Gorgeous Valentines Day Recipes
Bring some romance to the 14th February with a decadent meal to share with your loved one. From pretty pink bakes to meaty mains and luxuriously rich and creamy desserts, spoil yourselves with one of these special dishes.
Prawns and red peppers with saffron mayo
4 slices ciabatta
4 tsp olive oil
1 garlic clove, halved
90g pack cooked stir-fry king prawns
100g roasted red peppers, drained and sliced into thin strips
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp finely chopped parsley leaves
pinch of saffron (4-5 threads)
- Heat a griddle pan over a high heat. Brush both sides of the ciabatta slices with 1 tsp of the olive oil and toast in the pan, turning, until golden. Rub one side of each slice with the cut side of the garlic clove.
- In a bowl, mix the prawns with the peppers, lemon juice, parsley leaves, the remaining olive oil and some seasoning.
- Put the saffron in a small, heatproof bowl and pour over 1 tbsp boiling water. Stir, then leave to infuse for 2 mins, stirring often. Add the mayonnaise and mix well.
- Serve the prawns and peppers with a spoonful of saffron mayonnaise and 2 slices of toasted ciabatta each.
Scallops with brown butter, capers and tarragon
6 fresh whole scallops (about 150g, from the fish counter), or 6 frozen scallops, defrosted thoroughly
½ tsp olive oil
20g soft butter
1 tbsp chopped fresh tarragon
1 tbsp capers
lemon wedges, to serve
- If using fresh scallops, trim the small white muscle off the scallops, leaving the orange coral intact. If using defrosted frozen scallops, simply pat dry thoroughly with kitchen paper. Rub the scallops with the oil and a pinch of salt.
- Heat a nonstick frying pan until hot, sear the scallops for 2 mins each side (or 2½ mins if using defrosted frozen scallops), then remove from the pan. Take the pan off the heat, add the butter, tarragon and capers, and swirl until the butter is a light golden brown.
- Divide the watercress between 2 plates and top with the scallops. Pour over the butter sauce and serve with the lemon wedges.
Braised duck legs with sticky shallots
1 tbsp olive oil, plus 1 tsp
2 duck legs
½ onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, 1½ crushed
75ml red wine
300ml chicken stock
1 orange, zested and ½ juiced
1 tbsp tomato puree
1 bay leaf
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
6 Tesco Finest echalion shallots, peeled and trimmed
1 tbsp finely chopped parsley leaves
- Heat the 1 tsp oil in a lidded nonstick pan over a medium-high heat. Season the duck and fry for 3-4 mins each side. Remove and set aside.
- Drain all but 1 tsp of fat from the pan. Add the onion and cook for 3-4 mins until golden. Add the crushed garlic, wait 10 secs, then stir in the wine, stock, orange juice, tomato purée and bay leaf. Season and bring to the boil.
- Return the duck legs to the pan, skin side up, cover and cook on a low heat for 1 hr until cooked through.
- Meanwhile, cook the shallots. Melt 20g of the butter in a small lidded pan over a low heat. Whisk in 1 tbsp olive oil, the vinegar and 5 tbsp water; season. Stir in the shallots, cover and cook for 30-35 mins until tender, stirring often. Uncover for the last 10 mins.
- Preheat the grill to high. Lift the duck from the pan, put on a rack and grill for 2-3 mins until crisp.
- Meanwhile, bring the sauce to the boil, then add 10g butter and cook, stirring often, for 8 mins or until reduced by just over half.
- Finely chop the remaining garlic and mix with the orange zest and parsley. Spoon the sauce over the duck and top with the parsley mix. Serve with the sticky shallots.
Pork fillet with mushroom sauce and lemon potatoes
250g Charlotte potatoes, sliced into 0.5cm slices
½ lemon, zested and juiced
olive oil, to drizzle
400g pork fillet, trimmed of any sinew and cut into 6 x 2cm slices
½ tsp smoked paprika
4 shallots, sliced
100g forestière or chestnut mushrooms, thinly sliced
1 garlic clove, peeled and finely sliced
75ml dry white wine
50ml half-fat crème fraîche
2 handfuls watercress, to serve
- Preheat the grill to the highest setting. In a medium saucepan of salted water, bring the potatoes to the boil and then simmer for 8 mins, until tender. Drain the cooked potatoes and mix with the lemon zest, some seasoning and a drizzle of olive oil. Then line a baking tray with foil, spread out the potatoes and grill for 6-7 mins. Turn the potatoes then grill for another 6-7 mins.
- Meanwhile, coat the pork slices in the paprika and lightly season. Heat a large frying pan and add the butter. Once it has stopped sizzling, add the pork and cook for 2 mins each side, then transfer to a plate. Add the shallots, mushrooms and garlic to the pan and cook for 5 mins stirring occasionally. Add the wine and crème fraîche, then return the pork to the pan and bring to a simmer. Cook for 2-3 mins.
- To serve, divide the potatoes between the plates with the pork and the sauce and garnish with the watercress.
Crayfish and wild mushroom linguine
1 tsp olive oil
1 large garlic clove, sliced
2 x 100g packs wild mushrooms, torn into large pieces
50ml dry white wine or fish stock
50ml double cream
120g pack cooked crayfish tails
1 lemon, half juiced, half cut into wedges to serve
- In a large pan of boiling water, cook the pasta according to pack instructions.
- Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large frying pan, then add the garlic and cook for 1 min. Add the mushrooms to the pan and stir-fry for 2 mins.
- Pour in the white wine or fish stock and leave to bubble for 1 min. Pour in the cream and cook for 2 mins. Add the crayfish and lemon juice then season. Snip over most of the chives, reserving a few to garnish.
- Drain the pasta and add to the sauce in the frying pan; continue to stir over a low heat for a minute to combine the flavours.
