Valentine’s dinner

It is not our habit to do something special to celebrate Valentine’s day, In fact, the only time we went out for dinner for the purpose of celebrating Valentine’s day was the first day (and also the first Valentine’s day) we were attached to each other. It was a pretty spontaneous idea to do a more formal dinner at home yesterday, for Valentine’s day? Not exactly, it was more because I was on leave and L was not working overtime yesterday which was definitely rare in our life.

It was past noon when the decision was made so I set a 4 course-seafood-based menu which could be done in a short time. Seriously it was extremely fast. 2 minutes to cook the prawns, 10 minutes to cook the mussels and over 5 minutes to grill the fish. The total preparation time was not more than an hours except for the Focaccia bread. After grocery shopping, I was even able to take a nap while waiting for my bread dough to rise. L and I were very happy with the dinner especially the wine-steamed green mussels (L can’t stop drinking that stock and I can’t stop dipping the bread into the stock!) and the very low number of dishes we need to clean afterwards. I started making the dessert after all the cleaning work and it took just 40 minutes (20 minutes prep and 20 minutes in fridge) to get our lovely Tiramisu.

Anyway, I wish everyone a great Valentine’s day + Happy Chinese lunar 15th. It doesn’t matter when, where or what you eat for Valentine’s day but cherish those who share most of your life.

salad with broiled prawns_scaled
Appetizer 1 – Mixed baby lettuces salad with orange and garlic broiled prawns, served with orange juice dressing.

wine steamed mussels_scaled
Appetizer 2 – Wine steamed green mussels pot, served with mixed herb Focaccia (flat bread)

grilled salmon_scaled
Main – Grilled salmon with steamed asparagus with lemon butter sauce

tiramisu_scaled
Dessert – Tiramisu (easy Tiramisu recipe from Gordon Ramsey)

Wine steamed green mussels pot

Serves 3-4
Prep time 40 minutes
Cook time 10 minutes
Total time 50 minutes
Allergy Shellfish
Meal type Appetizer
Misc Serve Hot
Occasion Casual Party

Ingredients

  • 700g green mussels
  • 75g streaky bacon (roughly chopped)
  • 1 Large yellow onion (chopped)
  • 4-5 cloves garli (chopped)
  • A handful coriander leaf (chopped)
  • 100ml cooking white wine
  • 150-200ml water
  • Salt and pepper

Directions

Cleaning the fresh mussels
Step 1
To prepare the green mussels, first discard any defective mussels (open mussels). Fresh mussels should be closed tightly. Soak the mussels in water for at least 20 minutes, the water will turn sandy as the mussels breathe and filter the water. Change to clean water from time to time in that 20 minutes. Remove the mussels from the water. Scrub the shell with brush if necessary.
Cooking the mussels
Step 2
Put a pot over high heat and cook the bacon until slightly brown. Take out the bacon but leave the oil behind in the pot. Set aside. Add the onion and garlic to the pot and cook them using the oil from the bacon earlier.
Step 3
Once the onion has turned translucent, add the bacon back to the pot. Add cooking wine, water and mussels and cover to bring to boil. Let it cook for 4-5 minutes and stir from time to time to make sure that the mussels are cooked evenly. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Step 4
One minutes before turning off the heat, add the coriander and stir well.
Step 5
Serve hot with bread.
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