Cooking for somebody is all the time an act of affection, whatever the date. Nonetheless, it may be enjoyable to have an excuse to dial issues up a notch, simply because, so, leaning right into a Valentine’s Day theme, I’ve nonetheless beet-ing hearts, bittersweet oranges, heady, floral spices, prosecco and decadent chocolateness. Possibly I am an previous romantic, in any case?
Beet-ing hearts salad (pictured high)
Blood orange appears to be like notably dramatic right here, however a daily navel orange can even work simply effective, if that’s all it’s important to hand.
Prep 10 min
Prepare dinner 20 min if utilizing cooked beetroot, 80 min if utilizing uncooked
250g beetroot (ie, 1 massive one or 2 smaller ones), scrubbed clear however pores and skin left on, or 250g shop-bought cooked beetroot
1 small shallot, peeled and lower into 1mm-thick rounds (20g)
1 blood orange (or common orange), zest finely grated, to get 1 tsp
½ tsp fennel seeds, finely crushed in a mortar
1 tsp maple syrup
20ml olive oil
1¾ tsp red-wine vinegar
Tremendous sea salt
60g radicchio, leaves picked and roughly torn into three items
In case you’re working with uncooked beetroot, warmth the oven to 220C (200C fan)/425F/fuel 7. Wrap the beetroot in foil, put it on a lined baking tray and roast for an hour, till it’s simply pierced with the tip of a pointy knife. In case you’re utilizing shop-bought cooked beetroot, skip this step.
In the meantime, in a medium bowl, combine the shallot, orange zest, fennel seeds, maple syrup, a tablespoon of oil, a teaspoon and a half of the vinegar and an eighth of a teaspoon of salt.
High and tail the orange, then, working round its pure curves, lower away the pores and skin and pith. Lower the flesh into eight chunks, eradicating and discarding any pith from the centre as you go.
When the beetroot is cool sufficient to deal with, slide off the pores and skin (put on rubber gloves, so that you don’t stain your arms), then lower the beetroot into eight equal items (or 4 if working with two smaller beetroots). Put aside 60g cooked beetroot, put the remainder in a small bowl with the remaining teaspoon of oil, quarter-teaspoon of vinegar and a pinch of salt, and toss to mix.
Put the reserved beetroot within the small bowl of a meals processor with the ricotta and a quarter-teaspoon of salt and blitz clean, scraping down the perimeters of the bowl as you go.
Simply earlier than serving, combine the torn radicchio leaves via the shallot dressing. Put half the ricotta combination on every of two plates, high with the radicchio combine, beetroot wedges and items of orange, spoon any further shallot dressing excessive and serve.
Seafood in saffron and cascabel chilli broth
Get all of your prep completed upfront, as a result of, as soon as the pan is on the warmth, issues transfer very quick. As ever, use the freshest seafood you may get your arms on, which suggests shopping for it from a fishmonger, when you can.
Prep 15 min
Prepare dinner 20 min
1 dry cascabel chilli, stem and seeds discarded, flesh finely chopped
⅛ tsp smoked paprika
2 tbsp olive oil, plus further to drizzle
70g contemporary fennel (ie, about ¼ massive bulb), 50g finely chopped, the remainder finely sliced (on a mandoline, ideally)
10g contemporary coriander, finely chopped
1½ tsp lemon juice
150ml hen inventory
¼ tsp loosely packed saffron, roughly crushed and steeped in 1 tbsp boiling water
1 shallot, peeled, halved and lower into skinny half-moons (70g)
1 stick celery, trimmed and finely sliced
Tremendous sea salt
2 tsp tomato paste
100ml prosecco (or another dry white wine)
10 mussels, cleaned (500g)
100g sustainably sourced, skin-on white fish fillets (sea bass or comparable), lower into 4cm cubes
12 sustainably sourced king prawns, peeled and deveined (100g)
30g cavolo nero, leaves stripped off and roughly chopped, stems discarded or saved for inventory
2 thick slices sourdough, lower in half
Put the chilli and paprika in a small heatproof bowl. In a small pan, warmth a tablespoon of oil till it’s visibly sizzling, however not smoking, then pour it over the chilli and paprika and go away to chill. Combine within the sliced fennel, coriander and lemon juice, then put aside.
