Valentine’s Day is just around the corner and this year we haven’t got the luxury of opting for a romantic dinner for 2 in a fancy restaurant, so why not take the opportunity to hone your culinary skills and bring the fancy restaurant to your kitchen! We’ve put together a simple mouth-watering menu to make a Lockdown Valentine’s Day something Special.
Starters – Buttery Chilli Prawns
Spicy seafood is a really versatile dish for sharing – make sure there’s plenty of bread for the juices.
2 tbsp olive oil
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 red chilli, seeds left in and finely chopped
½ tsp sweet paprika
12-20 large raw king prawns with shells
Juice 1 lemon, plus a few slices for a finger bowl
½ small bunch parsley, roughly chopped
Small loaf crusty bread, warmed to serve
- Melt the butter and oil together in a frying pan. Add the garlic, chilli and paprika, then fry for 1-2 mins until starting to turn golden. Turn up the heat, throw in the prawns and fry for a few mins, stirring, until all the prawns turn pink. Take off the heat, season and stir in the lemon juice and parsley.
- Add some lemon slices to a finger bowl of warm water, grab a bowl for the shells, then dig straight in with your fingers and mop up the juices with bread
Mains – Pasta Carbonara
There’s something romantic about a classic pasta carbonara. Creamy and comforting, this feel-good pasta is a go-to for date night.
1 454 g package of penne or any pasta
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 150g package of pancetta, chopped
1 125g package of prosciutto, chopped
1 cup mascarpone cheese
4 egg yolks
1 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded
1 bunch fresh oregano, chopped
- Splash the olive oil into a skillet over medium heat. Add the pancetta and prosciutto cook, gently sautéing and browning until crisp, about 5 minutes. In a separate bowl, whisk together the mascarpone cream, eggs yolks, Parmesan and oregano.
- Cook the pasta in lots of boiling salted water until it is tender yet chewy – al dente – 8 to 10 minutes. Drain the pasta but don’t rinse it or wash the pot just yet!
- Return the cooked noodles to their cooking pot and toss in the cooked pancetta and prosciutto. Stir the egg yolk mixture into the hot noodles, allowing the heat of the freshly cooked pasta to immediately thicken the works into an egg yolk rich cheese sauce. Serve and share pronto!
Dessert – Chocolate Peanut Butter Skillet Cookie
Date night at home isn’t complete without this chocolate peanut butter skillet cookie.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Bake Time: 20 to 25 minutes
Total Time: 35 to 40 minutes
1 ⅓ cup all-purpose flour
¾ tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
¾ stick butter, room temperature
¼ cup smooth peanut butter
¼ cup granulated sugar
½ cup brown sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp espresso powder
1 tsp water
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate, chopped or chunks
Flaky sea salt
1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, cream together butter, peanut butter, sugar and brown sugar for about 2 minutes. Add the egg and cream until light and airy, about 3-5 minutes. Dissolve the espresso powder with water and add to the stand mixer, along with the vanilla extract.
- With the mixer on low, add the flour mixture and mix just until the dough comes together. Fold in the chopped chocolate.
- Divide the cookie dough amongst two 6.5-inch cast iron skillets or one 10-inch skillet. Sprinkle flaky sea salt on top of the dough. Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes until the edges are golden. Serve warm with a scoop of ice cream.
Clinton and Fiona