Entertaining at home for Valentine’s Day has become synonymous with actual love. Actual love. You know, the kind that doesn’t require reservations, overblown expectations, underwhelming menus, and the casual eye-rolling of disgruntled restaurant staff. Just as in every relationship, though, you need to find ways to keep it fresh, especially if you’re someone who is already prone to routinely making lovely, home-cooked meals. To keep it really fresh this year, why not try a completely utensil-free Valentine’s Day dinner that you and your sweetie can enjoy together snuggled into the recliner, or couch, or…wherever else. That’s your business.
Here are an assortment of recipes that can easily be scaled down to two petite portions, and can be made ahead of time to free you up for maximum snuggling. We’ve assembled seven potential courses to take you all the way through from hors d’oeuvres to dessert, with nary a fork in sight. Maybe grab some napkins, though?
Hors D’Oeuvres: Oysters With Prosecco Mignonette
This is cheating a little, since most hors d’oeuvres, and especially oysters, are served without utensils. But this is about Valentine’s Day, and oysters definitely set a tone, if you catch my meaning. Plus there’s a delightful sparkling mignonette sauce for just a splash of decadence. Get our Oysters with Prosecco Mignonette recipe.
Salad: Pear and Feta Bites
These bright endive cups bring all of the elements of a beautifully composed salad together into stylish, portable bites. You have a little sweetness from pears against a little bitterness from the lettuce, plus the creaminess from the feta contrasting the satisfying crunch. Balance. Harmony. Love? Get our Pear and Feta Bites recipe.
If you’re thinking that utensil-free soup sounds the very opposite of romantic, think again. While spoons can take a back seat here, this velvety soup can be easily sipped directly from whatever glassware you like: elegant tea cups or the souvenir mugs from your honeymoon. Crimson beet chips and a drizzle Meyer lemon oil add the perfect amount of elegance. Then you can do that clever linked-arms maneuver like you were sipping Champagne, and you can save the spooning for after dinner. Get the Roasted Parsnip Soup with Beet Chips and Meyer Lemon Oil recipe.
Lucero Crushed Meyer Lemon Extra Virgin Olive Oil, $21 at Sur La Table
Use a Meyer lemon infused oil all year long on salads, or to finish roasted vegetables and proteins, where the flavor can really shine.
Eggs: Truffled Deviled Eggs
It was renowned food writer M.F.K. Fisher who once wrote, “Probably one of the most private things in the world is an egg before it is broken.” I need no more evidence than this to include eggs as a course in this Valentine’s Day dinner, since privacy is definitely what you’ll be needing after eating with your hands all night. Deviled eggs are marvelous because it’s easy to make just a couple, and they are the absolute best vehicle for little luxuries such as truffles. Get our Truffled Deviled Eggs recipe.
Alma Gourmet Fresh Italian Winter Black Truffles, 1 ounce for $79 on Amazon
Black truffles are here for all of your everyday decadence needs.
As long as we’re on the topic of combined food and love metaphors, these tapas-style bites are both spicy and easy. Serve them on or off the stick as pleases you most. No further comment. Get our Smoked-Paprika and Prosciutto-Wrapped Shrimp recipe.
Beef Wellington is always a showstopper, and these bite-sized versions offer showstopper appeal without showstopper effort, even while including all of the necessary layers of a classic Wellington. This recipe is offered up by a blog aptly named Seduction Meals. Seduction Meals? How did I not know this existed before now? Get the Mini Beef Wellington Bites recipe.
ButcherBox Valentine’s Deal: 2 Free Filet Mignons (and Bacon) + $10 Off!
For Valentine's Day or any day, Butcher Box delivers top quality cuts to your door.
Dessert: Chocolate-Covered Ice Cream Bites
As your hands-on Valentine’s Day dinner winds up and moves towards locations other than the kitchen or living room, it just has to be classic bonbons for dessert, in all of their 1970s food trend glory. Has to be. Hand check! Get our Chocolate-Covered Ice Cream Bites recipe.
Check out our Valentine’s Day giveaway on Instagram (three lucky winners will get lots of goodies from Hotel Chocolat)! And get more sweet recipes, tips, and tricks at our Valentine’s Day headquarters, including great Valentine’s Day gift ideas.
Related Video: How to Make a Valentine’s Day Cocktail with Kombucha
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