or elsewhere in the style of the Rhone. Eric Asimov

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