Tag Archives: Valentine’s Meal

Valentine’s Day Menu: Dessert of Passionfruit & Mango Tartlets

Passionfruit & Mango Tartlets

This is a really easy and quick dessert to make but is surprisingly satisfying at the same time ! I love the contrast between the tartness of the cinnamon greek yoghurt and the almond flavoured biscuits.

These tartlets can be made in mini tart tins but I am serving them in tall, pretty glasses here.

 (Serves 2)

Ingredients:

30g Amaretti biscuits

30g Digestive biscuits

30g Butter (melted)

150g Greek yogurt

1 Mango, diced

3 Passionfruit, seeds removed

½ teaspoon of ground Cinnamon

1 teaspoon Vanilla extract or the seeds scraped from 1 vanilla pod

A couple of sprigs of mint

1 tablespoon Icing sugar

Method:

  1. Place the biscuits in a food processor and whiz until broken up or place in a bowl and bash with the end of a rolling pin.
  2. Mix the butter in to the biscuits
  3. Pour the biscuit base into the bottom of the glasses and pat down
  4. Leave to chill in the fridge while you get on with the rest.
  5. Place the greek yogurt into a mixing bowl and add the cinnamon & vanilla extract. Whisk gently to combine.
  6. Prepare the fruit by combining the passionfruit with the mango.
  7. You can have everything prepared and in the fridge ahead of time up to this point.
  8. When you are ready to serve, place the greek yogurt mixture on to the biscuit base and spread out evenly.
  9. Pile the mango and passionfruit on top of the yogurt
  10. Place some small, young mint leaves on top and sprinkle the icing sugar over.

 

 

 

 

Valentine’s Day Menu: Main Course of Chermoula Baked Hake with Lime Yoghurt Dressing

 

I love this quick and easy dish. The flavours of North Africa are a particular favourite of mine and this traditional marinade for fish works particularly well with tabbouleh or just even some plain cous cous.

 Ingredients:

 2 fillets of hake (or any other white fish)

2 cloves of garlic, minced

A pinch of saffron threads, crumbled

2 teaspoons of  ground cumin

2 teaspoons of ground coriander

¼ teaspoon of  chilli flakes

1 tsp paprika

2 tablespoons of finely chopped preserved lemon skin

½ teaspoon of Sea salt

Olive oil

A handful of fresh coriander, roughly chopped

For the yogurt dressing:

2 tblsp Greek Yogurt

Juice & zest of ½ a lime

Method:

To make the chermoula, mix together the garlic, saffron, cumin, coriander, chilli, paprika, preserved lemon, salt and a good glug of olive oil.

To make the yogurt dressing, place the yogurt in a bowl with the lime juice and zest and mix. Season to taste.

 

  1. Preheat the oven to 180˚C
  2. Place the fish in a baking dish and pour over the chermoula
  3. Cover in tin foil and bake for 20-30 mins, depending on the thickness of your fish.
  4. To check it is cooked, gently open a piece of the fish with a knife and check the flesh is opaque
  5. Serve the fish in it’s sauce and drizzle the yogurt dressing over.
  6. Garnish with the coriander

Valentine’s Day Menu: Starter of Chicken Liver Parfait with Plum Chutney

These are my Valentine’s recipes from this issue of Northern Ireland’s Flavour magazine!

To my mind, there is no better way to show someone you love them than a home-cooked meal. The thought and time that goes into planning and cooking it is much more valuable than a teddy bear and a box of chocolates purchased from the local supermarket in my opinion.

 

I do understand, however, that time might not be on your side so the recipes here are quick and hassle-free. Some of the ingredients are said to have aphrodisiac qualities such as the garlic, coriander and gentle spices of the chermoulla (said to increase the blood flow to certain parts of the body!), the vanilla (said to stimulate the nervous system) and the honey of the tart  (apparently the word “honeymoon” is derived from newly-wed couples drinking a honey beer called Mead to “sweeten” the marriage!)

 

Whatever about the old wives’ tales, you will enjoy this tasty meal which will be satisfying without being overly heavy.

 

All recipes serve 2 but the parfait & chutney will serve more. A great leftover to have in the fridge for lunch the next day (if you are lucky!!)

 

 

Chicken Liver and Thyme Parfait

Ingredients:

 

225g Chicken livers, rinse them in milk

225g Butter, room temperature

2 teaspoons of chopped thyme leaves

2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped

A generous measure of brandy (35-40 mls)

Salt & Pepper

 

Optional: 100g Butter to make clarified butter to top the pate

 

 

Melt the butter in a frying pan and add the livers, garlic and thyme with a little salt & pepper.

Cook over a gentle heat, almost poaching them in the butter until the livers are fully cooked. You can check this by opening one of the thicker pieces of liver and checking there is no pinkness in the middle.

Place the mixture in a food processor.

Add the brandy to the pan to deglaze. Place the pan back on the heat and let the brandy bubble up whilst scraping the tasty bits from the bottom of the pan.

Add the rest of the juices from the pan into the food processor and leave to cool for a couple of minutes.

Pulse the livers until fairly smooth and then add the rest of the butter to the mixture.

Taste for seasoning and place into serving dishes. Ramekins work well here. Smooth the pate down if you are topping with clarified butter.Place in the fridge while you make the clarified butter.

 

For the clarified butter:

 

Place the butter in a saucepan over a low heat and melt gently. When it has melted, switch the heat off. Do not move the pot. The solids will fall to the bottom leaving the golden clarified butter at the top. Using a small ladle or tablespoon, pour the butter over the surface of the pate and leave to set in the fridge.

 

Plum Chutney

Ingredients

 

500g plums, stones removed & chopped

shallots, finely chopped

1 tablespoon olive oil

100ml white wine vinegar

3 tablespoons of water

1 cinnamon stick

100 g demerara sugar

Method

 

Cut the plums in half down the crease, twist the halves in opposite directions and pull apart. Prize out the stones and discard. Roughly chop the flesh.

Heat the oil gently in a saucepan and add the shallots with a small pinch of salt to prevent them from burning. Soften for about 5 minutes or so

Add the chopped plums, vinegar, water, cinnamon and sugar. Stir until the sugar is dissolved, then simmer for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until softened and slightly thickened.

Place in a kilner jar or bowl and leave to cool and then store in the fridge until ready to use.