Now we know you’ve probably taken a look at our Valentine’s Day Dining Guide here, however if you’re not feeling up to the drama of a night out, why not have a romantic dinner at home? Our food contributor Fiona Archibold has whipped up some absolutely delish meals that’ll set the mood for February 14th: tuna tartare, filet mignon and of course a decadent chocolate ganache fondue for two. It’s time to get the nice silver out ladies and prepare for a spot of at-home romance…
Tuna Tartare with Oysters for Two
Ingredients & Method:
- Use your sharpest knife to slice and dice 250g fresh tuna belly into 1/2cm pieces.
- Gently mix in 25g very finely chopped red onion, 25g shredded spring onion plus with 1 tablespoon chopped dill adding fleur de sel and freshly ground pepper to taste.
- For extra Valentines heat, add 1 finely chopped red chilli.
- Place a heart shaped cookie cutter onto serving plates.
- Fill with half of the tuna mixture packing gently for a generous heart shape.
- Carefully remove cutter, garnish heart with shredded carrots and radishes.
- Repeat process with remaining tuna on the second plate
- Strew serving plate with fresh herbs, finely chopped peppers or flowers to finish.
- Serve with mini gherkins and oysters of course!
Fiona’s Top Tip:
Order a stunning ready to serve tuna tartare platter, as well as a freshly shucked oyster platter directly from Market & Platters (home delivery included on orders above AED 400).
Beef Filet Mignon, Wild Mushroom Crostini, Buttered Asparagus for Two
Ingredients & Method to cook the perfect Filet Mignon:
- Remove beef filets from the fridge 1 hour before cooking, marinade in a splash of olive oil with springs of thyme or rosemary. Warm a serving plate in the oven preheated to 100C.
- Once you are ready to cook the filets (30 minutes before serving to allow meat to rest and juices to settle), heat a cast iron skillet or thick based non-stick pan (without any oil or butter) until smoking.
- Sprinkle filets generously with sea salt crystals (smoked Maldon, fleur de sel).
- Place the filets onto the smoking pan and press down with tongs, this will seal and sear the meat beautifully.
- After 1-2 minutes (you will need to peek underneath to see if the meat is seared and browned, turn over and repeat process).
- Use a tongs to hold your beef filets whilst you brown and sear the edges to give a restaurant style finish.
- Place meat on the pre-warmed plate in the oven, allow to rest for 10 minutes for rare, 15 minutes for medium and 20 for well cone.
- This is truly when the magic occurs as the meat fibres have a chance to ‘relax’ and tenderise, juices rare evenly distributed throughout the meat resulting in a perfectly tender juicy filet.
Buttery Lemon Asparagus:
- Snap the woody end from the asparagus, wash and steam for approximately 3 minutes until just tender (this can be done in advance and finished in the pan last minute).
- Place asparagus in the pan used for the meat with a teaspoon of salted butter to pick up leftover yummy juices.
- Heat through and finish with a good squeeze of fresh lemon juice. Add a generous grating of lemon zest with fleur de sel and ground black pepper to taste.
Wild Mushroom Crostini:
- Wipe 300g chanterelles or forest mix mushrooms with a damp cloth. (Try to avoid immersing mushrooms completely in water as they become soggy and flaccid – not a good look or taste!).
- Melt a good knob of approximately 15g butter in a warm pan, toss in mushrooms with 1 clove finely chopped garlic, 1/2 teaspoon fleur de sel and freshly ground black pepper.
- Toss intermittently until mushrooms sizzle and start to turn golden – this process of tossing and turning may take up to 10 minutes – the aromas are sensational. Remove mushrooms into a warm bowl. Keep warm in pre-warmed oven with the beef.
- Cut 2 diagonal slices from a traditional baguette, brush lightly with olive oil, rub lightly with the cut side of a halved garlic clove.
- Place baguette slices onto the mushroom pan to soak up any remaining juices, turn heat to high and toast lightly for 1 minute each side until golden.
To Assemble & Serve
- Place filet mignon onto a slate or plate, pile mushrooms onto warm toasted crostini, place alongside beef.
- Carefully use tongs to place asparagus alongside beef.
- Drizzle resting juices over each filet and butter lemon juices over asparagus.
Optional: tiny heart of salted fresh herb butter placed on the steak.
Warm Chocolate Ganache Fondue for Two
Ingredients & Method:
- Break 150g plain chocolate (70% cocoa solids) into small pieces.
- Warm 150ml double cream in a thick based pan until just bubbling, remove from heat.
- Tip broken chocolate into cream and use a wire whisk or wooden spoon to mix briskly until all chocolate pieces have melted and the ‘Ganache’ is smooth, silky & glossy.
- Transfer to a pre-warmed bowl wide enough for 2 hands to dip strawberries, mango slices, meringues, mini shortbread or langue des chats biscuits.