OUR EXECUTIVE CHEF AND LEAD MIXOLOGIST SHARE EASY, ROMANTIC RECIPES FOR A DATE NIGHT IN
Valentine’s Day is around the corner and perhaps you want to do something besides the tried and true box of chocolates and a dozen roses. Creating a uniquely sentimental Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to be difficult; it can start in the ambiance of your own home! Candles? Check. Wine? Check. Fireplace? Added bonus. But what about the meal?
We sought advice from two of our very own, Virgin Hotels Dallas Executive Chef Nick Walker and Lead Mixologist Colin Philips for ideas on catering to your special someone at home. From the aroma to the presentation, these plates will help set the mood for a special night together.
LOOKING TO SET YOUR TASTEBUDS ON FIRE? FOLLOW THESE TIPS FROM EXECUTIVE CHEF NICK WALKER
“Romantic food at home should be sharable; easy plates that go down easy. Steer clear of ingredients that induce bad breath, like garlic or stinky cheese like goat cheese.”
MAIN COURSE: “I’d start with a light cheese board, with honeycomb and spiced nuts. The main course could be something nice like a lobster pasta. You can use blanched lobster meat and even a pre-made lobster bisque as the sauce! Boxed pasta is fine for the house.”
DESSERT: “Make it light but twice as nice, like a chocolate mousse with fruit or soufflé for the daring home cook!”
LAST MINUTE CULINARY GIFTS FOR VALENTINE’S DAY: “Truffles or chocolate covered fruit are a quick and easy gift with a Valentine theme, or even a chocolate fondue kit. And even though it may not be super Valentine’s forward, a pot pie has always been my gift of love.”
LOOKING TO ALSO ADD SOME OOH LA LA TO YOUR VALENTINE’S DRINKS? TAKE A TIP FROM LEAD MIXOLOGIST COLIN PHILIPS
1 oz. Vodka or Gin
1/2 oz. Strawberry Syrup (recipe to follow)
1/2 oz. St. Germain
Top with bubbles (Prosecco, Cava or Champagne)
Garnish with a fresh basil leaf and lemon twist or a strawberry.
Add Strawberry Syrup and St.Germain to a champagne flute. Top with bubbles and garnish. Toast, sip and smooch!
Strawberry Syrup Recipe:
1 lb strawberries (rinsed, topped and chopped)
1 qt. sugar
1 qt. cold water
Combine all ingredients in saucepan or pot leaving plenty of room so as not to boil over. Bring mixture to a boil whilst stirring by using a spatula to ensure the sugar does not stick to the bottom of pan. Reduce heat to a slow simmer for 20-25 minutes.
Turn off heat and skim any foam off of the surface of syrup. This will ensure the product keeps longer and is more refined in flavor and texture. Label and date the syrup and once cool, refrigerate when not using. The syrup will keep for one week.
These recipes are great for any date night at home, not just Valentine’s Day in Dallas. Why not seal every day of the year with a kiss?
Writer: Camille Todaro