With Valentine’s Day coming up, I know many people will be thinking about booking a restaurant table for a romantic dinner for two. I do know, though, that going out on Valentine’s Day isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. Restaurants are extra busy and there’s too much pressure to be ‘romantic’ while everyone’s looking, too! Plus, Mr E and I have been together for about a gazillion years, so I think the need to impress me has long gone. Still, I want to cook a gorgeous dinner for him, and I’ve been looking at the new M&S food to order products, where you can find some interesting cuts of meat that you’d normally have to order from your butcher, plus some great ideas for reluctant cooks, plus of course, delicious desserts.
For a ‘push the boat out’ starter, choose one of the sumptuous seafood offerings like the halves of fresh, dressed Canadian lobster.
You can’t beat a delicious and meltingly tender Osso Buco. Plus, by ordering from M&S you can be certain that the veal is British and high welfare. I use Jamie Oliver’s recipe as I like mine with tomatoes, and this is a good one if you’re not massively confident in the kitchen, as once it’s prepared and in the oven (a pretty simple assembly job), there’s nothing else to do. Serve with a simple risotto.
Also new in are British rose veal sirloin steaks – another cut that you might not find without specialist ordering from your butcher. It’s lovely to see Marks and Spencer selling British rose veal (male calves are a necessary part of the dairy industry), and the meat is deliciously tender too. Served simply grilled with either boiled or roasted new potatoes or this mac and cheese with leeks and maybe pick up one of the delicious salads on offer while you’re ordering.
If you don’t even want to go to the hassle of cooking a steak, why not bake a whole Scottish Lochmuir salmon fillet joint in foil with butter and herbs (it’s a bit big, but you can make delicious fishcakes with the leftovers), or have a look at the delicious new range of pizzas. At £12 for two they’re great value and they’ve got a proper artisan Italian feel to them too. Add a green salad and a lovely bottle of red wine and you’re good to go.
And now for my favourite bit – dessert! There’s a huge selection of cakes and patisserie. We ordered the selection of mini tarts (I know there are 12, but we’re greedy) and oh, they’re delicious. There’s a decadent toffee and chocolate millionaire’s tart; a sticky, syrupy pecan tart and a zingy, sweet orange curd one. They’re all delicious and you each get two of every flavour. Winning!
Or if you don’t have a sweet tooth, I can wholeheartedly recommend the Taste of the British Isles cheese selection (again, too much for two, really, but imagine the fun you’ll have getting through it).
Doesn’t it all look delicious? I think a lot of people associate M&S Food to Go with party food, but it’s so much more. Simply order online (most take around 4-6 days) then collect from your nearest M&S store.