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10 easy romantic recipes from Michelin-starred chefs

10 easy romantic recipes from Michelin-starred chefs

by Great British Chefs 09 February 2017

If music be the food of love… actually, we’ll just stick with the food, thanks. Cooking for your beloved is one of the most romantic things you can do; make sure you get it right with these simple, stunning recipes from the UK’s most accomplished chefs.

Oysters, chocolate, wine – the world of food and drink has been entwined with the world of romance since the beginning of time. But grunting and handing over a hunk of raw meat in a cave with hopes for a steamy night in just doesn’t cut it anymore. The majority of us are a tad more refined these days, with mood lighting, bouquets of flowers, compliments and a proper slap-up meal all playing a part in the ritual of courtship. While restaurants are usually fully booked with special menus designed to put you in the mood around Valentine’s Day (take a look at our top picks here), there’s nothing more impressive than cooking a gorgeous meal for your significant other at home.

Of course, you don’t want to bite off more than you can chew and choose a recipe so ambitious you’ll be left with shattered nerves and something inedible at the end of it. At the same time, you want to push the boat out a bit so you can show off your culinary prowess. That’s why we’ve collected some truly stunning dishes from the minds of the UK’s Michelin-starred chefs that don’t require specialist kitchen kit or years of professional training. These ten recipes will make you look like a culinary master and, while we can’t guarantee they’ll lead to a night of passion, they’re bound to please anyone with a love of good food.

Starters

With a fluffy centre, crisp coating and zingy, caper-fuelled dressing, these fish cakes aren’t the all potato, no fish varieties you can pick up in the supermarkets. You can even shape them in advance, then breadcrumb and fry them just before serving. The presentation is easy, too – just make a little pile of shaved fennel, plonk the fish cake on top and finish with a clump of dressed rocket and some capers. Simple!

Peppered salmon with rémoulade and pastis sauce

OK, so you have to prep a little in advance with this one – the salmon is lightly cured and needs to sit in the fridge wrapped in cling film for about three hours. However, to serve, you just need to slice the fish up and arrange it on the plate. The rémoulade requires nothing more than julienning an apple and a celeriac, while the simple sauce just needs reducing over the hob (which again, can be done in advance then reheated). The finished dish is light, refreshing and bursting with flavour; buy the best salmon you can afford and prepare to wow your other half.

Camembert, fig and onion tart

Camembert and figs are a match made in heaven, as will you and your beloved once you’ve cooked this dish. Chef Marcello Tully is known for his expertly paired flavour combinations, and this tart is a perfect example. The dressing has quite a few ingredients but really elevates the dish and is simple to make, so don’t leave it out, and if you haven’t got a blowtorch to give the cheese a bubbling crust, a quick blast under a hot grill will do just as well.

The key to this rich, luxurious risotto is the fresh mushrooms – if you can’t find wild ones, it’ll work with good old button mushrooms too. The truffle oil should be good quality as well, so it’s worth splashing out on a decent bottle (and you’ll find yourself drizzling it over everything before too long). Risotto is a very easy dish to plate up, too – just pile it in a bowl, scatter a few of the mushrooms on top, drizzle it with oil and scatter over a few leaves.

Duck breast with spiced sauce

Pierre Koffmann is a truly legendary chef, and in his later years he has turned his hand to more classical French cuisine that’s easy to replicate at home. This pan-fried duck breast with seasonal vegetables might look simple, but the secret is in the incredibly flavourful sauce that’s fruity, aromatic and very, very delicious.

Grilled lobster

Now we’re talking – a massive piece of lobster smothered in flavoured butter. Just whizz up a stick of soft butter with ginger, lime, garlic, chilli and coriander, shape it into a log and keep it in the fridge until needed (up to a week in advance), then boil and grill your lobsters for just five minutes.

Desserts

Chocolate soufflé

Arguably the pinnacle of French cooking, soufflé tends to scare home cooks who hear lots of horror stories about how volatile they can be. But this recipe from two-Michelin-starred Daniel Clifford is easy to follow and, if you follow it to the letter, you’ll be rewarded with an incredibly light and fluffy dessert to round off a delicious meal. Just 50g of cocoa powder is all that’s needed to turn this into a chocolate-lover’s delight.

Passion fruit and vanilla cheesecake

It’s all in the name with this one – you can make your intentions pretty clear by serving any dessert with passion fruit in it. The beauty of Simon Hulstone’s cheesecake lies in one special ingredient – passion fruit purée – which essentially does all the hard work for you. The base is just whizzed up biscuits and butter, the creamy cake is flavoured with orange, lemon and vanilla, while the topping is a striking orange and set like a jelly thanks to the addition of gelatine.

Tiramisu

Want to impart a little Italian romance into your menu? Then Paul Ainsworth’s tiramisu is the answer. It’s little more than an assembly job, but presented in a glass bowl it looks simply stunning. Buy good quality chocolate to sprinkle on top and serve with a small glass of amaretto or Tia Maria for the full effect.

Turkish delight cheesecake

Forget the bunch of roses, this rosewater-infused cheesecake from the inimitable Marcus Wareing is a much sweeter gift. Make it a day in advance and present it, straight from the fridge, to your loved one – you can even add a splash of colour to the top with some crushed pistachios or rose petals.

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