Archives for February, 2013

Valentines Day Options

Valentine’s Day Menu (some tasty options)

If you want to impress your valentine this year, here are a few easy options you could try.  Even if you make a bags of it, you’ll surely get some credit for trying! I’ve given 2 options for starter, main course and dessert.  The easiest option is the Tomato Salad, Tarragon Chicken and the Chocolate Mousse.  Let me know how you get on and if I’ll be invited to the wedding!!


Tomato, Mozarella and Basil Pesto Salad. I made this for the Emirates challenge on Masterchef

Smoke Salmon with Mango


Main Course

Mackerel with Beetroot, Orange and Harissa: Based on an Ottelenghi recipe, this incorporates the beautiful flavours of preserved lemons.

Tarragon Chicken with Crème Fraiche: Lovely with free range chicken pieces. This can be put in the oven and forgotten about.



Chocolate Mousse: Nice and light and you can customise with some hearts

Chocolate and Passion Fruit Tower: This is a little more difficult, but will look and taste amazing

Mackerel with Harissa, Beetroot, Orange and Preserved Lemon

Mackerel with Harissa, Beetroot, Orange and Preserved Lemon
Recipe type: Medium
Prep time: 
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Serves: 2

This is adapted from the Ottolenghi book “Jerusalem”. I’ve added some preserved lemons, which give the dressing a real sharp flavour.
  • 2 large mackerel fillets
  • ½ tbsp harissa paste
  • ½ tsp cumin powder
  • 1 medium beetroot
  • 1 medium orange
  • 1 small lemon
  • ½ preserved lemon, finely diced
  • ½ red onion, finely diced
  • 1 tbsp parsley, chopped
  • ½ tsp coriander seeds, toasted
  • ½ tsp cumin seeds, toasted
  • ½ tsp paprika (not smoked)
  • 1tbsp olive oil
  • salt and pepper

  1. Mix the cumin powder with the harissa paste.
  2. Wash and dry the mackerel and cover on both sides with the harissa mix.
  3. Cook the beetroot, then peel and chop in a small dice. This will take 30 mins for a small – medium size or up to an hour for a larger one.
  4. Peel the orange and ½ lemon, removing all the white skin and chop in a small dice
  5. Mix together and add the onion, preserved lemon and parsley
  6. Crush the coriander and cumin seeds, and add juice of half a lemon and the paprika. Add to the beetroot mix and season to taste.
  7. To cook the mackerel, put some olive oil in a pan on a medium heat. Once hot, place the mackerel fillets skin side down and press down in the middle for 10 seconds to stop the fish curling. Leave for about 2-3 minutes until the skin is coloured. Quickly turn over and cook for a further 1-2 minutes.
  8. To serve, place some of the beetroot mix on a plate and place the mackerel on top.


Tomato and Mozarella Salad

Tomato and Mozarella Salad
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Serves: 2

Tomato and Mozarella Salad with Basil Pesto
  • 2 large ripe tomatoes
  • 1 ball quality mozarella
  • 25g parmesan
  • 1 small garlic clove
  • 50g fresh basil
  • 50ml extra virgin olive oil
  • 50g toasted pine nuts
  • salt / pepper

  1. Slice the tomatoes and the mozarella. Sprinkle some salt on the tomatoes and set aside
  2. For the pesto, combine all the ingredients in a small blender
  3. Arrange the tomatoes and mozarella on the plate. Drizzle the pesto over and add a few drops of olive oil.


Valentines Chocolate Mousse

Valentines Chocolate Mousse
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
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Serves: 2

Chocolate Mousse for Special Occasions
  • 100g dark chocolate (55 – 70%)
  • 2 large eggs (room temp)
  • ½ tbsp caster sugar
  • 50ml water

  1. Break the chocolate and place in a glass bowl with the water.
  2. Place the bowl over a pot of steaming water to melt. Take off the heat and whisk in the egg yolks, one at a time.
  3. Beat the egg whites until they stand in stiff peaks. Add the sugar and whisk again.
  4. Add one-third of the egg whites to the chocolate mix and gently fold in until all the egg white is combined. Add the remaining egg whites and again fold in until it is all combined.
  5. Place mixture in glasses or coffee cups. Cover and place in the fridge for at least an hour to set.
  6. Before serving, you could place some pink glitter on top.