The aphrodisiac qualities of food have been a part of romanticfolklore since Eve handed Adam that apple in the Garden of Eden. Today, there’s no easier way to add a touch of je ne sais quoi to Valentine’s Day than by cooking up a feast in the kitchen.
Why not start off the day with Nigella Lawson’s Raspberry Swirls? To make these all you’ll need is a cup of frozen raspberries, two teaspoons of icing sugar, Greek yoghurt and two oatmeal cookies.
Firstly put the raspberries in a blender, blend them slightly, add the sugar and blend again until the mix forms a gooey paste. Crush the biscuits with a rolling pin. Spoon the mix into a glass, add a layer of yoghurt, a layer of biscuits and repeat, so you have six layers of red, white and biscuit crumbs. These take five minutes to prepare, lookirresistible and are the perfect brekkie to kick off a day of love.
But let’s be honest, the most delectable part of V-day is the evening. It’s when the sun starts to fade that our taste buds crave a tender and luscious treat, and what could be more tempting than Sticky fig lamb cutlets with warm bean & couscous salad.
For this recipe, you’ll need 100 grams (g) of couscous; six lamb cutlets; two tablespoons of olive oil; 200g of green beans (cooked); four tablespoons of fig jam mixed with two tablespoons of water; two tablespoons of balsamic vinegar; half a small red onion, thinly sliced; handful of cherry tomatoes, halved; zest and juice from half a lemon and small handful of mint leaves.
This dish sounds complicated but actually it’s really easy to prepareand only takes about fifteen minutes. First, cook the couscous and leave it to sit. Then season the cutlets with the oil, salt and pepper and cook in a hot frying pan for approximately three minutes,brushing them with the fig jam as they cook.
For the final minute of cooking, add the vinegar. When the cutlets are cooked, transfer them to a plate, but allow the remaining juice tobubble. Put your couscous in a bowl and mix it well with the tomatoes, beans, onion, mint, and lemon.
To make a gorgeous meal for two, put three cutlets on each plate, two generous spoonfuls of the couscous salad and drizzle the remaining juice on top. Don’t forget the candles, music and red wine.
No Valentine’s Day is complete without a divine dessert, and to whet your romantic appetite, may we suggest Chocolate Melting Cakes, because let’s be honest, nothing sets the mood better than melted chocolate.
For this recipe, you’ll need ten ounces of bittersweet chocolate,chopped; four tablespoons of unsalted butter; five eggs; half a cup of sugar; three-quarters of a cup of all-purpose flour; one and a half teaspoons of baking powder; pinch of salt; caramel sauce and coffee ice cream.
First heat the oven to 325 degrees F and grease an eight-cup baking tray. Melt the chocolate and the butter in a bowl over a pan of hot water. In another bowl, mix the eggs and sugar until light and fluffy, then add the flour, baking powder, salt, and melted chocolate. Mix until the mixture has a smooth texture, and then spoon it into the tray.
Cook them for about fifteen minutes. They’ll still look at bit moistwhen you take them from the oven, but that’s what you want. Leave them to sit for five minutes and serve them with the caramel sauce and coffee ice cream. Mmm, that’s a taste of heaven in your mouth. Where you choose to eat it is, of course, up to you and your lover.
aphrodisiac (adj.) – erotic
folklore (n.) – legend, myth
Garden of Eden (id.) – garden of God from the Bible, the book Genesis
je ne sais quoi (id.) – French idiom, used in English to describe something special/romantic
feast (n.) – extravagant meal
raspberries (n.) – type of small red berry
cookies (n.) – biscuits
blender (n.) – a kitchen utensil that used to mix foods
gooey paste (id.) – sticky, liquid mixture
crush (v.) – flatten
a rolling pin (n.) – a kitchen utensil used to make dough
layer (n.) – row
brekkie (n.) – slang for breakfast
irresistible (adj.) – so good you can’t resist it
delectable (adj.) – gorgeous
V-day (n.) – Valentine’s Day
fade (v.) – dim
crave (v.) – to want
tender (adj.) – soft
luscious treat (id.) – beautiful or tasty food
tempting (adj.) – attractive
lamb cutlets (id.) – a special cut of lamb
tablespoons (n.) – big spoon
fig jam (n.) – jam made from figs
handful (adj.) – a small quantity that fits in the hand
prepare (v.) – to get ready
thinly sliced (id.) – cut very finely
zest (n.) – flavor
season (v.) – to add salt and pepper
brushing (v.) –cover
transfer (v.) – to move
bubble (v.) – to bring something to the boil
divine (adj.) – heavenly
whet (v.) – sharpen
sets the mood (id.) – creates the right atmosphere
chopped (v.) – cut up into small pieces
grease (v.) – to add oil to a pan so the food doesn’t stick to it
fluffy (adj.) – creamy
moist (adj.) – damp
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