Romantic recipes for Valentine’s Day

by Charlotte.Barnes on February 3, 2012

heart cakeValentine’s Day is almost here and the pressure is on! Whether you’re a hopeless romantic or a smooth-operator, nothing says I love you more than a home-cooked meal enjoyed together with candlelight and romantic music. With so many menus, cuisines and ‘post-modern’ techniques flooding into cooking these days, it’s understandable that a few of us might get lost in the chaos. Fear not, all you wannabe-Casanovas, because Interflora has a choice of delicious food and drink that is sure to get your loved one’s heart racing.

{Photo credit Andi Berger}

Starters

Fine Dining – Cream cheese and caviar on toasted blinis
Caviar is no longer the food of the rich, with jars available in most supermarkets up and down the country. Salty and delicious, just a small amount of this popped onto a toasted blini with some smooth cream cheese will create a luxurious and tasty starter. You can buy blinis, which are like small pancakes, in most shops and all you have to do is toast them lightly under the grill.

Rustic – Basil, tomato and mozzarella salad with olive oil and black pepper

basil, tomato and mozzarella salad{Spaxia}

Another simple yet classic recipe that includes all the fresh flavours of the Mediterranean, this salad is also perfect for vegetarians. Slice fresh beef tomatoes and a ball of mozzarella and arrange them alternatively on a plate. Tear up a good handful of fresh basil, drizzle with quality olive oil, and sprinkle freshly ground black pepper over the top and you’re done!

Traditional – Prawn cocktail

prawn cocktail salad{Ramon Grosso}

Most of the ingredients of this traditional starter can be found in your local supermarket, but if you want to add a home-made touch, try making your very own seafood sauce. All you need is tomato sauce, mayonnaise, pepper, salt, lemon juice, Worcester sauce and a drop of Tabasco if you like it with a little kick. Mix together and keep checking the taste until you get it just right.

Mains

Fine Dining – Moules Marinière

mussels cooked{Karen S Burns-Booth}

This is the dish to choose if you’re trying to impress a seafood lover. It looks complicated but is remarkably simple to do. You can buy pre-cooked mussels but if you really want a mouth-watering dish; clean and cook the mussels yourself. In a bowl of cold water, check each mussel, they should be closed, if you find any that have cracks or are partially open simply throw them away. Scrape off any bumps and remove the beards (little threads hanging from the opening).  Pop a dry saucepan on the heat, get it hot, and then add a splash of white wine and the cleaned mussels. Put the lid on and wait for 2-3 minutes. Sieve out the mussels but keep the liquid. You can add garlic, cream and seasoning to this and make your own sauce for the mussels!

Rustic – Roast duck with orange sauce
Roast duck breast is a delicious choice for a romantic dinner but it’s the orange sauce that really makes this dish take off! To make it add ¼ cup of sugar, 1 tbsp corn flour, and 1 tsp of orange peel to a small saucepan. Stir in 1 cup of orange juice and cook over medium heat until it thickens. Cook and stir for 2 more minutes and stir in a tbsp of butter and pour over your roasted duck.

Traditional – Spaghetti

spaghetti tomato

{Silencefoto}

Alright, we’ll admit that this probably isn’t the best thing to cook on a first date, purely because of the amount of mess it can make all over you. However, who can forget that classic scene in Lady and the Tramp, one of the most unforgettable romantic moments in movie history! Entice your lady with a simple yet delicious spaghetti dinner and you’ll feel like a top dog! Just remember that traditionally, bologna doesn’t include red wine, so there’s more for you to drink! Or try a basic cheese sauce by melting some butter in a saucepan and adding a couple of spoons of flour to make a rue. Add warm milk gradually and when the rue has melted, stir in some grated cheese.

Desserts

Fine Dining – Crème Brûlée

Creme brulee{Laura D.A. Pazzaglia}

A much-loved classic dessert; the crème brûlée is sweet, smooth and utterly indulgent. You can buy it from most supermarkets and cake shops but if you’re willing to put in the effort, you can make it from scratch. Not for those on a diet, this delicious dessert includes double cream, full-fat milk and sugar, but it’s the crispy topping that really sets your taste buds quivering. If you don’t happen to have a blowtorch lying around your kitchen, a grill on a high heat will do just as well.

Rustic – Cheese board with chutney and apple slices
If your special someone doesn’t have much of a sweet-tooth, why not put together a cheese board for you to share? Simple gather a selection of their favourite cheeses, displayed on a rustic wooden board and serve pots of chutney, relish and apple alongside.

Traditional – Chocolate cake with cream

Chocolate cake{Jamie Schler}

You can’t go wrong with a traditional chocolate cake, smothered in cream and warmed just enough to make it turn all gooey and delicious. You can buy cake mixture in shops but why not make it extra special by making your own decadent icing to go on top? Cream 120g of unsalted butter together with around 330g of icing sugar. Add 50g of  unsweetened cocoa powder and 4 tbsp of hot, good quality coffee. Finally, beat in between 100g and 150g of mascarpone and whip until smooth. Then you simply smother your cooled down cake with the mixture and chill in the fridge to set. Perfection!


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Charlotte Barnes

Post category: How-to Guides, Interflora Food & Drink, Valentine's Day  

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How Make Roast Duck
02.04.12 at 9:28 pm

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