Yesterday we told you about the best libido enhancing foods for Valentine’s Day in our article Eat Your Way To A Sexy Valentine’s Night, now here we combine them into the perfect, simple recipes to make your Valentines day meal extra special and scrumptious for you and your beau. Pop to the supermarket after work today and that way you can come straight home for work tomorrow and cook up a storm, no stress!
Starter: Spinach, Sundried Tomato and Goats Cheese Salad
This is a light fresh salad and the perfect way to start the evening and build the appetite. If you are not a fan of the intense flavour or sundried tomatoes, these can be replaced with halved cherry or grape tomatoes.
50g sundried tomatoes roughly chopped
50g goats cheese crumbled
40g pine nuts
2 tbl balsamic vinegar
1 tbl honey
1. Wash and dry spinach and toss with sundried tomatoes. Split between two plates and scatter half the cheese on each.
2. Lightly toast pine nuts either in the oven or in a dry frypan then sprinkle over salad.
3. Whisk honey and vinegar together and then drizzle over salad.
Main: Marinated salmon with mango, avocado and chilli salsa
Along with the ingredients we mentioned on Friday, Ayurvedic texts say that ginger has aphrodisiac properties. The University of Salerno medieval medical school said: ‘Eat ginger and you will love and be loved as in your youth’, while John Gerard the 16th century English apothecary said it is ‘provoking to venerie and lust’. In 2010, Psychology Today did a study that discovered that soy assists the prostate in men and (ahem) lubrication in women. Garlic is said to assist impotence by increasing blood circulation and increase the production of an enzyme called nitric oxide synthase which is primarily responsible for the mechanism of erection – therefore we had to devise the perfect marinade with these ingredients!
2 fillets of salmon
20g freshly grated ginger
1 clove garlic crushed
4 tblsp soy sauce
4 tblsp sherry
1 tblsp brown sugar
1 tblsp cooking oil (vegetable, ground nut or olive oil is fine)
Small bunch of coriander finely chopped
1 avocado diced
1 red chilli finely chopped
1 mango diced
1. Mix the ginger, garlic, sugar, soy sauce and sherry in a glass bowl. Place the salmon in and marinate for at least 20 minutes (no longer than 3 hours).
2. Put the oil into a frypan and heat up til sizzling. Take the salmon out of the marinade and pat dry, put it in the pan and panfry until cooked – approximately 3 minutes each side. Remove salmon and place on serving plates.
3. Pour the marinade into the pan. Cook until reduced, then pour over salmon.
4. Mix the coriander, mango, avocado and chilli together, Squeeze over the juice of the lime. Serve with the salmon.
When buying ingredients for this don’t be tempted to go for low-fat yoghurt as this is a dessert and part of the enjoyment is its thick, creamy texture. Total is a great choice as the individual pots are the perfect shape to just turn out and look great on the plate. A herby honey such as thyme honey adds an extra dimension to the dish and is not overly sweet.
2 x 200g pots Total Greek Yoghurt
4 tblsp thyme honey
selection of red berries (strawberries, raspberries, blackberries)
1. Roughly chop hazelnuts. Wash berries.
2. Carefully turn out yoghurt onto plates.
3. Drizzle 2 tblsp honey over the top of each yoghurt, sprinkle with hazelnuts and place a few berries on the side of each plate.
4. Serve and enjoy!
Wine – A Good Red
Wendy Narby of “Ecole Du Vin” Bordeaux Wine School gives us some advice on the perfect bottle of red both to complement the food as well as put you in an amorous mood. ‘As to what would accompany the dishes best, I would choose a Merlot-lead blend as salmon can bring out too much tannin in some Cabernet-driven wines. Merlot produces wines with good fruit and the 2007s are fresh and ready for drinking now. The romantic medieval hillside town of Saint Emilion is known for its excellent Merlot, the Vieux Remparts, Lussac Saint Emilion 2007 (£9.99 from Majestic Wines). This would be a great complement to both the goats cheese and the salmon. And we all know that red wine and chocolate is a winner. If you really want to push the boat out, try the Château Lapelletrie, Saint Emilion Grand Cru 2006 (£120 a case from Tesco Wine), a more concentrated wine also from Saint Emilion. 2006 was a fruitier vintage.’
Afters – chilli chocolates
Why make your own when there are so many fabulous choccies out there that will save you time and effort! The cheekily named Montezuma’s Revenge has received enormous praise from food critics for its amazing flavour combination. Dark chocolate blended with lime, chilli and real Mexican tequila really does stimulate all your taste buds. They can be bought online, at one of the Montezuma chocolate shops or at Wholefoods Kensington for £4.79 for 120g.
Can’t cook, won’t cook
But if you’d rather head out that stay in, there’s a something special going on at just about every venue in town. For a let-your-hair-down night of Cocktails and Cabaret head to Soho’s Compton Cross where drag legend Lisa Q Jones will be the star of the show for one night only. The star of Ru Paul’s drag race is putting in an exclusive appearance ahead of her tour. Or for a low-key drink or intimate tête-à-tête in stylish surroundings, pop in to the Portobello Star in Notting Hill and enjoy a delicious Valentine cocktail. For an impressive and irresistible romantic meal book a slot at The Arch London for what promises to be an extraordinary Sensory Dining Experience at in-house restaurant Hunter 486. The menu details are being kept tightly under wraps to heighten the wow factor and surprise couples… but luxury-loving couples have been promised an extravagant and immersive experience with starters for desserts, desserts for starters and a love potion to top it all off. Priced at £75 per person, this ultimate 3-course dining experience is available at 6pm on Wednesday 14th, Friday 16th and Saturday 17th February.