Valentine's Day 2021 is just around the corner and we are sure you’re contemplating on what could be the perfect gift for your loved one. For us, handmade gifts and thoughtful gestures always top the charts. And what could be more thoughtful than pampering your loved one with a delicious and hearty meal?
Check out our top Valentine's Day menu ideas that include recipes that are easy to make and have a restaurant-like feel to them.
1. Tomato Tart in Olive Oil Pastry
Looking for a vegetarian, easy to make dish that is warm and homely? This tomato tart requires minimal ingredients and effort. Don’t forget to pour a glass of wine for your partner as it will complement this dish perfectly.
- olive oil 3 tbsp
- onions 2 large, halved, and finely sliced
- gruyère 100g, grated
- Grana Padano 50g, grated
- garlic 2 cloves, crushed
- Dijon mustard 2 tbsp
- cherry tomatoes 300g, halved
For the pastry:
- plain flour 350g
- olive oil 150ml
- To make the pastry, mix the flour with 1 tsp of salt. Then stir in the olive oil and add just enough water so that it comes together as a dough (you will need around 4-5 tbsp).
- Roll out the pastry between 2 sheets of baking paper to 1.7mm thickness, and then use a 23cm or 24cm tart tin. Trim the edge and just go easy as you're doing the filling.
- Heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a large non-stick pan and add the onions and a pinch of salt. Fry very gently for 20-30 minutes or until soft and golden. Add the garlic and cook for a few more minutes. Cool and blend in the mustard and the cheese.
- Heat the oven at 190C/fan 170C/gas. Bake the tart shell for 20 minutes, then take it out and let it cool.
- Spread the cheesy onions over the base of the pie. Set the tomatoes on top of each other in a single sheet, with the cut-side up, and season.
- Put the tart back in the oven for another 20-25 minutes or until the pastry is crisp and the tomatoes are beautifully golden. Serve warm.
2. Sweetheart Cupcakes
The name says it all, doesn’t it? Bake these delicious cupcakes for your sweetheart and bring a smile to their face. You can even do some baking together because Valentine’s Day is incomplete without something sweet and there could be no better way of celebrating the day.
Below are two simple and easy baking recipes for you.
- 1 (18.25 ounce) package white cake mix
- 3 egg whites
- 8 drops red food coloring
- 2 drops raspberry candy oil
- 1 ¼ cups water
- ⅓ cup vegetable oil
- Make sure the oven is preheated to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Line a regular muffin tin with a paper cupcake lining.
- Beat the cake mixture, water, vegetable oil, and egg whites together at low speed for 30 seconds, then at medium speed for 2 minutes, until smooth.
- To get the best consistency out of your cake batter, try using Acekool Tilt-Head Electric Stand Mixer. This excellent kitchen appliance has a 1400W motor that gives supreme power in mixing cake, dough, and other mixtures smoothly, removing even the last of lumps. With a 7L large bowl, you can bake to your heart’s content in big batches. Plus, a stand mixer just makes your work much easier and faster.
- Fill the cupcake liners 1/3 complete with white dough; set aside.
- Stir the remaining bowl of the batter with 4 drops of red food color to turn the batter pink.
- Stir in the oil of the raspberry. Place 1/3 of the pink batter in a resealable plastic bag and set aside. Mix more food coloring in the remaining pink batter bowl until it is orange/red and empty the batter into a resealable plastic bag.
- Cut the corner of the container, put the open tip in the center of each cup of white batter, and press in around two tablespoons of red batter.
- Cut the corner of the bag with the pink dough, place the open tip in the center of the red dough, and press 1 tablespoon of the pink dough into each cup.
- Bake the layered cupcakes in the preheated oven for 15 to 20 minutes or until the toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Cool completely before frosting.
3. Chocolate Truffle Cookies
One can never go wrong with chocolate cookies. It’s a fail-proof recipe that will leave your partner wanting more.
