This year's Valentine’s Day falls on a Sunday, which gives you the time to prepare that special meal, while also making sure that you are safe and not at risk of contracting the Covid-19 virus.
If you are one of those looking to celebrate Valentine’s at home rather than heading out for a meal, we got some great suggestions from the chefs at Granny Mouse Country House and Spa and celebrity chef Neil Anthony.
They suggest you whip up these delicious and easy-to-make recipes at home and spoil your loved one on a romantic day or night in.
Smoked salmon and bacon risotto
200g smoked salmon cut into fine cubes
50g smoked streaky bacon
150g arborio rice
100ml rose or white wine
300ml chicken stock
½ onion finely chopped
2 cloves garlic chopped
1tbsp fennel flowers
100g parmesan cheese
Pour the oil into a heavy-based saucepan.
Add the onions, turmeric, and bacon, sauté on low heat until they become translucent.
In a separate pan, gently heat the stock. Do not allow it to boil, it just must be hot.
To the onions, add the garlic and rice. Continue to sauté for a further 3 minutes on low heat until the garlic gets soft.
Pour in the wine, increase the heat to maximum. Once the wine starts to boil, reduce the heat to medium.
Pour in half the chopped salmon.
Once the wine has reduced by half, begin to add the stock one ladle at a time, making sure that the liquid does not drown the rice and stirring occasionally. This process should take between 10 and 13 minutes, and by now the rice should have swollen but still a little hard to bite. If so, add the butter 1tsp at a time and stir occasionally.
When the rice has cooked, remove it from the heat.
Add the salmon, chopped fennel, and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Sprinkle the parmesan cheese when plated.
Crispy pork belly, red onion jam, and whole-grain mash
500g pork belly bone removed
2 onions roughly chopped
2 carrots roughly chopped
2 sticks of celery roughly chopped
2 bay leaves
1tsp black peppercorns
1l chicken stock
4 large red onions sliced
100ml red wine
100ml balsamic vinegar
200g white sugar
4 large potatoes chopped and boiled
3tbsp wholegrain mustard
50g chorizo chopped
30g broccoli tender stems or florets
50g pistachio nuts
6 portabella or button mushrooms cut into quarters
Place the pork belly skin side up.
Sprinkle the carrots, onions, and celery.
Pour the stock over this and cover it with foil paper.
Place in an oven preheated to 140 degrees Celsius for 3 ½ hours.
Transfer the belly onto another tray, place a heavyweight on it and cool overnight in the fridge.
Once ready – trim the edges of the pork belly to have either a perfect square or rectangle.
Divide this by two so that you have two equal pieces.
Add a little oil to a heavy-based frying pan.
Begin to seal the outer sides of the belly starting with the skin side.
Once all sides are golden brown and the skin crispy, place in the oven heated at 180 degrees Celsius for 5 minutes.
For the red onion jam
Sauté the onions in a pot on medium heat for about 3 min, add the wine and turn up the heat to high.
Continue to cook on high heat until the wine has reduced by half.
Once reduced, pour in the vinegar.
When the sauce begins to boil, reduce the heat to a light simmer.
Pour in the sugar and continue to cook until the liquid becomes thick and syrupy.
For the mash
Drain the boiled potatoes.
Pass them through a potato masher while they are still hot.
In a medium saucepan, add butter and melt on medium heat.
Add the potato and fold with a spatula breaking any lumps along the way.
Once the mash is smooth and has completely combined with the butter, add the mustard and continue to fold until combined and smooth.
Season with salt and pepper for taste.
In a frying pan, sauté the chorizo and mushrooms until the mushrooms are cooked through.
Deconstructed banoffee pie
1 tin caramel treat
1 large banana sliced
500ml double cream
1tsp vanilla essence
1tsp icing sugar
20g butter softened
100g Tennis biscuits crushed
250g banana puree
185ml double cream
1tsp vanilla essence
4 egg yolks
For the parfait. Add the sugar and water to a pan and bring to 118 degrees celsius.
Semi whip the cream and vanilla essence until almost at the soft peak stage.
Add the eggs to an upright electric mixer and whisk at high speed until the egg yolks become light and creamy in appearance.
Once the sugar mixture has reached temperature, gradually pour it into the eggs at a steady stream.
Continue to whisk at high speed until the mixture has cooled and doubled in size.
Once cool, gently fold in the cream followed by the banana puree.
Pour into moulds and freeze for about 12 hours
For the biscuit
Mix the crushed biscuits with the butter until they are combined and resemble a paste.
Press into a mould and bake in an oven at 180*c for 5 min or until it has become semi-solid.
