Knock their socks off with these Valentine's Day recipes


Knock their socks off with these Valentine's Day recipes

As the old saying goes, the way to the heart is through our stomach. So, in collaboration with our friend Martyna Angell from The Wholesome Cook, we have developed a Valentine's Day recipe guide that's sure to fill hearts (and bellies) with love.

Donut Hearts filled with Nutella or Raspberry Jam

These heart-shaped donuts are filled with a Nutella or raspberry jam surprise, dusted in a little sugar (for lower sugar alternatives see note below) and really easy to make. Valentine’s Day desserts don’t get cuter than this and who doesn’t like a little indulgence? The yield will vary depending on the size of the cutter you have. Makes about 18 small donuts.

Makes 12-18
Prep time: 10 minutes
Wait time: 30-45 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes

2/3 cup warm milk
1¼ teaspoons instant yeast
½ tablespoon caster sugar , plus more for rolling
25g unsalted butter, melted
1 egg, at room temperature
2 cups plain flour, plus extra for dusting
Oil for greasing and frying
For the filling
¼ cup Nutella
or ¼ cup raspberry jam*

In a large bowl, combine the milk, yeast, sugar, butter and egg. Whisk to a smooth consistency. Sift in the flour. Using a spoon fold the flour into the liquid, then knead the dough for about 4 minutes, dust with a little extra flour if needed. The dough should come together but be slightly sticky to the touch.

Grease a large bowl and place the dough inside. Cover with some cling film or a clean kitchen towel and leave in a warm place to rice for 30-45 minutes. The dough should roughly double in size by that stage.

Dust a bench top lightly with flour. Turn out the dough and press down to form a flat round, about 1cm thick. Using heart-shaped cookie cutters cut out hearts. You can fry the remaining scraps “as is” as well if you wish, or knead them together and make more hearts.

Cover the base of a large saucepan or a heavy-bottomed pot, with about 5cm of oil and heat on medium high heat until small bubbles begin to rise from the bottom of the pan. Test the temperature by gently lowering a piece of dough into the oil – it should immediately start bubbling around, but only colour gradually.

Working in batches gently lower each donut into the oil and cook for 1-2 minutes on each side, flipping once only, until the outside is lovely golden brown.

Adjust the heat as needed as you don’t wan’t the oil to start smoking or be too cold. Using a slotted spoon, remove cooked donuts from the oil and transfer to a paper towel-lined cooling rack.

Once cooled down, pipe Nutella or raspberry jam into the inside of each donut. If you don’t have a piping bag, use a zip lock filled with your choice of filling (the corner snipped off) or simply cut each donut open and spread the filling inside. Roll in sugar and serve.

Instead of caster sugar, you can use raw sugar or unrefined sugar such as rapadura or demerara. For rolling you could use natvia, xylitol or coconut sugar instead as well. Nutella can be substituted with homemade hazelnut butter, or any low sugar alternatives to the hazelnut spread or jam can be used.

Where to shop:
Coles end
Country Growers

Woolworths end

Venetian Spaghetti Marinara

This Venetian version of seafood spaghetti is the only one where cheese and seafood are used together in the same dish. It is sure to be a hit with seafood lovers on Valentine’s Day. If you like a little spice add some cayenne powder to the sauce, it will taste amazing.

Serves 2
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes

400g marinara mix
80g dry spaghetti
1 clove garlic
2 tbsp olive oil
6 peeled cooked prawns
120g baby cherry tomatoes, whole
¼ cup white wine
¼ cup fresh cream
2 tablespoons fresh parsley
Cracked black pepper, to taste
Fresh Parmesan cheese

Remove marinara mix from the fridge. Cook spaghetti according to packet instructions. Drain and set aside.

Meanwhile, peel and slice garlic. Heat oil in a large frying pan set over medium heat. Add garlic and cook until fragrant and slightly caramelised.

Add marinara mix, extra prawns and cherry tomatoes. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring gently, or until cooked through. Remove from pan into a bowl, set aside.

Return pan to heat and deglaze with wine. Add cream and parsley. Stir through pasta and seafood until coated in sauce.

Shave about a tablespoon of Parmesan onto the bottom of the serving plates. Divide pasta between two plates and serve.

Where to shop:
Coles end
Country Growers

Woolworths end
Samjon Seafood

Cauliflower Schnitzel with Mushroom Sauce

Catering to a vegan loved one? Take the vegan cauliflower steak to the next level and turn it into a crispy-crumbed schnitzel that’s oh so tender and soft on the inside. Serve with a delicious pepper and mushroom sauce and a green salad for the perfect Valentine’s Day meal for your vegan sweetheart. Leftovers are great for the lunch box or a Parmigiana (using vegan bacon of course) the next night!

