Happy Valentine’s DayÂ … I’m very excited to have another guest editor contributing to my blog.Â Please welcome Christie from Fig & Cherry.com.Â Christie has put together a divine Valentine menu for us and she hasn’t just pulled some menu out of a recipe book, she created and prepared it from scratch and took photos to make sure it was as divine as it looks and sounds.
Make Christie feel welcome, check out her deliciousÂ Fig & Cherry Blog and enjoy her delicious menu.
Hey Sassi Readers,
There’s so much pressure on Valentine’s Day for it to be perfect and romantic and possibly even life-changing (uh, tacky marriage proposal anyone?) that sometimes you just want to throw your hands up and say ‘enough’!
That’s when you organise a fuss free and boozy evening in with your girlfriends. Prepare the food ahead, share the task of mixing champagne cocktails and have the best Valentine’s ever.
Below are easy recipes and photos to help you put it all together. Best of luck!
Happy Valentine’s! Christie x
Drink: Pomegranate & hibiscus champagne cocktails
Nibble: Spiced macadamia nuts
Eat: Grilled zucchini & sour cherry couscous
Sweet: Poached peach in honey sauce w/ passionfruit mascarpone
[Pomegranate & hibiscus champagne cocktail with spiced macadamia nuts]
These cocktails and nutty nibbles are super easy to prepare. Don’t forget the wine charms for your glasses!
For the cocktails: place 1 edible hibiscus flower in the bottom of a champagne flute and pour over 30ml (use a shot glass to measure) of pomegranate juice. Fill the glass with chilled champagne and serve.
For the nuts: mix 2 cups of raw macadamia nuts in a large bowl with a pinch each of ground chilli powder, paprika, fine sea salt and a tablespoon of vegetable oil. Dry fry in a large non stick frying pan over medium heat shaking them around constantly. Don’t move away, they burn easily! Remove to small bowls and serve with the cocktails.
[Grilled zucchini & sour cherry couscous]
It’s safe to say that some of your girlfriends will be watching their weight so serve up something healthy and everyone will be happy!
For the zucchini: thinly slice the zucchini length ways into strips with a sharp knife or vegetable peeler. Cook on a griddle pan or BBQ for 2 minutes each side or until tender then transfer to a plate and drizzle with good quality olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and keep warm.
For the couscous: place a cup of dry couscous in a medium heatproof bowl and add one cup of boiling water, a handful of dried sour cherries, the juice and zest of half a lemon and stir. Cover with a clean tea towel and let it sit on the bench, covered, for 10 minutes. Then add a tablespoon of olive oil, a handful of chopped flat leaf parsley, season with salt and pepper and fluff with a fork. Serve with the zucchini strips.
[Poached peach in honey sauce w/ passionfruit mascarpone]
Peaches are such romantic fruits and serving the mascarpone cream inside the passionfruit shell is just so pretty! Pink polka dot napkins are optional 🙂
For the peaches: cut a shallow cross in the bottom of each peach (use 4) and add to a bowl. Pour over boiling water (from the kettle), drain and slip the skins off. Place the peaches in a medium saucepan that fits them neatly in one layer and add enough water to cover. Bring to the boil then lower the heat and gently poach until tender, about 15 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon into a bowl – keep the water!
For the sauce: add two tablespoons of runny honey and a squeeze of lime to the remaining peach water. Boil hard for 5 minutes until thickened slightly then pour over the peaches and refrigerate until completely cold.
For the mascarpone: whisk together half a cup of mascarpone, a quarter cup of pouring cream and the pulp of two passionfruit. Spoon into passionfruit halves and refrigerate until ready to serve (see picture above).