While it's traditional to go out with your partner for Valentine's Day, there's something lovely about avoiding busy restaurants and cooking for your loved one instead.
However, stressing yourself out with convoluted and fiddly recipes is no fun for anyone - you want to be spending maximum time with your loved one. So here are our ideas for some super simple menus that you can put together in a flash and still get the wow factor. As long as at least one element in the dish is homemade or you've made the effort with the presentation you will totally impress your guest, and the more you can do in advance the better.
The simpler the better! Steam some asparagus spears for dunking into soft boiled eggs (each only need boiling for 3 minutes), flash fry some prawns with garlic to arrange on ready made salad. Keeping it cold for the starter makes things even easier; simply lay out a beautiful array of cold meats and olives antipasti style, or make some homemade hummous the day before and arrange beautifully with lots of crunchy veg and bread sticks for dipping.
Steak is the obvious choice and it needn't be a stressful choice. Make sure you've got all the accompaniments ready to go (baked potato or chips in the oven and a spot of bagged salad on the plate) so all you need to do is get the steak sorted. Splash out on some thick fillet steaks as they're the easiest to get right. Simply rub with olive oil, salt and pepper then lay them in a hot frying pan, add a knob of butter and don't move them! Turn over after three minutes and press with a finger to feel how well done they are; the softer the rarer. Heat some ready made sauce of choice and you're good to go.
Vegematarian? Turn to what the French called the 'pomme d'amour' (apple of love) - the tomato. Make a heart-shaped pizza to share (you can do this in advance and there's no shame in use a box mix) or buy some fresh pasta and serve with a simple cherry tomato and basil sauce.
Well it has to be chocolate doesn't it? Chocolate fondue is as easy as it gets, simply prep a little platter of fruit, marshmallows, sponge cubes etc in advance and then there's virtually nothing to do but enjoy.
Other easy ideas are mini strawberry pavlovas using ready made meringues or ice cream with homemade salted caramel sauce (just make the sauce in advance). Whatever your pud of preference, keep it light to avoid sliding into a stodge-induced coma 🙂
Make a playlist, light some candles and bob's your uncle!