Daily Archives: 10 February 2014

Speedy but Special Recipes for Valentine’s Day

Easy and speedy Valentine's Day recipes


Speedy but Special Recipes

for Valentine’s Day 

If you’re eating in with your loved one on Valentine’s night the last thing you want to do is spend hours slaving in the kitchen.

This selection of delicious food delivers on flavour but needs minimal preparation, giving you more time to spend together.


Valentine Cocktails


Time 5 mins
Serves 2
Calories 155
Fat 0g of which 0g is saturated
Suitable for vegetarians

Brandy 2 tsp
Grenadine syrup 1 tsp or to taste
Frozen raspberries 6
Chilled sparkling white wine (such as extra-dry Prosecco) to top up each glass

1 Tip a teaspoon of brandy into each of two champagne glasses. Add grenadine syrup and 3 raspberries to each glass and stir well.
2 Top up each glass with cold sparking white wine and serve.


Rack of Lamb with Garlic Mash


Preparation time 20 minutes
Cooking time 30 minutes
Calories per portion 757 Kcal
Fat per portion 52g of which saturated 21.9g
Serves 2

Rack of lamb 1x 6
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Redcurrant jelly 1 tbsp
Dried rosemary 1 tsp
Potatoes 2 large, peeled and roughly chopped
Garlic 1–2 cloves
Olive oil 2–3 tbsp
Baby spinach 180g pack, washed and trimmed

For the gravy
Redcurrant jelly 2 tsp
Lamb stock 150ml (¼ pint)

1 Preheat the oven to 200ºC/400ºF/Gas 6. Season the rack of lamb with salt and pepper and place in a roasting tin. Spoon the redcurrant jelly and rosemary into a bowl and heat in the microwave on full power for about 30 seconds or until the mixture has melted.

2 Brush the redcurrant jelly mix over the fat side of the rack of lamb and cook in the preheated oven for 25–30 minutes. The time the lamb takes to cook will depend on how pink you like your lamb and how much meat is on the rack. See the table on page 9.

3 Meanwhile, cook the potatoes in a saucepan of boiling water until tender. Drain well. Put the garlic cloves and 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a processor and whiz to chop the garlic. Add the hot potatoes and plenty of pepper and, using the pulse button, whiz the potatoes to a smooth mash. Add the extra oil if needed.

4 Remove the lamb from the oven and transfer to warmed plates. Make the gravy by adding the redcurrant jelly to the pan juices and add the lamb stock. Boil for 2 minutes, stirring and scraping up bits from the base of the pan.

5 Pierce the spinach in the bag and cook on high in the microwave for 2½ minutes or according to the pack’s instructions. Carefully open the bag, drain the spinach and stir into the mash. Carve the lamb and serve the cutlets with a pile of the spinach mash together with the gravy.

Cook’s tip. To cook spinach on a hob, pop it in a non-stick frying pan with a knob of butter and cook, tossing with a spoon until the spinach is just wilted.


Ice Cream with Hot Chocolate Sauce


Preparation time 10 minutes
Cooking time 5 minutes
Calories per portion 854 Kcal
Fat per portion 59g
of which saturated 27.1g
Serves 2
Suitable for vegetarians
Dark chocolate 110g (4oz), broken into small pieces

Single cream 150ml (5fl oz)
Brandy 1–2 tbsp
Freshly squeezed orange juice 6 tbsp
Vanilla ice cream 6 scoops
Raspberry or strawberry conserve
2 rounded tsp, optional
Pecan nuts 50g (2oz), roughly chopped
Cherries and halved strawberries to decorate
Fan wafers to serve, optional

1 Put the chocolate, cream, brandy and orange juice into a small saucepan and stir over a medium heat until the chocolate melts and is smoothly blended, taking care not to overheat the sauce – it should be hot, but not boiling.

2 Put a scoop of ice cream into the bottom of two tall chilled sundae glasses or large wine glasses and then add the raspberry or strawberry conserve.

3 Add one or two more scoops of ice cream and then add half of the hot chocolate sauce. Top with the remaining ice cream and chocolate sauce, then sprinkle with pecans and decorate with cherries and strawberries. Add the fan wafers and serve.

Cook’s tip. Alternatively, arrange scoops of ice cream in the centre of large, individual plates and pour the chocolate sauce around.


Romantic Candle Centrepiece


And for a really romantic evening, spend a little time giving the table a restaurant feel with this gorgeous romantic centrepiece. It’s so simple!

1 Half fill a small vase with water and pack with your favourite flowers.

2 Wrap a co-ordinated ribbon around the vase and secure with double-sided sticky tape.

3 Place the vase on a glass plate or a mirror.

4 Surround with tealights.









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