Cooked with Love, from Meze Publishing

Valentine’s Day falls on a Monday this year but who says that you can’t still make it a day to remember? If you’re thinking about cooking up a storm for your loved one we’ve got you covered!

Turn on the charm and try out these recipes hand picked with love from Galley- the Royal Navy and Royal Marines charity cookbook. This two-course dinner will knock your partners’ socks off. Fresh from our beloved ‘Galley’, here’s how you can elevate this Valentine’s Day for your partner!


Recipe by Phil Pringle

(you can do the prep for this dish the day before at night and can be pre-plated as well)

Preparation time: 1 hour, plus marinating | Serves 4




For the marinated scallops:

4-6 large scallops

100ml olive oil

½ star anise

1 cardamom pod

½ lime & lemon, juice and zest

¼ orange, juice and zest

¼ chilli & shallot, thinly sliced

Handful of coriander stalks

Salt and pepper

For the citrus dressing:

50g sugar

50ml white wine vinegar

100ml orange juice, strained

50ml orange juice, strained

50ml lime juice, strained

For the fennel salad:

1 fennel bulb

1 orange, segmented

¼ chilli, deseeded & chopped

¼ bunch of coriander, chopped

Sea salt

For the pistachios:

100g caster sugar

100g green Iranian pistachios

To garnish:

Micro leaves





For the marinated scallops:

Clean the scallops. Warm the oil slightly and add the spices. Leave to cool. Add the oil to the rest of the ingredients, then pour over the scallops. Leave to marinate for 4-6 hours or until going slightly hard.

For the citrus dressing:

Place all the dressing ingredients in a pan and cook, skimming constantly, to reduce until it has  reached a coating consistency. When the dressing is clear and needs no more skimming, pour into a bottle.

For the fennel salad:

Cut the fennel lengthways into 8 and slice as thinly as possible. Sprinkle salt and leave to marinate for 2-4 hours. When soft, rinse the salt off under running water, then pat dry. Chop the orange segments up and add to the fennel. Add the chilli and coriander. Add a little of the citrus dressing. Check the seasoning, then set aside.

For the pistachios:

Put the sugar in a pan and heat, without stirring, until it forms a light caramel. Pour over the pistachios and leave to cool. When hard, remove the excess sugar, then chop up to a fine crumb. Set aside.


Remove the scallops from the marinade and pat dry. Slice into 6-8. Sprinkle the pistachio crumb in a neat line. Spoon the fennel across, again in a neat line. Lay the scallop slices on the fennel. Squeeze the citrus dressing over the top and garnish with micro leaves.



Recipe by Sean ‘Badger’ Raine

(pan-fried duck breasts with crispy skin, served with potato puree, pickled blackberries, duck leg bonbon, peas in a pod and blackberry Port jus


Preparation time: 30 mins, plus pickling and chilling | Cooking time: 1 hour 45 minutes | Serves 4




For the pickled blackberries:

150g caster sugar & 300 ml water

150ml white wine vinegar

5 juniper berries & 1 star anise

Pinch of coriander seeds

Pinch of mustard seeds

Pinch of chilli flakes

250g blackberries

For the jus:

2 shallots, finely diced

800ml beef stock

Sprig of rosemary & thyme

50ml Port & 50ml red wine

2 knobs of butter

Salt and pepper

For the bonbons:

2 confit duck legs

100g panko breadcrumbs

2 large eggs & 50g flour

500ml vegetable oil

For the potato puree:

6-7 Maris Piper potatoes, peeled and quartered

25ml double cream

25g salted butter

For the duck:

4 duck breasts, trimmed

2tbsp honey

For the peas in a pod:

200g peas in a pod



For the pickled blackberries:

Add the sugar, vinegar and water to a pan and bring to the boil. As it’s warming up, add the dried spices. Once boiling, remove from the heat. Once slightly cooler, add half of the blackberries. Cover and leave to pickle for up to 48 hours.

For the bonbons and jus:

For the jus, saute the shallots with a little oil until soft, add the beef stock and herbs and bring to the boil, then add the remaining blackberries. Reduce the heat and simmer for 1 hour to reduce by half. Add the Port and red wine, and simmer for a further 5-10 minutes. Keep warm. For the bonbons, shred the meat from the bones and mix with the reduced jus, shaping into four ping pong-sized balls. Place these in the fridge for up to 1 hour to set. Whisk the eggs with a tiny pinch of salt. Coat the chilled duck balls first in the flour, then the egg, then the breadcrumbs. Refrigerate.

For the potato puree and bonbons:

Boil the potatoes in a pan of salted water for 20-25 minutes. Drain, then allow them to rest and steam for 5 minutes. Mash using a ricer or hand masher until smooth, then add the cream and butter, and mix. Season and keep warm. Preheat the oven to 170 c. To cook the bonbons, place a small pan over a medium heat and fill it three-quarters with vegetable oil. When the oil is 170 c, fry the bonbons in the oil for 2-3 minutes until golden. Transfer to the oven to keep warm.

For the duck and peas in a pod:

Score the skin with a sharp knife in a cross pattern. Place the breasts into a cold frying pan and set over a medium heat. Allow the duck to fry in its own fat until the skin is golden brown and crisp, then turn the duck over and fry for 2-3 minutes more. Once the breast is sealed, transfer to the oven for 5-6 minutes at 170 c, then transfer to a plate with 5-6 sheets of kitchen roll underneath. Brush with the honey and allow to rest for 6-7 minutes under foil. In the frying pan you cooked the duck in, reheat the fat left behind, then add the peas and gently saute for 2-3 minutes.


To serve:

Add the butter to the jus and season. Slice each duck breast diagonally into three slices per person. Place a spoonful of potato to one side of the place and drag the spoon downwards. Place the bonbon at the thinner end, add the sliced duck to the left and the peas in-between. Dot the blackberries around, then pour a little jus next to the duck.


 Written by Ekta Rajagopalan, Intern at Meze Publishing


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