To make this Valentine’s Day truly special, there is nothing better than a delicious home-cooked meal made with love. Here are some of our favourite Valentine’s Day recipes from around the web to delight your significant other on February 14th:
Slice a fresh loaf of French bread and cut the slices into heart-sized shapes. Use a heart-shaped cookie cutter if you aren’t confident in your knife skills. Toast the bread for 15 minutes in a 375ºF oven. Remove from oven and top with goat cheese, chopped fresh basil, chopped vine-ripened tomatoes, and a drizzle of olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Strawberry and Almond Salad
Mix fresh sliced strawberries, chopped almonds, and finely sliced red onion to a bed of leafy greens, spring mix, or spinach. Sprinkle with feta cheese. Top with your preferred salad dressing – we recommend either balsamic vinegar or raspberry vinaigrette. This fool-proof salad tastes amazing yet leaves you with plenty of time to prepare the main course.
Red-Wine Braised Short Ribs
Bon Appétit magazine offers this elegant recipe. For the best flavour, prepare a day in advance. Sear five pounds of bone-in beef short ribs for 8 minutes in 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil. Remove the ribs from the pan and pour off most of the drippings. Add chopped onions, carrots, and celery to the pan and stir for about five minutes. Stir in 3 tablespoons of flour and one tablespoon of tomato paste. Stir in one bottle of dry red wine and return the ribs to the pan. Bring to a boil then simmer until wine is reduced to half its original volume, which takes about 25 minutes. Stir in your herbs (parsley, thyme, oregano, rosemary, dried bay leafs, and a head of garlic) and 4 cups of low-salt beef stalk. Transfer to 350ºF oven and cook for 2.5 hours.
Pancetta and Brussel Sprout Linguine
The New York Times‘ cooking section offers this recipe, but we substitute penne for linguine. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, add the pasta and cook to al dente (about 6-8 minutes). Over high heat, sauté 3 diced ounces of pancetta in olive oil for about one minute. Add six smashed and peeled garlic cloves, one thinly sliced jalapeño chile, and freshly ground black pepper. Sauté for three minutes. Add eight ounces of thinly sliced brussels sprouts and a pinch of salt and sauté for about two minutes. Add two teaspoons of butter and sauté for an additional minute. Drain the pasta and add it to the pan. Toss everything, transfer to pasta bowls, and top with a drizzle of olive oil, lemon juice, and paper-thin parmesan cheese.
Black Forest Mini-Cupcakes
You can make these decadent treats in bite-size format. This recipe comes courtesy of Cooking Classy. Preheat your oven to 350ºF. In a medium bowl, mix three ounces of finely chopped bittersweet chocolate and 1/3 cup of unsweetened cocoa powder in a bowl. Pour 3/4 cup of hot water over the chocolate and whisk until smooth. Place bowl in the refrigerator for 20 minutes, stirring halfway through. In a different mixing bowl, whisk 3/4 cup of bread flour, 3/4 cup of granulated sugar, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda. In a third bowl, combine 1/4 cup and two tablespoons of canola oil, two large eggs, two teaspoons of white vinegar, and 1.5 teaspoons of vanilla extract. Combine the chocolate mixture and oil mixture, and then whisk in the flour mixture until smooth. Divide into cupcake tray and bake for 17 to 19 minutes. Let cool.
In a mixing bowl, whip 1.5 cups of heavy cream and add 1/4 cup of granulated sugar. Once stiff peaks form, place the mixture in a piping bag and pipe over cupcakes. Top your cupcakes with a plump cherry and finely chopped chocolate.
Molten Chocolate Lava Cake
This dessert classic is easy to make and tastes heavenly, and Nigella Lawson has the ultimate recipe. Preheat your oven to 400°F. Place parchment paper at the bottom of your ramekins. Melt 1.5 cups of dark chocolate and let it cool. Cream 3 tablespoons of butter and 3/4 cup of sugar. Gradually beat in 4 large eggs, a pinch of salt, and one teaspoon of vanilla extract. Add 1/4 cup of all-purpose flour and blend in the chocolate. Place the batter in your ramekins and cook for 10-12 minutes. Remove from the oven and (with protection!) tip the ramekins upside down. Serve with whipped cream, ice cream, or a dusting of icing sugar. Wow!