It’s the week leading up to Valentine’s Day, so I’ve got a mixture of quick meals and tapas that will keep you and your loved one fed – without anyone being chained to the kitchen.
Breakfast: Sweet and Spanish courgette omelette – an omelette that uses honey is perhaps a little out of the ordinary, but paired with courgettes, it makes a deliciously light meal.
Lunch: Gentle Giant Beans with Cheese and Spinach – this is a warming dish which can be very quickly made (the instructions look long, but they are, in fact, simple) . Serve it with ham and chutney for a hearty lunch.
Dinner: Chicken tagine with preserved lemons – I love the flavours of the Middle East, and this is a perfect Saturday dinner as it takes a couple of hours to marinate. If you can get them, the preserved lemons make all the difference.
Breakfast: Eggs benedict – it’s a brunch classic for a reason. I’ve got a foolproof way of making the Hollandaise, and the poached eggs are a doddle once you’ve got the hang of them.
Lunch: Middle-Eastern nearly devils on horseback – a recipe of sausages, dates, and bacon – it’s difficult to go wrong with this one. You can easily make as much or as little as you need for lunch.
Dinner: Lemon salmon with new potatoes – this particular method of cooking salmon keeps the moisture in beautifully. And better yet, because the potatoes and the salmon are cooked in the same pan, it saves on washing up.
Cocktail: Vodka tends to go well with salmon – why not try a Moscow mule using RK Vodka? It’s exceptionally light and smooth.
Dinner: Sweet and salty prawns with black rice – Why sweet and salty? Well, the pepper and caramelised onion give the sweetness, and the lardons lend the saltiness. It’s a very quick dish – perfect for a Monday evening.
Dinner: Warm bean and new potato salad with a gorgonzola dressing – quick and easy, this recipe also makes use of any leftover new potatoes that you had from Sunday’s dinner.
Dinner: Chicken schnitzels coated in seeds and turmeric – these moist and succulent chicken schnitzels are extremely quick and easy to put together. Pair with a simple salad and you’re good to go.
Dinner: Chicken salad with avocado and dried berries – This is a ten-minute recipe that is actually interesting, as it requires some dried cranberries, goji berries, or sour cherries. This easy salad is also perfect for using up any leftover chicken from last night’s dinner.
Dinner: Celebrate Valentine’s Day with a Spanish-inspired tapas selection of gambas al ajillo (prawns with gin and garlic), garbanzos y espinacas (spinach with chickpeas) and patatas bravas. If you’re looking to really spice up your night, try making pimientos de Padrón – a mix of peppers, some hotter than others!
Pudding: Not-too-sweet fudge petit fours – continuing the theme of finger foods, these tiny fudge petit fours are fabulous for both sweet-tooths and sweethearts.
Cocktail: To go with the petit fours, try a whisky or rum. If you’re looking to experiment a little, Nc’nean Distillery has a botanical spirit which has creamy, nutty, barley notes that would go well with fudge.
Finally, if you’re really looking to impress, a box of triple truffles from JK Fine Chocolates would do just nicely.