Thursday, February 6, 2014

Valentine's menu ideas

This menu is perfect for a summer Valentine's dinner.
It's light, easy and perfectly colour coordinated for the 'Day of Love' :)

Try one (or all) of the dishes to spoil that special someone on the 14th.  

This refreshing cooler can be served as a welcome drink, palate cleanser or even a dessert.

Strawberry Cooler
Makes about 6 servings  

You will need
500g frozen strawberries
¼ cup castor sugar
4 tots Vodka (optional)
Cold water

How to make it
Combine the strawberries, sugar and vodka in a liquidiser.
Pulse the mixture, adding small amounts of water until you reach your desired consistency.
(Make it runnier as a drink and more solid as a sorbet.)
Serve in martini glasses. 

A lovely combination of tart and creamy flavours, this makes a beautiful looking starter.

Beetroot & Goatscheese Stack
Serves 2               

You will need
4 baby beetroot, cooked
100g log plain Chevin cheese
Rocket leaves & micro herbs for garnish
Balsamic reduction

How to make it
Slice the Chevin into thin 5mm rounds.
Slice the beetroot into the same sized rounds.
To serve, layer some rocket leaves on a plate. Lay down the first piece of beetroot. Stack the cheese on top of the beetroot and repeat until you have a mini tower.
Garnish with micro herbs and serve with balsamic reduction.

Use gloves when working with beetroot, and slice the cheese with a clean knife to avoid staining everything purple. 

 There aren’t many things as satisfying as perfectly cooked steak, serve it with a few quirky ingredients and it becomes a fabulous romantic summer dinner.

Rare beef, Strawberry & Pink Peppercorns
Serves 2               

You will need
300g – 400g beef of your choice (we used sirloin)
Canola oil
Maldon salt
8 Fresh strawberries
Pink peppercorns
Micro herbs for garnish
Balsamic reduction

How to make it
Pre-heat a griddle pan. (Or you can cook it on the fire)
Rub the beef with a little bit of oil and season well with Maldon salt.
In a hot pan, cook the beef to your liking (we prefer rare).
Cover the meat with foil, and rest it for at least 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, thinly slice the strawberries.
Slice the beef into thin strips and arrange it on a plate of your choice.
Garnish with sliced strawberries, micro herbs and pink peppercorns.
Drizzle with balsamic reduction and serve immediately.

*Serve with warm crusty bread if you’d like.

This dessert is just gorgeous!

Mixed Berry & Mascarpone Pots
Makes about 4 portions  
* This recipe was inspired by My Baking Addiction

You will need
For the berry sauce
1 packet (400g) frozen mixed berries
¾ cup water
¾ cup castor sugar
1 Tbls fresh lemon juice
2 Tbls corn flour, dissolved in 2 Tbls cold water
½ tsp vanilla extract
Zest of 1 lemon
For the Mascarpone
1 tub (224g) Mascarpone cheese
¼ cup castor sugar
Zest of 1 lemon
¾ cup heavy cream
½ tsp vanilla extract
To compile
Vanilla cake/Madeira cake, cut into fingers
Fresh berries to garnish

How to make it
For the berry sauce
Combine the berries, water, sugar and lemon juice in a saucepan.
Bring to the boil and reduce heat to a simmer.
Stir in the dissolved corn flour. (Careful not to squash the berries.)
Cook for about 5 minutes until the sauce thickens and covers the back of a metal spoon.
Remove from the heat and gently stir in the vanilla extract and the lemon zest.
Set aside to cool.
For the Mascarpone
Combine all the ingredients in a bowl.
Beat the mixture until peaks form.
To compile
Place a layer of vanilla cake into the bottom of a glass.
Cover with a layer of the berry sauce, and top with the mascarpone cheese mix.
Repeat until you have a few layers and the glass/pot is filled.
Garnish with fresh berries.

*You can make it a few hours before serving.

Have a fabulously delicious Valentine's Day!

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