Valentine’s day has come around again for another year and you’ve decided to cook a meal for you and your loved one yourself. Whether you’re a keen chef, or you just want to save a bit of money on what can be a pretty expensive day, we have put together a collection of the best recipes, to tantalise your taste buds and impress your partner.
Why not take a look at these tasty meals for a bit of inspiration?
Roasted shrimp pepper with creamy rice
This dish offers a mouthful of flavour that will truly have you coming back for more. Preheat the oven and then add a tablespoon of oil to a pan on medium heat. Add one chopped onion, till caramelised then add diced garlic. One minute later, add a cup of rice and three quarters of a cup of dry white wine. Cook until the wine has been absorbed. Add two cups of water and a dash of salt and pepper to the pan, then reduce the heat and add the lid. Leave until the water has absorbed.
Whilst all that is simmering away, cook 1lb of shrimp on a baking tray with red peppers, tomatoes, oil and salt and pepper. Roast for around 10 minutes until the shrimp is cooked through and then serve on top on top of the rice – voila!
Slow cooker red wine beef stew
Easy, yet impressive. Throw 1/2lb of beef cut up into 2” into a bowl and add a generous amount of salt and pepper. Cook the meat in a pan filled with olive oil until it has a brown crust then put the meat in the slow cooker. Add butter to the pan and scrape the bits of meat that are left on the bottom in – this adds to the flavor - and then add half a bottle of dry red wine and 3 tablespoons of tomato paste. Simmer for one min then add to the slow cooker. Add 2 chopped potatoes, 3 sliced carrots, 3 diced celery sticks, 2 chopped onions, a handful of chopped sun dried tomatoes, 4 minced garlic cloves, and 1 large rosemary sprig to the slow cooker. Cook for 7 to 8 hours, while you relax and pamper yourself and remove the rosemary before serving.
Coconut and basil steamed mussels
Seafood can be a lovely treat on Valentine’s day and this dish is no exception. Add oil to your pan on medium heat, throw in a quarter of a cup of minced shallots and two teaspoons of garlic. Stir for two minutes then add one cup of light coconut milk, 2/3 cup of water, 1/3 cup of chicken broth, ¼ cup basil, 1tbs fresh lime juice, 1 tsp dark brown sugar and fish sauce and ½ a tea spoon of sirracha - then let it boil. Once that’s done, simply simply add mussels to the pan for 5 mins, and throw away any unopened shells. Remove the mussels onto a plate then let the sauce simmer for a further minute, before drizzling it over the bowl.
This can be served with rice if you like, or simply on its own.
French apple tart
Valentine’s day is often the time to push the boat out dessert-wise, but playing it safe with an old favourite is always a better choice (we think!) This three-step recipe may take a while but we promise it’s worth it.
Step 1. Add 1 ¼ cups flour, 1tbsp sugar, ¼tsp salt, 120g cold butter, and 2tbsp of ice water into the food processor and mix together. Then slowly add one egg yolk until it resembles a dough. Roll the dough out and place it into the round baking pan, cover it in film and place in the freezer for 10 minutes.
Step 2. Add 3 apples cut into chunks, 2tbsp of sugar, ¼ cup apple juice, ¼ cup of water and a pinch of cinnamon along with a zest of one lemon to a pan and let boil for 10 mins. Then mash the apples with a fork and allow to cool. Spread a single layer of compote to the dough and freeze.
Step 3. Peel and core two gala apples and slice them very thinly. Place in a bowl and cover with lemon juice. Remove the tart from the freezer and put it in the baking tray- you could a tart tray or the muffins tray to arrange the apple slices on top to look like the picture above. Sprinkle ½ tsp sugar on the top.
Bake at 200c for 15 mins then reduce the heat to 175c and cook for a further 20 mins.
Set the scene
Once you’ve picked the right recipe for you and your partner, it’s time to think about setting the right atmosphere in the dining room too. A well laid dining space can be a feast for the eyes as much as the food, and this can be achieved by choosing great music and wonderful dining furniture and accessories. There’s something so inviting about a shabby chic table, so why look at reclaimed wood dining tables or sideboards to add some great style to your dining space. When it comes to the walls, well placed contemporary artwork or maybe even a large wall clock makes for a great talking point if the conversation runs dry – not that we think it will. You could even consider using whimsical fairy lights to set the scene around the room, offering romantic light to complement your delicious food and great company.
Whether you choose some or all of the recipes and décor tips above, or plump for something completely different, we wish you a wonderful Valentine’s Day from all at Modish!