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Simple Valentine’s Day Recipes (from the Masterchef Canada judges)

By: Bianca Teixeira|February 5, 2015

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Chef Alvin’s V-Day Recipe:

Palm Sugar Crème Brûlée served with Sour Cherry Ice Cream

Ingredients



60g palm sugar



120g coconut milk



60g milk



100g whipping cream



4 egg yolks



Heat the cream with the milk and coconut milk in pan, but make sure it doesn’t boil. In separate pan, cook 40g of the palm sugar. Remove from heat, then slowly add the milk and cream mixture to the cararmel. Whisk until dissolved completely. Mix the egg yolks and the rest of the sugar on a low speed. While beating, slowly add the milk mixture into the yolk mixture. Put the custard into ramekins, and place them into a pan with some water, enough to reach 1 cm high.

Bake for 30 -35 minutes at 300F until softly set. Sprinkle a few crystals of sugar on the top of the cooked custard and caramelize with a small torch (or place in a hot broiler for a few minutes until the top caramelizes), keeping the flame moving so the sugar doesn’t burn.



Sour Cherry Ice Cream



300g cherry juice



30g red date juice



60g lemon juice



240g whipping cream



150g sugar



If not using an ice cream maker, whisk together all ingredients over low heat. When thickened, place in freezer. Before it is completely set, take out and continue whisking to thicken further. Place in closed container to freeze.

Chef Alvin Leung

When preparing for a Valentine’s meal, either at home or out on the town, what should men keep in mind?



Always cookfor your partner at your place or theirs. No matter what happens, they will appreciate the effort. Always. Believe me, if you create something, even if it’s not fancy, your partner will melt like a fondue mess, especially if you serve and they don’t have to do anything but open their mouth and eat.



Is there a traditional Valentine’s Day treat that you think should be cast out of the holiday?



No, I wouldn’t throw away any customs. I believe they are traditions because they are timeless. But nowadays with everyone concerned about health and nutrition, really rich treats such as decadent chocolate and foie gras are lightened and made more health conscious. That kind of modernization is reasonable to me.



Are there any new aphrodisiacs that we should know about?



Aphrodisiacs work on psychological as much as physical levels. For example, I think champagne always enhances the mood. But just don’t indulge too much and pass out.



What are 3 must haves when it comes to cooking a Valentine’s Day dinner?



The most vital ingredient to cooking your romantic meal is tender care. Other ingredients can include champagne, caviar and wild strawberries.

Chef Claudio Aprile

When preparing for a Valentine’s meal, either at home or out on the town, what should men keep in mind?



Always cook for your women, not yourself. Choose something, perhaps, that she had on one of your first dates, something that will convey to her that you’re paying attention. Also, women like citrus, tropical flavours and are usually very sensitive to aroma. Think back to when you first met. Incorporate a scent from your first date into your meal. If this doesn’t impress her, she’s not the one.



Is there a traditional Valentine’s Day treat that you think should be cast out of the holiday?



I’m not a fan of heart-shaped food. I think it’s very predictable.



Are there any new aphrodisiacs that we should know about?



I think all food can be an aphrodisiac. It all depends on how much love you put into your food. Think slow & low food. Food that takes time to become delicious can be a major turn on.



What are three must-haves when it comes to cooking a Valentine’s Day dinner?



Champagne, caviar and great company.

MASTERCHEF Canada: Season 2, Episode 1

MASTERCHEF CANADA Season 2 airs Sundays at 7 p.m. ET/PT on CTV

Chef Michael Bonacini

When preparing for a Valentine’s meal, either at home or out on the town, what should men keep in mind?



The last thing you want on Valentine’s Day is performance anxiety. When cooking a meal for your loved one, avoid unnecessary stress by sticking to the tried and true. Prepare something you know is a favourite and that you know you can execute well. You may swap some of the ingredients to elevate the experience, but primarily rely on the principles of your previously perfected dishes.



Is there a traditional Valentine’s Day treat that you think should be cast out of the holiday?



Roses. While beautiful, on Valentine’s Day, they are overpriced and impersonal. You may impress with extravagance, but you can truly touch someone with thought and effort. Write a few meaningful lines in a card; bake a favourite dessert; arrange something special with the chef at a loved restaurant.



Are there any new aphrodisiacs that we should know about?



I’ve heard the rumours about oysters and chocolate, but personally don’t buy into them. I do, however, think you can excite your partner in the kitchen by cooking a special meal; your other half will appreciate the time you spent planning, shopping and preparing just as much as the meal itself. Perhaps thoughtfulness is the best aphrodisiac.



What are 3 must haves when it comes to cooking a Valentine’s Day dinner?



First and foremost, you need inspiration (your special someone). Secondly, you need great ingredients. I don’t mean extravagant; I mean fresh, wholesome, seasonal, quality food. Finally, you need a good bottle of wine.

Chef Claudio’s V-Day Recipe:

Lobster crudo, caviar, and passion fruit with champagne

Ingredients



1lb of lobster



1 passion fruit



1 tbsp olive oil



½ blood orange



½ oz of champagne



Pinch of sea salt



Tbsp of caviar



Edible flowers for garnish



Cook 1 pound of lobster for 4 minutes, remove from boiling water and shock in ice water bath. Remove shell, slice lobster into thin pieces and place into centre of chilled plate.



Cut 1 passion fruit in half and remove juice and pulp in to a stainless steel bowl. Whisk in a tablespoon of olive oil. Squeeze half a blood orange into bowl.



Pour dressing over sliced lobster. Pour 1/2 oz of chilled champagne over dressed lobster, sprinkle with sea salt.



Place a heaping tablespoon of caviar onto lobster.



Garnish with some edible flowers and chopped spring onion over dressed lobster.



Time: 20 Minutes

Chef Michael’s V-Day Recipe:

Beef Medallions with Mushrooms and Masala Cream

Ingredients



4 x 3 ounce beef fillet medallions



Olive oil



1 tbsp butter



1 tbsp goat cheese



½ tbsp Dijon mustard



I ½ cup assorted mushrooms, diced



1 shallots, finely chopped



1 clove of garlic, peeled and finely chopped



1/2 cup of Masala



2/3 cup of 35% cream



1 sprig of fresh thyme, chopped



2 large handfuls of picked and washed spinach



Salt and pepper



Season the beef medallions with salt and pepper. In a non-stick frying pan over medium to high heat, add a splash of olive oil, and begin to gently pan fry the medallions. In a separate pan over medium to high heat, using a splash of olive oil and little bit of butter, gently sauté the chopped shallots, garlic and a pinch of the finely chopped thyme. Next, add mushroom and spinach season with salt and pepper.



Turn the beef and cook to medium rare, remove from pan and keep warm to one side. Add the Masala to the pan to deglaze and reduce to one third, followed by the cream and Dijon mustard, let simmer until the sauce thickens enough to coat a back of the spoon. Then, add any juices that have come out of the meat to the sauce, and return the meat back to the pan.



Take the cooked spinach and mushroom, and divide onto two hot serving plates. Then, place two medallions on top, drizzle the sauce over, and sprinkle with goat cheese and serve. You may wish to serve delicious fresh buttered carrots and great bottle of Pinot Noir.

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