While some might be saddened by the fact that they can’t go out for dinner this Valentine's Day, we hereby encourage look on the bright side. After all, you will have the privilege of skipping those crowded and overpriced restaurants that you always try to book and sometimes fail to. If 2020 taught us anything, it is that we don’t need much in life. Being with our loved ones in the safety and comfort of our homes is the best thing ever. And even though you may be sick of seeing the same faces every day, it won’t hurt to make this one night extra special for the love of your life. Get those aprons out, choose one of these delicious dinner recipes, and cook your best meal for the homeliest Valentine’s Day you’ve ever had.
- Caprese Chicken Pasta
Who said that you have to put a lot of effort into a romantic dinner? We suggest you go for a low-maintenance yet absolutely delicious dinner recipe and enjoy your time together instead of cooking for hours.
- 1/2 c. balsamic vinegar
- 1/4 c. sugar
- 2 tbsp. honey
- 11 oz. Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast
- 2 tsp. Italian seasoning, divided
- 1 tsp. garlic powder
- kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 4 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 12 oz. cooked short pasta noodles (such as penne or spiral)
- 1 c. cherry tomatoes, halved
- 2 oz. fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced
- Make balsamic glaze: In a medium saucepan, add balsamic vinegar, sugar, and honey and whisk to combine. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce heat and simmer until reduced by half. Remove from heat and transfer to a heatproof bowl to cool.
- Meanwhile, in a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat 2 tablespoons oil. Add chicken and cook until warm. Remove from the skillet and set aside.
- Add cooked pasta to skillet and drizzle with remaining 2 tablespoons oil. Season with remaining 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning and salt and pepper and stir to combine. Stir in tomatoes and cook until pasta is hot throughout and tomatoes are tender, 2 to 4 minutes.
- Add chicken and mozzarella, then cover and cook until the cheese is melty. Drizzle with balsamic glaze and serve.
- Cowboy Steaks and Potatoes With Broccoli and Cheddar-Scallion Spread
Cook this for a Valentine that can genuinely appreciate a fancy steak dinner with good red wine. You might consider dry wine since it’s the perfect match for red meat.
- 4 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1/4 c. sour cream
- 6 oz. sharp Cheddar, grated (about 1 1/2 cups)
- 2 scallions, chopped, green and white parts separated
- 1 tsp. hot sauce
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
- Canola oil, for grill grate
- 4 small russet potatoes (about 2 1/2 pounds total), pierced with a fork
- 1 lb. broccoli, halved lengthwise
- 1 tbsp. olive oil
- 2 (2 1/2-inch-thick) cowboy steaks (bone-in rib eyes, about 4 pounds total)
- Combine cream cheese, sour cream, Cheddar, scallion whites, and hot sauce in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper.
- Set up the grill for direct and indirect cooking and heat to medium. Once hot, clean and lightly oil grates with canola oil. Wrap potatoes with aluminum foil and place over indirect heat or toward the outer ring of the fire. Bake, rotating twice, until tender, 1 hour to 1 hour and 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, drizzle broccoli with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Grill over direct heat, turning occasionally, until crisp tender, 10 to 12 minutes. Roughly chop.
- Season steaks with salt and pepper. Grill over direct heat, uncovered and turning once, until browned, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer to indirect heat and grill, covered and turning once, to desired doneness, 14 to 16 minutes for medium-rare. Let rest for 5 minutes and slice.
- Open foil and split potatoes. Season potatoes with salt and pepper. Top with Cheddar mixture, broccoli, and scallion greens. Serve with sliced steak alongside.
- Salmon With Grilled Eggplant and Chickpea Croutons
Maybe sometimes it’s better to show some effort, especially when cooking for the new Valentine in your life. If that is the case for you, this recipe is the right choice to make.
- 3 Tbsp plus 1 tsp olive oil, divided
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, pressed, divided
- Kosher salt
- 1 c. chickpea flour
- 1 tbsp. lemon zest plus 2 tsp lemon juice
- 2 medium eggplants (about 12 oz each)
- 1 1/4 lb. skinless salmon fillet, cut into 4 pieces
- 1/4 c. plain full-fat yogurt
- 1 c. mint leaves, torn
- 2 tbsp. chopped chives
- Line 41/2- by 81/2-inch loaf pan with parchment, leaving overhang on two long sides. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large saucepan on medium. Add onion, half of garlic and 1/4 teaspoon salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, 5 minutes. Add 2 cups of water and bring to a boil. While whisking, slowly stream in chickpea flour and whisk vigorously, off of heat, until mostly lump-free.
