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Great Valentine's Day recipes to woo your date with

Struggling to find a restaurant for Valentine's Day? Forgot to buy a card? Don't worry here are some great recipes to save the day and impress your other half

Published: February 11, 2016
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For the Mains

These enjoyable, delicious - and filling - mains will set the right tone for the rest of the evening. Enjoy!

Roast Monkfish tail wrapped in pancetta with lemon & thyme risotto and chargrilled

(Contributed by Andy Stephen, head chef at No.10 Aberdeen)




• Fresh monkfish tail (2 x 6oz portions)
• 4 thin slices of unsmoked pancetta
• Seasoning


Day in the Life: Emma Airley, co-owner of Glasgow's Pasteis Lisboa

• 1 large onion, finely diced
• 30g grated parmesan
• 1 small lemon – zest and juice
• 3 sprigs of thyme – picked and chopped
• 2 cloves of garlic, finally chopped
• 3 pints of vegetable stock
• 6 tablespoon butter
• 1 tablespoon olive oil
• 175g risotto rice
• 75g mascarpone cream cheese
• ¼ bottle white wine
• Seasoning

Mediterranean vegetables – cut into large diced pieces and roast in oven

• 1 courgette
• 1 red pepper
• 1 yellow pepper
• 1 red onion
• 1 punnet cherry tomatoes
• Olive oil & seasoning


Little Chartroom in Edinburgh to welcome new guest chefs

For the Monkfish tails wrapped in pancetta

Season the monkfish tails then lay out the slices of pancetta, overlapping slightly. Place the seasoned monkfish in the middle and fold the pancetta over the monkfish to cover it

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees, Place on a tray lined with baking paper and place a knob of butter on each. Bake for 8 -10 minutes depending on thickness.

For the Lemon & Thyme Risotto:

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Place your pan of stock on heat, bring to the boil and then turn down to a simmer

Place the butter, oil, onion and pinch of salt in a pan over a medium heat. Cook the onion gently for about 4 to 5 minutes until soft but not coloured. Add the rice and stir well to coat every grain and add in the white wine, half the lemon juice and half the zest and cook for one minute. Remember to keep stirring gently.

Add in your hot stock, a ladle at a time and stir well until the stock has almost disappeared into the rice.

After about 15 minutes of adding stock, start to taste – the rice needs to be tender but still have some bite to it.

Take the pan off the heat, quickly mix the parmesan, mascarpone, thyme, lemon juice and zest into pan and then beat this into your risotto quickly.

If risotto is too thick, add in a little bit of stock. Taste & season.

To serve complete dish 

Spoon risotto on plate, place the vegetables around the plate, and place the monkfish tails on top.

Garnish with a lemon wedge and herb oil.

12” Aphrodisiac Valentine’s Pizza

(Contributed by Paul Duncan, owner of Mamma's Pizza, Edinburgh)

The Trading House Glasgow

Ingredients for base:

• 500g course plain flour
• Pinch of salt
• Pinch of sugar
• Yeast
• 100ml olive oil
• 250ml water
• Polenta or semolina for rolling

Ingredients for sauce and toppings:

• 6 tomatoes
• Pinch of basil
• Chopped garlic
• Chopped chilli pepper
• Buffalo mozzarella or your favourite cheese
• Chopped avocado
• Chopped pomegranate
• Arugula (rocket)
• ½ diced chicken breast


Pre-heat the oven to 220 degrees.

For the tomato sauce, blend six ripe tomatoes with basil, garlic and chilli pepper to your tastes. Set aside.

Fry the diced chicken until it’s cooked throughout. Set aside.

Mix the flour, salt, sugar and yeast in a bowl. Knead the ingredients to remove any lumps, add the oil and then slowly add water until all ingredients are mixed and the mixture is springy.

Make the mixture into a ball and roll in polenta or semolina to give it a crunch when cooked. With a rolling pin, roll the ball into an oval shape. This should be around two thirds of the finished size. Turn the ball over and spin in the air to help stretch and aerate the dough. Now, roll the dough to its full size.

