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Valentine’s treats made with love

18/1/2016

‘I’m not really fussed about Valentine’s Day’ is a line we have heard so many times. What do you do? Play it safe and go over the top with flowers, chocolates and champagne or take it as it is and go down to the pub and watch football? It’s a tough one.

If you leave things to the last minute, your favourite restaurant will be fully booked. However, there is always the kitchen. Not very good at cooking? Me neither, let’s stick together and do our worst.

Food for thought. Simple starter, tasty main and a dessert to die for, all easy to cook and designed for two.

Starter

Baked cheese with herbs. BBC good food website has marked this as an easy recipe, and it tastes delicious.

http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/2074/baked-cheese-with-herbs

For a different taste, rather than using bread to dip, try boiled potatoes – amazing and easy.

Camembert

 

Main

Steak with Mediterranean vegetables.

You can cheat with this and buy your vegetables pre-packed and oven ready from all supermarkets.

If you like to experiment then there’s a range of sauces that will complement your steak and vegetables. If you’re a novice then concentrate on cooking your steak.

How do you like your steak?

  • Blue: Should still be a dark colour, almost purple, and just warm.  It will feel spongy with no resistance.
  • Rare: Dark red in colour with some juice flowing.  It will feel soft and spongy with slight resistance.
  • Medium-rare: A more pink colour with a little pink juice flowing.  It will be a bit soft and spongy and slightly springy.
  • Medium: Pale pink in the middle with hardly any juice flowing. It will feel firm and springy.
  • Well-done: Only a trace of pink colour but not dry.  It will feel spongy and soft and slightly springy.

Recommended cooking times for a 3.5cm thick fillet steak:

  • Blue: About 1½ mins each side
  • Rare: About 2¼ mins each side
  • Medium-rare: About 3¼ mins each side
  • Medium: About 4½ mins each side

Recommended for a 2cm thick sirloin steak:

  • Blue: About 1 min each side
  • Rare: About 1½ mins per side
  • Medium rare: About 2 mins per side
  • Medium: About 2¼ mins per side

For a well-done steak:

  • Well-done: Cook for about 4-5 minutes each side, depending on thickness.

As an alternative, why not try lamb like I did?

Heat 1½ tablespoons of oil in heavy large skillet over medium heat. Add lamb chops to skillet; cook to desired tenderness, about 3 minutes per side for medium-rare.

IMG_1258

 

To finish

Chocolate Sharing Plate – a decadent duo of dark and white chocolate, both solid and melted, served with  strawberries and marshmallow skewers

To dip – fruit and marshmallows.

This is really simple to make (we promise).

Break your chocolate into squares and melt in a bowl over a pan of water, one chocolate at a time.

Skewer your fruit (I’ve chosen strawberries) and marshmallows.

Once your chocolate has melted, you can dip your skewers. Place on a tray in the fridge to set before serving.

If you are feeling adventurous, you can drizzle the opposite colour over the other chocolate to look pretty.

IMG_1281

 

Follow these instructions and you can’t go far wrong. Enjoy.

 

 

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