You know what they say, the best way to a man or woman’s heart is through their stomach!
This year we can forget about extortionate restaurant prices and contrived atmosphere, staying in is definitely the new going out this Valentine’s – by necessity. To prove it, we have a wonderfully extravagant three-course meal that’s guaranteed to impress your partner. Set the ambience with scented candles and flowers before settling into a night of just the two of you.
Fresh rock oysters with parmesan cheese
Famed as an aphrodisiac, oysters have long been synonymous with romance and lovers. Rock oysters unlike their native cousins are cultivated and are available all year round. Whether or not they refresh the parts other foods can’t reach is open to question, but being rich in amino acids they a really healthy option. So why not push the boat out and try this sublimely simple Valentine’s starter as an introduction to the Ostreidae family of bivalves.
- 6 Fresh Rock Oysters
For the sauce
- 25g butter
- 25g flour
- 3 tbsp Oyster Bay Sauvignon Blanc
- 50g Parmesan cheese, grated
- 150ml double cream
Pinch ground black pepper
- 50g fresh breadcrumbs
- 1 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
- 25g Parmesan cheese, grated
- Lemon slices
- Wash oysters and with a sharp knife scrape flesh into a small bowl. Scrub empty shells and dry.
- Melt butter and stir in flour, cook for a few minutes.
- Add cream, wine, Parmesan cheese and pepper and continue stirring until sauce is smooth, leave to one side.
- Poach oysters for 30 seconds in boiling water, drain.
- Replace oysters into their shells and place on a baking tray*, cover oysters with sauce and breadcrumbs, sprinkle with grated Parmesan cheese and grill 4-5 minutes, until piping hot and golden brown.
- Serve with lemon slices.
* the tops of the shells can be used to balance the oyster shells, which will help prevent spillages.
Valentine chicken en croute with mango & pineapple sauce
Chicken en croute may not on the face of it seem like a romantic dish. However, we were willing to take a punt and were pleasantly surprised by the richness of this dish. It is light and won’t leave you feeling stodgy. And, while it requires quite a bit of prep work, the end result is really rather special.
- 2 Corn-fed chicken fillets, skins removed
- 75g Mixed mushrooms
- 375g fresh puff pastry, ready rolled
- 100g asparagus tips
- 50g butter
- 1 egg, beaten
- White Wine Sauce
- 25g butter
- 25g flour
- 150ml Oyster Bay Sauvignon Blanc
- 150ml double cream, warmed
For the Mango & Pineapple sauce
- 150g mango, chopped
- 150g pineapple, chopped
- 100ml double cream
- 100ml chicken stock
- 1 greased baking tray
Pre-heat oven 190ºC 375ºF or Gas 5
- Melt butter, add chicken fillets and fry gently for 5 minutes each side, place to one side to cool.
- Fry mushrooms for 2 minutes, drain and put with chicken fillets.
- Melt butter for white wine sauce and stir in flour, cook for 2 minutes, add wine and cream and continue stirring until a smooth thick sauce is achieved, then place to one side to cool.
- Blend mango and pineapple until smooth, place in pan, add chicken stock, simmer until reduced by half then add cream, leave to one side to cool.
- On a floured surface unfold pastry, cut in half length ways, place chicken fillets at bottom of each length of pastry, and arrange white wine sauce, mushrooms and asparagus.
- Brush pastry around fillets with beaten egg; fold pastry over to cover the fillets.
- Cut around the fillets in a heart shape and crimp edges of pastry.
- Place on baking tray, brush with remaining beaten egg and bake for 25- 30 minutes until golden brown.
- Arrange heart shape en croute on a large plate and pour the cooled mango sauce around the edge and serve.
Panna cotta dessert
Another light bite that will top off your Valentine’s dinner in style. This panna cotta dessert is simplicity itself and a heavenly way to conclude your meal.
- 284ml whipping cream
- 30g castor sugar
- 1/2 vanilla pod
- 1 tbsp Morrisons Dark Rum
- 6g powdered Gelatine
rasperries or rasperry coulis
2 greased ramekins or individual moulds
- Dissolve gelatine according to instructions on pack.
- Place cream, sugar, rum and vanilla pod in a pan, stir and bring to the boil and remove from heat. Remove vanilla pod, scrape out seeds and return seeds to the pan, stir in gelatine, pour into ramekins and refrigerate until set.
- Decant your panna cotta by immersing base of ramekins in bowl of hot water and loosening sides with a knife.
Place panna cotta on a plate and top with fresh raspberries and coulis.Last modified: March 2, 2021