Showing posts with label romantic meal. Show all posts
Showing posts with label romantic meal. Show all posts

Monday, 27 April 2015

fresh mackerel with roasted rhubarb

This combination of mackerel and rhubarb is absolutely delicious. Furthermore, it is so easy and quick to prepare. A perfect dish for brunch, lunch or an after work supper dish. This is a recipe we always make as soon as rhubarb is in season, as it never fails to hit the spot. 

for the roasted rhubarb
4-5 stalks rhubarb
1 tbsp light brown sugar

for the mackerel
2 fresh mackerel, filleted
1 tbsp seasoned plain flour
1 tbsp olive oil
3/4 sprigs of chopped rosemary
1 tbsp capers, drained
a splash of sherry vinegar

  1. Cut the rhubarb into roughly 6in lengths and place in a roasting tin with half a teacup of water and the sugar. 
  2. Place in a preheated oven (200C/400F/Gas 6) and roast until it is soft enough to stab with a fork, about 10-15 minutes. Allow it to cool, drain and set aside the cooking juices.
  3. Dip the skin side of each mackerel fillet into the flour to coat. Place the mackerel fillet, skin side down, in a pan of heated oil. Scatter over the rosemary. Add the roasted rhubarb to the side of the pan to heat through, then add the capers.
  4. Turn the mackerel after two minutes and then cook for another minute or two. Add the sherry vinegar and allow it just to come to the boil. 
  5. Remove the mackerel and rhubarb and add a little of the reserved juices to the pan. Scrap round the pan with a wooden spoon to lift the crispy bits. Serve straightaway, with the sauce over the mackerel and the rhubarb on the side.
Believe me when I say you will love this dish. Perfect for Spring.

Have a fabulous day lovelies.

Monday, 30 September 2013

a romantic italian theme night

I have been wanting to do a theme night for a while now, so I made it part of my September bucket list. As I wanted it to be a romantic evening, I decided it had to have an Italian theme.

I decorated the table with a red checked cloth to make it look authentic. I added candles and a rosemary plant. You can not have an Italian meal without Prosecco, it is a perfect accompaniment.
With olive bread and olives too, this is a winner.

Starter  - Bruschetta with tomato and basil.

Ingredients (for 2)
4 slces (2cm) ciabatta loaf
250g small plum tomatoes
5 fresh basil leaves torn
1 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper
1 garlic clove halved

  1. Toast ciabatta slices on a hot griddle pan for about 3 minutes each side. Leave to cool a little.
  2. Quarter the tomatoes and place in a bowl. Tear in the basil then add the oil, salt and pepper. Mix together, cover and leave for a few minutes.
  3. Lightly rub the garlic on both sides of each slice.
  4. Place 2-3 tablespoons of the mixture on each slice of bread and place on serving board or plate.
  5. Drizzle with the remaining juices, then enjoy.

Main - Tagliatelle with prawns and creamy Marsala sauce.

15g salted butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 shallot, peeled and finely chopped
30g walnuts chopped
150g uncooked prawns, peeled
5 cherry tomatoes, cut into quarters
30ml Marsala wine
125ml double cream
1/2 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
200g fresh egg tagliatelle (shop bought or recipe here)
1 tablespoon freshly chopped flat leaf parsley
salt and pepper to taste
  1. Melt the butter and oil in a frying pan over a low heat then fry the shallots and walnuts for 2 minutes.
  2. Over a medium heat add the prawns and tomatoes, salt and pepper, and cook for 30 seconds.
  3. Add the Marsala wine and cook for another minute.
  4. Pour in the cream and the balsamic vinegar, and cook for 2 minutes. Set aside.
  5. Cook the pasta in boiling salted water until 'al dente'. Drain and then tip back into the same pan.
  6. Pour in the cream sauce with the parsley. Toss everything together for about 30 seconds and serve. 
Dessert - Tiramisu

