A delicious Valentine’s Day feast (for all the family!)


Whilst this year may be tricky to have a dinner à deux, we don’t think Valentine’s Day should go uncelebrated. The wonderful Anna from @annasfamilykitchen, has created a ‘romantic’ and decadent feast that all the family will enjoy. 


Asian Oven Baked Scallops

Valentine’s Day, date night or dinner party worthy (remember the days of dinner with friends?!) I love this simple scallop recipe which requires just 5 minutes prep and then 5 minutes in the oven. If you can’t source scallops in the shell, simply stack the ingredients in little piles on a baking tray lined with baking parchment, or you could pan fry the scallops for a minute on each side and then add all the remaining ingredients to the pan for 1-2 minutes. You can eat the roe or trim it off – your choice – here I’ve gone with 50/50.

INGREDIENTS for 2:-

6 King Scallops
30g fresh rice noodles
20g samphire or fine asparagus tips
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp sesame oil
Juice of half a lime
1 tsp honey
½ tsp grated garlic
½ tsp grated ginger
¼ red chilli finely chopped
1 spring onion cut into shreds

Wash the scallops under cold water and pat them dry.

Add 2 tsp rice noodles to each scallop shell or ramekin then top with a few pieces of samphire (or an asparagus tip) and a scallop.

Mix together all the remaining ingredients apart from the spring onions in a bowl and drizzle a tsp of the dressing over each scallop.

Put in the oven at 200 (180 fan) for 5 minutes. Finish by topping with the spring onion shreds.


Cote de Boeuf 

Whether you’re cooking for 2 or the whole family, this cut of beef is the ultimate treat. A one rib Cote de Boeuf will generously serve 2 and takes just 30 minutes. Or if you’re eating with the family a 2-3 rib joint will feed 4-8 and works brilliantly served with Yorkshires and roasties for an extra special Sunday lunch.

If you’re planning on the intimate dinner option, make your life easy and serve the beef with roasted asparagus and tomatoes on the vine, both of which can be added to the same pan as the beef. This combination works brilliantly with fresh Salsa Verde for which all the ingredients are quickly whizzed in a blender. Any leftover sauce can be kept in a jam jar in the fridge for 4-5 days. It’ll dress up roasted vegetables but works well with chicken or lamb too.

INGREDIENTS:-

Either a 1 rib Cote de Boeuf weighing 700g or a 2-3 rib weighing 2kg

For the roasting 2-3 rib joint:-
1 garlic clove
Sprigs of rosemary
1 tbsp olive oil
Salt and pepper
1 onion cut into three disks

For the 1 rib joint:-
200g cherry tomatoes on the vine
200g asparagus
Salt and Pepper
1 tbsp olive oil

For the Salsa Verde:
1 garlic clove
30g Parsley
15 mint leaves
15 basil leaves
1 1/2 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 1/2 tbsp anchovy fillets
3 tbsp olive oil
Juice of a lemon

METHOD:-

Ideally get your beef out of the fridge and let it breath, free from plastic, for 30 minutes before you start. Preheat your oven.

Season the beef all over and pat it with olive oil.

For the 1 rib joint:-

Get an ovenproof pan or roasting tray on a high heat and sear the beef all over for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile whizz together all the Salsa Verde ingredients together in a blender or bullet.

Put the tray or pan into the oven at 200 degrees (180 fan) and roast for 15 minutes.

For the final 5 minutes add the asparagus to the pan – give the pan a shake so the asparagus is coated in the beef juices. Top with the cherry tomatoes, a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Return to the oven.

Rest the beef for 5-10 minutes and serve with the Salsa Verde.

For the roasting 2-3 rib joint:-

Bash the garlic and rosemary together with the olive oil, some salt and pepper in a pestle and mortar and rub all over the Cote de Boeuf.

Colour the beef all over in a hot roasting tray.

Lay the onions underneath the beef joint.

Roast at 220 degrees conventional (200 fan) for 30 mins then reduce the oven to 190 degrees (170 fan) and roast for 30 mins per kilo for medium rare meat that will be coloured on the outside. For medium meat roast for 35 minutes per kilo.


Asian Pulled Pork

This has to be one of my most popular family sharing platters. I’ve taken the idea of Asian shredded duck and put my twist on it, here using a free-range pork shoulder (a beautiful and cheap cut of meat). The meat is seared, submerged in an Asian broth and left in the oven for hours. The result is meat so tender, it shreds with the touch of a fork. Load into Asian pancakes, tortilla wraps or serve with rice.

