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Valentine’s Day is all about love and togetherness… about celebrating warmth and friendship with your partner, family and friends. And of course, a delectable menu is an integral part of this day.

This year, I’ve planned a menu which reflects the Valentine’s Day mood in every bite!

Salad: Grilled Sweet Pimentos with Iceberg Feta Vinaigrette Dressing

First course: Ricotta-filled Crepe with Grilled Polenta in Tomato Coulis

Second course: Chicken Roulade with Butter Vegetables and Pomegranate Sauce

Dessert: Red Velvet Cheesecake (see the recipe here)

What I love about this menu is that it’s full of delicate flavours and wonderfully light. I’d like to thank Susanta Mitra, a continental cuisine expert and currently a chef at ITC Sheraton, Vashi, for sharing his creations – the ricotta-filled crepe and chicken roulade – with us. Chef Susanta has previously worked with the Hilton and Radisson group of hotels, so be assured you have a truly gourmet meal in your hands. Coupled with a red velvet cheesecake by yours truly (coming up tomorrow), this is a menu that can make someone fall in love with you all over again (or for the first time, depending on who your date is)!

Find the recipes below and be sure to watch the videos to get step-by-step instructions so that you don’t go wrong anywhere

 

Salad: Grilled Sweet Pimentos with Iceberg Feta Vinaigrette Dressing
Real Reviews' Valentine's Day Menu: Grilled Sweet Pimentos with Iceberg Feta Vinaigrette Dressing

Ingredients:

Iceberg lettuce – 400gm or 1 whole
Mixed sweet peppers (yellow, red, green) – 100gm
Feta cheese – 50gm
Garlic bread croutons – 3-4 cubes
Homemade vinaigrette – 2 tbsp (see recipe below)

Method:

1. Grease a baking sheet. Brush some oil on the bell peppers and bake at 180 degrees Centigrade or for 10 to 15 mins till the peppers are slightly soft. Let the peppers cool and then de-skin them. Cut them into the desired shape.
2. Soak the lettuce in chilled water and break into medium-sized pieces.
3. Cut the feta cheese into small squares with a sharp knife. Brush them with virgin olive oil mixed with basil or any other herb of your choice.
4. Make a bed of iceberg lettuce and place the roasted peppers and feta cheese cubes, on it. Pour the dressing over it and garnish with garlic bread croutons.

Useful tip: Always break the lettuce and never cut with a knife because this spoils the lettuce. After breaking, keep the lettuce immersed in chilled water until it is to be eaten to make the lettuce crispier.

Real Reviews' Valentine's Day Menu: Homemade Vinaigrette Dressing
Homemade vinaigrette

This is a very simple recipe in a 3:1 ratio.

Ingredients:

Vinegar – 3 Tbsp
Olive oil – 1 Tbsp
Sugar – 1/2 to 1tsp
Salt and crushed black pepper

Shake all the ingredients together and use it on the salad or store in a refrigerator. To increase the quantity, just double or triple the ingredients.

Please note: We didn’t make a video of this since it’s relatively simple. But if you still have any questions, just drop me a line in the Comments section below!

Ricotta-filled Crepe with Grilled Polenta in Tomato Coulis

Ingredients for crepes: 3-4

All-purpose flour – 1/2 cup
Cornflour – 1/4 cup
Beetroot – 1
Egg – 1
Salt and pepper – for seasoning, according to taste
Water – 3/4 cup to 1 cup

Ingredients for filling:

Ricotta cheese or cottage cheese – 80 gm
Cream cheese – 1 cube
Salt and pepper – as per taste

Ingredients for polenta:

Rava or semolina – 1/2 cup
Parmesan cheese – 2 tsp
Salt and pepper – as per taste
Hot water – 1 cup
Oil – 1 Tbsp

Ingredients for tomato coulis:

Tomatoes, medium-sized – 2
Onion, finely chopped – 1 Tbsp
Garlic, finely chopped – 1 clove
Tomato ketchup – 1 tsp

Real Reviews' Valentine's Day menu: Beetroot crepe

Method for crepes:

1. Wrap the beetroot in an aluminum foil and bake for 45 min to 1 hour at 180 degrees Centigrade. Pull it out of the oven when it is cooked soft. Remove the foil, peel and purée.
2. Whisk all-purpose flour, cornflour, beet root purée, egg, seasoning and water. Whisk well to remove lumps and make a runny thin batter. Sieve the mixture to get a smooth silky batter.
3. Slightly heat the non-stick skillet, rub it with little oil and wipe it with tissue paper. Now pour about 1 1/2 – 2 ladles of mixture on the skillet and give it a swirl to spread the mixture well. We’re aiming for thin, round crepes.
4. Let the batter cook on a high flame till it starts coming off the sides of the skillet. Remove the crepe without turning and cooking the other side(watch the video).
5. Place the crepe on a tissue paper and let it cool. Once it cools, transfer onto a separate plate. Repeat the same method to make all the crepes.
6. Spread the filling (see below) on the crepe, leaving about half an inch around the edges. Cut the crepe diagonally into two or three pieces. Repeat with the others.

Method for the filling:

Mix all the ingredients together and blend them with a hand blender / electric beater/ in a mixer. Adjust the seasoning as per your taste.

Method for the polenta:

1. Pour oil into a pan and heat it. To it, add rava and roast for a few minutes.
2. Add the seasoning. Whisk hot water into the rava, add cheese and let it cook till the rava is cooked. You will know the rava is cooked when it becomes soft and swells up because it absorbs water.
3. Grease a plate and spread the cooked rava over it in a uniform thickness. Once it sets, cut into heart shapes and grill for few minutes on a hot grill so that they get light grill marks.

Method for the tomato coulis:

1. Blanch and peel the tomatoes and purée them.
2. Pour some oil into a skillet and sauté the onions and garlic. Once done, add the tomato purée and let it cook till the oil leaves the sides of the pan.
3. To the cooked purée, add tomato ketchup, cook for a minute, blend and then sieve to get smooth tomato coulee.

Real Reviews' Valentine's Day Menu: Ricotta-fillled Crepes with Grilled Polenta in Tomato Coulee

Finally, the assembly!

Assemble all the items on the plate. This is a moment to let your creativity and imagination take over and let your aesthetic eye decide what looks right to you. You can watch the video to see how I do it. You can use lightly grilled cherry tomatoes as a garnish.

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