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.

Great British Chefs is a team of passionate food lovers dedicated to bringing you the latest food stories, news and reviews.

Great British Chefs is a team of passionate food lovers dedicated to bringing you the latest food stories, news and reviews.

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, 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

Pan-fried scallops with fresh apple salad

Scallop and apple is a classic combination that works on all sorts of different fronts – tangy apple perfectly enhances the delicate meaty scallop, and provides a lovely textural contrast too. The real skill in Josh Eggleton's recipe is in cooking your scallops – make sure you buy large, hand-dived scallops, pat them dry and sear them in a fairly hot pan to get a nice crust on the top without overcooking them in the middle.

Smoked salmon blinis with caviar

Steven Doherty's starter makes the most of luxurious ingredients like smoked salmon, cream cheese and caviar without causing unnecessary faff. The time and effort invested in making your own blinis is really worth it in the end – these aerated savoury pancakes are a million miles away from the limp pre-baked ones in shops and they can be made well in advance too, leaving you more time to enjoy Valentine's evening with your loved one.

Anchoas del Cantábrico with tomato and olive oil

This classy little tapas dish from Angel Zapata Martin brings bags of flavour to the table without relying on complex cookery. You will need top quality ingredients though – Angel uses fat Cantabrian anchovies and olives from Arbeca in Catalonia, but as long as you use good anchovies, good olive oil and perfectly ripe tomatoes, you can't go wrong. Just be wary of those potent pickled garlic cloves!

Mains

Roasted cod with champagne and honey

Cod, Champagne and honey – this feels like a dish designed specifically for Valentine's Day. The balance of sweet honey, salty soy sauce and the zing of Champagne has made this one of Tong Chee Hwee's most popular dishes at Hakkasan. While you might think it would be difficult to prepare at home, it's remarkably easy to put together. Bake your cod, make your Champagne sauce, and hey presto – you have a delicious Valentine's dinner ready in half an hour.

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.