Tag Archives: romantic dinner

Beetroot soup with bacon and chive

 The week before St.Valentine’s Day is just started. Are you ready for the Big Day? Have you planned how do you want to spend it? No matter what you choose – whether to go to a restaurant or to spend a romantic dinner in, I recommend you to try this pureed soup with roasted beetroot. You can serve it as a hot starter on the V-Day, or just prepare it during the week.Beetroot soup with bacon and chives  The soup is very easy and quick to make. The only thing I’d like to mention: better to roast beetroot instead of boiling, roasted beets with rosemary and olive oil have such a lovely aroma and they add an extra amazing taste to the soup! And if you are vegetarian – omit the bacon.

Beetroot soup with bacon and chive

  • Difficulty: very easy
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You may also garnish the soup with fresh chopped dill instead of chives.
Omit the bacon for vegetarian option.

Ingredients

2 small beetroots, about 230g
1 small red onion
1 garlic clove, optional, peeled
1 teared fresh rosemary sprig or 1 tsp dried
1 tbsp olive oil
500ml water (or veg or beef stock)
2 small potatoes, about 230g
1 bay leave
1 tsp dark muscovado sugar (or sub with white)
1 tbps lemon juice
freshly ground pink pepper, to taste
sea salt, to taste
Garnish
3-4 smoked bacon strips
1.5 tbsp each cream cheese+sour cream (or use more cream cheese)
4 tbsp fresh chive
Preparation method
  1. Wash and peel beetroot, cut into 4-5 slices and arrange on a piece of foil. Slice onion and add along with garlic and rosemary to beetroot. Drizzle with olive oil. Bake in preheated 180C oven for 20 minutes, then take out onion and garlic. Seal the foil and bake beetroot for 20-30 minutes more or until it’s soft.
  2. Meanwhile, peel potatoes and cut into small cubes. Bring water or stock to boil in a medium pan, add potatoes, bay leave and some salt. Slightly cover, simmer on a medium heat until soft. Discard the bay leave.
  3. Add all roasted vegetables to the pan along with sugar and lemon juice. Season to taste with pink pepper and salt. Simmer all together for 5-6 minutes more.
  4. In a small pan, fry sliced bacon (without oil) until it’s crispy. Drain on a paper towels.
  5. Blend the soup until smooth.
  6. For the garnish, mix cream cheese with sour cream, or use only cream cheese. Chop chives.
  7. Pour the soup into serving bowls. Garnish with fried bacon, chives and a dollop of cream.
  8. Serve warm with some bread.
Enjoy!
Pureed Roasted Beetroot Soup

Citrusy Scampi with fennel salad

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One day my husband brought home these strange-looking shrimps from a local fish market. A fishmonger called it ‘scampi’, wikipedia told it’s a kind of shrimps or langoustines. So, I’d decided to make a citrusy marinade as for shrimps and then fried it. Sliced fennel with cubes of bell pepper and orange segments worked out great with fried scampi. The smell was amazing! It turned out unbelievably delicious! This scampi recipe can be done in minimal time, super tasty and will leave you satisfied! Scampi with fennel-orange saladNow, it’s one of my favorite seafood meals. Moreover, it looks elegant and you can serve it as a top-class dish for your guests or for a romantic dinner under the stars in your garden. 🙂Ingredients for Scampi Recipe

Citrusy scampi with fennel salad

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: moderate
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You can substitute scampi with large prawns.
Ingredients
3 large scampi per person as a starter or 6-7 as a main course
Marinade
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp lime juice
1/2-1 tbsp orange juice
2-3 tsp orange zest
2-3 garlic cloves, crushed or chopped, as you like
1 tbsp fresh chopped coriander
S&P to taste
Salad
1/2 red onion
1 small fennel bulb or 1/2 large
1/2-1 bell pepper, red
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp white balsamic vinegar
1 orange
S&P to taste
Serving
fresh chopped coriander
extra virgin olive oil or basil oil
Preparation method
  1. Cut the fennel and onion into  julienne (thin slices) and add to the mixing bowl with the balsamic vinegar and oil, toss in. Cut bell pepper into small cubes, add to the bowl. Remove the rind on the orange then cut into segments and add to the mixing bowl (save all orange juices and add it to the salad); gently toss in the bowl with all ingredients. Reserve at room temperature.
  2. Clean scampi, leave tails on if desired. In a bowl mix together olive oil, citrus juices, garlic, chopped coriander and orange zest. Add scampi and leave to marinate for 30 minutes to 1-2 hours. Heat the frying pan on a medium-high heat, add scampi without marinade. Cook for 2-4 minutes on each side, depends on the size of scampi. Season to taste.
  3. Season the salad and gently mix. Divide the salad evenly on plates. Serve salad with scampi placed on top. Sprinkle with finely chopped coriander and drizzle even more oil, if desired.
Enjoy!

Scampi in citrusy marinade

Sharing at 62nd FF party with Angie, co-hosts JessPrudy and all guests! Hope you all gonna love these bright, healthy and delicious dish!