- 4 (1 ounce) squares unsweetened chocolate, chopped
- 2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
- 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
- ¼ teaspoon baking powder
- 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 6 tablespoons butter
- 3 eggs
- 1 cup white sugar
- Melt unsweetened chocolate, 1 cup of chocolate chips, and butter in a microwave or metal bowl over a pan of simmering water, stirring periodically until smooth.
- Remove from heat and set aside to cool down.
- Whip the eggs and the sugar in a wide bowl until thick and pale, for around 2 minutes.
- Stir in the vanilla and chocolate mixture until well combined. Combine flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt; whisk steadily in a mixture of chocolate. Mix the remaining 1 cup of chocolate chips. Cover the mixture and chill for at least one hour or overnight.
- Preheat the oven at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Roll the cooled dough into 1 inch balls. Place on ungreased cookie sheets so that they are 2 inches apart.
- Bake in a preheated oven for 9 to 11 minutes.
- Let the cookies cool on a baking sheet for 5 minutes before being removed to a wire rack to cool off completely.
4. Oysters with ginger Japanese dressing
Is there anything more elegant than fresh oysters in a delicate Japanese dressing? Dive into the recipe to make this classy appetizer.
- ginger 1cm piece, finely grated
- golden caster sugar 1 tsp
- oysters 24, freshly shucked
- salmon roe or tobiko 50g
- Japanese soy sauce 1 tbsp
- Japanese rice vinegar 1 tbsp
- spring onions 2, finely shredded
- In a bowl, place the ginger and most of the spring onion, then add the soy sauce, rice vinegar, and sugar and leave for 5 minutes.
- On a plate of ice, stack the oysters as you like. Put some dressing in each of them and some more shredded spring onion. Place the roe between them.
5. Creamy Shrimp Pesto
Nothing speaks comfort and love like a plate of pesto with plump and tender shrimps. It’s a dish that is easy to make and can be enjoyed with your loved one at home. Say goodbye to the restaurant queue and try out this recipe.
- 1 pound linguine pasta
- 2 cups heavy cream
- ⅓ cup pesto
- ½ cup butter
- 1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- Put a big pot of lightly salted water on heat and bring it to a boil.
- Add the linguine pasta and cook until al dente, or for 8 to 10 minutes. Next, drain the pasta.
- Over medium heat, melt the butter in a large pan.
- Stir in the milk, and add the pepper to season.
- Cook for 6 to 8 minutes, continuously stirring.
- Stir in the cream sauce with the parmesan cheese, stirring until well combined.
- Blend in the pesto and cook until thickened, for 3 to 5 minutes.
- Stir in the shrimp and cook for around 5 minutes until they turn pink. Serve hot over the pasta.
6. Lamb Cutlets and Buttered Radishes
Moving on from seafood, this delicate dish of lamb is wholesome and nutritious. Prepare a fancy dinner plate at home and impress your partner with your cooking skills.
- radishes 1 bunch (with fresh green tops if you can get them)
- brown sugar 2 tsp
- lemon juice a squeeze
- olive oil
- lamb cutlets 6
- white miso paste 1-2 tsp (brown will be too strong)
- Twist off the radishes with any leaves, trim any bushy bits, and then cut them into half.
- Heat a little olive oil, season the lamb cutlets, and fry them on each side for 1-2 minutes. Make sure they are fried, but when you press them, they are still very soft. Leave to rest.
- Heat some oil with a knob of butter in a separate pan, add the radishes and fry them until they begin to gain color.
- Add the sugar and toss it all together, then add the miso, lemon splash, and some seasoning.
- Until the radishes are glazed, keep shaking the pan.
- If you have greens, add them and stir until they are wilted. Serve hot with lamb.
Whether your loved one has a sweet tooth or a savory palate, our simple yet elegant Valentine’s Day menu ideas can never go wrong. Choose one of our appetizers or an easy baking recipe for a warm and cosy dinner at home.