It has been said that love goes through the stomach and I think there is a point to it.

So, get cooking with your other half.

All recipes serve 2.

We also provide some wine recommendations to go with each dish.

 

Baked Prawns with cheese sauce and pan-fried scallops

SONY DSC

70g cooked prawns

70g crab meat (preferably mix of white and brown)

2 spring onions, sliced

100g tomatoes

70g button mushrooms,  sliced

20g butter

Juice from ½ lemon

Salt and freshly ground white pepper

6 small scallops

For the sauce:

1 table spoon of soured cream

110ml double cream

½ tsp tomato puree

40g grated cheddar

Squeeze of lemon juice

1  bunch of chives, finely chopped

  • Preheat the oven to 200C
  • Fry onions and mushrooms in the butter
  • Deseed  tomatoes and cut into squares and mix with prawns, crab and season with salt, white pepper and lemon juice and divide between two oven proof dishes
  • Combine all the ingredients for the sauce and season to taste and pour over the prawn mix
  • Bake for 10 to 15 minutes
  • In the meantime, heat  olive oil in a pan until almost smoking
  • Season the scallops  and place that side down into the hot pan
  • Fry for about 2 minutes  or until caramelised and golden brown
  • Flip over and finish cooking until firm but still with a little give on the sides
  • Place on top of the dish
  • Serve with a slice of French baguette to mop up all the  juices

Duck with plums and potato gnocchi

SONY DSC

2 duck breasts

Salt and pepper

2 pinches of ground cumin

For the plums and plum sauce:

250g plums, halved

1 tablespoon of butter

Salt and pepper

100ml red wine

2 tablespoons of black currant preserve

½  tbl sugar (a little more if plums are very tart)

For the gnocchi:

500g cooked potatoes, grated

150g plain flour

1 whole egg

1 egg yolk

10 g softened butter

Salt

  • Preheat oven to 150C
  • Place the plum halves into a baking tray with the butter  and sprinkle with sugar, pinch of salt and a small pinch of black pepper
  • Place in the oven and bake until caramelised
  • Add  flour, eggs, butter and salt into the grated potatoes  and knead until you get a smooth dough
  • Roll into sausage like shapes and set aside
  • Increase the oven temperature to 200C
  • Bring a pan of salted water to boil
  • Heat olive oil in a pan until almost smoking
  • Score the duck skin into ‘diamonds’ and season with salt, pepper and the cumin and place into the hot pan, skin down
  • Fry until the skin is deep golden brown colour and crisp, then flip the duck, remove the plums from the oven and pop the duck in for 8 minutes
  • Whilst the duck is resting (around 4 minutes), heat the oil and juices from the duck, pour in the wine and reduce on high heat
  • Put the plums (reserving 6 for garnish) and black currant into the pan and heat through and blend the sauce
  • Place the gnocchi into the boiling water
  • They are done when they float up to the surface ( approximately 2 minutes)
  • Arrange on a warmed plate

Sweet Hearts

SONY DSC

4 egg whites

225g caster sugar

150g quite finely ground hazelnuts

½ teaspoon almond extract (could be substituted for vanilla)

250ml double cream

½ tablespoon icing sugar, sifted

1 tea spoon dark rum

100g good quality dark chocolate

  • Preheat  oven to 110C
  • Whisk egg whites in a clean bowl until stiff
  • Add 1 tablespoon of sugar and whisk until stiff again, repeat this three more times
  • Add half of the reaming sugar and gently whisk to combine
  • Add the remaining sugar and gently fold in with a large metal spoon
  • Add the almond extract and the nuts and fold in
  • Place a baking sheet onto a baking tray
  • Pipe mix onto the tray
  • Bake for  anything between 15 to 60 minutes depending on the size of your nests
  • To check whether they are cooked, try to lift them of the baking sheet, if they peel of easily, they are done
  • Leave to cool
  • Whip up the cream with sugar until stiff, gently fold in the rum
  • Melt the chocolate in  bowl above a gently simmering pot of water
  • Pipe the cream into the nests and drizzle with slightly cooled melted chocolate

Wine Recommendations

SONY DSC

With the Baked Prawns

The Winery Of Good Hope 2009

Chenin Blanc

South Africa

This wine is incredibly versatile. Grapes are hand-picked from old vines. It is a dry wine, but also lively, fruity and generally well balanced. On the palate you get pears and quite refreshing mineral length. The finish is zingy with lime. It is perfect with shellfish and withstands cheese superbly.

 

With the Duck

Mitolo Jester 2008

Cabernet  Sauvignon

Australia

It is made in the Amarone wine making manner, which means that they dry 20% of the grapes. This concentrates flavours and increases the complexity and softness of the wine. It has got black fruit aromas. On the palate you get: peppery spice, black berries, currants, cloves and a hint of chocolate. This wine is fresh and vibrant.

With the Sweet Heart

Muscat Beaumes de Venise 2006

Domaine de Durban, France, Rhone

Muscat

Beautifully golden with aromas of honey, spice, raisins and ripe sultana. The palate has a luscious mouth feel and creamy texture, with flavours of honey and raisins. However, there is a dryness that counteracts the sweetness and produces a beautifully balanced wine.


MORE LIKE THIS