It may be a bit of a classic but for many years there has always been a link between Valentine’s Day and a romantic meal. On many occasions we are sure this has led to many a kitchen disaster but cooking your loved one a meal (especially if you aren’t the one who usually cooks) is a fantastic way to show them you care. The saying “the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach” is very true but we’re pretty sure that this is true for many a woman too!
If you want to cook your loved one a fantastic meal this Valentine’s Day, look no further than our hand-picked recipes.
Scallops and chorizo
This classic combination steers clear of the usual aphrodisiac of oysters but pays homage to land and sea with a classic flavour combination.
“Enjoy your Valentine's Day with a romantic meal that's lovingly prepared.”
- 110g chorizo
- 400g small scallop
- Juice of ½ lemon
- 4 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1. Slice the chorizo into rounds no ticker than 3mm or 1/8 inch.
2. Heat a heavy-based pan on the hob and, when hot, dry-fry the chorizo rounds until crisped on. either side (the chorizo will give out plenty of its own oil); this should take no more than 2 minutes.
3. Remove the chorizo to a bowl and fry the scallops in the chorizo-oil for about 1 minute a side.
4. Return the chorizo to the pan with the scallops, add the lemon juice and let it bubble for a few seconds before arranging on a serving plate and sprinkling with lots of parsley.
Grilled steak salad with pesto and crostini
Steak is the choice of many when going for a romantic Valentine’s meal but you can make it extra special with just a few tweaks.
- 2 x 200g 21-day matured rib eye steaks
- Olive oil
- Sea salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 sprig fresh rosemary
- ½ tablespoon dried oregano
- 2 slices ciabatta bread, about 2cm thick
- 2 tablespoons green pesto
- 1 clove garlic, cut in half
- 100g mixed salad leaves
- Juice of 1 lemon
1. Lay the steak on a chopping board and rub with a little olive oil. Season and sprinkle with the rosemary and oregano. Cover with greaseproof paper and bash lightly with a rolling pin or the bottom of a saucepan until the steaks are slightly flattened out and the herbs and seasoning are nicely pressed into the meat.
2. Put a large griddle pan on a high heat and, as it’s heating up, toast the ciabatta on both sides. Keep the toast warm. Shake any crumbs out of the griddle pan, then return to the heat and lay the steaks in it, side by side. Cook for about 8 minutes, turning every minute, for a medium steak, or a little longer if you like your meat more cooked. Lift the steaks out of the pan and leave to rest somewhere warm.
3. Spoon a tablespoon of pesto on to each of two warm plates and smear out across the plate with the back of the spoon. Place the steak on each plate and pour any resting juices over the top.
4. Rub the toasted ciabatta with the garlic, drizzle with a little olive oil and put a piece on top of each steak.
5. In a mixing bowl, toss the salad leaves with lemon juice, a glug of olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper. Divide the salad between the plates and serve.
Salted caramel popcorn pots
Love something sweet? These salted caramel popcorn pots may take some time and attention but trust us when we say they are definitely worth it!
- 400ml double cream
- 200ml milk
- 140g toffee popcorn, plus a little to serve
- 2 gelatine leaves
- 4 tablespoons caramel (tin of carnation will work well)
- ¼- ½ tsp flaky sea salt
1. Pour the cream and milk into a large pan, add the popcorn and bring to a gentle simmer, pushing the popcorn under the liquid and squashing gently on the bottom of the pan. Bubble for 1 minute, then remove from the heat, transfer to a jug and chill for at least 6 hours or preferably overnight.
2. Strain the popcorn cream back into a clean pan and gently reheat, discarding the remaining bits of popcorn. Meanwhile, place the gelatine leaves in cold water to soften for 3-5 minutes. When the popcorn cream is steaming and the gelatine is soft, remove it from the water and squeeze out any excess drops. Place in the hot popcorn cream and stir until dissolved. Set aside to cool a little.
3. Mix the caramel with the sea salt – start with ¼ tablespoon, taste, then add more if you think it needs it. Divide the salted caramel between 2 glasses or pots. Pour the popcorn cream on top and chill for at least 2 hours or overnight.
4. Serve each pot topped with a few pieces of toffee popcorn and dive in!