Treating yourself, a Valentine’s day celebration menu for one

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There’s nothing I enjoy more than cooking up a celebratory meal, wether it be for friends and family, or for myself. I’ve never been much of a believer of Valentine’s day celebrations while in a couple, I feel you should be showing your appreciation all year long. But when you celebrate it with children or yourself, I find it’s a great excuse to treat yourself 🙂 So  I’ll be opening a small bottle of bubbly (my favorite!) and enjoying this simple but delicious meal. Happy Valentine’s day!

Tender chicken thighs with leek julienne and creamed butternut squash with a tarragon cream sauce

Ingredients

115 gr, chicken thighs

1 cup julienne leek, white and pale green parts

1 cup butternut squash, cubed

1 small shallot, minced

50 ml coconut cream

2 sprigs tarragon

Butter

Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

Boil squash cubes in salted water, check for doneness, 10-15 minutes. Melt a nugget of butter in a small pan over medium heat and add shallot to sauté until glassy. Add cream and 1 sprig of tarragon and let simmer on low heat for 15 minutes. Mince other sprig of tarragon and set aside. Meanwhile, season chicken thighs and sauté in skillet with a little butter on medium heat until browned on both sides.  Be careful not to crowd pan to avoid boiling the meat. Take off heat and slice against the grain, set aside. Rinse off skillet and place on medium heat, add a little butter and add leeks to sauté until glassy and soft, season with salt and set aside. Remove squash when cooked and purée with a nugget of butter. If you have a plating ring, place in the middle of plate and add leek julienne, then place chicken and finish with squash purée. Even out using a spatula. Serve with tarragon cream, removing sprig, and garnish with minced tarragon.

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Microwaved Chocolate ricotta cheesecake with stewed strawberries and hazelnut brittle

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Ingredients

1/2 cup ricotta

35 gr dark chocolate, melted

1 Tb sour cream

1 egg, separated

1 tsp cocoa

5 ml vanilla

3 1/2 Tb sugar

1 Tb hazelnuts, crushed

6-7 frozen strawberries

25 ml red wine

5 ml rum

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Instructions

Using frozen strawberries is ideal in the winter months, when strawberries aren’t in season, they will be ideal for stewing. In a small bowl, combine wine, rum, 1 teaspoon sugar and strawberries, cover and set aside. Allow to stew for 1-2 hours. In a small skillet, brown hazelnuts in a small nugget of butter. Place hazelnuts on small sheet of parchment paper.In a small saucepan, add 2 Tb sugar with 1 Tb water and place on medium heat. Stir until sugar is dissolved then leave until golden amber in colour, roughly 10 minutes. Keep an eye to avoid burning the caramel. Pour over hazelnuts quickly and set aside to allow to harden. Meanwhile, blend ricotta with the egg yolk, 1 Tb sugar, cocoa, melted chocolate, sour cream and vanilla until smooth. An immersion hand blender is ideal for this, whisking by hand is fine. Whisk egg whites until stiff and foamy. Fold in whites into ricotta batter. Place in microwave safe dish and cook on medium-low heat for roughly 5 minutes. Keep an eye out as microwave temperatures vary greatly. Allow to cool before unmolding. Serve in dessert plate with stewed strawberries and garnish with brittle that you broke down into 1 decorative piece and roughly grind remainder. Serve and enjoy!

 

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