- Transfer mixture to food processor with lemon zest and puree, gradually adding 1 tablespoon oil until completely smooth. Immediately transfer to the prepared pan and smooth top. Cover with another piece of parchment and another loaf pan and press with a heavy object. Refrigerate until firm, 30 minutes to 1 hour.
- Meanwhile, heat the grill to medium-high. Cut chickpea mixture into 1/2-inch cubes. Heat 1 teaspoon oil in a small skillet and cook in 2 to 3 batches, turning occasionally, until browned, 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel to drain.
- Slice eggplants lengthwise, 1/2 inch thick. Brush eggplant slices with remaining tablespoon oil, season with a pinch of salt, and grill until tender and lightly charred, 3 to 4 minutes side. Season salmon with 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper, add to grill along with eggplant, and grill until opaque throughout, 3 to 5 minutes per side. Transfer to plates.
- In a small bowl, whisk together yogurt, lemon juice, remaining garlic, and pinch salt. Drizzle yogurt sauce over eggplant and sprinkle with chickpea croutons, mint, and chives. Serve with grilled salmon.
- Lobster Bisque
This lobster bisque is meant for a special dinner date with your special someone who favors seafood. Fetch those long candles, it’s time to be fancy, we don’t get these occasions often enough anymore.
- Two 2-pound lobsters, steamed
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup dry sherry
- 1/2 cup chopped celery
- 3 cloves garlic, smashed
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
- Kosher salt
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 1/2 cup chopped carrot
- 1/2 cup chopped button mushrooms
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 3/4 cup whole milk
- 3/4 cup heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
- Twist off the claws and tails from the lobsters. Remove the meat, discarding the green tomalley and reserving the shells. Coarsely chop the meat to measure about 2 1/2 cups, and transfer to a bowl; cover and chill.
- Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in a Dutch oven over medium. Add the lobster shells, and cook, stirring often, until lightly browned, about 8 minutes. Stir in the sherry, and cook until the liquid is nearly evaporated, about 2 minutes. Add the celery, garlic, bay leaves, peppercorns, 4 cups water and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Increase the heat to high, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low, and simmer until reduced to about 2 1/2 cups, about 15 minutes. Pour through a fine-mesh strainer into a bowl; discard the solids. Set aside.
- Meanwhile, melt the remaining 2 tablespoons butter in a medium skillet over medium. Add the onions, carrots, mushrooms, tomato paste, cayenne and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes. Add the wine and bring to a boil over medium-high. Reduce the heat to medium-low, add the reserved lobster stock and simmer until reduced to about 2 cups, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat.
- Puree the mixture with an immersion blender until smooth. Place over medium heat, stir in the milk and cream, and bring to a simmer. Add the lobster meat, reserving 1/4 cup for garnish.
- To serve, ladle the bisque into bowls and top with the reserved lobster meat and chives.
- Roast Chicken With Bacon and Sage
Perhaps the easiest dinner idea you’ll ever see. Choose this trouble-free recipe and roast the chicken to perfection with some lemony herb and butter rub.
- 1 roasting chicken, about 4 to 5 pounds
- Juice of 1/2 lemon
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 small onion, peeled and quartered
- 1 rib celery, cut into large chunks
- Few sprigs fresh parsley
- 4 tablespoons melted butter
- 3 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh parsley
- 1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary, crumbled
- 1/2 teaspoon dried leaf thyme
- Gather the ingredients.
- Preheat the oven to 350 F/180 C/Gas 4.
- Rub inside of chicken with lemon juice; sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Add the onion quarters, celery, and a few sprigs of parsley to the chicken cavity.
- Combine the melted butter with the chopped parsley, rosemary, and thyme.
- Brush some of the butter mixture over the chicken.
- Place chicken in a shallow roasting pan and roast for about 20 minutes per pound.
- Baste with melted butter and herb mixture several times.
It doesn’t matter if your dish turns out to be restaurant-worthy or not, the key is to have as much quality time with your significant other as possible. The thought will definitely be appreciated because we all know that one of the expressions of love is to cook something special, just for your loved one.