3 tablespoons drinking chocolate
150ml of semi-skimmed milk
150ml whipping cream
125g mascarpone cheese. 
1 1/2 tablespoons caster sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
10 lady finger (trifle) biscuits
2 chocolate flakes, or grated chocolate, to decorate.
  1. Put the drinking chocolate and milk in a saucepan over a medium heat, stirring occasionally.
  2. Pour into a bowl and leave to cool when dissolved.
  3. Whip the cream in a bowl until you can make soft peaks.
  4. Add the mascarpone, sugar and vanilla extract and whisk for 10 seconds.
  5. Dip 4 biscuits into the chocolate milk for a couple of seconds on each side and put one on the base of each desert dish. 
  6. Share out half of the mascarpone cream between the dishes, to cover the biscuits.
  7. Add layers of biscuits and cream, depending on the dishes, finishing with a layer of the cream.
  8. Chill for one hour.
  9. Serve with chocolate flakes on each dessert.
Of course, you need some music while you dine. You can have the usual cheesy music, but why not try something a little different like Anna Tatangelo, keeping the Italian theme but making it a little more contemporary.

We finished the night off with Limoncello and a favourite film of mine, 'Under The Tuscan Sun.' It's so perfect and dreamy, just right for an Italian theme night.

Have a great Monday.

Monday, 2 September 2013

raspberry, ricotta, rocket & serrano ham salad

'Raspberry, ricotta, rocket and serrano ham all together in a salad', I hear you say! Believe me, a perfect combination! This is an ideal recipe for summer, or even for a romantic meal on Valentines Day.

One of my prompts for the September photo a day challenge was 'My name begins with.' As I love cooking, I thought I would make a recipe with alliteration in it. Raspberry, ricotta and rocket are perfect as my name begins with R. A lovely salad to eat before autumn sets in!

This serves 2 as a light meal or 4 as a starter.

50g rocket
150g raspberries
40g of parma or serrano ham
65g ricotta cheese

Dressing ingredients
1 tsp rosemary leaves, finely chopped
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp cider vinegar
1/2 tsp honey
salt and pepper

Put the dressing ingredients in a small jug and whisk briskly with a fork. Spread the rocket over a large plate and trickle a third of the dressing over it.Scatter the raspberries over the rocket, then tear the ham and add.
Dot the ricotta over the salad and drizzle over the rest of the dressing.

Serve immediately. 

The flavours in this salad go so well together. It's delicious and so easy and quick to make. 

I used a recipe from Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's column in the Guardian.

I am joining up with Jenni from Story Of My Life starting tomorrow. She is doing a blog challenge for September using different prompts. When she did this before in May, I blogged everyday and really enjoyed it and had the pleasure of meeting new people.

I will be blogging everyday in the week and sometimes I may post twice daily.

If you are interested in joining up too, here is the link.

Have a happy Monday.

Friday, 23 August 2013

how to make home made ravioli

There is little to beat fresh pasta and home made is even better. It is so simple to make your own pasta and it is so worth the effort. Everyone will immediately be able to tell that they are eating something a little special.

I made my own pasta for this ravioli with ricotta cheese and smoked salmon, but you can buy sheets of fresh pasta to save time.

First, this is how to make the pasta.

Ingredients for the pasta dough (serves 6)
300g (2 1/2 cups) white flour, type '00' plus some for dusting
3 medium eggs
1/2 teaspoon fine salt
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
(Note - I made half the quantity here)

1. Sift the flour onto your worktop and make a well in the centre.
2. Break in the eggs.
3. Add in the salt and oil.
4. Using the handle of a wooden spoon, mix the flour into the eggs, working from the centre outwards. Once you have a crumbly texture, scoop the mixture together with your hands and start to knead until you have a soft dough. Knead then for about 8 minutes as you would knead bread. Roll the dough into a ball, cover with clingfilm and leave to rest in the fridge for 20 minutes.
5. Once it is rested, flatten the dough, with your hands, so that it will fit through the pasta machine.
6. Lightly flour the pasta on both sides and start to roll it through the pasta machine, from the widest to the thinnest setting. Make sure you keep the pasta dusted at each stage. You will be left with a long sheet of this pasta ready to use (use within the hour).

