Cook up a heart-racing Valentine’s Day meal

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9 February 2017 | Lifestyle

Valentine’s Day is fast approaching - so why not cook up a romantic treat with professional chef Jethro Carr,  founder of the Kitchen Academy.

Whip up Jethro’s tasty three-course meal by following the recipes and videos below.

Starter - Focaccia

Ingredients

  • 500g strong bread flour
  • 1 tbsp semolina
  • 14g instant yeast
  • 320ml warm water
  • 50ml olive oil
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions

  1. Start by mixing flour with semolina yeast and a pinch of salt, then add the olive oil to the water.
  2. Make a well in the centre of the flour and slowly pour in the water whilst mixing with a fork. Next mix with your hands to form the dough. Tip out and knead for 10 mins.
  3. Allow the dough to rise in a covered floured mixing bowl for 30 to 60 mins and then heat your oven to 200°C.
  4. Tip the dough onto an oiled baking tray and prod it out to the corners and edges. Season with salt and pepper and drizzle with olive oil and bake for 30 minutes.

To give the mixture an added kick, try adding other flavours like cheese, red onions or rosemary.

 

Main course - Pan roasted spiced duck breast served with cabbage and pomegranate dressing

Ingredients

  • 2 whole duck breasts
  • Teaspoon each ground cinnamon, ground allspice and salt
  • 1 whole Sweetheart cabbage – thick ribs discarded
  • Teaspoon white cumin seeds
  • Dash of light vegetable oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • Seeds from a whole pomegranate
  • 2 teaspoon runny honey
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 1 onion thinly sliced
  • A few sprigs of parsley

 

Directions

  1. Make diagonal criss-cross slashes through the skin of the duck breasts.
  2. Rub the cinnamon, allspice and salt mix all over the breasts then wrap in clingfilm and chill in the fridge.
  3. Mix together the pomegranate seeds with the honey and lemon juice and set aside
  4. Fry the sliced onion in light oil until crisp then drain on kitchen paper.
  5. Shred the cabbage and blanch in hot water for one minute. Drain into iced water.
  6. Unwrap the duck breasts, discard the film and place skin side down into a cold, dry heavy bottomed pan. Place over the heat and slowly cook until the fat runs and the skin is well browned – about 6 minutes. Flip over and cook the flesh side for 4 minutes.
  7. Remove the pan from the heat and leave the duck breasts to continue cooking with the residual heat.
  8. Heat a little vegetable oil in a wok then add the cumin seeds and fry for a few seconds. Add the well-drained cabbage and stir fry for a minute or two. Season with salt and pepper.
  9. Slice the rested duck breasts lengthways
  10. Place a mound of the cabbage onto each serving plate and top with slices of duck. Pour over a spoonful of the pomegranate dressing, top with a few crisp onions and a sprig of parsley

Dessert  - Macedonia con mousse di cioccolato

Ingredients

  • 150g/5¼oz good quality dark chocolate, chopped
  • 50g/2oz good quality white chocolate, chopped
  • 100g/3½oz good quality milk chocolate, chopped
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 tbsp caster sugar
  • handful of crumbled sponge fingers
  • 250ml/9fl oz whipped cream
  • 50g/2oz strawberries, sliced
  • 50g/2oz raspberries
  • 1 mango, peeled and finely sliced

Directions

  1. Melt all the chocolate together in a glass bowl over a pan with hot water, taking care not to let the bowl touch the water. Once the chocolate has melted set aside to cool.
  2. In a separate bowl, beat the eggs and sugar until thick and pale. Using a metal spoon, fold the chocolate into the egg mixture.
  3. Gently fold in the broken sponge fingers and then the whipped cream.
  4. Then take four dessert glasses and divide the raspberries and strawberries in to each glass. Place some of the chocolate mixture on top until you fill the glass to three-quarters.
  5. Place slices of mango on top and finally fill the glass with the remaining chocolate mixture.
  6. Refrigerate for at least one hour until set.
  7. Just before serving decorate with a slice of mango and a strawberry

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