Braised Rabbit with red wine, prunes and thyme

 I’m sure you know that Easter is on the way (Catholic falls on April 5 and Orthodox April 12), and you’re probably planning what to cook, or searching your notes with traditional recipes. I think some of you have a special main course recipe for this occasion, or may be it’s a wide range of recipes. What will you choose this year? An elegant dish or simple&casual? I think, with spring bringing nice and pretty weather, that you’re likely to be in the mood for something hearty and light! 🙂Braised Rabbit I’ve always been partial to rabbit; when I’m visiting my parents in Russia I’m always pleased to eat a rabbit stewed in sour cream. It’s always tender and delicious, of course because it’s prepared by my mom. 😀 Today recipe is elegant and great for a special dinner! I’d like you to try rabbit with prunes and thyme, braised in red wine. It requires few ingredients to be transformed into a flavoursome meal! Enjoy!Braised Rabbit with prunes, juniper berries and thyme

Braised Rabbit with red wine, prunes and thyme

  • Servings: 3-4
  • Difficulty: moderate
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Ingredients
1 rabbit, 1.3-1.5kg
water
1-2 tsp apple or wine vinegar, optional
2 tbsp olive oil
20g butter
1-2 garlic clove, peeled, chopped
5-6 shallots or 1 onion, chopped
1 bay leaf
4 black peppercorns, optional
4-5 juniper berries
12-15 prunes, pitted
4 springs thyme or 1 tsp dried
150ml dry red wine
100ml or more hot water, if needed
sea salt and white pepper to taste
Garnish
boiled or roasted potatoes
sour cream
Preparation method
  1. Joint the rabbit, wash it and put in a large bowl, fully cover the meat with water, add vinegar if using, then cover with a wrap and leave to marinate for 1-3 hours. It helps to make rabbit meat more tender and get rid of any unpleasant smell.
  2. Heat the oil and butter in a heavy-bottom pan on a medium-high heat.  Add the rabbit pieces and brown each side for 6-8 minutes or until golden colour. Take out the rabbit pieces and place aside. Don’t clean the pan.
  3. Reduce the heat to medium, add onions, garlic, peppercorns (if using), juniper berries, bay leaf, some thyme leaves and sauté for 3-5 minutes or until onion have softened. Add rabbit, pour over wine and scrape up the bottom of the pan. Bring to boil, reduce the heat to medium and simmer for 15 minutes.
  4. Fold in prunes and remaining thyme. Season to taste. The liquid should come half way up the rabbit pieces. So, add some water, if needed. Reduce heat to low, cover with a lid (keep a small slit) and braise the rabbit for 45 minutes. Now turn the rabbit pieces on the other side, adjust the seasoning, again cover the pan with a lid and braise for further 40-45 minutes. The rabbit should be easily pulling off the bone.
  5. Serve with sliced boiled/roasted potatoes, or rice. Add a tablespoon of sour creme, if desired.

Scallops. Impress your guests!

Hey guys! Excluding this awesome, simple and yet satisfying recipe, I have a question for you. Have you ever gone out from your comfort zone? Are you doing anything unusual or off-limits during the week or month, that people usually don’t expect from you?
Can you take a bicycle instead of car and go to work? Or can you stop eating desserts just for a week? Or may be say ‘yes’ to green tea, even if you never drink it, instead of your fav coffee? Can you stop drinking cola (I hope you don’t drink it at all)?
 Or may be to call a person, who is really dear to you, and you’ve been shy to speak to, and invite him/her for a dinner? 😉
Start from simple things, try out new recipe! Prepare this amazing and delicious appetizer! Impress yourself and only then others! 🙂
Scallops

Scallops with avocado puree and strawberries

You can serve tender scallops with strawberries or just with sauce. A glass of bubbly or chilled white wine would be perfect here! 
Ingredients
6 scallops
1 avocado
60-80g cream cheese
2 tsp lemon juice
8 strawberries
2 Tbsp finely chopped coriander
1-2 Tbsp olive oil, for frying
sea salt, white pepper
Sauce:
60-80ml dry white wine
1 tsp garlic puree (roasted garlic is great here)
1 tsp finely chopped coriander
1 Tbsp butter
Chop and blend avocado, add cream cheese, lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste.
Cut strawberries into small cubes, mix with fresh coriander.
Season scallops with salt and pepper, fry in the piping hot pan 2 minutes on each side.
In the middle of serving plate, arrange avocado puree, top with strawberries; then arrange scallops.
If you don’t like avocado, you can serve scallops simple as is with a sauce. In the same pan, where you fried scallops, add wine and deglaze the pan’s bottom. Add garlic, coriander, season to taste and bring to boil. Add butter, mix well and cook for few minutes more. Pour the sauce over the scallops.
Enjoy!

Roast quail for St.Valentine Day

 Quail may be tiny birds but they pack a real flavor punch. Perfect for Valentine’s Day meal.

 There’s something adorable about presenting your Valentine with their own whole bird. The easiest way (and messy) to eat a small quails is with your fingers 🙂 or you can carve it as turkey.
Quail(Click on the photo to see it in a larger size)
 Serve one quail per person as a starter or two as a main course.
 
Ingredients
4 whole quails
4 medium potatoes
2 carrots
2 medium onions
1 small bunch thyme
6-8 juniper berries
2 tbsp runny honey
2+2 tbsp olive oil 
salt, pepper
 
Method
  1. If you’ve got frozen quail, defrost it overnight in the refrigerator.
  2. Take the quail out of the fridge 1 hour before cooking. Wipe the outside of the bird and inside the cavity, using kitchen paper.
  3. Season inside with salt&pepper, put in sprig of thyme and one juniper berry. Tie the legs together with string (optionally).
  4. Season birds with salt&pepper and thyme, brush with honey and 2 tbsp olive oil.
  5. Preheat oven to 200C. Put thinly sliced potatoes, carrots, onions, thyme and juniper berries into a roasting tin. Sprinkle with salt&pepper, drizzle with olive oil. Cook for 15-20 minutes.
  6. Sit the quail on top and roast for 25 minutes more.
 
Enjoy!