It’s a wonderful time of year to be making meals for your loved ones. The weather is perfect for indoor entertainment, and Valentine’s Day comes in the middle of the month. Thankfully, you don’t need to be a master chef to make a meal worth savouring. Try one of these recipes to keep your stomach and your heart full this winter!
Baked Sea Bass with Lemon Caper Dressing
Try this tasty dressing on sea bass for a melt-in-your-mouth texture that’s sure to please your palette!
- 4 sea bass fillets (100 g)
- 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 lemon
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 2 tbsp small capers
- 2 tsp Dijon mustard
- 2 tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley
- 1 tbsp water
- Begin by making the dressing. To do so, mix the olive oil, lemon juice, capers, mustard and water in a mixing bowl.
- Heat the oven to 220 Co
- Line a baking tray with parchment and put the fish on top, skin-side up.
- Brush the skin of the fish with olive oil and sprinkle on a bit of salt if you’d like.
- Bake for seven minutes or until the flesh of the fish flakes when tested with a knife.
- Once removed from oven, spoon the dressing over the fish and garnish with the parsley.
Simple Squash Risotto
Squash isn’t just for fall! Warm the way to your lover’s heart with this hearty risotto.
- 1 butternut squash
- 4 tbsp light olive oil
- 600 ml vegetable stock
- 50 g unsalted butter
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 1 celery stick, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tsp fresh thyme leaves, picked
- 140 g risotto rice
- 100 ml white wine
- 50 g parmesan, finely grated
- Heat the oven to 200C. Peel the squash and separate the seed-bearing section from the slender end. Chop the slender end into 2 cm cubes, and toss the cubes in half of the olive oil. Season these cubes lightly and roast them in the oven for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until golden brown on the outside and soft in the centre.
- Cut the bulbous/seed-bearing side in half and scrape out the seeds with a spoon. Chop the flesh into 2 cm pieces. Warm the vegetable stock in a small pan, set over low heat. Drop in the squash and leave to gently poach.
- While the squash is roasting, warm a medium-sized frying pan over low heat. Add the other half of the olive oil and half the amount of butter, and then add the onion. Cover the pan and cook for three minutes until the onion turns translucent.
- Next, stir in the celery, garlic, herbs and a few turns of pepper. Cover the pan again and let it cook for another couple minutes.
- Increase the heat a bit and stir in the rice for about five minutes.
- Turn up the heat again and stir in the wine, letting it bubble away to just about nothing.
- Now turn down the heat a bit and add the stock. Add one ladle at a time, stirring gently with each addition. Encourage the rice to absorb the liquid and soften, while also giving up its starch to thicken the broth.
- Once you’ve added all stock, mash it all up and stir into the risotto.
- Turn off the heat, dot the risotto with the remaining butter and parmesan, cover and let it sit for two minutes. Spoon the risotto into bowls and sprinkle the roasted squash on top.
Pot-roasted pheasant makes for a delicious meal that won’t break the bank!
- 1 oven-ready pheasant, legs removed
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 smoked bacon rasher
- 2 carrots, roughly chopped
- 1 leek, roughly sliced
- 2 celery sticks, chopped
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 garlic bulb, halved
- 1 thyme spring
- 250 ml fresh chicken stock
- carrot puree, to serve
- 1 medium potato
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 2 smoked streaky bacon rashers
- 1 thyme sprig
- 100 ml fresh chicken stock
- Start by cooking the potato. Heat oven to 200C. Cut the potato into two thick slices, so each side rests flat in the pan. Fry the bacon with oil in a pan until crisp. Over high heat, brown the potato slices for about three minutes on each side.
- Add the thyme, splash in some stock and place in the oven while you work on the pheasant.
- Season the pheasant well. Heat the oil in a casserole dish and add the pheasant. Spend about 10 minutes making sure the meat is coloured on all sides.
- Remove the meat from the dish and splash in a bit more oil. Sizzle the bacon for a minute, then add the vegetables and the thyme. Turn up the heat and brown the vegetables. Put the legs amongst the vegetables and the breast on top. Place it in the oven for 25 minutes, uncovered.
- Remove the dish from the oven, lift out the pheasant breast and leave it somewhere warm. Pour the chicken stock over the legs and return to the oven for 20 minutes to braise. While that cooks, gently reheat the carrot puree in a pan, stirring with a bit of butter.
- Remove the legs from the dish and set them aside somewhere warm. Use a potato masher the mash the vegetables into the sauce to thicken it. Season it well and strain the sauce into a bowl. Then remove the potato form the oven, finely chopping the bacon from the potato pan into small bits.
- Neatly cut away each breast from the carcass. Slice the breast in two and cut each leg through the joint into two pieces. Cut potato in half, and smear a large spoonful of the carrot puree alongside the plate. Lean the pheasant pieces against each other and lay the potatoes next to them. Scatter the pheasant breast with the chopped bacon and spoon over the sauce.