It looks like the traditional Valentine’s Night Out is back! Some of you may want to push the boat out as a kind-of ‘We’re out-out!’ celebration.
We’ll be doing our usual ”Have a nice dinner at home, and eat out later on, when everything has calmed down a bit” Valentine’s night! It’s worked for us this far..
We’ve moved our Valentine’s night out from Feb 14th because after many years, we’d had enough of ‘Valentine’s Special’ dinners with a limited ‘set’ menu, packed in with a bunch of similar poor critters, and all of us wondering how the hell we’d ended up there..
Romantic? I think not..
Our solution, having survived many Valentine’s Days, is to have dinner at home, with some nice wine, and then go out to eat some other time when the panic is over. Valentine’s night at home should be delicious food – mostly prepared ahead – needing minimal effort on the night, and tasting fabulous – now that’s what I call quality time!
Below is my suggestion for your home-made Valentine’s Dinner – all the recipes are on the Eating for Ireland website – just either click on the links, or use the search feature to find your perfect dish..
You, plus or minus:
- Your significant other.
- a crowd of your like-minded pals (always a winner!)
- Chilled Prosecco/wine/cocktails, and enough glasses for all
- Some Valentine decorations, the tackier the better..
It might be good fun to have a bunch of friends demonstrating their signature dishes, cocktails, or desserts on line, with the rest of you making your own along with them – a link with the recipe ingredients sent a day or so before makes it all very easy – or just sit back watching admiringly as you sip your beverage of choice and reach for a packet of crisps come dinner time!
INGREDIENTS: All these recipes, and many others, are on www.eatingforireland.com
- To Begin: Something fizzy I think, or cocktails..
- Starter: The Cambridge Salad – so easily prepared ahead, or perfect for everyone to make at home at the same time, so that you can all eat your starter together. It’s vegetarian, and always so delicious and refreshing.
Here’s the link: https://eatingforireland.com/recipe/the-cambridge-salad/
- Another seriously easy, prepare-ahead classic is my Chicken Liver Parfait – a favourite with Mr Saturday Night – AND you’ve loads left over for lunch the next day.. https://eatingforireland.com/recipe/my-chicken-liver-pate/
Lizzie’s Chicken – a creamy all-in-one Chicken dish, served with some garlicky French beans or tender stem broccoli, and either Champ, or baby boiled potatoes (whichever you prefer)
- The Alternative main course – is my Duck Ragu – made ahead and chilled, and just needing some freshly cooked pasta and some garlic bread to make it perfect.
A Vegetarian Main Course: Well, you’ve got a choice here:
- You could try my Indian-style Curry, I like to add cauliflower florets and baby sweetcorn when I take out the meat. https://eatingforireland.com/recipe/indian-style-chicken-curry/
- Or how about the vegetarian version of my Crispy Tortellini pasta bake – make it ahead of time and just reheat – a crisp green salad and some garlic bread makes it a delicious feast.
Dessert – Oh so important!
- I always think my Cranachan/ Atholl Brose is a fabulous end to a meal – a small, rich combination of cream, honey, raspberries and whiskey – it’s a perfect make-ahead dessert..
- The Surprise: Well it has to be Chocolate based, otherwise it’s not Valentine’s day, so I’m going to go for Mr Sat. Night’s favourite – Chocolate-dipped fresh strawberries
- If you fancy something that will leave some left-overs, why not try my favourite All-in-one Chocolate Cake, or my Tiramisu Cake? Both totally yummy!
Don’t forget that there are lots of ideas on the website – www.eatingforireland.com – Have a browse and see what you fancy!
How great would it be if you could send a list of ingredients (chocolate, strawberries – not exactly rocket science) to everyone and have a Chocolate-covered Strawberry Master Class on line before you all sit , have a natter, and eat the results with a well-deserved glass of something bubbly?
I hope I’ve given you a few ideas for how to make Valentine/Galentine/ Palentine’s day 2021 as cheerful as possible, while we wait hopefully for a return to our old lives. Or, you might decide, as himself and meself have, that Valentine’s Night can be just as much fun at home!
Have a great Val/Pal/Galentine’s evening, and I’ll be in touch asap about Pancake Tuesday!