Three course, home-cooked Valentine’s Day dinner

Want to impress your special someone with Valentine’s Day dinner? Don’t worry about going out! We have the perfect three-course meal with a shopping list and the recipes just for you! You’ll not only impress them with your culinary skills but the fact that you have made it makes it so much more personal.

First course: Champagne oysters

Serve this with a tall glass of Champagne


  • 125ml (1/2 cup) champagne or sparkling white wine
  • 1 French shallot (eschalot), finely chopped
  • 125ml (1/2 cup) thickened cream
  • Freshly ground white pepper
  • Rock salt, to serve
  • 12 (1 dozen) natural oysters (such as Sydney rock oysters), in the half shell
  • Chopped fresh chives, to serve


  1. Place the champagne and shallot in a saucepan over medium heat and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 3-5 minutes or until reduced by half. Add the cream and season with white pepper. Simmer for 3-4 minutes or until reduced by half and the sauce is thick and creamy.
  2. Preheat grill on high. Scatter rock salt over the base of 2 small heatproof serving dishes. Arrange the oysters on the rock salt. Pour the cream mixture evenly among the oysters. Cook under grill for 1-2 minutes or until golden. Set aside for 2 minutes to cool slightly. Sprinkle with chives to serve.

Second course: Chicken, mushroom and spinach risotto

Serve this with a chilled Pinot Grigio.


  • 2.5L (10 cups) chicken stock
  • 40g butter
  • 125ml (1/2 cup) olive oil
  • 2 cups fresh baby spinach leaves
  • 2 brown onions, finely chopped
  • 880g (4 cups) arborio rice
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
  • 125ml (1/2 cup) dry white wine
  • 6 (about 500g) chicken thigh fillets, cut into 1cm pieces
  • 200g button mushrooms, cut into 1cm pieces
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 120g (1 1/2 cups) finely grated parmesan


  1. Bring the stock just to the boil in a large saucepan. Reduce heat and hold at a gentle simmer.
  2. Heat butter and 2 tablespoons of oil in a heavy-based stockpot or large flameproof casserole dish over medium heat. Add the onion. Cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until soft and translucent but not coloured. Add the rice and 1 tablespoon of thyme. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute or until the grains appear slightly glassy.
  3. Add the wine to the rice mixture and cook, stirring, until the liquid is absorbed. Add a ladleful (about 125ml/1/2 cup) of the simmering stock to the rice and stir constantly with a wooden spoon until the liquid is absorbed. Continue adding the stock mixture, a ladleful at a time, stirring constantly and allowing the liquid to be absorbed before adding the next ladleful, for 20-30 minutes or until the rice is tender yet firm to the bite and the risotto is creamy.
  4. Heat remaining oil in a large frying pan over high heat. Add the chicken and stir-fry for 5 minutes or until chicken just starts to brown. Add the mushroom,spinach and garlic. Cook for 2 minutes.
  5. Add the chicken mixture, parmesan and remaining thyme to the risotto and combine. Season with salt and pepper to serve.


Third course: Strawberry sponge love-cakes

Serve this with a light and fruity Moscato dessert wine. 

Shopping List

  • 350g double unfilled round sponge cake
  • 250g cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup thickened cream
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 250g strawberries, hulled, and sliced
  • 1/2 cup strawberry jam
  • 1 tablespoon pure icing sugar


  1. Place sponge cake layers on a chopping board. Using an 8cm heart-shaped cutter, cut 3 hearts from each cake. Using a sharp knife, gently split each heart in half.
  2. Using an electric mixer, beat cream cheese until smooth. Add cream and vanilla. Beat until mixture thickens.
  3. Spread cream cheese mixture over sponge cake bases. Top with strawberry slices. Place jam in a heatproof, microwave-safe bowl. Microwave, uncovered, on high (100%) for 30 seconds or until warm and runny. Spoon warm jam over strawberries.
  4. Sandwich together with sponge tops.
  5. Spread cream cheese mixture on the very top of the cake, add halved strawberries, cut side down.
  6. Serve
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