I Think A Little Romance Is Needed!
I also think I must have gotten out of the wrong side of the bed this morning! Although, that would be a bit difficult to achieve...I can't even get that right...my king-size bed is up against one wall! Nothing is going right for me today and I'm in a cranky mood! My computer is on a 'go-slow'. My car is making noises it shouldn't be making, expensive-sounding noises, and unless I win the lotto tonight, I will have to take up walking everywhere soon! One way to stay fit and slim, I guess, although I can think of more enjoyable ways! To top things off, I've only got from today until next Wednesday, 14th February, to find a romantic soul-mate to share St. Valentine's Day with me! I think I'm going to have to place an 'Application Form' in the local paper. But as my luck would have it...the next addition doesn't come out until Thursday 15th!
I could list here all the many attributes that I seek in a suitable contender but there are too many to mention because I must leave room for the recipes shown in picture form above. There must be a caring, intelligent, honest, good-humoured, passionate, loyal, generous of spirit, oft-times insane kindred soul out there looking for me. One who enjoys wine, good food and the company of a good woman...don't you think? I might have to climb up on my roof to keep a clear eye out for him. I'd hate to think he's gotten himself lost! Maybe a few 'coo-ees' might help him to locate me.
For those of you who have found that one special person and he or she is at your side, the recipes below might be just what the heart needs for a romantic dinner for two on St. Valentine's Day evening. Don't forget the aromatic oils, the candles, the romantic music seductively playing softly in the background...to set the scene.
For the first course:
Moreton Bay Bugs (Balmain Bugs) Salad: Remove heads from cooked bugs by slipping a knife between head and tail, then ease out the tail. Using a pair of kitchen scissors, snip down the centre of the soft shell underneath and peel away from flesh. Slip out the vein then refrigerate flesh until ready to serve. Make a dressing with 4-6 tablespoons thickened cream, 1-2 teaspoons tomato paste, dash of sweet chilli sauce, chopped chives and fresh dill. Season the bug meat with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Drizzle a little fresh lemon or lime juice over the bug meat. Pile onto plates some mignonette lettuce leaves, sliced avocado, sliced mango. Splash on the dressing to taste, garnish with fresh dill and serve. Chilled Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc would be suitable with this dish.
Barbecued Butterflied Leg of Lamb: Ask your butcher nicely to butterfly a leg of lamb for you, including the two thick pieces on either end, making a neat rectangle of lamb meat. Place in a suitable dish and add 1/2 cup olive oil, think strip of lemon peek, 1/4 cup lemon juice, 1/4 cup dry white wine, 2 large garlic cloves, a few springs of rosemary, 1 Spanish onion, peeled and sliced and 2 teaspoons soy sauce. Cover and marinate overnight. Thread 2 large skewers through the meat and cook in a kettle barbecue or moderately hot oven, allowing 3/4 hour for pink, juicy lamb and 1 hour for well-done. Alternatively, barbecue the meat slowly over glowing coals until cooked, turning and basting often with the marinade, either which way. When cooked, slice lamb into strips. Boil marinade hard for 5 minutes and spoon over the meat. Serve with crunchy Italian bread or sour-dough and salad. I was sharing this meal with my "Mr. Dreamy", I would probably opt for a good Cabernet Sauvignon...perhaps a Penfolds 707!
Apple Pie: (This will impress your man/lady..it would me!) Peel, core and slice 1.5-2kg green apples, put into a large saucepan with 3/4 cup of water,(or a little less water with some brandy). Cover and cook gently for about 10 minutes, or until the apples are soft but not broken. Drain in a colander and leave until cold. Press out excess moisture and put apple into a bowl. Add 1/4 cup brown sugar. Pastry: Sift 1 cup (125g) each plain flour and self-raising (all-purpose) flour and 1/2 teaspoon salt into a bowl. Rub in 150g cold butter, until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs, then add 1/4 cup sugar, white or caster. Make a well in centre, break in 1 egg and add 2 teaspoons of iced water. Mix into a dough and knead lightly with little extra flour. Roll out half the pastry (not too thinly) and line a 22cm metal pie plate or 18cm flan tin (3cm deed), then fill with apple. Roll out remaining pastry and cover pie. If you like you can pile up the apples in the centre a bit. Roll out remaining pastry and voer pie. Trim away excess pastry then press edges together firmly with a fork. Brush with water or juice drained from the apples). Sprinkle with a heaped teaspoon of white sugar and bake in a moderately hot oven 200C gas, 220C electric, for about an hour. Serve just warm with vanilla ice-cream or softly whipped cream. (Save the whip for later!) You can add the flesh of a couple of passionfruit to the apples if you like....no amount of 'passion' should go to waste on the 14th! A suitable dessert wine would be De Bortoli's Noble One Botrytis Semillon.
Of course, champagne would be a great mood-starter for the evening...or if "he" prefers a cold beer, how about a Crown Lager or two for 'him'?
I don't have a sweet tooth in wines, so I probably wouldn't serve a dessert wine, but would save my thirst for a Grand Marnier or Frangelico, or maybe a good cognac, like Remy Martin to have with coffee.
Well, I have all that planned...all I have to do now is the most difficult part....find the suitable man to enjoy all of the above fantasy with me!