Valentine Aphrodisiacs

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not one of those Hallmark Card-pushing, flower-needing, $2500 meal-eating kinda gals. I believe in love, and I also believe that Valentine’s Day is more of a treat for flower sellers and restaurants than it is for a couple.

In fact, Valentine’s Day has the potential to be a recipe for disaster. On the way home yesterday, I drove past a couple who were pacing on the street, obviously distressed and arguing. She didn’t have any flowers in her hands. I then happened to walk past the same spot 30 minutes later … they were still there, and he was saying in a pleading voice, “can we please just go and eat somewhere??”. Obviously, he had not made dinner plans either. That guy was in BIG trouble.

Should love be celebrated specially on one day? Sure, why not? A romantic (or someone who has forgotten to buy flowers) would say that love should be celebrated every day, and so it should – but why not have a day when you REALLY celebrate it WELL. Forget the cards, the flowers, the expensive Valentine’s Day set dinners where you sit elbow to elbow with other couples doing the couples thing – why not do nice things for each other all day just to show them that you care!

I was completely spoiled, and came home on Monday night to a beautiful bouquet of flowers that he chose personally! Naturally, my romantic gesture involved food. I made an aphrodisiac inspired dinner for my Valentine, chocabloc full of ingredients that make you go mmmmm…

Puree of Cauliflower Soup with saffron-buttered tiger prawn, leeks and caviar

Ingredients

2 tbsp olive oil
1 white onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, sliced
1 large cauliflower, cut into small florets
1 1/2 cups chicken stock
1/2 cup whipping cream
1 cup milk
salt and white pepper, to season
1 leek, green section removed, and sliced (1cm slices)
2 tiger prawns, washed, peeled and de-veined
a pinch of saffron
a small knob of butter
2 tsp lumpfish caviar
Chives

♥ Heat the olive oil in a pot and add the onion and garlic
♥ Cook over low heat until soft, about 5 minutes. Do not brown them.
♥ Add the cauliflower florets, chicken stock, cream and milk
 Bring to the boil then simmer over low heat until the cauliflower softens, about 18 minutes
 Remove from heat, blend the cauliflower mixture into a soup and return to pan.
 Season with salt and white pepper.
♥ For the leek, add a small knob of butter to the pan, add the leek and cook over low to medium heat until soft and fragrant, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
 For the prawn,  heat the butter and saffron in a pan. Pan-fry the prawn over low to medium heat until it is just cooked.
 To assemble the dish, place a couple of tablespoons of leek in the bottom of the bowl, pour over the soup.  Place the tiger prawn in the center and place a teaspoon of caviar on top of the prawn (not present in the picture because I forgot to add it until halfway through eating the soup! D’oh!). Sprinkle chives and serve 🙂

Pan-fried Rib-eye Steak with asparagus and truffled♥ mashed potatoes

Chocolate-smothered Strawberries

For the strawberries, just heat the chocolate (I used 70% for a bitter-sweet flavour) in a bain-marie until completely melted. Let cool for a bit then dip the strawberries until coated, rest them on baking parchment paper on a tray, and cool completely in the fridge before feeding each other 😉

In the words of Marvin Gaye – let’s get it on!

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5 thoughts on “Valentine Aphrodisiacs

  1. Hehehe yes he is! 🙂 @ Steph – I would love to cook for you hun, I miss the good ol' high street days! And I still want to bake with you too! We should have a dinner and movie night one night!! Watch this space…xx

  2. Yep, sounds like that guy you saw on the street was in trouble, but at least he planned to take her to a restaurant. The evening before Valentines Day I was in Sainsbury's here in Bath and a couple were standing next to the frozen ready meals having a full blown, red in the face, hissing at each other arguement over which plastic tray of microwaveable gloop they were going to have for their Valentines dinner!!I wanted to tell them not to bother!

  3. Standing in front of frozen ready meals is never a good thing, on V Day or any normal day!!I LOVED Bath when I went to visit last time! Such a charming city, makes sense that the Charman is there 😉

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