My top 3 Valentines Recipes…

I think the most important factors for valentines recipes is that they are quick, easy and light on the washing up, not that the washing up should be a factor on Valentine’s Day. It can be taken care of tomorrow.

First recipe up is what I call my date steak. One Steak can feed two generously. A lush juicy steak is given a quick fry then rest in the salad dressing, where it oozes some of it meaty flavor into the dressing whilst also taking on some of the flavors of the dressing. The steak gets sliced finely and then strewn over a messy tangle of salad. Delicious and only moments of work. Steak is always a real treat and even though this recipe takes very little time to make you would never know it. It is a quick feast.

Spaghetti Carbonara

Again, another quick and easy meal and of course you can have your lady and the tramp moment with this dish. It takes longer to eat than it does to make. By the time your pasta has cooked everything else will be ready to go.

If you want to get ahead of the cooking then try this Fabulous dessert, strawberries in Prosecco jelly. I make this in champagne saucers and it really just looks like a glass of champagne. It is a gently set jelly, the Prosecco retains the bubbles so the jelly has the most gentle light tingle in your mouth as you eat. To vamp it up even more for your loved one, whip some cream gently, scoop out a passion fruit and fold through the softly whipped cream.Dollop spoonfuls of the cream as you eat your jelly. I laugh at the cheesiness but I call this ‘’Quivering with passion jellies’’ and I think it sums up this day perfectly.

Easy Crowd Pleaser

This is perfect for feeding a crowd. Although, that never stops me from making it for 2 to eat greedily, having many helpings. This is exactly the sort of thing I want to make when having friends over after a busy day. It requires very little work, chopping up an onion and stirring a few items together on the hob, then throw it into the oven, while you chill out and have a good time with friends.

 It is essentially a chicken and chorizo casserole with orzo.

Orzo is a pasta that looks very like grains of rice, it swells up when cooked in this fashion and makes the sauce become velvety silky and smooth. You will know exactly what I mean as soon as the first spoonful reaches your mouth.

You can modulate the heat easily with this dish if you like your food fiery use a hot chorizo and hot paprika. However, if you prefer it with a little kick use a sweet chorizo and hot paprika or if you like it very mild use both a sweet chorizo and sweet paprika, it will give you a smooth but still deeply flavoured dish.

I would suggest serving garlic bread alongside and why not it works well with it and the oven on anyways. You can find the recipe for my garlic bread here.

It’s Monday Treat Yourself – Dutch Baby Recipe

It’s Monday, they can be tough, so treat yourself to this delicious breakfast and start the week off right. Although, these are pancakes they look very much like a large Yorkshire pudding and like a Yorkshire pudding they need to be eaten straight from the oven as they do begin to deflate the longer they are out of the oven. These delicious aerated pancakes aren’t difficult to make and have a very American diner style breakfast feel about them. It is in this fashion I like to eat them with crispy bacon, poached eggs and maple syrup. But you could have them sprinkled with caster sugar and a squeeze of lemon juice as is traditional or try with berries and a good dusting of icing sugar. Don’t worry if your pancakes have puffed up in the centre and there is no hollow to fill with whatever goodness you want. When this happens, you will find when you remove them from the oven that the hollow is on the underside so simply flip over. Kids love these and they make a great afternoon treat as well served with cream or ice cream, some chopped fresh berries and a drizzled with chocolate sauce.

Averting Bread Crisis

Have you ever awoken to find that you are completely out of bread? If so, don’t worry I’ve got you sorted. These delicious soda bread rolls take 25 minutes from start to ready to eat. Crisis averted, I call these breakfast rolls as I add granola to the mix which imparts flavour and texture with no extra work.

I haven’t gone mad making bread first thing in the morning. In fact, by the time the oven has preheated these rolls are ready to go in and they only take 20 minutes in the oven, just about as much time is required to have a mug or two of tea and come to one’s senses. Do allow them to rest for a few minutes to cool a little on a wire rack before eating. I eat still warm with good butter or with some good marmalade and sometimes actually all the time with both.

You can also make one large loaf with this recipe instead of splitting the dough into 6, form into one large ball and bake for 40 minutes

It is also worth noting that you can use runny yoghurt instead of buttermilk if you don’t have any or can’t get any. Clobbered milk is also another option which is a technique of souring regular milk with lemon juice. 400ml of either of these can be used to replace the buttermilk.