Tina Anand guides you through Valentines Day Cooking

Let us introudce a great inspitation in our TIP kitchen, her name is Tina Anand and she is a Food Blogger on the website “The Spicy Pear”.

Tina Anand is a freelance consultant and food blogger. Tina’s blog, The Spicy Pear (http://www.thespicypear.com), showcases her passion for cooking, food styling and photography. She enjoys exploring new ingredients, flavors and cuisines from different parts of the world. Her inspiration comes from her family, friends and travels abroad.

Each month, Tina will share a recipe that will give you energy to dance the night away, dishes to help cure that dreaded hangover, or ideas to impress your friends and family members.

As we have the day of love to celebrate, what better way to show your appreciation to them them then by cooking your loved one a meal?

Below we show how quick and simple it is to create a special meal that will “wow” you partner. And while slaving away in the kitchen why not put on one of the monthly TIP mixes from or “mixes selection”?
What’s ever better then food and music?

Recipe: Miso Lamb Cutlets With Sweet Potato Mash And Steamed Asparagus
“February 14th marks Valentines Day and I would like to share a recipe that will leave your date feeling suitably impressed with your culinary skills. They don’t need to know how easy it is to cook this dish. All they need to know is that you went to the trouble of cooking for them, and that they are worth the effort!

These lamb cutlets are irresistibly good. The miso paste, a traditional Japanese seasoning, gives this dish a pleasant savoury flavour. You can find miso paste in most supermarkets and your local butcher should be able to provide you with good quality lamb cutlets. Don’t worry if you can’t get to the butchers though, most supermarkets sell French trimmed racks of lamb, which you can buy and cut into individual cutlets. Each packet should give you about 7 – 8 pieces. They go perfectly on a bed of creamy mash and steamed asparagus and should leave your date eating out of the palm of your hands.

Ambience is just as important as the food. So dim those lights, light some scented candles, put on your favourite track and wear your best smile. After all, you don’t want to be spending hours slaving away over a stove, when you have a hot date waiting in your living room. Have a lovely night….just don’t forget the wine!”

Ingredients – Serves 2
Lamb Cutlets
·         7-8 lamb cutlets
·         2-3 garlic cloves, minced
·         1 inch ginger piece, minced
·         1-2 tablespoon miso paste
·         ½ teaspoon chilli flakes
·         1 tablespoon sesame oil (optional)
·         Salt to taste (optional)

( NB This recipe is for lamb cutlets, not to be confused with lamb chops. If using that latter, you will need to roast or grill them in your oven as per the instructions on the packet.)

Sweet Potato Mash
·         2-3 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into quarters
·         1 – 2 teaspoon honey
·         ½ – 1 teaspoon cumin
·         Knob of butter, cut up in cubes
·         Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Asparagus
·         100 grams asparagus tips
·         Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
·         Drizzle of garlic oil (optional)

To Make The Lamb Cutlets

1.    In a large bowl, add the lamb cutlets and coat with the minced garlic and ginger, chilli flakes, miso paste and sesame oil. As the miso paste is quite thick you will need to rub the paste into the cutlets to ensure they are fully coated. If you find this difficult, you can stir a little warm water with the miso paste to loosen it up.

NB I find miso paste to be quite salty and do not add any additional salt into this marinade. You can always sprinkle extra salt upon serving the dish.

2.    Cover the bowl with cling film and leave to marinate in the fridge for at least two hours.

You will need to remove the bowl from the fridge 30 minutes before you intend to cook the lamb cutlets.

3.    Place a large griddle or frying pan over high heat and add plenty of oil to the pan. When the oil is hot enough, reduce the heat to medium and place the cutlets on to the pan. Cook for 3-5 minutes on both sides, or longer depending on the thickness of the cutlets and / or how well done you you’re your meat.

To Make The Sweet Potato Mash and Asparagus

1.    You can prepare the sweet potato mash while the lamb is marinating and reheat, or 30 minutes before you intend to serve your dish. All you will need to do is fill a large saucepan with boiling water, add the salt and sweet potatoes and place over a medium heat. Boil for 20 minutes, or until the potatoes have softened.

2.    Once the sweet potatoes are ready, drain the water and place in a large bowl. Using a masher or large spoon, mash the potatoes.

3.    Add butter, honey, chilli flakes, cumin powder, salt and pepper. Mix well and serve.

4.    While your cutlets are cooking, steam the asparagus for 5 minutes or until tender. Season with salt and pepper, and a drizzle of garlic oil.

Click here to follow her blog (http://www.thespicypear.com). Or Connect with her on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/TheSpicyPear) and Twitter: @thespicypears.

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About the author

Marketing, Social Media and creative writer, Maria has worked extensively in the music industry with venues and promoters, including The End / AKA. “I love to write. I love the challenge trying to give a memory to the reader through worlds – and I am always trying to write with feeling, passing the memories on".

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