I thought I’d
a) do something a bit more fun on the blog
And b) cook a romantic dinner for my husband.
This is my romantic, stress free advance prep menu that’s guaranteed to set the mood and tickle your guys taste buds and impress the hell out of him. You want ideally to achieve the whole ‘slaving over the stove for you all day cause I love you’ look, when in actual fact it was totally easy peasy!!! He’ll be putty in your hands for a good few days at least.
Who does sexier better than the French? I’m not talking fancy fussy French cuisine, I mean oozy sexy Parisian Bistro food!! This menu is ideally intended to bring us back to a Paris Cafe that serves beautifully cooked food, with a sexy gusto!
To achieve this stress free cooking, with time to spare to beautify yourself and have a cooks treat glass of vino, is all in the prep!!
1. Plan your menu at least a day or two in advance.
2. Write out all the ingredients you need to buy and check that you have all the store cupboard ingredients in stock.
3. Next step is to buy all the ingredients.
4. Write out your recipes step by step and put them on your fridge.
5. Start with the parts of the meal that can be made ahead, this will get rid of any stress you may have, knowing you are already to having things ready.
Why not start off the proceedings with a glass of champers with a strawberry puree. You can’t get sexier than that! Just Whizz up a few hulled strawberries and pour into a champagne glass, then top with champers, cava or prosecco.
Chilli Crab & Avocado Crostini
The menu is about providing visually impressive, sexy dishes that taste superb and are light on the stomach. The last thing you want on a romantic dinner date is to be stuffed and in pain after eating too much heavy rich food. You’d both wind up on the couch with the top button of your trousers open telling each other how full ye are. Not a sexy look!!!
It is for this reason that I’ve chosen a particularly light starter, of chilli crab and Avocado Crostini. The crab is so light and zingy and refreshing, it’s a perfect choice for a romantic dinner. It’d simply to prepare with no cooking involved, allowing you to get on with the main course. For the recipe please click http://serenasmediumrare.blogspot.com/2012/02/chilli-crab-and-avocado-crostini.html
Pan Fried Duck Breast with Red Wine Reduction
The main course I’ve chosen is duck breasts, they’ve always be seen as a sexy dish (don’t ask why). Lots of girls don’t go for red meat so this is a compromise really and also duck is expensive to buy so it’s something that wouldn’t be cooked at home too often. I do owe this recipe to Whelan’s Butchers.(http://www.jameswhelanbutchers.com) The red wine reduction is the perfect accompaniment to the duck breasts. For the recipe please click http://serenasmediumrare.blogspot.com/2012/02/mille-feuille.html
Finally the piece de resistance, love heart mille-feuille. Mille-feuille is a French cream bun made consisting of mainly cream and pastry. I have a quick cheat version that is a doddle to prepare and once assembled, looks amazingly impressive. It’s so pretty its near criminal to bite into it. For the recipe click http://serenasmediumrare.blogspot.com/2012/02/mille-feuille.html
Boozy chocolate truffles
As a finish to the evening, why not whip up some decadent boozy chocolate truffles to have with a shot of espresso. These truffles can be prepared a good few days in advance and kept in the fridge in a well sealed jar. They are simple to prepare and go down really well. For the recipe click http://serenasmediumrare.blogspot.com/2011/06/boozy-chocolate-trufflescaptain-morgan.html
Top tips for this meal to succeed with minimum stress on the day: ·
· Have the truffles made a day or so in advance
· Defrost the pastry
· Use the baking potato method for the potatoes, just scrap out the filling when cooked and mash with milk and butter. (That way you don’t have to worry about over boiling potatoes in water, when sometimes forgotten about turned to watery mush)
· Toast the bread for the crostini in the oven
· Make the pastry layers as soon as pastry is defrosted. (It’s easier than you think)
· Mix the crab meat with a little chilli, lime, and mayo and chill.
· Mash the avocado with the coriander, lime and spring onion and also chill· Now the starter is just a quick assembly job.
· Keep the potatoes in a bowl with cling film, in a bain maire until required.(will keep perfectly for an hour or so)
· Have the duck breasts prepared (skin scored and ready to rock the pan!!), and the sauce ingredients chopped and covered in cling film until needed.
· Relax, have a great evening and sit back and accept all the compliments!!!
HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY