Valentine’s Day comes with a lot of expectations, and let’s face it, we want it to be special, we want to fulfill those expectations, but we’re also busy. We have jobs, and kids, and reservations are so hard to get. Then when Valentine’s Day ends up being on a weekday (like this year) we have to get up for work the next day.
This trio of recipes was created to be simple enough to pull off in less than an hour with ease, and a minimum amount of clean up: 1 pot, 1 pan, 1 cookie sheet, and if you microwave your cream for the fondue (no shame in it), you can stick the rest in the dishwasher and call it a night.
Whenever you’re trying to save time while cooking (and let’s face it, who’s not trying to save time) always think about what’s going to take the longest to cook. In this case, it’s the potatoes, so get those in the oven right away. Next, season your pork, and while that’s going through it’s quick marinade, get the mussels ready.
All of this is made more fun while you cook together. Your mussels are going to be done first, and so enjoy them together, while cooking the rest of your meal. The cooking can be just as enjoyable as the eating when shared with someone else, that way the whole experience is what makes the night special, instead of just the expectations of a good meal. That way, if something is a little too brown or takes a bit longer than expected, you’re already spending time together, but this combination of recipes is simple enough for even the kitchen layman to pull off.
The chocolate fondue for two is so easy, and literally done in less than 5 minutes. You’ll be making it for more than just valentines day, and it’s a great way to incorporate things to dip that you may already have around your kitchen.
Homemade Valentine’s dinners are also hard because often couples have different tastes or appetites. Mussels are a great way for someone to just eat a small portion or load up on lots of sauce dipped bread. Make the broth as mild or as spicy as you want and if you don’t like mussels you can use this same broth to poach shrimp. Keep the shrimp in their shells to maximize flavor, and again, just 3 or so minutes. Don’t over cook them.
Pork loin is always a crown pleaser, and it’s kept light with a mustard sauce. While the roasted sweet potatoes are filling yet made lighter and more flavorful with the addition of roasted apples.
And when it comes to chocolate be creative in your flavorings and dunking options, have each of your favorites on hand to dip. This is sure to be one of the most romantic (and easiest) Valentine’s Day ever spent together!
Dessert: Chocolate Fondue For Two Recipe
About the Author
A former baker, chef, caterer, and a forever foodie, John is now a writer and essayist, who has written for newspapers and magazines across the country, and enjoys spending his spare time traveling and collecting bow ties.