This Valentines Day, Teena and I decided to stay home and cook our own food rather than going out and having an overpriced meal somewhere. So we planned what we were going to make and made sure we had all the ingredients ready to go.
We made a couple of things the day before, so we could take it easy on the actual day. The first thing we wanted to make was a savory pull-apart. I made the dough in our bread machine, because it's just so easy! Then I divided the mix into about a dozen or so pieces and flattened them out a little bit. We mixed some capsicum, tomato, chili, garlic and herbs together in a bowl, then layered the dough and tomato mix in a pan. We used a round cake tin as that's all we had available. The top layer of dough, we shaped into love hearts and brushed them with oil.
It turned out rather well in the end, and was delicious! We'll probably make this again using different ingredients. You could add almost anything to it really.
As the pull-apart was baking, we made some Lemon Mrytle Biscotti and Rose Water Biscuits. The Biscotti was much the same as my Almond Biscotti except with Pistachios instead of almonds. We had wanted to shape them into love hearts, but realised that wasn't going to work. The Pistachios took a while to de-shell, but they tasted great! We decided we couldn't really taste the Lemon Myrtle though. Not sure why, perhaps we didn't add enough?
The Rose Water Biscuits turned out really well. We used a cookie cutter to shape them into love hearts and Teena sprinkled some pink sugar over the top to finish them off. They are a bit messy but easy to make, and taste great!
While the biscuits were cooking, I also had an eggplant wrapped in foil sitting in the oven. This was for a recipe I found somewhere on the net a while ago (can't remember where), called Poor Man's Caviar. Here's the recipe:
Poor Man's Caviar as a spread or dip.
* 2 (1-pound) eggplants
* 2 tablespoons olive oil
* 1 1/2 cups finely chopped onion
* 1 cup finely chopped green bell pepper
* 1 cup finely chopped red bell pepper
* 3 garlic cloves, minced
* 1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley
* 1 tablespoon sugar
* 2 tablespoons tomato paste
* 2 tablespoons lemon juice
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 1 teaspoon dried basil
* 1/8 teaspoon pepper
* 1 (16-ounce) can crushed tomatoes, undrained
Preheat oven to 400°.
Pierce eggplants with a fork; place on a foil-lined baking sheet. Bake at 400° for 45 minutes or until tender. Let cool slightly; peel and finely chop. Place eggplant in a colander; let drain.
Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion, bell peppers, and garlic, and saute 8 minutes or until tender. Stir in eggplant, parsley, and remaining ingredients. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
You can serve chilled or warm it using vegetables, bread or chips.
We didn't follow it exactly as we only had one eggplant and half a capsicum, but it still tasted great with the corn chips we had in the cupboard.
The last thing we made was some Hollandaise Sauce which we put into a jar in the fridge so we could use it the next day. However, that left us with some left over egg whites.. so Teena whipped up some pink Meringues (actually I did the whipping!). I won't post those here though, you can check out Teena's blog if you want to see how they turned out.