Archive for the ‘Valentine's Day’ Category

If you are looking for easy decoration ideas for your salads or bento lunches than this tutorial on how to make a radish rose might interest you.

A few days ago, I bought a rose flavoured lassi (South Asian yogurt drink). It had a picture of white roses with pinkish petal edges on it. I wanted to recreate that look so I came up with with the idea of infusing white radish with red beet juice. Unfortunately, the roses Moneygram honorarios turned out to look a lot different from the roses on the lassi package! Next time, I will shorten the infusion time and cut the slices thinner.

White Radish Rose Decoration

Cooking Soundtrack: Francoise Hardy – Mon Amie La Rose

  • 1 piece of raw white radish, peeled
  • 1 Tbs salt
  • ca. 1 cup red beet juice
  1. Rub all sides of the radish with the salt. Let sit for an hour to draw out the water. This will make the radish softer and it will absorb the beet juice easier (at least that’s what I’m guessing).
  2. Wash the salt away and place the radish in a bowl. Pour in the beet juice and let it stand for 30-60 minutes. If the beet juice doesn’t cover the whole radish, rotate it once a while.
  3. Take the radish out of the juice and pat it dry with a kitchen paper.
  4. Cut thin slices and lay 6 of them out like shown in the picture.
  5. Roll!
  6. Cut the roll in the middle.
  7. Now you have 2 roses.

A crunchy heart-shaped puff pastry shell filled with a savoury chicken & beet stew that catches your eye through its vibrant colour – Your loved ones’ heart will surely skip a beet when you serve them this flashy main dish on Valentine’s Day. Click here for more Valentine’s Day recipes.

Cooking Soundtrack: Dan Le Sac vs. Scroobius Pip – The Beat That My Heart Skipped

Heart-shaped vols-au-vent (makes 4 hearts)

  • chilled puff pastry dough, ca. 30×40cm rectangle, 3mm thick (I used store-bought puff pastry, but if you are truly in love I suggest making it by yourself)
  • 1 egg, beaten
  1. Preheat oven to 200°C. Print and cut out this heart outline if you don’t have suitable cookie cutters.
  2. Lay the heart outline on the dough and cut along the template. You’ll need 4 big hearts for the bottom, 8 heart rings for the sides and 4 small hearts for the caps.
  3. Put the bottom hearts on a baking tray lined out with parchment. Prick them with a fork and brush with the beaten egg.
  4. Place one heart ring on the bottom heart, brush with egg, then place another ring on top and brush again with egg. Brush the heart caps as well.
  5. Bake the vols-au-vent for 15 minutes. The heart caps should be taken out 5 minutes earlier.

Chicken & Beet Stew (serves 4)

Note: One portion is more than what is depicted in the pictures.

  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 small onion
  • 1/2 carrot
  • 1 chicken breast
  • salt & pepper
  • 1Tbs flour
  • 2 Tbs white wine
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1/3 cups frozen sweet peas
  • 1/3-2/3 cup cream
  • a pinch of tarragon
  • 1 tsp cornstarch dissolved in water
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 3 Tbs grated beet
  1. Chop garlic, onion and carrot into small bits.
  2. Cut the chicken into small cubes. Mix with salt, pepper and flour.
  3. Heat the butter in a pan and sauté garlic, onion and carrot for one minute.
  4. Add chicken and cook until it’s done.
  5. Add wine and let it evaporate a bit.
  6. Pour in the chicken stock and the sweet peas and let it simmer for a while.
  7. Add cream,tarragon and cornstarch.
  8. At the very last, mix in the grated beets and the lemon juice. What a colour boost.
  9. Fill the stew into the vols-au-vent. Enjoy.

This heart-warming cauliflower coconut soup has a mild flavour and is an ideal starter for a Valentine’s Day menu. Click here for more Valentine’s Day recipes.

Heart-warming Cauliflower Coconut Soup (serves 2)

  • 1 small onion
  • 1 Tbs butter
  • 200g cauliflower (about 4 florets)
  • a pinch of sugar
  • 1/3 cup white wine
  • 1 cup chicken or vegetable stock
  • 2/3 cup coconut milk
  • salt & pepper
  • 1 tsp canola oil and 1 tsp red beet juice for the heart
  1. Chop onion into small cubes and sauté in the butter for about 5 min. on medium heat.
  2. Cut the cauliflower into small bits and add it to the onions. Add the sugar and stir-fry for a few minutes.
  3. Add the white wine and let it boil down.
  4. Add the stock and boil for about ten minutes until the cauliflower bits are tender.
  5. Add coconut milk, salt and pepper an briefly heat it up.
  6. Blend and sift the soup.
  7. For the red heart, mix canola oil with beet juice and carefully place one teaspoon per bowl on top of the soup surface. Shape the dot into a heart with the help of a toothpick.

Struck by Cupids Arrow Cherry Tomatoes with Cocktail Sauce is a quick and easy snack or starter for your valentine’s day celebration. Only 2 cuts are required to turn the cherry tomatoes’ shape into a 3-dimensional heart – that’s how easy it is. Click here for more Valentine’s Day recipes.

I came up with this idea after I had watched a segment of a Japanese news program about Mrs. Soejima, a grocery store worker and wiener artist. She shows customers how to transform wieners into animals and flowers. (EDIT: I’m sorry, the video has been deleted. You can click here though to see some amazing screenshots.) Awesome. But the piece of art that truly caught my eye was the sausage heart you can see shortly at the end of the video. Such a simple yet brilliant idea.

A mini wiener...

...needs only one cut... be turned into a heart.

I wondered about which other food items this technique could be applied to, so I brainstormed for oval-shaped edibles (since this is an obvious requirement) and came up with cherry tomatoes among other things. Cherry tomatoes seem to be perfect: they have a bright red colour, are bite-sized and there are some oval shaped varieties. Unfortunately, it’s very hard to get your hands on the ones that are long enough to do the heart cut like shown in the example with the wiener. But don’t despair yet! Using simply 2 cherry tomatoes instead of 1 per heart will do the trick.

Struck by Cupid’s Arrow Cherry Tomatoes for Valentine’s Day (20 pieces)

Cooking Soundtrack: Sam Cooke – Cupid

  • 40 oval cherry tomatoes
  • 20 toothpicks that look like arrows
  1. The longer your tomatoes are, the better! The variety I’m using here is called Perla.
  2. Arrange the tomatoes in pairs that roughly have the same size.
  3. Diagonally cut away about 1/4 to 1/3 of the tomato, ideally at 45 degrees.
  4. Assemble the 2 bigger parts to a heart and stick them together with a toothpick.
  5. Don’t throw away the small parts. They can later be used to garnish the cocktail sauce.

Cocktail Sauce Dip

  • 85g mayonnaise
  • 40g ketchup
  • 1 Tbs yogurt
  • 1 tsp grated  horseradish
  • 1 Tbs lime juice
  • 1 tsp rum
  • salt, pepper & paprika
  1. Mix all ingredients and garnish with the cherry tomato leftovers. Voilà!
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