All week long, we're sharing Valentine's Day dinners for two -- grab your partner or your bestie, and make a meal worthy of your love.
Today: Make a sexy and simple Valentine’s dinner that you can cook together at home -- no pressure necessary.
Shop the Story
Let’s face it. Valentine’s Day can be daunting, especially since restaurant pre-fixe menus can burn a hole in your wallet. The better option? Stay in. Yes, stay in and woo your lover with a home cooked meal. Or even better, cook it together. Keep the meal plan indulgent and refined, but simple enough so that the two of you can talk and laugh the whole way through. Plus, cooking is easier when there’s two, since you can split up the work.
We’ve created a meal plan that's full of aphrodisiacs like clams and poppy seeds, but more importantly, is incredibly simple and fun to make. We can't think of a better, or more romantic, way to celebrate.
Here's how to make your meal:
This meal plan is best cooked as a team, with one person on the clams and the other on Brussels sprouts duty. But first, join forces to chop the Brussels sprouts together since that’s the most arduous part of the recipe. Cut the stems off and halve each one lengthwise, then cut them into 1/8-inch slices. Toss them into a mixing bowl with the lemon juice.
Person One: Whoever’s on clam duty: Warm 2 tablespoons of canola oil in a large saucepan with a lid over medium-high heat. Add 1/4 cup chopped onions and a tablespoon of garlic, sautéing for a few minutes. Next, add the clams, rice wine, lime juice, fish sauce, and chiles. Cover the saucepan and steam for a few minutes until the clams open up. Then, add the butter and basil. Stir, taste the sauce, and adjust seasonings with lime juice or fish sauce.
Person Two: Start cooking the Brussels sprouts at the same time as the clams. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a sauté pan on high heat. Stir in the chopped Brussels sprouts, adding 2 minced garlic cloves and the poppy seeds. Add the white wine and stir for about 3 minutes. The sprouts should be bright green and a little crunchy. Reduce to low heat, season with salt and pepper to taste, and cook for 1 more minute. Transfer to a warm bowl, and serve alongside the clams (and a glass of the white wine if you’re feeling fancy).
Take advantage of our handy grocery list and click the recipe photos or titles to see (and save and print) the full recipes.
1/4 cup onions, thinly sliced 3 tablespoons minced garlic, divided 2 pounds clams, scrubbed and purged (or the same of mussels) 1/4 cup rice wine 3 tablespoons lime juice, plus more to taste 1 tablespoon fish sauce, plus more to taste 4 Thai chiles, halved lengthwise (optional) 4 or 5 Thai basil leaves, coarsely chopped 1 pound large Brussels sprouts Juice of 1/2 lemon 1 tablespoon poppy seeds 1/4 cup white wine
You probably already have canola oil, olive oil, salt, pepper, and butter in your pantry, but if you don't, stock up on them as well.
Photos by James Ransom and Mark Weinberg
A New Way to Dinner, co-authored by Food52's founders Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs, is an indispensable playbook for stress-free meal-planning (hint: cook foundational dishes on the weekend and mix and match ‘em through the week).