I’ve rounded up some of my favourite recipes for an intimate at Home Valentine’s Dinner. Whether you’re after meat, wholesome seasonal salads, chicken or chocolate, it’s here. Changing things up, we’re starting with dessert.
The recipe for these Molten Chocolate Pots are intended are not just for Valentine’s Day or special occasions. It’s an, anytime you need a chocolate fix sort of recipe. Chances are, it may become a favourite in your dessert repertoire. If you’re making it for more than two, double or treble the quantities until you’re happy with the total. Going solo? Still, make two, then eat both because you can. I would. Good vanilla ice cream is requisite to serve alongside, or thickened cream. A drizzle of caramel sauce might be considered gilding the lily but I’ll risk it!
When I need to pull a ‘sweet’ rabbit out of a hat, these Avocado chocolate mousse pots are it. The recipe comes together with pantry and fruit bowl ingredients. Hardly challenging and a completely delicious.
There aren’t many desserts that can compare to a classic South African milk tart. But, this Milk tart Eton mess comes close. Updated by the addition of macerated berries, a dusting of freeze-dried strawberries and crumbled meringue, it ticks all the boxes for an elegant yet fuss-free dessert. The recipe is from my ebook, Beautiful Home Food. You’ll find it Here.
For me, there’s nothing better than table bread. Also, one from the ebook, Nigella Seed Pebble Bread with Za’atar. Baking the bread on a bead of pebble stones creates distinctive hollows for the butter or oil, to pool.
There’s nothing like the smell of homemade bread. I love it hot out the oven, the crusty end bits broken off, eaten warm with slick of olive oil or salted butter. Adding to the charm of this Twisted olive bread is it’s shape and the woody aroma of rosemary. It feels very Italian.
Salads & Vegetable Sides
If you’re a lover of figs, this Roast fig and Nectarine salad is a must. The ingredients are few and the recipe, barely one, but combined, ravishingly good. I’d say, on a balmy evening when you’re somewhat peckish but not ravenous, this salad would be lovely, along with some crusty bread and briny olives. Alternately, save the recipe and serve as a glorious opener to a sprawling weekend lunch.
Sumac roasted Aubergine salad with Poppy seed Tahini Dressing – from my first cookbook, Bibby’s Kitchen.
There are few vegetables that can pendulum between savoury and sweet with the effortless dependability of butternut. It’s a nothing fancy, year-round veggie staple. When I’m rushed, which at this time of year is the norm, defaulting to roast butternut is the most sensible solution to hands-free cooking. For this Roast Butternut and Prosciutto Salad, I’ve added creamy goat’s cheese, rocket and toasty pine nuts for textural crunch. Pulling the whole affair together? A lemony Caesar Truffle Dressing with Black Truffle Honey. Not too shabby for a weeknight in.
Whether you choose to serve this quinoa detox crunch bowl alongside grilled kebabs hot off the coals, or as part of a vegetarian main, good salads are summer essentials. Proof that healthy and delicious coexist. The success of whole bowl food hinges around gutsy flavours and interesting combinations. This recipe will not disappoint.
The recipe for this smooth Roasted carrot hummus is from Sophia Lindop’s new cookbook, Going Home. It’s the kind of book that makes you want to cook. It’s colourful and beautifully honest, filled with food and stories from Lebanon, a country gleaming with hopeful optimism, casting off the ravages of war and slowly creeping its way back to a former glory. Sophia takes us on a delicious journey to the land of her forefathers and brings to light the food of Lebanon, merging authenticity with an innovative and modern interpretation of Lebanese cuisine.
The Italians are masters at cooking simply. With only a handful of ingredients, they can elicit groans of contentment. This Linguine with shrimp and fresh tomato sauce is testament to how clean flavours can sing without much coercing. The recipe comes by way of Fatti’s & Moni’s new Bellisimo Linguine and premium brand cookware, Le Creuset. I’ve added the zest of one lemon and some juice to sharpen the taste. Lemon has a way of brightening and lifting almost any dish. A smattering of chilli isn’t a bad idea either. Seafood love a splash of white wine, so that went in too. You could also use stock, if you prefer. Perhaps a good fish or vegetable stock will do.
An absolute classic, and perfect for an intimate dinner for two. A little work, if you can call 15 minutes effort. The success of the recipe lies in the sauce. Smooth, delicate and ultra classy. The recipe is from my cookbook.
When cooking with porcini, the accompanying flavours should be simple as over-complication can often distract from the flavours of the mushrooms. The supporting flavour contributors here, apart from mushrooms, are leeks, Parmesan and a luxurious Truffle oil. The latter comes in right at the end for a distinctive top note finish. Truffle oil is olive oil infused with truffles, making it a cost effect alternative to whole truffles. I use Stonebarn (Imported by The Truffle Lady SA) Truffle Oil, for finishing. It’s available from most gourmet deli stores in South Africa, Pick n Pay or online. You’ll find the recipe for this classic Risotto here.
When I’m after a nearly instant supper, I head straight for this Ras el Hanout chicken, a quick and easy stove top recipe that ticks all the boxes. The yoghurt sauce has a slight tangy and finished with plenty of fresh mint. I’d offer it with the Bobble bread, the Detox crunch salad and maybe, the Carrot Hummus. Very Middle Eastern and right up my alley! If you have the ebook, the recipe is on Page 51.
One of the most made, loved and shared recipes on the blog and in the cookbook. My Chicken and Leek Casserole is an all time favourite that needs nothing more than good wine and crusty bread, if you want to keep things simple and easy.
Diana Henry thought it worth dedicating an entire book to chicken recipes for every day and every mood. Julia Childs believes one can judge a good cook by the quality of his or hers roast chicken and, Ina Garten says she can do it in her sleep and, besides being in the top ten most searched google food terms, chicken is also one of the least intimidating meals to cook. It’s the darling of home cooking, really. To celebrate Spring, we’re headed outdoors and welcoming in the new season with easy, help yourself food. It’s Sticky chicken with roasted grapes, crisp sage potatoes and a charming knotted garlic loaf to soak up marmalade-ish pan juice. And to serve alongside, frosty sun-blushed Mourvèdre Rosé.
With its distinctive creamy marbling and buttery soft texture, Wagyu beef is the exemplar of quality. Considered the utmost in luxury, this exquisite fatty-laced beef has wooed Michelin-starred chefs and seasoned home cooks alike. If you’re already amongst the throng of Wagyu followers or standing on the outside looking in, hopefully the recipe for this Buttery soft wagyu fillet will sweet-talk you into trying something truly exceptional.
For these Marinated Spiced lamb chops I’ve chosen Middle Eastern flavourings like coriander, paprika and lemon that compliment the sweet fattiness of lamb. You’re going to lick your lips!
Hello, I’m Di
Welcome to my kitchen, a creative gathering place where meals are shared with family and friends, celebrating life and nurturing our connectivity.
Purchase my eBook “Beautiful Home Food – Recipes From Bibby’s Kitchen” here.