INGREDIENTS:-  for 4-6

Asian stock⠀
1 litre good stock⠀
6 star anise⠀
1 cinnamon stick⠀
1 tsp Sichuan Pepper corns⠀
10cm piece ginger chopped⠀
3 garlic cloves chopped⠀
1 chilli chopped⠀
3tbsp brown sugar⠀
75ml soy sauce⠀
75ml mirin or rice wine⠀
1 clementine halved or 1/2 small orange⠀

2kg pork shoulder⠀
1 tsp Five Spice⠀
Salt and pepper⠀

1/2 cucumber cut into batons⠀
1 little gem lettuce shredded⠀
1 chilli sliced⠀
Bunch spring onions shredded⠀

METHOD:-⠀

Combine the stock ingredients and simmer for 30 minutes or longer if you have time or are making the stock ahead.

Season the pork and sprinkle over the Five Spice. Sear in a hot pan to colour.⠀

Submerge the pork in the Asian stock and place in a slow cooker or low oven (130 degrees) for 6-8 hours. Or it can be left in a slow cooker overnight or all day.

Lift the pork out onto a warm plate – careful as it will be falling apart. Strain the stock into a separating jug. Pour the juices minus the fat back into the pan and reduce on the hob so the sauce thickens.

Gently shred the pork with two forks and serve with the pancakes, cucumber, onions and pancakes.


Gooey Chocolate Cups with Salted Caramel Sauce 

A hug in a cup! Admittedly these are rather decadent but they’ll be sure to put a smile on your face! This is a great recipe to outsource to the children – they’ll love making them and they’re gluten free!

INGREDIENTS:- makes 4
4 eggs separated
120g unsalted butter
4 tbsp caster sugar
250g 70% cocoa dark chocolate
1 tsp vanilla extract
½ tsp salt

For the Salted Caramel Sauce:-
140g light brown sugar
2 tbsp golden syrup
50g butter
300ml double cream
½ tsp salt
Whipped cream or ice cream to serve

METHOD:-

For the salted caramel, in a pan heat the butter, brown sugar and golden syrup. Stir until everything has melted.

Once the mixture starts to bubble, add the double cream and simmer for 2 minutes.

Stir in the salt and allow to cool slightly.

For the chocolate cups, grease 4 large ramekins or oven proof mugs.

Whisk your egg whites until they form stiff peaks. Start adding the caster sugar 1 tbsp at a time counting to 20 in between until you have a glossy meringue mix. Set aside.

Melt the chocolate and butter in a bowl above a pan of simmering water (Bain Marie). Once the butter and chocolate are melted stir in the remaining 2 tbsp caster sugar.

Now stir in the egg yolks and salt.

Gently fold in the meringue mixture.

Spoon the chocolate mixture into the cups or ramekins and bake for 25-30 minutes in an oven at 180 degrees.

The pots should be gooey in the middle and like cake on the outside.

Add a dollop of whipped cream or ice-cream and drizzle over some salted caramel.


Lemon Meringue Kisses

If you make a batch of these bitesize meringue rosettes they will keep in an airtight container for a few days. Here I’ve sandwiched them together using a lemon cream to form Meringue Kisses – perfect for Valentines Day. Or simply enjoy them with your family! You could add a dash of natural red food colouring gel to the meringue mixture if you wish.

Makes 20:-

For the lemon cream filling:
100ml double cream
1 tbsp caster sugar
4 tbsp lemon curd
2 tsp icing sugar

Whip the cream until it holds stiff peaks.

Whisk in the caster sugar then fold in the lemon curd.

For the Meringues:
2 eggs whites
125g caster sugar

METHOD:-

Put the egg whites into a large clean mixing bowl and whisk until the meringue holds soft peaks.

Add the caster sugar 1 tbsp at a time counting to 10 in between until the meringue looks glossy and still holds stiff peaks.

Line a baking tray with parchment paper.

Spoon the meringue mixture into a piping bag and pipe 40 x 1 inch rosettes.

Put in a 120 degree oven for 1 hour. Cool before removing from the parchment paper.

Scoop a tsp of lemon cream onto one meringue rosette and sandwich another rosette to it.

Finish with a dusting of icing sugar.


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