Ingredients for the ravioli filling
750g (3 3/4 cups) ricotta cheese
zest of 2 unwaxed lemons
300g (about 10oz) smoked salmon
3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh chives 
salt and pepper to taste

Other ingredients
oil to drizzle for serving
chives to sprinkle for serving
a beaten egg to assemble the ravioli

1. Place all the ingredients for the filling in a large bowl and mix together with a fork. Add salt and pepper to taste.. Cover and place in the fridge to rest for 10 minutes.
2. Lay the pasta sheets on a work surface which has been dusted with flour. Put teaspoonfuls of the filling at 4cm (1 1/2 inch) intervals across half of the rolled out dough. Brush the spaces between the fillings with the beaten egg. Gently cover with the rest of the dough and press down between the parcels of filling on all sides. 
3. Use a pastry or pasta wheel, or sharp knife, to cut the pasta into squares between the fillings.
4. Cook the ravioli in a large saucepan of boiling salted water for 3 minutes. I did this in batches. Drain and place in the middle of a large serving plate and season with salt and pepper. Drizzle over a little olive oil, sprinkle with the chives and serve.

This recipe can be a little fiddly but, once tried, home made ravioli will become a firm favourite.

I took this recipe from Gino's Pasta by Gino D'Acampo.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Monday, 15 April 2013

what I wore for a date night

These photos were taken on our first night away on our little spring break. We got dressed up and went for a lovely meal just a short walk away from the hotel we were staying in. As I said in my last post I tried to pack items of similar colours to mix and match. You can probably tell from my earlier posts that I am in love with the colour burgundy at the moment. (Four items of burgundy on here!)

My skinny jeans go everywhere with me, I just find them so versatile and comfortable, especially if the weather isn't great (we usually have a downpour while we are away.) So I am always prepared with my skinnies and an umbrella. I fell in love with the pretty detail on this blouse when I first saw it. I can wear it under a blazer like this or just with jeans or a skirt in the summer as it has short sleeves.

How do you pack for a short break away?

We decided to try a place called the Yoyo bar and restaurant to eat. We have had gorgeous cocktails there when we have visited before so we thought we would try the food. Of course, it goes without saying that we had a bottle of Merlot (my favourite!)

The food was great, for starters we shared chicken spring rolls and steamed minced pork encased in wanton pastry. For our main courses I had stir fry prawns and water chestnuts and S had a chicken massaman curry. Everything about the meal was perfect; unfortunately I was too full for a dessert!

Hope you will join me for the next installment of our trip.

Topshop skinny jeans - wardrobe (last seen here)
Topshop burgundy blazer - wardrobe
Topshop cream blouse - wardrobe
New Look boots - wardrobe
New Look clutch bag - wardrobe
Topshop & H&M bracelets - wardrobe
Primark ring - wardrobe
River Island watch - wardrobe (last seen here)
Gifted name necklace - wardrobe
Topshop long necklace - wardrobe

Friday, 15 February 2013

romantic meal for two

This was my table setting for a romantic meal for two that S and myself had on Valentines Day. I love the French shabby chic look so I tried to recreate it for the evening. Prosecco adds the finishing touch! Can you tell how much I love the colour pink?

Smoked salmon with prawns, horseradish cream and lime vinaigrette.
What a delicious and stunning starter! An easy twenty minutes of preparation and voila! The flavours all work so well together; a real taste of heaven! A real dinner party pleaser! The beauty of this recipe is you can make it in advance. I will definitely be making this for a meal with friends.

Stuffed chicken breast wrapped in pancetta

Another dinner party special! Simple and easy to prepare, this dish had a real wow factor! I didn't expect this to be as good as it was with it being so simple to make, but I was sooooo wrong! Melt in the mouth food!

Raspberry and rose trifles
A perfect Valentines Day dessert. Talk about save the best till last! Now I do like a good dessert but there are no words to describe how divine this trifle was. How many different words are there for delicious! Cointreau or raspberry liqueur can be used for a different twist too. Looking at the picture is really starting to make my mouth water!

What are your ideal recipes for a romantic meal?

(Click on the links for the recipes if you fancy making them, enjoy!)