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Add some romance to your Valentine's dinner

February 10, 2011 12:00:00 AM PST
Are you looking for something different to show someone you care this Valentine's Day? How about a meal for your loved one where the only thing missing is utensils?

Jean Pierre Dubray, executive chef at the Pelican Hill Resort in Newport Coast, creates a special event each year called "Dinner of the Senses."

"The idea is that you feed each other. So you don't have any utensils," said Dubray. "All of the food is made so it can be eaten with one another."

This feast of the heart is offered at the Pelican Hill Resort in Newport Coast where couples dine in private cabanas. Diners get seven courses of gourmet goodies -- like caviar, oysters, fois gras and more. The cost is $160 per person or $210 per person for dinner with wine pairings.

But for those whose wallets aren't so flush, the chef cooked up ideas for romantics to try at home that can serve as a close second to his spread.

Try shot glasses or candle votives of creamy avocado soup and easy to grab proteins like lamb lollipops in puree of chick pea or prawns in a sassy sauce, even chicken drumettes you can often find at big box stores like Costco.

"Dip those in a sauce and feed each other," said Dubray.

When it comes to dessert it's strawberries in chocolate along with Dubray's absolute must...

"You've got to have a chocolate truffle on Valentine's Day," said Dubray.

Now if you're trying fork-free at home, the key is to be sensual, meaning using all your senses. Visually it should be attractive, aromatically mouth watering and the texture should be as important as the taste.

"Everything has to be in small dishes, small pieces, you don't want to be too full on Valentine's Day. You just want to have perfect balance between the wine, the champagne and the food," said Dubray.