A 3-course Valentine Dinner for a cosy night in

Sharing a delicious meal with your sweetheart is almost a non-negotiable for Valentine’s Day. You could take advantage of some of the restaurant offers that are out there or you could impress with a romantic dinner designed to win hearts. Better still, cook it together for a delightfully flavourful bonding experience.

Set the scene

Start the evening by preparing a delicious mocktail and serve it in the swankiest glasses you’ve got.

Strawberry Ginger Mocktail
Recipe credit: @cooked.inc

You will need:
1 punnet of strawberries
4 tbsp sugar (can omit if you strawberries are very sweet)
1 tsp freshly grated ginger
1 liter ginger beer or sparkling water
Fresh limes

Blend strawberries (keep a few whole strawberries for decorating), sugar and ginger.
Add strawberry mixture to a jug, top with ginger beer/sparkling water, lots of ice, slices of fresh lime and slices of strawberries.

Whet their appetite

This @jamieoliver inspired salad really is the sexiest salad you’ll ever make. And so super easy.

Smoked Salmon, Fig and Buffalo Mozzarella Salad

Plate some beautifully ripe green or red figs. Cut them cross ways and open up slightly before arranging on a plate with with some torn up buffalo mozzarella, I bit of baby lettuce leaves, rocket and drape it with smoked salmon ribbons or thinly sliced spiced beef for saltiness. Dress with a light dressing of lemon, olive oil, sea salt, cracked pepper and honey vinaigrette. Get the dressing into those scored open figs. Then drizzle decadently with extra honey. ❤️

The main attraction

Few things are as satisfying a beautiful steak done just right. Why not invest in some Wagyu for your special dinner or at least the best cut you can find.

Pan Fried Rib-Eye with chunky Rosemary Fries

You will need:
2 pieces of 200g to 300g rib-eye preferably wagyu about 2cm thick
Calisto’s grill and braai spice or a dry rub of choice
Salt and cracked black pepper
4 potatoes peeled and cut into chunky chips

For your chips: Rinse and pat dry. Lightly dust with flour just before adding to your oil. Do this in 2 batches to avoid over-crowding unless you have an electric chip fryer which can take a big batch. Heat your oil and when hot drop in your chips. Cover and cook on high for about 5 – 8 minutes and then uncover and cook till crispy on the outside and soft inside. Season with course salt and dried rosemary flakes.
For your steak: Rub on your spices just a few minutes before you are ready to cook it. Using a heavy based pan add just a tiny bit of oil once the pan is hot and add the steak. For a medium well steak give it 3 minutes on each side without moving allowing a nice crust to form on the outside. Remove from the pan allow it to rest for a few minutes before serving.

A sweet ending

Chocolate is the way to all hearts and what better way to end off a romantic dinner than with the food of the Gods.

White Chocolate and Cardamom Mousse
Recipe: @lecreusetsa
Photo: @hungryforhalaal

You will need:
3 cardamom pods or 1/4 to 1/3 tsp ground cardamom
100g white chocolate
1 large egg
25ml caster sugar
125ml cream, whipped

To serve:
125ml cream, whipped opt.
pomegranate ariels or raspberries

Hold a cardamom pod over your mortar & pestle and gently squeeze the pod between your thumb and forefinger to crack it open. If the pod is green and difficult to crack, place it into your mortar and gently crush it open with the pestle. Crush only the seeds with the heavier, rounded end of the pestle. A firm, slow grinding motion is all that is needed to pulverize the seeds.

Break the chocolate into pieces and place together with the crushed cardamom seeds in a heatproof bowl over a casserole of simmering water. Don’t let the bowl touch the water. Stir until melted. Remove and leave to cool slightly.

Beat the egg and sugar in a mixing bowl until pale and thick. Fold in cooled chocolate until combined. Use a large metal spoon to carefully fold the whipped cream. Spoon the mousse into two heart-shaped ramekins and chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours.

Decorate with the pomegranate ariels or raspberries and serve with whipped cream if desired.


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