Partridge Pantry | Our guide to a romantic meal at home

Forget going out for a Valentines meal and letting someone else get all the credit. Cooking a beautiful three course meal at home is appreciated so much more. You can still get dressed up, light some candles and play your favourite music in the background whilst feeling, well, completely at home! 

Our team member Jules has picked out her ideal three course Valentines menu that she will be preparing this weekend. Follow the recipes below to impress your Valentine with an indulgent, romantic meal.

 

Starter - Oysters with ginger Japanese dressing

Japanese oysters with ginger

This starter is really fresh and powerful. A great way to start your meal off with a zing. It's so quick and easy to make, but will really impress.

 

Ingredients

  • ginger 1cm piece, finely grated
  • spring onions 2, finely shredded
  • Japanese soy sauce 1 tbsp
  • Japanese rice vinegar 1 tbsp
  • golden caster sugar 1 tsp
  • oysters 24, freshly shucked
  • salmon roe or tobiko 50g

Method

  • STEP 1

Put the ginger and most of the spring onion in a bowl, then add the soy sauce, rice vinegar and sugar and leave for 5 minutes.

  • STEP 2

Arrange the oysters on a platter of ice. Put some dressing and some more shredded spring onion in each. Divide the roe between them.

 

Main - Indulgent Lobster Mac 'N' Cheese

Lobster mac n cheese

This rich, creamy and flavourful main course goes beautifully with some tender stem broccoli and fine green beans.

Ingredients

  • cooked lobster 1 whole about 800g, see notes below
  • whole milk 700ml
  • bay leaf 1
  • black peppercorns 1 tsp
  • unsalted butter 35g
  • plain flour 2 tbsp
  • parmesan 100g, finely grated
  • gruyère 100g, grated
  • amori or other small tubular pasta 300g
  • chives a small bunch, finely chopped

MAC 'N' CHEESE TOPPING

  • breadcrumbs 50g
  • parmesan 50g, finely grated
  • cayenne pepper ½ tsp

Method

  • STEP 1

Break off the claws from the lobster, and gently tap them with a rolling pin to break the shell and wriggle out the meat. Cut into large pieces. Cut the body in half length ways, remove the shell and roughly chop the meat – you want to keep it chunky.

  • STEP 2

Put the lobster shells into a pan with the milk, bay leaf and peppercorns, and bring to the boil, then remove from the heat and strain.

  • STEP 3

In a separate pan, melt the butter and add the flour. Cook, stirring regularly, until it turns a nutty brown colour. Slowly add the infused milk to the pan, in small additions, stirring well in between until you have a smooth sauce. Stir in the cheeses and cook gently for a few minutes until completely melted.

  • STEP 4

Cook the pasta in a large pan of boiling salted water until al dente. Drain and stir this through the cheese sauce, season and add the chives and chopped lobster meat. Tip into a large baking or gratin dish.

  • STEP 5

Heat the grill to medium-high. Mix the breadcrumbs, parmesan and cayenne in a bowl, sprinkle evenly over the pasta and grill for 5 minutes until golden brown (keep a careful eye on it so it doesn’t catch or burn).

Order whole cooked lobster from the fishmonger or look out for packs of frozen or fresh cooked lobster tails in supermarkets. They are often on special offer at this time of year. You could also use crayfish or crab as an alternative – you’ll need around 200g of cooked meat.

Dessert - Passion Fruit Panna Cotta

Passion fruit panna cotta

The perfect end to a romantic meal is this light and fresh Panna Cotta. Fresh passion fruit with the silky smooth texture of the panna cotta. Delicious!

Ingredients

  • gelatine 2 1/2 leaves
  • passion fruits 8
  • whole milk 200ml
  • double cream 300ml
  • caster sugar 80g
  • icing sugar 1 tbsp

Method

  • STEP 1

Soak the gelatine leaves in a bowl of cold water. Meanwhile, halve 4 of the passion fruits and scoop out the seeds and pulp.

  • STEP 2

Mix the milk and cream in a bowl, then pour half into a pan and warm over a low heat. Tip in the caster sugar and the passion fruit seeds and pulp, and stir until the sugar has dissolved, then remove from the heat.

  • STEP 3

Squeeze out the gelatine sheets, then add them to the pan and stir until the gelatine has dissolved.

  • STEP 4

Strain the liquid through a sieve into a jug and stir in the rest of the milk mixture. Pour into 4 moulds and chill for 4 hours or overnight until set.

  • STEP 5

Halve the rest of the passion fruits and mix the seeds and pulp with the icing sugar. Push through a sieve into a bowl, then add 1 tbsp of seeds caught in the sieve. Taste and mix in a little more icing sugar if it needs sweetening.

  • STEP 6

Turn out the panna cottas by briefly dipping the bases of the moulds in hot water. Spoon over the passion fruit sauce to serve.

 

The Perfect Tipple 

Elevate your night with these drinks that accompany the menu delightfully...

White Wine

Ardeche Chardonnay, Louis Latour 2015 


'Bright, yellow-green in colour with citrus and orchard fruit aromas and a dewy freshness. The palate is crisp, light to medium-bodied with good concentration and mid palate texture. A very enjoyable and versatile, unoaked white wine.' - Ramus

Bubbles

Waitrose Sparkling Pecorino Italy

'Citrus blossom and freshly squeezed lemon are energised by fine bubbles in this friendly sparkling wine…Waitrose & Partners W wines are lesser-know varieties from around the world, carefully chosen by our Buyers. The Pecorino grape variety is usually made into still wines, but here it is a deliciously elegant sparkling wine.' - Waitrose

 

If like us, your taste buds are tingling and you know this menu would be perfect for your partner then what are you waiting for? If you go ahead with any of these dishes, please share your creations with us by using the hashtag #partridgepantry

All photos and recipes from www.olivemagazine.com

 

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