Valentine’s Day is a great reason to take time out of our hectic schedules and cherish those special people in our lives. So, this V-day we have put together a hearty three course meal that your significant other will simply fall for.
Lemon prawn bruschettas
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 10 minutes
4 slices from a baguette, sliced on an angle
1 tsp olive oil
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 large red chilli, deseeded and sliced
200g raw king prawns, butterflied
Juice of 1 lemon
Small bunch coriander leaves, chopped
2 large handfuls of rocket
Toast the bread and keep it warm. Heat the oil in a wok, cooking the garlic and chilli until sizzling. Turn the heat up, add the prawns and cook until pink. Remove from the heat, then add the lemon juice and coriander. Pile the prawns on the toast, garnish with rocket and serve.
Maple roasted chicken
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 75 minutes
2 tbsp olive oil
2 large chicken legs, sprinkled with a few pinches of salt
2 carrots, peeled and cut into quarters
1 large potato, peeled and cut into cubes
1 small onion, sliced
6 cloves garlic, unpeeled
1 tsp sea salt
2 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
Preheat oven to 200°C and have a small casserole dish ready. In a large frying pan over medium heat, heat one tablespoon of oil. Once hot, add the chicken legs, skin side down, and brown for 5 minutes. Flip over and brown the other side for another 5 minutes. Meanwhile, add the carrots, potatoes, onion, and garlic to a large bowl and toss with the remaining olive oil and sea salt. Spread the vegetables into the bottom of the prepared pan. Once the chicken has finished browning, place chicken on top of the vegetables, skin side up. Brush evenly with maple syrup and sprinkle with thyme. Bake for 45 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 75°C.
Butternut squash massaman curry
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 25 minutes
2 tbsp coconut oil
3 tsp massaman curry paste
100g coconut cream
500g butternut squash, peeled, deseeded and cut into 4cm cubes
300ml vegetable stock or water
2 tsp soy or fish sauce
50g sugar snap peas, roughly chopped
1 tbsp palm or soft light brown sugar
20g almonds, roasted and roughly crushed
Bunch fresh coriander, leaves roughly chopped
Roast the almonds in the oven for 5 minutes then cool and roughly chop. Add the curry paste and some coconut cream, palm sugar and soy sauce. Add stock, then add the butternut squash and sugar snap peas. Simmer for 20 minutes, until the squash is tender, then garnish with the almonds and coriander, and serve with rice.
Prep time: 30 minutes
250g digestive biscuits
100g butter, melted
1 vanilla pod
600g cream cheese
100g icing sugar
284ml pot of double cream
For the topping
400g punnet of strawberries, halved
To make the base, butter and line a 23cm loose-bottomed tin with baking parchment. Put the digestive biscuits in a plastic food bag and crush to crumbs using a rolling pin. Transfer the crumbs to a bowl, then pour over the melted butter. Mix thoroughly until the crumbs are coated. Place the crumbs into the prepared tin and press firmly down into the base to create an even layer. Chill in the fridge for one hour until set.
- Slice the vanilla pod in half lengthways, leaving the tip intact, so that the two halves are still joined. Holding onto the tip of the pod, scrape out the seeds.
- Place the cream cheese, icing sugar and the vanilla seeds in a bowl, then beat with an electric mixer until smooth. Tip in the double cream and continue beating until the mixture is combined. Now spoon the cream mixture onto the biscuit base, starting from the edges and working inwards, making sure that there are no air bubbles. Smooth the top of the cheesecake down with the back of a dessert spoon or spatula. Leave to set in the fridge overnight.
- Bring the cheesecake to room temperature about 30 minutes before serving. To remove it from the tin, place the base on top of a can, then gradually pull the sides of the tin down. Slip the cake onto a serving plate, removing the lining paper and base. Puree half the strawberries in a blender with the icing sugar and 1 tsp water, then sieve. Pile the remaining strawberries onto the cake and pour the puree over the top.
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