Many deny Valentine’s Day but we must admit that we love to join any celebration, especially if there is good food involved. Leaving the more commercial -and cursi- side of the holiday aside, it is a perfect occasion to show off preparing a romantic dinner at home, either cooking as a couple or surprising someone special.
Taking advantage of the fact that Valentine’s Day falls this time on Friday, we can give ourselves more the luxury of enjoying a party menu for the weekend. In any case, we have selected 101 recipes to succeed with options to everyone’s taste, from the aperitif to breakfast the next morning. Let it not be said that there is a lack of ideas to seduce at the table.
Appetizers and starters
A celebratory dinner has to start with some aperitif to open little, a light starter that is fresh and tasty, but does not satiate us too much. It can be a simple but original snack, such as caramelised sesame and goat cheese chocolates, colorful smoked salmon and cheese spirals or blinis to our liking from the basic dough, the complete recipe of which is shown below:
It is preferable to remember to remove all the ingredients for a while before the refrigerator, to temper them. Combine the flours in a medium bowl, using thin rods to avoid lumps, add the baker’s yeast and a pinch of salt, and mix well. Separate the white from the egg yolk and reserve. Separate 60 ml of the milk and mix with the lemon drip aside, letting it cut. Heat the rest of the milk with the butter and honey in a saucepan over a very low heat, without letting it boil. Remove from the heat, wait until it is warm and add the yolk, beating with the rods. Add the reserved milk separately, continuing to beat gently. Add to the flour mixture and combine with the bars until you have a homogeneous mass without dry lumps. Cover with a clean cloth and leave to ferment for an hour. It must have grown very fluffy, looking very wet. Then whip the reserved egg white with a pinch of salt, almost to the point of snow -to form soft peaks-. Incorporate into the dough with enveloping movements. Grease a good frying pan or non-stick griddle with butter and heat over medium heat. Form small discs using a spoon of about 15 ml in volume, giving a rounded shape with the back. They can be made to the size you want, but here we want them to be small, type canape. Cook for 2-3 minutes, until they are covered with bubbles, and turn with a fine spatula. Cook 1 minute more on the other side or until golden brown, and remove to a source, without crowding them. Continue until you finish with all the dough. It is best not to overfill the pan at once.
More appetizer and starter recipes
Salads and vegetables as a starter or garnish
When thinking about a starter, accompaniment or garnish for a romantic dinner, I recommend choosing a salad or vegetables as the protagonist. Recipes that are simple to make but look good on the table, light and do not add much work to the digestion of dinner.
We can prepare salads with seasonal products without having to resort to the most predictable tomato, such as the escarole and caramelized pear salad or the red orange salad, both with winter fruit that always gives a more special touch and sweet. You don’t have to fill your plate with thousands of ingredients, as these ideas demonstrate:
Fish and seafood, guaranteed success
I like the option of betting on fish or seafood as a main course, they are lighter and appropriate for a dinner; also now we hope that prices have been controlled a bit after the Christmas madness. Since there are two of us, we can afford a more special whim without having to leave the savings in a huge seafood platter.
Something as simple as a Julia Child-style gratin scallops or an elegant salmon with old-fashioned mustard and cava will make us look luxurious with few complications. The skewer format It also looks great on the table, like these healthy and very tasty Grilled Monkfish Kabobs.
Meat dishes to share
If we prefer to center dinner on a meat dish, the only obvious thing is that we are not going to just go for a grilled steak or an ordinary chicken stew -unless we are scared-; being only two we have the option of preparing a recipe that gives us leftovers for another day, or simply use unique pieces per person, like Sirloin Wellington in individual puffs.
The steak tartare can be used as a first course but I think it is a great option as a main recipe in a special dinner to share. In hot recipes, it is advisable to choose dishes well accompanied by a sauce that enhances the whole, like the Iberian pork cheeks in chocolate sauce.
We don’t always have to go to meat or fish to prepare a special and tasty menu, nor do we have to be vegetarian to enjoy these recipes. There are dishes so colorful and appetizing like tomatoes stuffed with roasted vegetables and pine nuts that no one will wonder if they are or not veggies.
Healthy, light but also eye-catching and full of flavor is the quinoa, roasted pumpkin and pomegranate salad, which we can leave ready in advance and serve cold or warm, or bet on a creamy rice with aubergines, or surprise with a spiral quiche of zucchini and ricotta cheese.
Irresistible desserts to put the sweet finishing touch
I hope that the dinner menu was not very copious, you always have to leave room for dessert! At least, on special occasions like a good romantic dinner. Chocolate seems like the obvious choiceWhether or not it is an aphrodisiac, it cannot be denied that it is the quintessential romantic and passionate sweet. We can bet on moderate recipes in portions to share, like this cheese and chocolate cake, nothing heavy.
The spoon desserts They are also my favorite option when it comes to putting the sweet finishing touch to a celebration; the creamy, fluffy and honeyed textures They have something special that makes them very tempting and seductive, such as the elegant créme brûlée, its version of Catalan coffee cream or a classic chocolate mousse, which never fails. Better a lighter option? Nothing like a colorful winter fruit salad with pomegranate and orange.
And for the next morning … breakfasts to surprise in bed
Who says the next morning can also choose to directly kick off Valentine’s Day that morning, and turn the whole day into a romantic day. Either way, I think true love is also shared in the mornings, waking up with that special person who makes early rises something else. And we can start with a colorful bouquet of strawberries that will also decorate the tray or table.
To take in bed or at the table -I really prefer to sit away from the sheets to eat-, we can show off with some delicious French toast, which is the most chic torrijas, or prepare a savory breakfast with surprising heart-shaped eggs. If we have a sweet tooth, some easy chocolate and strawberry pastries will be perfect for dipping in coffee.
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