Valentine’s day 2021
Valentine’s Day is just around the corner and for many of us, this year will be slightly different than the past. Many of us currently find ourselves in a national lockdown, are social distancing, or simply are trying to stay away from crowds. Many restaurants and shops, unfortunately, cannot open their doors to the public either. So yes this Valentine’s Day, just like many of the holidays this past year will be celebrated differently. But different doesn’t have to be a negative thing, I truly believe in making do with what you have, and build a path toward happiness, whatever happiness may look like for you.
So, this Valentine’s Day I decided to make a simple, yet romantic 3-course meal that you can make at home! Whether you have a significant other, you want to share a meal over a virtual date, or if you simply want to treat yourself, this menu is fantastic and I hope that you will enjoy it as much as I do.
I’ll let you in on a secret, Hubs and I have NEVER celebrated Valentine’s Day in a restaurant! And we’ve been together for nearly 13 years! However, we do have a romantic meal at home and love every bit of it, which is why I’m so happy to share this year’s menu with you. See… different could be amazing <3
The 3 courses
First things first… Where is my drink!? HAHA
Well, you cant start a romantic Valentine’s day meal without some pink fizz… So CHEERS, I gave you one. This drink is easy, no measuring needed. Simply pour to your liking. Fill your glass with your favorite fizz (soda water if non-alcoholic), top off with elderflower cordial, and some strawberry purée! Make it as strong or as light as you want!
This Valentine’s day menu starts with a fresh salad. Personally, I love strawberries and goat cheese and find that they always pair perfectly together. For the greens, I opted for arugula to get a hint of spice, added some walnuts for some crunch, and finished with a balsamic strawberry dressing… I cut the strawberries into heart shapes, just to keep on with the romantic theme. And guess what, it really works.
For my main, I used my camarones al ajillo recipe, which is a family favorite. It’s easy to make, but also looks beautiful. I used shell-on prawns to achieve the romantic aesthetic I was going for. However, feel free to use peeled prawns, they both work exactly the same. I paired the prawns with polenta because I wanted to add a simple side that would elevate the prawns from an everyday meal to something just a tad more special, but without too much extra work.
And for dessert…this recipe is definitely one of my favorites. My caramel flan recipe is super creamy and the perfect end to this fabulous Valentine’s Day menu. The strawberry coulis adds that extra Valentine’s Day sparkle to tie everything together.
Bring it all togther
…If you haven’t noticed yet the drink, starter, and dessert all have the same strawberry sauce; used slightly differently of course. Meaning I was cautious when it came to the ingredients I used and limiting waste. That should always be the goal when cooking =)
Click on the links to be directed to my camarones al ajillo recipe and my flan recipe. Both are really simple to make. For the main, top the polenta with the camarones al ajillo. I would suggest starting with the flan as it’ll need at least 3 hours to set in the refrigerator. If possible make it the day before. Totally optional, but if you have heart-shaped bakeware or small souffle cups use them for the flan!
Strawberry balsamic dressing: Combine 1 TBSP of olive oil, 1/2 TBSP of balsamic vinegar, 1 TBSP of strawberry purée, and a pinch of salt.
Salad: Combine a handful of Arugula, goat cheese, walnuts, and strawberries. Mix with Strawberry balsamic dressing and serve. There’s no science to this salad. Simply add as little or as much of the ingredients as you’d like and enjoy!
As for my Strawberry purée/coulis, and polenta recipes, you can find these just below. Feel free to comment if you have any questions!
I am so happy to share this fantastic Valentine’s day menu with you. I hope that you have a wonderful holiday with your friends, significant others, family, little ones…whoever those special people in your life are, I hope you share a FABULOUS day with them!!
- medium saucepan
- ½ Cup Polenta
- 2 CUPS vegetable broth (Or 2 cups of water & 1 vegetable bouillon)
- ½ TSP Granulated garlic
- ¼ TSP Dried oregano
- ½ TSP Mixed herbs
- ½ CUP cheddar cheese
- on medium heat, In the saucepan, combine the polenta, garlic, oregano, mixed herbs, and vegetable broth Cover and bring to a simmer. Mix every few minutes.
- Continue to simmer for about 20 minutes, add some water if the polenta becomes too thick quickly. I added about ½ cup of water. Remember to mix throughout as the polenta will stick to the bottom.
- After about 20 minutes, add the cheddar cheese and mix vigorously. Salt if needed. Serve warm... AND DONE!!!
- 500 GRAMS White sugar
- 1 TSP Vanilla extract
- 1 TSP lemon juice
- Combine all of the ingredients and add to a saucepan on medium heat. Simmer until the strawberries are tender. Approx 15-20 minutes.
- Using a hand mixer, blend together until smooth.
- If the purée isn't thick, let it simmer for about 5 more minutes. It will thicken as it cools down...AND DONE!!!