It’s often said that the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, but whether you’re a man or a woman there’s something special about cooking a meal for a special someone.
So, this Valentine’s Day, why not try one of our romantic recipes, guaranteed to warm your heart and fill your stomach!
Baked Organic Golden Cenarth
You’ve heard of baked Camembert, and who doesn’t love gooey cheese, but why not try the Welsh version?
Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 20 mins
1 organic Golden Cenarth cheese, plastic cover removed
A loaf of sourdough or ciabatta
A tablespoon of olive oil
Pre-heat the oven to 200°C/Gas 6. Place the cheese in its wooden packaging on a baking tray, secured with string to prevent leakages.
Bake for 20 minutes until the cheese begins to bubble. Meanwhile slice and lightly toast the bread under the grill.
To add something extra to the dish, serve with a roasted whole bulb of garlic or some red onion chutney.
Rack of Welsh lamb with a herb crust served with bubble and squeak, shallots and a red wine jus
You can’t have a list of Welsh recipes without including delicious lamb. This recipe sounds a lot, but it’s surprisingly easy and bound to impress.
Serves: 4 (or two with plenty of leftovers)
Prep: 40 min
Cook: 45 mins
1 double rack of lamb ‘French’ trimmed – fat removed and bones cleaned (your butcher will do this if you ask nicely)
A tablespoon Welsh grain mustard
25g (1oz) fresh dried breadcrumbs
Chopped fresh herbs
Half a pint of lamb stock
1 glass of full-bodied red wine
6 potatoes for mashing – King Edwards are ideal
6 leaves of Savoy cabbage
1 small onion
12 small shallots
Knob of Welsh butter
Dash of olive oil
Salt and pepper
2 sprigs of rosemary to garnish
Make mash by boiling peeled and chopped potatoes for 20 minutes, drain and mash until light and fluffy.
Slice cabbage and boil for 2 minutes, cool and squeeze dry.
Peel and finely dice onion, sauté in a small knob of butter. When cool mix the potatoes, cabbage and onion together with seasoning and form into ‘cakes’ ready to pan fry later.
Coat the trimmed racks – cut into 4 portions – with the mustard and seasoning, then cover with the herbs and breadcrumbs which have been mixed together. Place in a roasting tray, drizzle with olive oil and roast in a hot oven for 12 to 15 minutes for medium or 20 minutes plus for medium to well done.
While the racks are roasting reduce the red wine and stock by half, remove lamb and let rest for 2-3 minutes in a warm place, add any juices from the roasting tray to the jus and pass into another pan, adding a small knob of butter to give a shine to the jus.
While the racks are roasting, also pan fry the bubble & squeak for 2-3 minutes on each side and poach the peeled shallots in a dash of seasoned water with a small knob of butter for 8-10 minutes.
To assemble the dish place a bubble & squeak cake in the centre of the plate, carve the lamb into three cutlets and arrange around the cake with the glazed shallots, pour over the jus and garnish with the rosemary.
Pan-fried fillet of Welsh sea bass with shrimp butter and crushed potatoes with peas
Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 20 mins
2 sea bass fillets
50g fresh or frozen peas
500g new potatoes
1tsp fresh mint, finely chopped
2tbsp olive oil
Sea salt and pepper
50g fresh peeled shrimps
4 shrimps with shells for garnish
1tsp fresh dill finely chopped
2tbsp lemon juice
1tsp fresh parsley finely chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
Put sea bass fillets on a plate and season with sea salt and pepper and a drizzle of olive oil.
Boil potatoes until soft and drain. Transfer to a bowl and crush using a fork.
Boil the peas with a little sugar, salt and pepper and 1tbsp butter. Simmer until soft then drain.
Add peas to the potatoes and mix together with 2tbsp olive oil and the mint.
In a heavy based pan, melt the butter, add the shrimps, herbs and lemon juice and season to taste. Fry until cooked then set aside.
Heat a frying pan with some oil, put the fish fillets in skin side down and fry for a few minutes until the skin is brown and crispy. Turn the fish upside down and either finish under the grill or fry for a few minutes more in the pan.
Arrange the warm potatoes on a plate, put the fillet of fish on the top and finish with the butter sauce.
Garnish with the shell-on shrimps.
Bara brith bread and butter pudding
Combining two of our favourite Welsh products, this bread and butter pudding uses bara brith and contains just a splash of Penderyn whisky.
