What do you actually eat on the day of love? Statistics suggest our users aren’t all about the oysters…
Advertising billboards and greeting card companies would have us believe Champagne and oysters are romantic pre-requisites come Valentine’s Day but looking at our statistics over the years we've noticed our users are less predictable in their picks for a romantic meal. Below are among the 10 dishes and searches most popular on the 14th of February.
If our statistics are to be believed nothing says “I love you” quite like a puddle of molten chocolate. Chocolate desserts soar to the top of our most-clicked list around the 14th February, with fondants performing particularly well. Achieving the perfect oozing centre is all about timing and technique – watch our video guide to help you along. If this pudding isn’t for you, try a chocolate tart, cheesecake or macaroons, or dazzle your partner with some creative prowess – you don’t see a chocolate salami, soup or bowl everyday.
Each year, thousands of you choose to say it with beef . If you’re all about the no-nonsense steak, take the basic blueprint and run with it. We have hundreds of recipes to help you create the perfect steak supper from start to finish, plus ideas for leaner suppers, steak salads and cheaper cuts.
Our guide to side dishes is packed with inspiration for sauces, potatoes and miscellaneous other accompanying treats (a gut-busting side of mac ‘n’ cheese, anyone?), and we also have a guide to cooking your steak to absolute perfection.
For the last four years, Valentine’s Day has fallen on a weeknight. Those of you returning from work to the prospect of serving the final course at midnight cleverly refer to our easy but impressive recipe collection. Here, we’ve compiled our favourite romantic but low-maintenance recipes, many of which are ready in under half an hour, such as salsa verde salmon, mussels in spiced broth and chicken with herby mascarpone. Thanks to us, you can avoid the sweat moustache and sit down with your partner a sea of calm.
This luxurious beef parcel is often the reserve of special occasions and Valentine’s Day is no exception. Most of our beef Wellington recipes serve six to eight people, suggesting either that the Valentine’s Day dinner party is a popular entity or you just like taunting your workmates with leftovers the next day. For an intimate meal for two, these individual braised ox cheek Wellingtons are guaranteed to impress. Our video guide will help you achieve perfect meat and pastry and we have a few suggestions for a spin on the classic recipe, including versions with spinach, turkey or minced beef.
If you’re going attempt to make a spud romantic, giving it the French treatment isn’t a bad idea. It seems plenty of you take that route as this creamy gratin is the most popular side dish each Valentine’s Day. You could even work it into a main course in its own right, by using it to top a lamb hotpot, or adding smoked salmon and celeriac.
Shallot & red wine sauce
In keeping with the French theme, your favourite steak sauce come Valentine’s Day is bistro classic shallot & red wine. We have plenty of other options too – try barbecue, chimichurri, béarnaise or peppercorn out for size.
This Chinese-influenced dish was the most popular non-beef main course last Valentine’s Day. The recipe uses the restaurant-style method of searing the duck in a frying pan to crisp up the skin, before placing the pan directly in the oven. Thinly slice your meat to give a professional finish.
Oven chips and onion rings
Rather refreshingly, it seems many of you bypass the stress of attempting something unachievably snazzy and plump instead for onion rings and oven chips, both delicious snuggled next to a steak. We can’t think of a more genuine way of showing you care than grappling with the unglamorous task of deep-frying.
For a truly knock-your-socks-off starter, try our ultimate onion rings with bacon mayo.
Not all of you plump for a meat heavy main. Sea bass searches have been steadily growing over the years and on the 14th February it seems our users love scanning our sea bass recipe collection to find something different for their Valentine’s spread. Try it Italian-style, en papillote, steamed with Asian flavours or baked with a lemon caper dressing.
These delicious pearls of fish are a real touch of luxury, and it seems you agree with us. We recommend serving them in our new fettucine dish, or try them as a special starter. Go retro and serve them in the half shell, not forgetting to watch out video guide to cooking them to perfection.
What do you rustle up for your loved one on Valentine’s Day? Leave a comment below...