IF music is the food of love, put on some smoochy sounds and rustle up these Valentine’s Day treats for guaranteed postprandial passion, writes Jacqueline Fanchini
Salmon, avocado and cucumber sushi
Healthy and fun to make as a pair – and they won’t weigh you down for the rest of the evening…
Rinse two cups of sushi rice under cold water until it runs clear, then put rice and 2.3 cups of water in a pot and boil. When cooked, season with 5 tablespoons of rice vinegar and cool.
Place a sheet of seaweed on a bamboo rolling mat, cover with a thin layer of rice, leaving a line at the top and bottom uncovered.
Spread a very thin layer of mayonnaise over the rice then lay out the sliced avocado, cucumber and salmon at the bottom and of it, just before the empty strip of seaweed.
Roll and cut in half, then repeat with each half until there are eight pieces. Serve with a small dish of soy sauce, pickled ginger and wasabi paste.
Warm scallop, chorizo and pear salad
This combination of fiery and sweet flavours and delicate textures is bound to get you in the mood for love…
Thinly slice 100g of chorizo and dry-fry in a small frying pan. Brown and set aside on kitchen paper.
Sear 12 fresh scallops with the orange roe left on in the chorizo oil for a minute on each side. Set aside.
Thinly slice two medium-sized firm pears then fry briskly to caramelise a little. Turn them, and add one tablespoon of sherry vinegar and swirl for a few seconds.
Tip the pears into a bowl; add scallops, chorizo, a bunch of washed watercress and a tablespoon of olive oil. Add salt to taste and serve immediately.
Beef loin with balsamic tomatoes
Quick and easy, this bittersweet recipe adds some zing to an all-time classic
Remove the fat from two tenderloin steaks then smear in olive oil and season with crushed sea salt and pepper.
Heat a skillet over high heat then add the steaks and reduce to medium heat soon after. Fry to preferred doneness, only turning over once.
Bring half a cup of balsamic vinegar to boil then reduce heat and let simmer for 5 minutes. Add half a cup of coarsely cut seeded tomatoes.
Serve steaks and spoon the vinegar and tomatoes over them. Garnish with fresh thyme.
Chocolate bowls with Chambord whipped cream and berries
People have been saying ‘I love you’ over strawberries and chocolate for years, so kick things up a notch by making your food both delicious and beautiful… just like you!
Blow up two small and round balloons. Finely chop 100g of dark chocolate and place half into a microwavable glass bowl. Set over a pot of simmering water and stir continuously while it melts. Remove from heat and stir in the remaining chocolate until smooth.
Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper. Drop two half-teaspoons of melted chocolate onto it to make disks that will be the bottom of the chocolate bowls.
Dip half or quarters of each balloon in the melted chocolate and set on top of the small disks. Allow to set in fridge for 30 minutes. Take out and let rest for 10 minutes then pinch the tops and poke a hole with a needle to slowly release the air. Let the balloon release freely and take care as the bowls are delicate. Replace into fridge.
Whip half a pint of heavy cream with half a tablespoon of Chambord liqueur and a tablespoon of powdered sugar. Remove bowls from the fridge, fill with cream, then top with fresh berries and serve with a few strawberries on the side.