Prep: 20 mins (plus cooling time)
Cook: 50 mins
1 loaf of bara brith
100g caster sugar
1ltr of milk
1 vanilla pod
20g brown sugar
20ml Penderyn whisky
Preheat the oven to 140 degrees. Slice the Bara Brith and spread with butter, then arrange in an ovenproof dish. Splash over the whisky and leave to soak.
Whisk the eggs, caster sugar and brown sugar in a bowl and set aside. In a saucepan boil the milk with the vanilla pod, and allow to cool. Pour the milk over the eggs and sugar and mix, and then pass this through a sieve.
Pour the liquid over the sliced bara brith until covered and bake for 40-50 minutes until golden brown. Serve with either ice cream or custard.
Whatever the weather, Bonfire Night celebrations are guaranteed to brighten up even the dullest November. We have found some of the best events taking place across Wales this year along with a selection of fantastic hotels to stay in to enjoy the fun.
Sparks in the Park – Coopers Field, Cardiff, Saturday 7 November 4pm,
Cardiff Round Table’s annual event regularly attracts up to 20,000 people. This year’s event is partnered by Heart Wales and will include an amazing firework display, a huge bonfire, food, drinks and rides for everyone to enjoy. The bonfire will be lit at 6:15pm followed by the main firework display at 7pm.
It is advised to purchase tickets in advance, as the event is likely to sell out. Get your tickets here: www.ticketlineuk.com
Planning to stay in Cardiff for the fireworks? The luxurious farmhouse accommodation, Llanerch Vineyard, is located only fifteen minutes from the city centre. The hotel even has its own nature trail and cookery school if you want a break from the big city rush after the event.
Ponty Big Bang – Ynysangharad War Memorial Park, Pontypridd, Sunday 1 November 5pm
Held in the heart of this South Wales valleys town, the event will have an extraordinary firework display beginning at 7pm. There will be food stalls and funfair rides for all the family. Pontypridd Round Table are producing the event, with all proceeds going towards local charities and causes.
For advance tickets, visit: http://www.pontybigbang.uk
For a change of scenery, why not stay in the beautiful Grade II listed hotel, The Great House, located just half an hour from Ponty Big Bang? With a renowned restaurant serving food Monday through to Saturday, this hotel offers a deserved break from typical Bonfire Night food.
Big Bang Weekend – Saundersfoot, Friday 30 October 2pm and Saturday 31 October 1pm
This free event caters to all ages and includes a combination of Halloween and Bonfire Night-themed activities. There will be a Halloween Trick or Treat Trail for up to 250 children (who each must be accompanied by an adult) and a Spooky Bat Trail for all to enjoy throughout the village. An excellent firework display will be held on the Saturday at 8pm, including a show from the Pembrokeshire Fire Spinners.
The event is free but the trails will be held on a first-come-first-served basis, so arrive early to avoid disappointment.
To make the most of your time on the beautiful west coast, you could stay in St Bride’s Spa and Hotel right in the heart of Saundersfoot. With a state-of-the-art spa and breathtaking views, this hotel is the perfect place to unwind after the Big Bang Weekend
Ride the Rocket Firework Train – Llangollen Railway, Denbighshire, Sunday 1 November 6:00pm
This unique experience lets you enjoy Bonfire Night in a less traditional way. The return trip from Llangollen Station to Carrog will last around two and a half hours with a stop at Glyndyfrdwy Station where the firework display will be held. The train holds a licensed bar with soft drinks also available and hot food can be purchased at Glyndyfrdwy Station on the return journey. The train is set to depart at 6pm and return at around 8:30pm.
This event is likely to sell out so make sure to book tickets in advance to secure a place.
Fancy a long-weekend getaway in Llangollen? The boutique Manorhaus Hotel is located in the centre of the town hotel. This beautiful 19th century townhouse, a ‘restaurant with rooms’ is the perfect place to stay relaxed and pampered.
Llandudno Pier Fireworks Display – Llandudno Pier, North Shore, Saturday 7 November 7:30pm
This annual event, presented by Llandudno Town Council, will see a professional fireworks display taking place on the pier at 7:30pm, complete with stunning views over Llandudno Bay. There are alternate dates in case of adverse weather conditions. The event itself is free but donations are welcome.
For more information visit: http://www.llandudno.gov.uk/events-fireworks.html
If you cannot get enough of the beautiful sea views Llandudno has to offer, why not stay in St Tudno Hotel? Located right on the seafront, this award-winning hotel offers the chance to stay beside the sea in style, as well as serving the highest quality of food and wine in their award-winning restaurant