if not convention. Yet Valentine gets me in his grip each time.: will I be forgotten or cherished? It’s annoying – an artificial date designed to heighten expectation and thus commerce
When single, a mystery Valentine card would keep me in romantic reverie for weeks. In a relationship, a special meal is called for.
Do not eat out. It’s courting gastronomic-folly to dine in a restaurant on one of its busiest nights of the year.
Save your money and eat like a king at home.
I bought a special fish, halibut. The thick cutlet cost nearly £15. That was for two of us. Yes, expensive, but you’d be lucky to get one serving of its firm-white flesh for that price if eating out.
I am lucky, near both a farmer’s market and an organic supermarket from whence I bought the beautiful ingredients in pic above: all-organic spinach, mushroom, red onion, olive oil and Desiree potatoes from Better Food organic supermarket; and line-caught halibut from David Felce Daughters & Son at Bristol farmers’ market in Corn Street.
We ate our Valentine meal last night because the fish was fresh. Why wait for a good thing?
Under instruction from Mike, I grilled the thick halibut cutlet for about 20 minutes. According to his method, there is no need to preheat the grill. Eco-friendly, I like.
I ground black-pepper thickly on the cutlet as it lay in the grill-pan on a film of olive oil to stop it sticking.
Impetuously, I added a big fat mushroom to the same oiled pan, and adding a teaspoon extra of olive oil on its upturned gills to keep it moist. As Mike does not like garlic, I covered it instead with onion. The red onion looked good.
I slid the grill-pan under the (un-preheated) grill and set the grill to max.
Meanwhile the potatoes were doing their thing in boiling water going from impenetrable to soft as potatoes do.
I steamed the spinach leaves over the potatoes in my triple-steamer – another eco-saving in fuel. I secretly snipped the spinach with scissors to devoid them of too much chew-action.
The red onion softened magnificently while the halibut, an oily fish, was succulent-crispy from its time under the grill.
Afterwards we had hard organic ewe’s cheese (apparently hard cheeses have very little lactose in them and sheep is easier on the gut than cow’s), served with membrillo, or quince jelly, as in Spain. You can buy membrillo in Taste’s new deli in Corn Street – another Bristol supplier to be grateful for.
And tonight, it’s Valentine day-proper and Saturday night-to-boot so Bristol is bursting with balls and dances and venues with live music for both couples and the footloose-and-fancy-free. Let’s celebrate love!