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The Perfect Valentine's Day Menu

Forget trying to book a table in a busy restaurant - why not spend Valentine’s Day at home instead? Take some time out of normal life to cook a delicious feast together, then enjoy it (along with a few glasses of wine) in a relaxed setting. What could be more romantic?

This Valentine’s Day menu is really simple to prepare, even if you’ve left things to the last minute. All the dishes are quick to make and pack in plenty of decadent flavours, making it the ideal menu for sharing with your other half.

Valentine’s Day Starter

Seared scallops with lemon herb butter

Scallops always feel like a treat when you cook them at home, so they’re the perfect way to start a romantic Valentine’s day menu. They only take a couple of minutes to cook, so you can spend plenty of quality time with your date rather than slaving away in the kitchen.

Start by removing the roe from your scallops. Heat up a heavy-bottom frying pan with a little olive oil, and sear the scallops for approximately 1-2 minutes per side, or until they’re golden brown. Remove from the pan, cover with foil and set aside.

In the same pan, add 2 tablespoons of butter, 1 minced garlic glove, the juice of half a lemon and a small handful of finely chopped parsley. Stir until melted, then add the scallops back to the pan and toss to cover in the butter sauce. Serve on a bed of salad leaves.

Valentine’s Day Main Course

Sirloin steak with potato wedges, creamed spinach and peppercorn steak

It wouldn’t be Valentine’s Day without a good steak, would it? Make sure to choose a good quality steak from your local butcher, and you can’t go wrong. Sirloin is our favourite cut, but fillet or ribeye would also work perfectly for this dish.

The potato wedges will take approximately 45 minutes to get nice and crispy, so you may want to pop them in the oven before you have your starter. Cut your potatoes into small wedges, then par-boil them for approximately 5-7 minutes. Drain and toss with olive oil, chilli flakes, salt and pepper, then spread on a baking tray and cook for 45 minutes (turning occasionally).

For the peppercorn sauce, melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a saucepan over a medium heat. Add 2 tablespoons of crushed peppercorns and 1 finely chopped shallot, and sauté for a few minutes. Add 50ml of brandy and cook off, followed by 100ml of beef stock. When the sauce has reduced by about half, add 60ml of double cream and continue cooking until it reaches your desired thickness. Set aside and reheat once you’re ready to serve the steaks.

For the creamed spinach, heat 1 tablespoon of butter in a pan and add 200g spinach. Cook for around 5 minutes, or until the water from the wilted spinach has evaporated. Add 75ml of double cream, 3 tablespoons of grated parmesan and a pinch of freshly grated nutmeg.

Finally, for the steaks, make sure they are at room temperature before cooking. Heat a frying pan or griddle pan over a high heat, until smoking hot. Drizzle a little olive oil, salt and pepper on the steaks, then add them to the pan. Sear for approximately 2 minutes on each side (for medium-rare steaks), then remove from the pan and cover with foil. Allow to rest for a few minutes, then serve with the rest of the accompaniments.

Valentine’s Day Dessert

Chocolate molten lava cakes

Don’t forget to round off your Valentine’s Day menu with a decadent chocolate dessert. These molten lava cakes are really easy to make and are so delicious, thanks to their gooey, melting chocolatey centre. They can be made in advance and popped in the oven once you’re ready to eat - simple!

Start by melting 100g dark chocolate and 100g butter together until smooth, then set aside to cool slightly. To the mixture, add 150g light soft brown sugar, 3 eggs and a dash of vanilla extract. Combine the ingredients, then add 50g plain flour and mix well.

Pour the mixture into lightly greased pudding basins or ramekins. Once ready to serve, preheat your oven to 200C and bake for 10-12 minutes. Serve immediately with cream and fresh strawberries.

What will you be making for your loved one this Valentine’s Day?

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