Edge your pizza base by placing one hand on the edge of your pizza and by using the forefinger of your other hand apply pressure by squeezing the dough up to form an edge.

Then, cover the base with the tomato sauce and cheese. For the cheese, use sliced buffalo mozzarella or add extra flavour by grating your favourite cheese. Then, add the chicken, avocado, pomegranate and arugula.

Place the pizza on a tray and cook in the oven for seven minutes.

Scotch Beef Tagliata, Lanark Blue Cheese and Salsa Verde

(Contributed by Lello Favuzzi, ambassador for Menabrea UK and head chef of L’Anima Restaurant, London.)

The Trading House Glasgow


(Serves 2)

• 2 x 200g Beef fillets (21 days aged prime Angus fillet)
• 20g Lanark Blue cheese
• 20ml Extra Virgin Olive Oil
• 5ml Balsamic Vinegar
• 1 whole Baby fennel, halved
• 1 bunch Baby spinach, raw (25g)
• 2 Baby carrots
• 1 baby artichoke
• 3g Rock Sea Salt flakes
• 400g Maris Piper potatoes
• 10ml Extra Virgin Olive oil
• S&P to season

Clean the potatoes thoroughly. Place in cold water and bring to the boil. Cook for approximately 30 minutes. Drain and peel them. Pass the peeled potatoes through a mouli. Add the extra virgin olive oil and salt & pepper to season.

Clean the fillets by removing any excess fat and nerves to have a very lean piece of meat. Cut into medallions of 3cm thickness (approximately 200g medallion). Season the fillets with S&P and a twig of thyme. Sear fillets from both sides (1 minute each) until you have a nice golden colour. Place on a hot tray. Place in the oven with some olive oil for two minutes for a medium rare finish. Leave to rest on the grill for approximately 10-25 minutes. Clean the vegetables and blanch in salted boiling water for 1 minute. Drain and place into iced water. To serve, place some mashed potato on the plate with sliced medallions. Sprinkle some crumbled Lanark cheese on top as well as a few drops of balsamic vinegar. Sprinkle some rock sea salt flakes on top.

For dessert

Let's face it the dessert is your big finish, so we asked our chefs to suggest some truly luxurious recipes to really make the right impression.

White Chocolate Ganache
with Amber Menabrea Granita and Chocolate Crumble

(Contributed by Lello Favuzzi, ambassador for Menabrea UK and head chef of L’Anima Restaurant, London.)

The Trading House Glasgow


Menabrea granita
• 610 ml Amber Menabrea
• 100 g sugar
• 1 Gelatine leaf

Menabrea ganache
• 400 g white chocolate
• 180 g double cream
• 120 g Amber Menabrea

Chocolate Crumble
• 100 g ground almond flour
• 100 g butter, softened at room temperature
• 100 g dark brown sugar
• 100 g flour
• 30 g cocoa powder


For the Menabrea granita

Soak the gelatine in iced cold water. In the meantime, pour 150ml and the sugar into a pan. Heat until the sugar has completely dissolved. Take off the heat. Squeeze any excess water from the gelatine before adding it to the pan together with the rest of the beer. Stir it gently until it has cooled down and place it in the freezer. Stir the liquid once every hour. It will take at least 5 hours to obtain granita. If the result is too icy and hard, you can scrape it with a fork.

For the Menabrea ganache

Melt the white chocolate over bain marie. Once it has melted add the double cream and stir until smooth, then add little by little the beer. Be careful not to stir it too much so you keep the sparkling taste. Let the mixture set for a few hours in the fridge covered with cling film (2 hours). Place the ganache in a bowl and whip it using a whisk until it reaches a thick consistency. Do not overwhisk it as otherwise it will split.