Remove and cool.
For the cream
Whip the cream, vanilla essence, and icing sugar together with an upright electric whisk until it forms semi-hard peaks.
Transfer to a piping bag.
Transfer the caramel treat into a piping bag and pipe a spiral at the centre of the plate.
Slice the parfait and place just off the centre of the plate.
Roughly break the biscuit and arrange it randomly on the plate.
Pipe the cream haphazardly alongside the parfait.
Place the banana slices so that they lean on the whipped cream.
Recipes by chefs at Granny Mouse Country House.
Neil Anthony’s low and slow-roasted trout
240g lentils, drained and rinsed
150ml red quinoa
10ml vegetable stock
100ml orange juice
50ml that mayo (original)
2 limes, zested and cut into wedges
8g fresh coriander, rinsed and finely chopped
1 fresh chilli
2 rainbow trout fillet
160g green beans, rinsed, trimmed, and sliced into thirds
40g rocket, rinsed
Salt and pepper
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Place the lentils on a roasting tray. Coat in oil, season, and spread out in a single layer. Roast in the oven for 15 – 20 minutes until crispy, shifting halfway. Rinse the quinoa and place a pot with stock. Submerge in 400ml of water, stir through, and place over medium-high heat. Bring to a simmer uncovered and cook for 20 – 25 minutes until tender, with the tails popping out. If starting to dry out, add more water in small increments. On completion, drain if necessary and return to the pot. Clever with a lid and allow to stand off the heat for 5 minutes.
Place the orange juice in a saucepan over medium heat and simmer for 4 – 5 minutes until reduced by half. On completion, pour into a bowl and whisk in 3 tbsp of olive oil until combined. Set aside for the salad. Combine the mayonnaise with the juice of 4 lime wedges and three-quarters of the chopped coriander. Mix in the lime zest and chopped chilli, both to taste. Season and set aside for serving.
Pat the trout dry with a paper towel. Plac on a lightly greased baking tray, coat in oil, and season. Bake in the oven for 10 – 12 minutes until cooked through. Remove on completion, cover with tin foil, and allow to rest for 5 minutes before serving.
Return the saucepan to medium-high heat with a splash of water to cover the base. Once bubbling, simmer the sliced green beans for 4 – 5 minutes. On completion, they should be cooked al dente and the water should have evaporated. Place in a salad bowl, toss through a drizzle of oil, and season.
Add the crispy lentils and cooked quinoa to the bowl of green bean, and toss through the orange dressing. Toss the rinsed rocket with a drizzle of oil and some seasoning.
Make a bed of quinoa salad and either flake over the baked trout, or pop it on the top whole. Dollop over the chilli lime mayo and side with the rocket. Garnish with the renaming coriander and lime wedge.
Neil Anthony’s famous pea risotto
4 baby onions
15ml vegetable stock
100g pecorino cheese
200ml arborio rice
2 garlic cloves, peeled and grated
60ml non-alcoholic white wine
20g pine nuts
20ml balsamic glaze
8g fresh chives, rinsed and finely sliced
20g pea shoots, rinsed
Salt and pepper
Peel the onions and halved lengthways. Don't remove the tip that keeps the layers joined. Place a non-stick pan. Place the onion halves in the pan in a single layer and turn cut-side down. Once sizzling, reduce to low heat, pop on the lid, and allow to braise for 20 – 25 minutes until the cut side is golden and charred, surfing occasionally.
Boil the kettle. Dilute the stock with 80ml of boiling water. Grate three-quarters of the pecorino cheese, peel the rest into ribbons and set aside.
Place a large pot over medium heat with a drizzle of garlic for about a minute until coated. Mix in the white wine and simmer until almost evaporated. Add a ladle of stock and allow it to be absorbed by stirring regularly and gently simmering. Only add the next ladle of stock when the previous one has been fully absorbed. Repeat this process for 20 – 25 minutes.
Place the pine nuts in a pan over medium heat. Toast for 3 – 5 minutes until golden brown, shifting occasionally. Keep a close watch, they burn easily. Remove from the pan on completion and set aside for serving.
When the onions are charred, add in 2 – 3 small knobs of butter and three-quarters of the balsamic glaze, and give them a slight shift. Set the lid aside, allow to bubble for 2 -3 minutes until; sticky, then remove from the heat. Stir through the grated cheese, a generous knob of butter, half of the sliced chives, and seasoning to taste.
Dish up a generous mound of risotto and lay over the braised onions. Top with the rinsed pea shoots and sprinkle over the renaming chives. Garnish with the renaming balsamic glaze to taste, the pecorino ribbons, and the pine nuts.