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Valentine's Day special recipes for your loved one

By Vishaka Rautela
Last updated on: February 09, 2015 16:11 IST
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Food blogger Vishaka Rautela tells you how to surprise your loved one with a romantic meal.

First up is Strawberry Decadence -- a mix between strawberry cheesecake, strawberries and cream.

A sprinkle of chocolate powder and a sticky sweet kick of marshmallows makes it an interesting dessert.

Here's the recipe for Strawberry Decadence inspired by Ina Parmaan.

Strawberry Decadence

Ingredients

  • 1/2 tin condensed milk
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 150 gm cream cheese
  • 1/2 packet thick Amul cream
  • 12 big chopped strawberries
  • 1 strawberry for decoration
  • 1 tsp powdered chocolate
  • 4 chopped marshmallows (optional)

Method

  • Blend condensed milk and lime juice in a mixer.
  • Add vanilla extract and strawberries and blend again.
  • Add cream cheese.
  • Whip the cream (use only the thick part, discard the liquid) in a separate bowl and fold the strawberry cream cheese mixture into it.
  • Pour into glasses or bowls and refrigerate till serving time.
  • Before you serve, decorate with chocolate powder and a sliced strawberry piece.

Pan Seared Chicken in Drunken Fig Sauce

This wonderful gourmet dish -- chicken in fig sauce served on a bed of wilted garlic spinach along with smoked portobellos and mashed potatoes -- is perfect for  a romantic dinner.

Here's the recipe:

Chicken in Fig Sauce

Ingredients

For the Fig Sauce

  • 3/4 cup chopped dried figs
  • 1 cup cognac
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1" cinnamon
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • 4 chopped garlic
  • 3 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp maida
  • Pinch of salt

For the chicken

  • 6 pcs chicken
  • 1 tbsp ginger garlic paste
  • Salt as required
  • 1 tsp paprika powder
  • Olive oil

Method

  • Soak the figs in cognac overnight. Add bay leaf and cinnamon.
  • Marinate the chicken for two hours with the ingredients mentioned under 'for the chicken'.
  • Heat oil in a pan and add chicken. Sear on both sides for a couple of minutes.
  • Lower the flame, cover and cook till chicken is nearly ready. Remove the pieces and keep aside.
  • In the same pan, add onions and garlic and saute them in the leftover oil.
  • When onions turn pink, add maida and mix well.
  • Add stock. Bring to a boil and simmer for 3 to 4 minutes.
  • Add soaked figs and 2 tbsp of the cognac and cook till it becomes tender. If the sauce dries out, add some chicken stock or water.
  • Add salt, balsamic vinegar and thyme. Cook for a minute. Turn off the flame and allow it to cool.
  • Strain the sauce and keep aside.
  • Before you serve, add some leftover cognac to the same pan in which the sauce was cooked.
  • Deglaze it and then add the chicken and few tbsp of the fig sauce. Give it a good mix and turn off the gas when the chicken is well coated in the sauce.

Wilted Garlic Spinach

Ingredients

  • 1 bunch chopped spinach
  • 5 cloves garlic sliced
  • Salt as required
  • Olive oil or butter

Method

  • Heat oil or butter in a pan, add the garlic and let it become lightly golden.
  • Add spinach and cook till wilted and the rawness goes out. Dry out excess water
  • Season with salt and pepper.

Mashed Potatoes

Ingredients

  • 5 boiled potatoes
  • 1-2 tbsp melted butter
  • 2 tbsp hot milk
  • Salt as required

Method

  • Mash the potatoes and pass it through a sieve to remove lumps.
  • Add butter, milk and salt. Mix well and keep aside.

Smoked Portobellos

  • 10 portobello mushrooms
  • 2 tbsp spiced garlic butter (readymade or butter mixed with minced garlic, herbs and chilli flakes)
  • 3 cheese cubes
  • Olive oil

Method

  • Rub olive oil on the mushrooms. Stick a fork and char over the gas till emits aroma.
  • Remove the stalks and stuff the caps with spiced garlic butter
  • Microwave for 7 minutes at 600 degrees.
  • Top with a piece of cheese and microwave again for 1 minute or till cheese melts.

Cognac Infused Truffles with Fig and Walnut

Cognac Infused Truffle

Ingredients

  • 2 cup chopped dark chocolate
  • 200 ml Amul cream
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2-3 tbsp cognac
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 cup chopped dried figs (I used the ones I had soaked overnight in cognac as had some leftover, you can use without soaking too)

Method

  • In a microwave, heat cream and butter and add chopped chocolate. Without overheating, melt and mix the chocolate, cream and butter well.
  • Add cognac, figs and walnut.
  • Pour into a greased dish and refrigerate it for an hour.
  • Once the mixture is set, cut out squares and form little balls quickly.
  • Use your creativity to decorate as per your preference. I used chopped almonds, chopped pistachios, coloured sprinkles, chocolate sprinkles, unsweetened cocoa powder, chocolate powder.
  • Refrigerate for a minimum of four hours before serving.
  • Store in an airtight box and refrigerate.

Photos: Vishaka Rautela

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