Do you want to skip the crowded restaurants this year and make your own cosy Valentine’s Day dinner at home? Here is a delicious Valentine’s menu to show your loved one just how special he/she is to you!
SMOKED SALMON WITH HORSERADISH DILL DIP & BEETROOT
8 tbsp. low fat plain cottage cheese
½ tbsp. horseradish (can use the hot one)
Pinch dried dill
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tsp. white wine vinegar or lemon juice
2 tbsp. olive oil
2 tsp. honey
60g cooked beetroot (not in vinegar), finely diced
2 large slices smoked salmon
6 red-leafed lettuce
15g baby rocket leaves
Few snipped dill sprigs
Mix the cottage cheese, horseradish, dill, salt and pepper in a bowl. Chill.
In a bowl, mix together the vinegar or lemon juice, olive oil and honey. Toss half the dressing through the beetroot and chill until ready to serve.
Before serving, divide the slices of salmon between 2 plates, then top with a spoonful of the dip and bring up the sides of the salmon to make a ‘flower’.
Arrange the salad and beetroot round the salmon, scatter with the dill. Grind over some black pepper and drizzle with the remaining dressing.
SPICED LAMB WITH LEMON & HERB QUINOA
½ tbsp. cumin seed
½ garlic clove
¼ tsp. red chilli or pinch of chilli flakes
Juice ½ lemon
2 tbsp. olive oil
4 lamb chops
½ cup dry quinoa
3 spring onion, sliced
small handful coriander
steamed stem broccoli to serve
In a pestle with a mortar crush the cumin seeds then add the garlic clove, chilli and some salt and pepper. Mash to a paste. Stir in the lemon juice and olive oil and pour half the mix over the lamb chops and leave to marinate. Set the other half aside.
Rinse the quinoa in cold water then place in a saucepan with twice the volume of water. Place on the heat and bring to the boil then turn down the heat slightly and boil gently for 10 minutes. Turn the heat off and stir through the reserved dressing. Cover and leave for another 10 minutes.
Meanwhile heat a pan to high and cook the lamb for about 3-5 minutes on each side or until cooked to your liking.
When ready to serve stir the spring onions and coriander through the quinoa and serve with the lamb and steamed stem broccoli.
CHOCOLATE PEAR PUDDING
75g caster sugar
1 large egg
20g plain flour
12.5g cocoa powder
¼ can pear halves in juice, drained
25g plain dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids)
10g flaked almonds (optional)
Heat the oven to 190°C. Lightly grease a roughly 10 x 15cm shallow ovenproof dish.
Put the butter in a large saucepan and place over a low heat until just melted. Remove the butter from the heat and stir in the sugar until well combined.
Whisk the eggs together in a large bowl. Gradually add the eggs to the butter and sugar, beating well with a wooden spoon in between each addition.
Sift the flour and cocoa powder on top of the egg mixture, then beat hard with a wooden spoon until thoroughly combined.
Pour into the prepared dish and nestle the pears into the chocolate batter.
Cut the chocolate into chunky pieces roughly 1.5cm with a large knife. Scatter the chocolate pieces over the batter and sprinkle with almonds.
Bake in the centre of the oven for 30 minutes or until the mixture is crusty on the surface and lightly cooked inside. Do not allow to overcook, as the cake will become spongy rather than gooey in the centre.