How to create a last-minute Valentine's Day menu

Short on time but want to show you care? Our three romantic menus are ready in an hour or less from chop to serve – perfect for some after-work-wooing...

Oysters with oriental dressingFor the classic Cupid...

If your beau is the traditional type, this menu will wow without keeping you in the kitchen all night - just add fizz...

To start - Oysters with oriental dressing

Buy your oysters pre-shucked and (lovingly) throw together this sophisticated starter. After all, you know what they say about oysters...

Ready in: 15 minutes
Oysters with oriental dressing

Rump steak with mushroom sauceThe main event - Rump steak with quick mushroom & red wine sauce

Pan-frying seasoned steaks is a quick-win whatever the time of year. The accompanying boozy sauce makes this a rich and decadent dinner, and special enough for the 'official' day of romance.

Ready in: 15 minutes
Rump steak with quick mushroom & red wine sauce


Sweetheart choc & hazelnut sandwichesTo finish - Sweetheart choc & hazelnut sandwiches

Arm yourself with a large, heart-shaped cutter and your romantic potential goes through the roof. These brioche beauties look impressive but are ready in no time at all.

Ready in: 10 minutes
Sweetheart choc & hazelnut sandwiches

Total time: 40 minutes

For the loving vegetarian...

Veggie Chinese pancakesIf you're creating a veggie supper for the one you love, pull together a sharing starter, creamy main and zingy pudding - meat-free magic...

To start - Veggie Chinese pancakes

Have fun wrapping and rolling your favourite vegetarian fare in these thin pancakes - it's good to share.

Ready in: 25 minutes
Veggie Chinese pancakes


Mushroom & thyme risottoThe main event - Mushroom & thyme risotto

Minimal chopping makes this creamy risotto recipe the time-poor chef's dish of choice - a mix of risotto rice and quinoa adds texture and a nutty flavour.

Ready in: 30 minutes
Mushroom & thyme risotto


Quick mango puddingTo finish - Quick mango pudding

Serve your better half this tropical treat, complete with generous helpings of creamy dairy and fresh, sweet fruit.

Ready in 5 minutes
Quick mango pudding

Total time: 1 hour


Food to get you in the mood...

Figs with prosciuttoIf you're a believer in the seductive power of certain foods, pull together our menu of aphrodisiac dishes...

To start - Figs with prosciutto

Let's get figgy! Get this speedy canapé-style starter on the table with just five ingredients and five minutes - a tempting blend of salt and sweet.

Ready in 5 minutes
Figs with prosciutto

Lobster with Thermidor butterThe main event - Lobster with Thermidor butter

Shellfish are considered a classic aphrodisiac, and no more than the posh lobster, synonymous with decadent dining. Buy yours ready-cooked and serve topped with homemade Thermidor butter.

Ready in 30 minutes
Lobster with Thermidor butter


Chocolate & berry mousseTo finish - Chocolate & berry mousse

Whether or not it's laden with love-inducing powers, chocolate certainly holds undertones of romance. Serve this fuss-free pud with sliced strawberries for added aphrodisiac benefits.

Ready in 20 minutes
Chocolate & berry mousse pots

Total time: 55 minutes

What will be cooking in your kitchen this Valentine's Day? Share the love below.


Comments, questions and tips

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11th Feb, 2015
why are the vegetarian party main recipes always risotto?? Sureley by now food writers must be able to come up with something more fun, no? I look forward to the day where a vegetarian recipe will take the meats place in a menu, there is so many amazing thing one can cook with no meat. from a meat eater that loves vegetables too!
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