For the chocolate crumble

Heat the oven at 180 degrees. Pour all the dry ingredients together in a bowl. Add the butter, then rub into the flour using your fingertips to make a light breadcrumb texture. Do not overwork it or the crumble will become heavy. Sprinkle the mixture evenly over a baking sheet and bake for 15mins or until lightly coloured.

To assembly fill 1/3 of a glass or a glass bowl with the white chocolate ganache. You can use a piping bag or spoon. Then add a layer of chocolate crumble, followed by the granita on top. Decorate with whole fresh raspberries and crumbled pistachios and place in the fridge until you’re ready to serve.

Smoked Chocolate Mousse

(Recipe from Neil Mugg, Head Pastry Chef at The Gleneagles Hotel)

The Trading House Glasgow


• 200g Dark chocolate – 70%
• 120ml Boiling water 3 Egg yolks
• 140g Italian meringue
• Smoke oil to taste – optional, this recipe also works well without the smoke.


Melt the chocolate over boiling water, mix until it is all melted.
Add in the egg yolks – mix well to emulsify.
Fold in the Italian meringue and smoke oil to taste.
Use as required.

Serving Suggestions:

Your finished mousse can be served simply in a glass or Quenelles
(oval shaped) on a plate.

Or Neil suggests serving it in either a pavlova shell or chocolate cup.
However you choose to serve your Smoked Chocolate Mousse it tastes delicious served with any of the following:

Kumquat marmalade
Redberry compote
Vanilla ice cream
Chocolate or caramel sauce
Vanilla pod sauce Anglaise
Whipped Chantilly cream
Amoretti biscuits
Petticoat tails

A Valentine’s Winter Fruit Brûlée

Served with Macadamia, Fraises du Bois, Banana, Strawberry and Blueberry Smoothie and Edible Silver Leaf. Accompanied by a Vintage Champagne and Whisky Anglaise

(Contributed by Paul Kitching, Chef Proprietor of 21212, Edinburgh’s only Michelin Starred Restaurant with Rooms.) 

The Trading House Glasgow

Serves 4-6


For the Brûlée

• 8 egg yolks
• 4g sugar
• ½ pint of double cream
• ⅓ pint of milk
• 1 vanilla pod

For the Compote Smoothie

• 1 banana
• 4g blueberries
• 4g strawberries
• 4g Fraises du Bois
• 8 fl. oz yogurt

For the Whisky and Champagne Anglaise

• ¾ pint of milk
• 8 egg yolks
• 1 vanilla pod
• 1 glass of Champagne (a good vintage is recommended)
• 4 fl. oz Drambuie Whisky Liqueur

For Decoration

• 4g wild strawberries
• 4g chopped macadamia nuts
• Silver leaf- this is optional and can be purchased from specialist retailers such as Harvey Nichols


To make the Brûlée:

Pre heat the over to 120°C. Mix all ingredients for the Brûlée together in a bowl, blending well. After thoroughly mixing, divide into four separate containers. Bake each for 25 minutes. Allow the Brûlée to chill before sprinkling the mixture with icing sugar and arranging on your serving plate.

Compote Smoothie:

Blend all the ingredients together until you’ve formed a paste. Drizzle half of the thick mixture onto the Brûlée and the other half into a shooter glass.

Whisky and Champagne Anglaise:

Pour the milk and cream into a saucepan. Add the vanilla pod seeds and place on a medium heat. While the liquids are coming to a simmer, whisk together the egg yolks in a mixing bowl as well as the Champagne and Drambuie Whisky Liqueur.

Combine both mixtures in the saucepan and continuously stir until the mix begins to thicken, this will remove the bitterness of the Drambuie. Place a shooter glass on your serving plate and pour half the thickened mixture on top. Place the other half of the mixture onto the Compote.

To serve:

Place the shooter glass on the serving plate and delicately arrange silver and gold leaf on top of the Brûlée (optional). Gently place the wild strawberries and chopped macadamia nuts next to the shooter glass and Brûlée and serve as required.

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