Treat your loved one this Valentine’s Day with a meal at home, exclusively from Hugo Davies of @hugdecook. A sensuously tasty scallop starter, a mouth-watering ribeye steak main and a secret spin on the classic Eton mess, we’ve got a the perfect romantic recipe to set their heart aflutter…
First up, Hugo demonstrates how to dine your date with a delicious brown butter scallops, pea puree and crispy bacon starter.
Brown Butter Scallops, Pea Puree & Crispy Bacon
Prep time: 13 minutes.
Cooking time: 12 minutes.
- Touch of olive oil
- 1x rasher of smoked bacon
- 2x tbsp. of butter (1 tbsp melted)
- 6x scallops without roe
- 3x sprigs of mint
- 175g of peas (fresh is better, frozen okay)
- Samphire, for garnish (optional)
- Boil water in a small saucepan & add a pinch of salt. Add the peas and cook for 3-4 minutes.
- Immediately drain the peas, cooling them under a cold tap but retain 6 tbsp of the cooking liquid.
- Place the cooled peas into a blender, season with a pinch of salt and a pinch of pepper, add 1 tbsp of melted butter & the mint leaves from the sprigs. Blend & gradually loosen by introducing some of the reserved cooking liquid. The puree should coat the back of a spoon.
- Empty the mixture into a sieve and push through for a smooth finish. Once complete, this can be set aside. If you do not have a sieve, the puree will still be delicious.
- Fry the bacon in a frying pan with a little oil until crisp. Use a spatula to flatten & place pressure on the bacon which will assist in rendering the fat. Once done, set aside to cool down.
- In the same pan, add 1 tbsp of butter, allow this to melt & slightly foam over a medium heat, just as the butter begins to turn brown, add the scallops, the samphire (optional) & season with a pinch of salt. Cook each scallop for 90 seconds on either side (3 minutes in total) whilst constantly spooning the melted butter over them.
- Place 6 blobs of the pea puree onto a plate and top each blob with each scallop. Roughly chop the cooled bacon into crumbs & sprinkle over the scallops. Scatter the samphire around the scallops if required. Finish with a touch of pepper on each scallop & enjoy.
For the main, a ribeye steak, spinach and feta tart to get taste buds tingling.
Ribeye Steak, Spinach and Feta Tart
Prep time: 7 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes
- 1x sheet of pre-rolled puff pastry
- 200g spinach
- 1 tsp. lazy garlic
- Approximately 300g of ribeye steak
- Feta cheese
- 3x banana shallots, halved
- 1 tbsp. butter
- 1 tbsp. honey
- 1 tsp. balsamic vinegar
- 1 tbsp. milk
- Olive oil
- Begin with turning your oven up to 200 degrees. Steam the spinach either in a microwave steamer for a few minutes or in a colander over a pan of boiling water.
- Once slightly wilted, transfer the spinach to a small bowl, season with a touch of olive oil, a pinch of salt, pepper & 1 tsp of lazy garlic (if you do not have lazy garlic, ½ tsp of crushed garlic with ½ tsp white wine vinegar will do). Mix together & set aside.
- Season the steak with salt & pepper. Cook the steak in a heavy pan to your desired finish. Groundnut oil is great for cooking steak given its high smoking point, but a mixture of olive oil & butter will also do perfectly. Set the steak aside to rest.
- In the same pan, add your shallot halves face down & cook for a few minutes. Add the honey & the balsamic vinegar and cook on the other side. Once slightly caramelised, set aside.
- Unroll your puff pastry sheet. Score a 3cm border with a knife (don’t cut all the way through though!). Spoon the spinach onto the pastry (inside the border) and spread evenly. Place the shallots on top of the spinach. Brush the pastry border with milk.
- Place in the oven until the pastry border is puffed up and golden, this should take approximately 15-20 minutes depending on the strength of your oven.
- Slice your steak into strips & place on top of the pastry once cooked.
- Finish with crumbled feta cheese, black pepper & a drizzle of olive oil to finish (truffle oil works great if you have it).
To finish off this Valentine’s feast, Hugo shares his recipe for irresistible Eton mess waffles:
Eton Mess Waffle
Prep time: less than 10 minutes
- 2x waffles, toasted (by all means make them from scratch – but who wants to wash up on Valentine’s Day?)
- 115g of strawberries, quartered, mixed with 1 tsp of vanilla extract
- 75g raspberries sprinkled with 1 tsp. icing sugar
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 3 tbsp. of crushed meringue
- 2 large spoons of Vanilla ice cream
- 150ml double cream, whipped
- The leaves from 1 mint sprig, chopped
- Place your toasted waffles onto a serving plate, in each quarter, place the strawberries, the raspberries, the ice cream & the whipped cream (as pictured). Top with the crushed meringues & the chopped mint. And voilà, dessert is served.
Recreate the exact recipe and shop our Valentine’s Day dining range to really impress your loved one.