With Valentines upon us....
I feel it in my fingers, I feel it in my tum…… Aah food and love…inextricably woven into the fabric of affairs of the heart. Food and wine are thee vital ingredients in the Art of Seduction; ever since Neanderthal man first clonked his bird and dragged her by the hair to his cosy cave - where they shared a cheese fondue and a bottle of Merlot btw - or Mark Anthony fed Cleopatra grapes, but what did she do with all the pips? and when David fed Posh salt n vinegar, we have been indulging in the simplest yet most profound romantic act of sharing food and drink.
And so with Valentines upon us our thoughts turn to a romantic encounter in the company of the object of our amorousness. Dining out on Valentines should be considered carefully before making any reservations – ask yourself why you are being charged 50% more than the average price for 3 courses in any given restaurant, maybe there’s a glass of fizz and chocolates thrown in but you will be lucky to get value for money. But maybe that’s not a consideration anyway as you are making a simple romantic gesture whatever the cost. Should you decide on a private entanglement in the intimacy of your home then please consider what to cook… Aphrodisiacs are unfortunately biologically speaking an urban myth. There is no credible evidence to suggest that a diet of chocolate and oysters will transform us into Mickey Rourke and Kim Basinger wrestling with the contents of our fridge! However some foods are sensual for their appearance, texture and taste so all is not lost.
The perfect Valentines meal should be light, spicy and ideally a shared experience, eaten with your hands. To start, try dipping long, tender, lean and firm stems of asparagus into creamy, warm and salty hollandaise sauce – mains could be a shellfish spaghetti with lemon and chilli. Briny and sweet nuggets of succulent shellfish lathered in silky lemon butter with the rush of chilli – messy but fun. For some true sensual indulgence throw in a lobster! And pudding has to Chocolate Fondue - made for sharing.
The following recipe can be varied depending upon tastes and budgets.
Roast Shellfish Spaghetti of Lobster, Scallops, Mussels and King Prawns with Lemon, Chilli, Garlic and Parsley Butter.
1x1lb lobster split and claws cracked.
2xlge handfuls of rope mussels de-beared and scrubbed.
6x med fresh scallops ideally hand dived.
6x king prawns shelled and de-viened.
2x handfuls of cooked spaghetti.
1x lge handful of coarsely chopped flat leaf parsley.
Juice and zest of 1 lge lemon.
3 /4 clove of garlic finely chopped.
! hot chilli chopped finely
2 /3 tbsp good olive oil.
2 tbsp butter.
Sea salt and ground black pepper