There may be one true love, but there is no one true way to do dinner on Valentine’s Day. If you’re paired off, you could book the traditional table for two at a restaurant. It will be filled with other couples doing the same, attempting to ignore one another while pitching woo over oysters on the half shell.
Passionate cooks, myself included, might shun going out, confecting tête-à-tête meals in their own homes instead.
But what if, for reasons of family, preference or happenstance, you are more than two at dinnertime? This doesn’t preclude a Valentine’s Day feast. It just changes its tenor. Aphrodisiacs might be off the table, but you can still serve a classic menu, something celebratory and indulgent. – The New York Times
Seared Rib Steak (Serves 2 — double ingredients for 4)
1 bone-in rib steak, 4cm thick
1 garlic clove, halved
Coarse kosher salt
Heat a heavy ovenproof skillet (preferably cast iron) over high heat for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat your broiler.
Pat steak dry with paper towels, then vigorously rub cut side of garlic all over steak, particularly the bone. Season generously all over with salt and pepper.
Place steak in hot pan and carefully, using a pot holder, transfer pan to broiler.
Cook meat until done to taste, about 5 to 7 minutes for rare.
Transfer steak to a cutting board, and let it rest for 5 to 10 minutes before slicing and serving.
Duck Fat Roasted Potatoes (Serves 2 — double ingredients for 4)
340g very small Yukon gold or other yellow-flesh potatoes
Coarse kosher salt
2 tablespoons tbs duck fat (or olive oil)
2 sprigs rosemary
3 cloves garlic, smashed
Cracked black pepper
Heat oven to 220 degreesºC.
Place potatoes in a small pot and cover completely with generously salted water.
Bring water to a boil and cook potatoes until fork tender, about 10 to 15 minutes.
Drain and allow potatoes to rest until cool enough to touch.
Using the palms of your hands, carefully smash potatoes until flat but still in one piece.
Place potatoes on a small rimmed baking sheet or pan.
Drizzle with duck fat and add rosemary and garlic to pan.
Generously salt and pepper potatoes, then gently toss them until evenly coated with the duck fat.
Roast potatoes for 20 minutes. Flip them, then roast an additional 8 to 10 minutes. Serve warm.
Bittersweet Chocolate Mousse with Fleur de Sel Salt (Serves 4)
285grams bittersweet chocolate, roughly chopped, more as needed
Fleur de Sel salt, to taste
Create an ice bath in a large bowl using ice and a little cold water. Nestle a smaller bowl in ice bath.
Place chocolate and 1 cup water in a small pot and heat over medium. Whisk until mixture is melted and smooth, about 3 to 5 minutes.
Immediately pour melted chocolate into the bowl in the ice bath. Vigorously whisk chocolate mixture by hand until thick, 3 to 5 minutes.
The chocolate should be fluffy and form a mound when dolloped with the whisk. (It should generally have the texture and appearance of mousse.)
If the mixture does not thicken, add a bit more chopped chocolate and remelt over the heat.
Spoon into serving bowls and garnish with fleur de sel.
The New York Times