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3 course meal for Valentine's Day - recipe

PUBLISHED: 09:39 03 February 2015 | UPDATED: 09:39 03 February 2015

Cod & watercress parcels

Cod & watercress parcels

Archant

Get cooking this Valentine's Day and treat your loved one to a delicious 3 course meal

STARTER: Sweet Chilli Beetroot, Radish, Herb & Bulgar Tabbouleh Served with Griddled Halloumi

Serves: 4

• Preparation time: 15 minutes, plus 30 minutes resting

• Cooking time: 4 minutes

You’ll need:

• 100g bulgur wheat

• 2x 180g packs Sweet Chilli Beetroot, cut into wedges

• 200g radishes, trimmed & quartered

• 2 large bunches flat leaf parsley

• 1 small bunch mint

• 1 shallot, very finely chopped

• 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

• juice of ½-1 lemon, to taste

• salt & freshly ground black pepper

• 1 tsp baharat spice blend (available from Barts spices)

• 2 packs halloumi cheese, cut into 1cm slices

• a drizzle of olive oil to cook

What to do:

• Add the bulgar wheat to a heat proof bowl and pour in enough freshly boiled water to cover. Cover with tea towel or cling film and set aside for 10 minutes. Drain and rinse well under cold running water. Set aside in a sieve hung over a bowl to ensure it drains completely.

• Meanwhile, add the beetroot and radishes to a mixing bowl. Finely chop parsley, discarding thick stalks but including thinner ones, and add to the bowl. • Pick the mint leaves, discarding the stalks, and finely chop. Add to the bowl, along with the shallot.

• Add drained bulgar wheat and baharat spices and stir everything together. Finally add olive oil and lemon juice to taste, seasoning with salt and black pepper. Set aside for 30 minutes to allow the flavours to infuse.

• Preheat a griddle pan to smoking hot. Drizzle a little oil over the cheese then griddle for a couple of minutes on each side until crisp.

• Give the tabbouleh a final stir and spoon into a serving dish. Top with the halloumi and serve immediately.

Cook’s tips:

Sweet chilli beetroot can be purchased from Marks and Spencer. It can also be purchased in Tesco and Waitrose as Sweetfire® or in Sainsbury’s as Sweet Flame. Or choose a different flavour from the infused beetroot ready-to-eat ranges.

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MAIN: Cod & Watercress Parcels

Serves: 2

• Preparation Time: 10 minutes

• Cooking Time: 20 minutes

You’ll need:

• 250g cod (or other sustainable white fish)

• 85g (1 bag) watercress

• 2 cloves of garlic, peeled

• 1 green chilli, chopped

• 2 slices of Parma ham

• 2 tbsp olive oil

• 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar

• 150g brown rice

• 1 small red onion, diced

• 50g sundried tomatoes, chopped

• 50g black olives, stoned and chopped

• Black pepper

What to do:

• Preheat oven to 180oC (160oC Fan). Take cod and pile a quarter of the watercress along the top of the two fillets (reserving the rest for later) along with the chilli and garlic. Carefully wrap cod and its topping in the slices of Parma ham. Place on a baking tray and sprinkle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Bake for 15 minutes or until cod is cooked through.

• Bring 360ml of water to the boil. Add brown rice, stir and leave to simmer for 15- 20 mins until water is all absorbed and the rice cooked. Add onion, tomato and olives to a hot pan and lightly sauté. Once rice is cooked, add to the pan and mix together, adding pepper to taste.

• Spoon some of the brown rice mixture onto a plate. Place remaining watercress on top. Remove cod from the oven and place on top.

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DESSERT: Viva strawberry and almond macaroons

Serves: 6 – 8

• Preparation time: 1 hour

• Cooking time: 15 – 20 minutes

You’ll need:

for the macaroons -

• 4 large egg whites

• 175g icing sugar

• 170g ground almonds

• 30ml water

• 170g caster sugar

for the filling-

• 200g butter (at room temperature)

• 100g icing sugar

• 10 Viva strawberries hulled and sliced

What to do

• Preheat oven to 170°C fan/ 150°C. Place 2 of the egg whites in a large bowl, sift in the icing sugar and ground almonds and mix into a paste.

• Place the water and caster sugar in a small pan, and bring to the boil. The syrup needs to reach 118°C.

• While syrup is boiling, whisk the 2 remaining egg whites until stiff, ideally using an electric whisk. Pour hot syrup slowly into the egg whites, whisking all the time. Continue whisking until mixture is thick glossy and cool - the syrup will cook the eggs.

• With a spatula, gently stir syrup and egg whites mixture with the sugar, and almond paste until the two mixtures are combined.

• Place mixture into a piping bag and pipe out equal rounds onto a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper. Don’t worry if all the mix doesn’t fit on the tray, you can cook it in batches.

• Allow macaroons to sit for 20-30 minutes so they can form a skin. Cook for 15-20 minutes and then allow to cool on tray for 10 minutes.

• For the filling, beat the butter and icing sugar together until light and fluffy. Sandwich the macaroons together with two slices of Viva strawberries and a little buttercream.

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