Friday February 3rd, 2012 Category: Expert tips
Cooking a meal on Valentine’s Day is one of the best occasions to cook. Every restaurant is full with couples doing exactly the same as you – celebrating a romantic occasion so why not make it even more special and romantic by celebrating in the privacy of your own place.
Bringing everything together
You’ve been given all the hints on how to prepare for such an occasion – now is the chance to pull it all together. Set the table, get the lighting and the music right. A single red rose at your lady’s place setting together with any other small gift you may have chosen.
Food for a Valentine’s Day meal is about being seductive but light, nothing too heavy that makes you want to snooze with a full tum after the meal is over. Champagne is a must this time (not Cava) but again, you don’t have to blow the budget. Many supermarkets do their own house brand of Champagne that is very acceptable, some more than one or two of the big names. Tesco’s Vintage champagne is very acceptable and actually tastes nicer than some of the cheaper bottles of Moet.
Of course, there has to be chocolate
Chocolate has to be in there as well – there are some great recipes around for chocolate mousse served with raspberries and a sprig of mint and a touch of sauce such as mango or apricot is delicious and again not too heavy and sickly.
Sexy finger food for starters
For a starter why not try asparagus dipped in hollandaise sauce? Serve this in serving dishes where you can pick pieces of asparagus and share a pot of hollandaise sauce between you – finger food, very sexy… The hollandaise sauce should be of good quality bought from a delicatessen which keeps it in a fridge. Don’t buy the stuff off the supermarket shelf as this has been pasteurised and doesn’t taste as it should. If you are feeling really adventurous try Delia Smith’s recipe for foaming hollandaise, this is a fantastic recipe and is really easy to prepare if you have a food blender.
Light and delicate
As to the main course again, keep it light and delicate. Salmon fillets that have been poached in water with a generous dollop of white wine, remove the salmon from the pan, keep some of the juice and add some king prawns and a splash of double cream. Another alternative would be chicken, poached in white wine with mushrooms and thyme, remove the chicken, reduce the juice and then add some cream. Recipes giving quantities and other suggestions for this type of dish are in abundance either on the internet or in books.
Serve the main course with just a few new potatoes and a green salad.
To finish off go for some good quality coffee and a glass of brandy or liquor.
Saturday or Sunday?
If Valentine’s Day falls on a Saturday or Sunday (not this year but worth bearing in mind – or why not just do it as a surprise anyway?!) then brunch is the perfect meal to celebrate. Champagne or Cava topped up with Cranberry/Orange/Pink Grapefruit juice. Smoked salmon, scrambled eggs and bagels, Eggs Benedict or Kedgeree are all good so take your pick. Loads of Danish pastries and croissants, the odd Bloody Mary thrown in for good luck and finished off with lashings of good quality coffee – relax and enjoy the rest of the day…