Valentine’s Day is marketed as the one day in the year that should be dedicated to the one you love. There’s often pressure to buy the perfect gift, give the best card, eat out at the most expensive restaurant, and create an experience like no other for your better half. Statistics show that Valentine’s Day is big business in the UK, with the latest figures putting spending at the 990 million mark.
But if you’re seeking to simplify the big occasion this year, then why not consider cooking a homemade meal and enjoying an evening in instead, free from all the external pressures? Staying at home doesn’t mean you can’t dress up for the occasion. A candle-lit dinner for two in the comfort of your own space is the perfect excuse for choosing a stylish evening dress and wearing your favorite heels.
Set the right atmosphere by clearing your space of any clutter, adding some warm and cozy mood lighting, and decorating your table with candles and a centerpiece. Create a relaxing playlist and make sure neither of you will be disturbed by switching off phones and other devices.
When it comes to preparing the perfect meal, it’s important to choose a dish that you both love. It doesn’t need to be complicated but, sometimes, adding a different twist to your go-to recipe can make it extra special. But if you are struggling for ideas, take a look at these romantic dinner-for-two suggestions:
Marry Me Chicken
Turn a basic chicken dish into an impressive main by stuffing it with chestnuts, sprinkling it with breadcrumbs, and serving it with seasonal greens and a creamy, white wine sauce. If you want to be super-organized, you can prepare the chicken earlier in the day, leaving it in the fridge to chill until you’re ready to cook.
Singapore Chilli Crab and Pawns
This dish might be simple to prepare but the flavours don’t fail to pack a punch. Use fish sauce alongside ginger, chillis, garlic cloves, and spring onions for the dressing. It can all be cooked in one pan, meaning minimal clear-up, and the dish is extremely versatile so it can be served with any type of rice or even mantou buns.
Rolled Crackling Pork Belly with Peach Stuffing
If you and your partner are huge fans of a traditional roast, why not upgrade your usual choice to a Valentine’s Day special? Apple is typically the go-to accompaniment, but peaches make a wonderful alternative and their syrup can be used as the gravy. Serve with glazed carrots, bacon, and garlic-sauteed green beans or roasted broccoli.
Luxury Truffle Mac and Cheese
You can’t go wrong with good old mac and cheese. But for an elegant twist, add truffle oil for extra flavor and creaminess. Serve with a homemade salad or your favorite greens.
Whichever dish you choose to create, make sure to serve some refreshing drinks to go alongside. You could try making your cocktails or mocktails or pair your main with a well-researched fine wine for the ultimate Valentine’s Day treat.