Serves (2+2)
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes

1 medium head cauliflower
1 cup non-dairy milk
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
3/4 cup plain flour
1/2 cup arrowroot
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 cups bread crumbs
Extra virgin olive oil, for frying
Mushroom Sauce
2 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
250g sliced mushrooms
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
Good pinch salt
30g vegan butter
2 tablespoons plain flour
1 cup vegetable stock
To serve
150g mixed salad leaves
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon rice syrup
Pinch salt

Preheat oven to 180C (160C fan-forced). Line a large baking sheet with non-stick baking paper.

Cut cauliflower in half, then slice into four 1.5 inch thick steaks. Remaining ends and florets can be frozen in a zip lock bag and added to soups, or turn them into cauliflower rice or mash before freezing. Trim the leafy ends off the stalks.

Whisk together the milk and apple cider vinegar. Place flour, arrowroot, salt and pepper in a bowl large enough to dip each cauliflower steak in. Mix well.

Add the milk and apple cider vinegar mixture and whisk well to combine into a thick batter. Place breadcrumbs on a large plate and spread evenly.

Put each cauliflower steak into the batter. Coat evenly and shake off any excess batter. Place onto the breadcrumbs and press the steak gently to coat, flip and coat the other side. Set aside onto a cutting board. Repeat with the remaining cauliflower.

Heat about 2 tablespoons of oil in a large (non-stick, if you prefer) frying pan over medium high. Place 2 schnitzels in the pan and cook on each side for about 3 minutes, or until golden brown and crispy. You may need to add some extra oil to the pan when flipping the schnitzels. Once golden, transfer to the baking sheet and repeat with remaining schnitzels. Bake in the oven for 7-10 minutes.

Meanwhile prepare the sauce.

Peel and mince garlic. Heat the olive oil in a medium frying pan set over medium high heat. Add mushrooms, pepper and salt. Cook, stirring for about 5 minutes, stir in the garlic. Transfer mushrooms to a bowl and return pan to medium low heat. Add the vegan butter, add flour and whisk vigorously to make a smooth paste. Slowly whisk in the stock, the sauce should thicken. Add mushrooms and stir. Remove from heat.

Place salad leaves in a large serving bowl. In a small jug whisk together the olive oil, apple cider vinegar, rice syrup and salt. Dress the leaves with the dressing.

Remove cauliflower schnitzels from the oven and serve drizzled with the sauce. Serve salad leaves on the side.

Coles end
Country Growers

Woolworths end

Beer Chilli BBQ Ribs with Apple Slaw

If you like to get your hands dirty, then this finger-licking rib recipe is just the right one for you! Succulent meat that falls of the bone, covered in a sweet sticky barbecue glaze, with the option of chilli.

Serves 2
Prep time: 10 minutes
Wait time: 2 hours
Cook time: 35 minutes

500 g rack of pork ribs
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp ground smoky paprika
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground dried garlic
1/2 tsp ground chilli (omit, or add more to taste)
1 cup light beer
For the Barbecue Glaze:
1/8 cup Worcestershire sauce
1/8 cup barbecue sauce
1 tablespoon Ketchup
1 tablespoon olive oil
For the Apple Slaw:
1 green apple
Juice from ½ lemon
300g coleslaw mix
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 sprigs mint

Wash ribs under cold running water and pat dry with paper towels.

Combine spices in a bowl and rub into both sides of the ribs. Place ribs in the fridge, uncovered, and allow flavours to infuse for around 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 180C. Place rack of ribs in a roasting dish. Pour beer into the baking dish, under the ribs. Cover the dish with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes on the middle shelf.

Meanwhile prepare the slaw. Cut apple into matchsticks. Place in a large bowl, drizzle generously with lemon juice and toss to coat. Add slaw mix and olive oil. Mix well. Add torn mint leaves and toss to combine.

Mix all Glaze ingredients in a bowl. Remove ribs from the oven and discard foil. Turn oven element on to grill or preheat your outdoor barbecue. Baste the ribs generously with the Glaze and grill for another 5 minutes.

Remove ribs from the oven or barbecue, slice along the bone and serve with slaw on the side.

Where to shop:
Coles end
Country Growers
First Choice Quality Meats

Woolworths end
Tender Gourmet Butchery

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