Valentine’s

On our third Valentine’s Day as a couple, Chef managed to woo me off my feet by cooking me a 3-course meal.

Oh the orgasmic delight of eating homemade food served right in front of you in the comforts of your pajamas. I just have to say, I helped cook the eggs (my proud perfect poached eggs!!) as well as wash a lot of the dishes Mr. Tornado Cook left afterwards.

Trifecta

Valentine Trifecta – (from left) Char-grilled asparagus, arugula, pickled red onion and smoked salmon salad; char-grilled duck breast with pineapple, chilli and soy; chocolate lava cake with caramel center.

I’m not going to lie and say the recipes are original and take credit for it. Chef went online and searched for recipes he liked and he was actually very excited to cook them that I can’t help but smile and get excited as well. The only original recipe is the salmon, which I won’t share here MUAHAHAHAHAH!!

Duck Breast with Pineapple and Soy original recipe here

½ large fresh pineapple
3 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp soft brown sugar (or honey)
3 garlic cloves, chopped
A golfball-sized piece of fresh ginger, peeled and finely sliced
½-1 fresh red chilli (according to heat), deseeded and finely chopped
A few twists of black pepper
2 boneless duck breasts
A little sunflower oil
2 spring onions, finely sliced
A little caster sugar, for dusting

Peel the pineapple and cut off two 2cm-thick slices. Cut these into quarters and trim off the core. Roughly chop the rest of the pineapple and, with your hands, squeeze out the juice into a bowl.

Mix three or four tablespoons of the juice with the soy, sugar (or honey), garlic, ginger, chilli and black pepper. Make three or four slashes in the skin of each duck breast, cutting deep into the fat but not as far as the flesh. Put the breasts in the marinade and turn to coat. Marinate for a couple of hours, if possible, but even 10 minutes will do.

Heat the oven to 220C/425F/gas mark 7. Grease a frying pan with sunflower oil and put it on a high heat. Wipe the marinade off the duck and sear quickly all over. Put the breasts skin side up in an ovenproof dish into which they’ll fit snugly. Tuck the spring onions underneath and pour over the marinade. Roast for eight to 10 minutes, until the skin is browned and crisp – at this point, the meat should still be pink.

Remove the breasts and leave to rest on a warmed plate. In a small, lightly oiled pan, fry the reserved pineapple slices, dusting them with a little sugar and turning occasionally, so they brown. Strain the meat juices into the pan and reduce to a syrupy sauce, tossing the pineapple pieces to coat them. Put the duck in the pan and turn a few times to coat.

Slice the duck and arrange on plates. Spoon the sauce and pineapple over and around the meat. Serve with rice and steamed greens.

Chocolate Lava Cake with Caramel Center original recipe here

INGREDIENTS
For the caramel filling
150 g sugar
150 ml double cream
1 tsp salt (course sea salt)
For the chocolate sponge
large bar of dark chocolate (150g? min. 60% cocoa solids)
85 g butter
cocoa powder
170 g light brown sugar
85 g flour
6 eggs

MAKE THE CARAMEL FILLING
1. Sprinkle enough sugar to cover the bottom of the medium sized saucepan
2. Cook this until it melts and begins to go golden brown then add the rest of the sugar
3. Cook all the sugar until it reaches a cola colour
4. Add 150 ml double cream (be careful at this stage – stand back – it does boil up)
5. add 1 tsp of salt
6. Cook until it reaches 108 deg or it coats the back of a spoon
7. Pour into a bowl and carefully place in the fridge to cool (this is piped into the chocolate sponge later so its got to stay runny)

MAKE THE CHOCOLATE SPONGE
1. Put water into a saucepan and bring to a simmer
meanwhile
2. Break the chocolate bar into a bowl
3. Add 85g of butter
then
4. Place the bowl over the saucepan to melt the chocolate and butter (stir occasionally)
meanwhile
5. Grease ramekins
6. Coat the inside of the ramekin with cocoa powder
7. Mix 170g of light brown sugar with 85 g of flour in a baking bowl
8. Then add the melted chocolate and butter and mix through
9. Crack and blend six eggs
10. Add the eggs to the mixture in the bowl and blend thoroughly
11. Ladle the mixture into the ramekins filling about three quarters full (leaving room for the caramel sauce which gets added later)
12. Chill the filled ramekins for about an hour in the fridge
13. Squeeze the caramel into the chocolate mixture using a piping bag
14. Bake 180oC for 15min

We went all out! We had a feast! We had a bottle of white wine, and a bottle of red wine and had coffee with dessert. Then we watched Argo.

And I gave Chef a cute little bear wearing a cute orange shirt with his name on it. 😀

Peter

Forgive me for bragging about what we did for Valentine’s, it’s not often that someone would make so much effort to cook me something. ❤

So, what did you have for Valentine’s? 🙂

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