'One cannot think think well, love well, sleep well if one has not dined well.' -- Virginia Woolf Love is in the air! And for me, food and love go hand in hand. This isn't just because I'm a chef - there's something intimate about cooking a perfect meal for your other half that anyone can enjoy. Sharing food is ritual that’s totally timeless: people have been setting plates on the table for centuries. It's more than daily routine - this can be an expression of devotion, a chance to escape from the fast-paced world, a moment of real quality time. Holidays like Valentine's Day provide the perfect opportunity to be part of this tradition, but why stop at one day a year? And while we're at it, why save it for just one person?! Love to me is about so much more than just conventional romance: it's equally important to celebrate best mates, family and that special someone. No matter what your Facebook relationship status says, there’s no excuse not to make an effort once in a while and pull out all the stops for your favourite folk. This weekend I've been inspired by Valentine's Day, and I'm in the mood to push the boat out. So I want to share a recipe that’s truly indulgent and that little bit unusual too. Scallops aren't really an everyday ingredient: you have to concentrate when preparing them or you risk overcooking and getting a slightly rubbery finish. Equally, they are at the pricier end of what you can find in your local supermarket or fishmongers. All this means scallops are an ingredient with real wow-factor. In fact, they are perfect for making a big statement and sweeping someone lucky off their feet ;) I’d say my Ginger, Chilli and Soy Steamed Scallops make an ideal light starter – for any budding Casanovas, you could even go for extra romance brownie points by sharing from the same plate! So go on: plan the full three courses, open that second bottle of wine, light a couple of candles… Valentine's Day is over but the love goes on! Ching x
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