Recipe for romance: The perfect Valentine’s meal for two

Our columnist devises the perfect dinner to woo your loved one this St Valentine’s Day

Cauliflower whizzed to creamy mash, makes the ideal base for a crisp pan-fried pork chop glazed with honey and wholegrain mustard and served with sautéed greens

Cauliflower whizzed to creamy mash, makes the ideal base for a crisp pan-fried pork chop glazed with honey and wholegrain mustard and served with sautéed greens

 

Even after dust has settled in our new home in LA, the romance of this new city is not lost on us (I blame the Oscar-tipped Technicolor magic of La La Land). The neighbours got to know us early on, after spotting us wheeling a shopping cart filled with bedding the first night. It was easy to know the Irish had arrived. Cardboard boxes emptied, photos in frames and, best of all, our dog Max arrived shortly after us, to great ceremony.

After an unsettled year, I can’t begin to tell you how nice it is to be settled into a new house and a new kitchen. The neighbourhood we’ve chosen raises a few eyebrows from die-hard Angelenos, but residential Eagle Rock is a neighbourhood with lots of character.

Our new weekly date nights (that’s a thing right?) have been spent exploring the local restaurants. An old-school romantic Italian restaurant straight out of Lady and The Tramp, established in the 1950s, serves up live jazz and American Italian classics such as fettuccine alfredo and veal parmigiana to customers in red leather booths, perfect for romantic dinners, while Pat & Lorraine’s, an old-style diner, is famous as the setting for the opening scene of Quentin Tarantino’s Reservoir Dogs.

With St Valentine’s Day just around the corner we have been working on mastering the art of the meal for two.

Charred baby broccoli hot from the pan served on toasted sourdough with a deep and smoky romesco sauce is a simple starter that can be cooked with a glass of wine in hand. Cauliflower whizzed to creamy mash makes the ideal base for a crisp pan-fried pork chop glazed with honey and wholegrain mustard and served with sautéed greens- a simple main for two. And for dessert, a chocolate ganache tart, an old reliable, which can be made ahead and adapted with a layer of caramel under the thick chocolate ganache, or a sprinkle of sea salt. A simple dinner inspired by a city not usually known for romance but one that has certainly captured our hearts.

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