Put the inventory and the saffron and its steeping water in a small saucepan and warmth gently.
Put a medium saucepan for which you’ve got a lid on a medium-high warmth and add the remaining tablespoon of oil. As soon as sizzling, add the diced fennel, shallot, celery and half a teaspoon of salt, and cook dinner, stirring, for a minute, till evenly softened. Add the tomato paste, cook dinner, stirring, for one more minute, then flip up the warmth to excessive and rapidly add the prosecco and mussels, placed on the lid and go away the mussels to steam open; verify after a minute – in the event that they haven’t began to open, cowl once more and go away to cook dinner for 30 seconds extra.
As soon as all of the mussels have opened (discard any that don’t), take off the lid, pour within the sizzling saffron inventory and produce to a boil. Flip down the warmth to medium-low, stir within the fish, prawns, and cavolo nero, go away to cook dinner for a minute, then take off the warmth, cowl the pan and put to 1 aspect whilst you grill the bread.
Put a griddle pan on a excessive warmth and, as soon as sizzling, grill the bread on each side till toasted, then take off the griddle and evenly drizzle oil over each side.
Divide the soup between two massive bowls, high with the fennel combination, tuck a few items of toast into the aspect of every bowl, and serve sizzling.
Espresso chocolate fondant with tahini mascarpone
These will be assembled a day forward, when you like, able to be cooked on the evening. Additionally they maintain nicely within the freezer; if baking from frozen, nonetheless, add 4 and a half minutes to the cooking time.
Prep 30 min
Chill 2 hr
Prepare dinner 15 min
2 tsp tahini
45g caster sugar, plus 1 tsp further
Flaked sea salt
50g unsalted butter
1 tbsp cocoa powder, plus ½ tsp further to serve
50g 70%-cocoa darkish chocolate, finely chopped
1½ tsp prompt espresso powder
25g plain flour
1 tsp sesame seeds, toasted
In a small bowl, whisk the tahini, mascarpone, a teaspoon of sugar and an eighth of a teaspoon of flaked salt, till clean and nicely mixed. Spoon the combo on to a plate lined with greaseproof paper in two roughly 22g mounds, then freeze for a minimum of an hour, or till frozen stable.
As soon as the cream is frozen, begin making the chocolate base. Put the butter in a small heatproof bowl and set it over a small saucepan of barely simmering water. As soon as the butter has melted, liberally brush a few of it over the bottom and sides of two 170ml pudding moulds (or use two moulds from a daily muffin tray, although you’ll have to take nice care when unmoulding them later). Refrigerate the moulds for 2 minutes, till the butter coating units, then mud with the cocoa powder and shake off any extra. Put the chocolate, espresso and an eighth of a teaspoon of salt within the sizzling butter bowl, take the pan off the warmth and go away the chocolate to soften within the residual warmth. As soon as melted, stir with a spatula to make a shiny sauce.
Put the egg and sugar within the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk and beat for 3 minutes on medium velocity, till pale and fluffy. Sift the flour into the egg combine, then pour within the chocolate combination and whisk once more, this time on low velocity and scraping down the perimeters of the bowl as you go, till every thing is nicely mixed. Spoon 50g of the combination into every pudding mould, to fill them by about half, then lay a chunk of the frozen mascarpone cream smallest aspect down on high. Divide the remaining chocolate combination between the moulds and refrigerate for a minimum of an hour.
In the meantime, evenly crush the sesame seeds in a mortar, then combine with a quarter-teaspoon of salt.
To bake the fondants, warmth the oven to 220C (200C fan)/425F/fuel 7. Put the moulds on a baking tray, bake for 10 minutes, then take away and go away to relaxation for 3 minutes. Utilizing a kitchen fabric, rigorously invert the fondants on to 2 small plates, mud with the additional cocoa powder, sprinkle the sesame salt on high and serve heat.