Valentine’s Day menu

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Valentine’s Day is the perfect time to show off your culinary skills to your significant other, and with this delicious menu you are sure to impress. Even if you don’t consider yourself much of a cook, these simple and easy to follow recipes will have you creating great food to serve up to your partner on the most romantic night of the year. The courses are well suited to follow one another, with some particularly decadent ingredients to make the night a bit more special. These recipes are written just to serve two people, but all of them can be easily increased to serve more.

Starter: Blue cheese and figs

This recipe couldn’t be simpler, yet creates a fantastic combination of flavours that makes a perfect light starter.

Two figs per person
100g Blue cheese
A drizzle of balsamic glaze or honey
Rocket to serve

1. Preheat your oven to a medium-high heat.
2. Quarter the figs vertically, place in a small roasting tin and crumble the blue cheese over them.
3. Drizzle the balsamic glaze or the honey, and bake for around ten minutes, until the cheese has melted and is bubbling.
4. Serve up on warm plates with a few rocket leaves to add a bit more colour, drizzling more honey or balsamic over them.

Main course: Decadent venison steaks

Two 350-500g venison steaks
One onion, diced
Quarter pint beef stock
A handful of blackberries
Two teaspoons redcurrant jelly
Two tablespoons balsamic vinegar

1. Season both sides of the venison steaks and fry them to your liking (medium should be about two minutes on each side). Remove them from the heat and keep warm under tinfoil.
2. In the same pan, fry your onions until they have softened then add the rest of the ingredients and reduce until the mixture is thick and rich. Add the venison back into the pan and warm through and serve.
3. This recipe goes brilliantly with your favourite winter vegetables; sweet potato mash is a great choice. If you like your steak more well done, place it between two sheets of cling-film and bash with a rolling pin to make it thinner. Fry it for the same amount of time and this way it will cook through quicker.

Dessert: Boozy strawberry eton mess

Punnet of strawberries
Carton of whipping cream
Two meringue nests
Two teaspoons sugar
A shot of any kind of sweet liqueur

1. Mash up half of the strawberries and mix with the sugar and liqueur you have chosen. Leave to sit in the fridge for overnight (or as long as you can).
2. Whip the cream up to stiff peaks, and layer it and the strawberry mixture in small individual bowls. Wine glasses work well too.
3. Crush and scatter the meringue nests along with the rest of the strawberries just before you serve.

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