A Valentine’s menu sure to get you lucky
I'm all for staying in on Valentine's Day. Why battle tight reservation schedules, pay higher prices or risk poor service? Besides, the following menu is not only easy to make but is sure to get you lucky in the bedroom. Or on the kitchen counter. Or both. See? Staying home is way more fun.
Begin with oysters on the half shell. Served with the traditional accompaniment of Mignonette sauce, oysters also pair beautifully with ice cold vodka. It’s the perfect way to get things rolling. Check out this video to learn how to shuck them yourself.
Next up is roast chicken. Simple, rustic, classic. This recipe from the editors at Glamour magazine is dead simple and delivers seriously juicy results. I make a couple of small changes to it, which are key to a flavourful bird. The first is to slip a few chunks of cold butter under the skin (between the skin and the breast meat). Then when putting the chicken in the roasting pan set it on top of a large yellow onion cut into 4 thick slices.
Nothing goes better with roast chicken than mashed potatoes. All you need to do is boil peeled russet potatoes in salted water until soft. Then drain, add lots of butter, salt and a little cream and mash with an electric hand mixer. Add more cream and salt until the flavours are balanced. Roasted garlic is an excellent addition if you want to get fancy.
I like to serve a simple green salad at the end of the meal or you may want to do this family style and have everything on the table at the same time. Jamie Oliver has an oil and lemon dressing, which is delicious and fresh when tossed with an assortment of greens. Do not, I repeat, do not use boxed lettuce. I get that it’s convenient and when I’m not making a special meal I eat it too. But the flavour of organic, fresh lettuce is far superior. Is your date worth pulling out the salad spinner for?
And for the big finish? (Ok, hopefully not quite the big finish.) Chocolate layer cake! If you’re going to cheat anywhere on this menu, you can certainly buy a cake from a local bakery, but you will get a lot of extra points if you make it yourself. And coming from someone who doesn’t like to bake, trust me when I say this recipe from Good Housekeeping is a cinch.
Now, all you need are the candles and sexy tunes (I recommend Bon Iver).
Happy Valentine’s Day to lovers everywhere.