- Serve garnished with the rest of the chives and lemon wedges.
Jimmy’s ‘steak for two’
2 sirloin steaks
2 thyme sprigs, leaves picked
½ tbsp olive oil
For the dauphinoise
300g Maris Piper potatoes, peeled and very finely sliced
100ml double cream
100ml semi-skimmed milk
1 garlic clove, grated
2 thyme sprigs, leaves picked
or the salad
2 large handfuls watercress
2 tbsp Tesco Finest French dressing
- Preheat the oven to gas 4, 180°C, fan 160°C. To make the dauphinoise, layer the potatoes in a roasting dish, seasoning every other layer.
- In a jug, mix the cream, milk, garlic and thyme leaves. Season, then pour over the potatoes. Grate a thin layer of Parmesan over the top then cover with foil and bake for 1 hr. Remove the foil and cook for a further 15 mins, until browned on top.
- Meanwhile, rest the steaks at room temperature for 10-20 mins.
- Heat a griddle pan over a high heat. Season the steaks on both sides, sprinkle with the thyme, then rub the oil over the steaks to cover. When the pan is hot, add the steaks. For rare steaks, fry for 2 mins on each side; for medium, fry for 3 mins on each side; for well done, fry for 4 mins on each side. When cooked to your liking, remove from the pan and leave to rest for at least 5 mins.
- Mix the watercress in a bowl with the dressing. Serve with the dauphinoise and steak.
Creamy chocolate mousse
85g dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids)
100ml whole milk
90g full-fat Greek yogurt
1 tbsp maple syrup
40g pomegranate seeds
- Break the chocolate into a heatproof bowl and melt over a small pan of barely simmering water, stirring constantly.
- Dip each of the strawberries into the melted chocolate and put on a plate or baking sheet lined with nonstick baking paper.
- Add the milk to the remaining melted chocolate and stir over the simmering water until combined. Remove from the heat and stir in the yogurt and maple syrup until smooth. Pour into 2 dessert glasses or bowls.
- Put the chocolate mousses and chocolate-covered strawberries in the fridge for at least 2 hours to set. When ready to serve, remove from the fridge and garnish the mousses with the pomegranate seeds and the chocolate-dipped strawberries.
Turkish delight cheesecake
100g oaty rounds biscuits
50g shelled pistachios, chopped, plus extra to decorate
50g butter, melted
225g caster sugar
2 tbsp elderflower and rose (or pomegranate and elderflower) cordial
400g forced pink rhubarb, trimmed and sliced into 5cm pieces
5 sheets leaf gelatine
2 x 280g packs soft cheese
200ml double cream
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
2 tbsp lemon juice
150g bar Turkish delight chocolate bar, chopped
- Preheat the oven to gas 6, 200°C, fan 180°C. Blitz the biscuits in a food processor to a fine sand consistency. Add the pistachios and butter and pulse again. Firmly press into a 20cm springform tin. Bake for 5 mins, then set aside to cool completely.
- Stir 75g sugar and the cordial in a large baking tin. Heat in the oven for 5 mins or until thickened. Add the rhubarb, cover with foil, bake for 15 mins, then set aside to cool completely. Chill, covered, until ready to serve.
- Put the gelatine in a bowl of cold water for 5 mins to soften. Squeeze out the water, put the leaves in a heatproof bowl, cover with 1 tbsp boiling water and stir to dissolve.
- Using a hand mixer, beat the soft cheese until smooth. Pour in the cream, vanilla, remaining sugar, liquid gelatine and the lemon juice. Beat for 1 min, then fold in the Turkish delight. Pour onto the biscuit base, cover with cling film and chill for at least 5 hrs.
- Top with the rhubarb and sprinkle with the extra pistachios to serve.
Grapefruit possets with pistachio shortbread
100ml double cream
2 tbsp golden caster sugar
½ grapefruit, zested and juiced
1/2 tbsp lemon juice
pink food colouring
For the shortbread
30g white chocolate
2 shortbread bites
1 tbsp shelled pistachios, finely chopped
- Put the cream and sugar in a medium pan and gently heat until the sugar has dissolved. Increase the heat and bring to the boil. Boil briskly for 2 minutes, stirring constantly, until the mixture has thickened and turned a pale yellow.
- Remove from the heat and stir in the grapefruit juice and most of the zest, the lemon juice and enough food colouring to turn the mixture a pale pink. Divide between 2 small pots or glasses and top with the remaining zest. Chill for 2 hours, or until set.
- For the pistachio shortbread (if making), gently melt the white chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of shallow, simmering water. Dip one half of each shortbread in the chocolate, then sprinkle over the pistachios. Transfer to a wire rack and leave to set. Serve the possets with the pistachio shortbreads, if you like.
Pretty pink doughnuts
225g icing sugar
pink gel food colour
10 ring doughnuts
heart-shaped sprinkles, dried rose petals, pink ‘flower power’ roses, chopped pistachios, fresh raspberry pieces, edible pink crystals and strawberry-flavour shimmer crunch
- Sift the icing sugar into a bowl. Using a wooden spoon, gradually stir in 3-4 tbsp water, so that the mixture thickens and becomes spreadable. Beat until smooth and thick enough to coat the back of the spoon. Transfer half to a separate bowl. Colour the icing by adding a drop or two of food colour to one bowl to make it pale pink and a few more drops to the other bowl to make it a brighter pink colour.
- Put the doughnuts onto a wire rack set over a baking tray. Spread the lighter icing over half of the doughnuts and the brighter icing over the others.
- Once the icing begins to set, scatter the doughnuts with the toppings of your choice, working quickly so you finish before the icing sets fully.
- Leave the icing to set completely, then serve or put in boxes lined with nonstick baking paper to gift. They will keep for 24 hours.