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The question: eat out or in?

If you're tempted to cook your own Valentine's meal, think again and book your favourite restaurant instead.

If you're tempted to cook your own Valentine's meal, think again and book your favourite restaurant instead.

While Valentine’s legends are all about surprises like the mystery card with a question-mark for a signature, in reality most couples plan together what they’ll do to celebrate.

The big question is: do you eat out or in?

This time of year whennight-time temperatures are dropping below zero, it’s tempting to stay in and cook that romantic meal for yourselves.

But that may not be quite as easy as it sounds.

The BBC Food website suggests a range of Valentine’s menus to prepare at home using foods which are acknowledged popular favourites for a romantic meal for two.

Seafood like mussels, scallops and prawns figures in every one, steering clear of oysters which though well-known as an aphrodysiac are not for anyone who may have the least qualm about eating live food.

Chocolate – the deeper and richer the better – is also a fixture in different forms for pudding.

And tender grilled or griddled steak is at the centre of the main course in two out of four.

The other two mains are Delia Smith’s oven-baked risotto carbonara as an easy work treat for couples who want to focus on a romantic DVD on the TV, and Sophie Dahl’s lighter crab and salmon fishcakes for the health-conscious.

All declare themselves to be easy, quick and simple and the cooking times are no more than 30 minutes for anything.

But have you tried sizzling a steak of any description to perfect tenderness/grilling a scallop and getting it just right/ getting a chocolate souffle to rise and stay risen?

Masterchefs and their partners can stay in with confidence – me, I’m for booking a table at one of the great restaurants advertised on these pages for guaranteed success.

 

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