Make a great meal for your beloved with these trademark dishes
It’s February, and time to prep for Valentine’s Day.
“There are many ways to express love and food is one of the easiest ways to express your love and an effective way to show you really care. Food is always a symbol of love when words are inadequate,” says Himanshu, pastry chef at Conrad Bengaluru.
So here is a romantically indulgent meal for your Valentine.
Course One: Green Goddess soup, courtesy Prakash Negi, Executive Sous Chef, Welcomhotel by ITC Hotels, Mussoorie
Nutritious ingredients make this soup one of the best immunity boosters for winter. It is always nice to cook with your loved ones and this Green Goddess soup will set the mood for a romantic evening with your partner.
• 2 tbsp olive oil
• 1 small onion
• 1 leek
• 1 small bulb fennel
• 7 oz fresh celery
• 8 garlic cloves
• ½ tsp cumin powder
• 1 head broccoli
• Salt to taste
• ¾ tsp black pepper
• 1 cup frozen peas
• 5 cups chopped kale leaves
• 3.5 oz baby spinach
• ½ cup fresh cream
For the garnish
• Cream and olive oil for drizzling
• Toasted pesto bread
- Heat oil in a pan over medium heat. Cook onion, leek, celery, garlic, and fennel for five minutes until soft.
- Add cumin and cook for a minute.
- Add water, broccoli, salt, and pepper. Stir and simmer for 8 to 10 minutes until the broccoli is tender. Add green peas and let them simmer for a minute.
- Remove pot. Add spinach and kale, then blend with a stick blender until mostly smooth. This will result in a smooth texture. Drizzle with extra cream and olive oil. Served it with pesto bread.
Course Two: Cornish Chicken Pie, courtesy Deepak Kashyap, executive chef, Welcomhotel by ITC Hotels, Jim Corbett
The color and flavor of this Cornish chicken pie can set the mood on a romantic date night with your partner. Moreover, Cornish pies are very lean and rich in niacin, which help in reducing bad cholesterol, ensuring your beloved a delightfully healthy dish.
• ½ lb chicken breast cubes
• 1 ¾ oz chopped garlic
• 1 ¾ oz chopped leek
• 3.5 oz chopped white onions
• 1/3 tbsp rosemary
• 1 ¾ oz chopped chives
• 1 ¾ oz chopped carrots
• 3 1/3 tbsp white wine
• 1.2 lb chopped New Orleans potatoes
• 1/3 lb bechamel
• 9 tbsp milk
• 1/3 tbsp yellow butter
• 3 lb puff dough
• 1 lb dehydrated butter
• 2 lb white flour
• ½ quart water
• 5 tsp salt
• 4 eggs, numbers for basting puff
- Knead dough with flour, water, salt. This has to be rolled dehydrated butter in the three-book fold method.
- Sauté garlic, onions, leeks, carrots in butter.
- Add fine chopped chicken and chopped potatoes sauté well till it is about 85 % cooked.
- Add white wine to the chicken mixture. Then add bechamel sauce to bind the mixture
- Let the mixture cool. Roll the puff dough, add mixture and cover with puff dough again.
- Baste with beaten egg for light golden color.
Course Three: Heaven on Earth, courtesy Himanshu, pastry chef, Conrad Bengaluru
A dessert to make you fall in love with berries. The dish personifies the important elements of Valentine’s Day with regards to its name and presentation and uses aphrodisiac food elements that elicit excitement and well-being.
- Strawberry Eton mess
- White chocolate mousse
- 6 egg yolks
- 3.5 oz castor sugar
- 9 oz fresh cream
- 11 oz melted chocolate White Callebaut
- 5 gelatin sheets
- Strawberry confit for insert
- 9 oz fresh-cut strawberries
- 3.5 oz castor sugar
- 1 ½ oz pectin
- 1 ½ oz agar agar
- Italian meringue for garnish
- 9 oz castor sugar
- 7 tbsp water
- 3.5 oz egg whites
- 2 tsp fresh lemon juice
- Trim the strawberry, discarding the greens. Mash the strawberries in a medium-sized bowl until you have a chunky purée.
- Add agar agar and pectin. Puree the mixture in the tray to cool down and keep in the chiller.
- For the white chocolate mousse, set over simmering water in a double boiler or small saucepan. Then combine the egg yolks with sugar in a large bowl. Beat for several minutes, until the yolks are thick and pale yellow. Separately, malt the chocolate.
- Pour the chocolate mixture into the bowl containing the egg yolks and stir with a rubber spatula to blend. Fold the egg whites into chocolate gently and add gelatin.
- Transfer the mousse and strawberry confit and fill the mold. Keep in the freezer for 12 hours.
- For the Italian meringue garnish, heat sugar and water in a small saucepan. Heat over high heat, stirring only until it comes to a boil. Cook until sugar syrup registers 240°F on an instant-read or candy thermometer. Brush down the sides of the pot with a pastry brush dipped in water as necessary.
- Meanwhile, combine egg whites and lemon juice in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Set the mixer to medium speed and mix for about two minutes until soft peaks form (when lifted, the head of the mixer should form gentle peaks in the egg whites that very slowly collapse back into themselves).
- While the mixer is running, carefully and slowly drizzle in hot sugar syrup. Increase speed to high and whip for desired stiffness.
- Bake the meringue on a silicone mat at 195°F for an hour.