This week Celebrity Chef & Fellow Master Chef Steven Saunders, proprietor of The Little Geranium in La Cala prepares you in advance for a special Valentine’s with simply the best food!
SAINT VALENTINE (or San Valentino) was a Catholic Priest in the third century. Emperor Claudius II had banned marriage because he thought that husbands made bad soldiers and wanted to stay at home rather than fight! Valentine felt this was very unfair and so he broke the rules and arranged secret marriages. When Claudius found out, Valentine was thrown in jail and sentenced to death.
There, he fell in love with the jailer’s daughter and when he was taken to be beheaded on February 14 he sent her a love letter signed ‘from your Valentine.’ As the story goes that is why we celebrate Valentine’s Day. However… we shouldn’t have to wait until February to be romantic, but let’s be honest it’s a good reminder!
This Valentine’s at The Little Geranium we are celebrating the entire week (starting on February 10 until the 14th) it’s a busy and special time, but if you want to stay at home with your loved one, I can help you make the most romantic and memorable meal.
There are many aphrodisiac foods that might help and they stimulate parts of the brain that make us feel… more sexy! There is a whole load of evidence that makes biological and believable sense between these foods and our sex drive. Here are a few examples:
- Shellfish especially Oysters, Lobsters and Scallops because they are all high in zinc which is essential for production of testosterone
- Chocolate contains phenylethylamine which stimulates excitement
- Asparagus is high in potassium which is linked to hormone production
- Strawberries are loaded with Vitamin C essential for production of sex hormones
- Figs are high in Amino acids which boost sexual stamina
- Bananas are rich in Bromelain linked to increasing sex drive
- Vanilla smells sexy and has a calming, sensual effect on our brain.
My best ever meal would definitely be a juicy fresh lobster with a good steak! Surf and turf as we call it has made a comeback especially here at The Little Geranium as we often serve a mini beef wellington with a lobster tail as the main dish on our tasting menus.
Check first whether your partner likes lobster because not everyone does. Lobster has to be one of the most decadent dishes on the planet and it’s not something you will have often because it’s very expensive and difficult to prepare.
It involves some controversial cooking techniques, but it is simply delicious and you will always remember this meal for the rest of your life!
Cook the beef simply and the combination of the two will ensure that this will be the best Valentine’s ever! (Next week look out for my special Valentine’s dessert to follow on from the lobster)
Steven Saunders’s opinions are his own and are not necessarily representative of those of the publishers, advertisers or sponsors.
Lobster, truffle, vanilla and Galician beef
Ingredients for two
- 1 fresh live Lobster weighing approx. 1.5lb (700g)
- 150g of Gruyere cheese grated
- 75 g of parmesan cheese grated
- 30 g salted butter
- 250 ml of fresh thick cream
- 1 small onion peeled and chopped
- 2 cloves garlic peeled and chopped finely
- 2 teaspoons of truffle pieces or 1 small fresh truffle
- 1 vanilla pod
- 1 tablespoon brandy
- Maldon salt and fresh ground black pepper
Make the truffle sauce
Reduce the cream with the garlic and onion in a saucepan
Add half of both the cheeses and stir well in until it is thick
Add the butter and the brandy and whisk in and simmer gently to let flavours infuse for 10 minutes
Pass the sauce through a fine sieve and then add the truffle pieces, season and reserve this sauce
Make a vanilla butter
- 250g of unsalted butter
- 1 vanilla pod cut in half lengthways
To make the vanilla butter, place the butter into a heavy-based pan and scrape in the seeds from the vanilla pod
Cook until the butter begins to turn a golden colour and starts to smell of biscuits! Pour onto a tray and leave to cool, then set aside in the fridge until it sets.
Cook the Lobster
If you are cooking your own lobster it is important to put the lobsters to sleep before cooking them by putting them in the freezer for about two hours.
Put some lemon pieces and a splash of vinegar with some salt in the water and when it’s boiling rapidly drop in the lobster.
When the water comes back to the boil (usually one minute or so) leave the lobster boiling for two minutes and remove with a slotted spoon and immediately refresh (shock) in ice cold water.
Prepare the cooked Lobster
Now that you have your cooked lobster, cut it in half, remove the claws and the meat from the claws. Remove the lobster body flesh, clean and wash and place back into the shells.
Now spoon the truffle white sauce over the lobster body meat and sprinkle with the remaining Gruyere and Parmesan cheeses.
Bake in a pre-heated oven 200ºC for five to seven minutes until golden and bubbling hot.
Take some small pieces of the vanilla butter and place neatly on top of the lobster halves.
Now glaze them with a blow torch or lightly grill to melt the butter.
Garnish with some micro cresses and drizzle with a little truffle oil to finish.
The Galician Beef
- 1 piece 350g of Galician (or prime) fillet of beef
- Maldon salt and olive oil
- Bone Marrow Sauce
- 100ml of veal stock or good beef stock
- 1 glass of red wine
- 1 sprig of fresh thyme
- 2 peppercorns
- 1 clove garlic peeled and chopped
- 1/2 small onion finely chopped
- 100g of beef marrow bone (warmed)
- 100g of crème fraîche or thick cream
- 1 tbsp of sherry or red wine vinegar
For the bone marrow sauce, heat the stock with the red wine and the thyme, the peppercorns and onion on a medium heat for a few minutes. Leave to infuse and strain. Pour into a high powered blender.
With the motor running low, slowly add the warmed marrow fat and crème fraiche or cream. Continue to blend until fully emulsified and thickened. Add a little sherry vinegar to taste as well as seasoning.
To cook the beef
Heat the oven to 200°C/Gas mark 6
Season the beef with Maldon salt rubbed all over and seal in a hot pan with a little olive oil.
Roast medium rare for approx 10 minutes. Rest well before serving after cutting into two.
Serve the lobster with the beef dressed with a little marrowbone sauce… or better still serve it all in the centre of the table and share… simply the best!
Follow Steven on Instagram … saunderschef – Email any questions … email@example.com
The Little Geranium, Winner of Best Contemporary International Restaurant 2019
Costa Del Sol – www.thelittlegeranium.com