If you’re flying solo this season, it’s time to celebrate. For almost 30 years, Chinese singletons have been setting aside November 11 to focus on what really matters: themselves! Known as Single’s Day, it’s usually an opportunity to meet up and party with equally unattached friends. This year, however, it looks like in most places, quarantine is imposing a night in and a spot of me-time instead. We’ve pulled together some meals for one that will keep 11/11 feeling extra special.
The Cocktail Hour
Before dinner, of course, it’s cocktail hour (and yes, we expect you to dress accordingly). There are plenty of three ingredient drinks that even the most amateur mixologists can get right, so whether you crave a bitter, orange-infused Negroni or the sweet creaminess of a White Russian, there’s an easy, delicious drink out there to get single’s night off to a flying start.
Decadent dinners for one
Next, on to the food: whet your appetite with one of these individually wrapped vegetable parcels featuring sweet potatoes, feta and seasonal fennel. You don’t have to cook them on the BBQ like the recipe says; they’ll do just as well placed on the rack of a roasting tin at the centre of a hot oven. They make a great side dish to accompany a fillet of fish or a delicious puff pastry tartlet, too.
If you’re after a comforting dish of creamy carbs to top off a cosy night on the couch, you can’t do much better than a classic Italian cacio e pepe. This recipe makes enough for two portions — ideal if, like us, you’re likely to go for a second helping. When cooking a Roman dish, it’s best to do as the Romans do; opt for a high quality, heavy bottomed pan that distributes heat evenly to create the ultimate silky smooth sauce.
Maybe you want something a bit spicier, and if that’s the case, this simple portion of noodle soup is a great choice. It’s packed with authentic Thai flavours like ginger, lemongrass and kaffir lime leaf, all sure to keep seasonal snuffles at bay. The rice noodles also make it a great stomach liner if you’re planning on Zoom drinks with buddies later on.
If you feel like something fancier, head to the butcher for your favourite cut of steak and serve it with creamy mash and an easy peppercorn sauce. Add the jus from your grill pan to elevate the taste and make it really special. Veggies can try their hand at a flavour-packed cauliflower steak instead; this recipe can be halved to serve one, or you can make enough for two and eat the leftovers with scrambled eggs and hash browns for a decadent breakfast on the 12th.
Don’t forget dessert!
Round out your special evening with a homemade dessert. You can whip up these mini lemon cheesecakes in less than half an hour, while this peanut butter mug cake is ready in a matter of minutes. If you usually eschew dessert for a cup of coffee, why not treat yourself and make an affogato by adding a scoop of vanilla ice cream to your espresso for effortless Single’s Day decadence.
Will you be celebrating Single’s Day? Let us know your traditions on Twitter via @YourPrestige.