Romantic Valentine’s Meal by Pascale Smets

Chef Pascale Smets shows us how to create the ultimate romantic Valentine’s meal to delight your loved one.

At this time of year we are supposed to  show how much we care for our loved ones by producing heart shaped food.

Maybe I’m terribly unromantic but to me this seems quite unnecessary as I think preparing a special meal with the intention of giving pleasure and nourishment is one of the sincerest acts of love and there’s no need for anything complicated, expensive or overtly valentine-y. Another reason to keep it simple is any loved one worth their salt (forgive the pun) will want you spending the evening with them, not in the kitchen struggling with a passion fruit soufflé.

The menu below is dead simple but looks special, requiring minimum time spent in the kitchen. Everything apart from the poussin can be entirely prepared in advance and even the poussin only requires roasting.

Honey and Pomegranate Roast Poussin

Ingredients for 2:

  • 2 Poussin

For the marinade:

  • 1 onion roughly chopped
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 6 tbsp water
  • 3 tbsp runny honey
  • 1 tbsp Pomegranate Molasses (If you don’t have Pomegranate Molasses substitute with an extra tbsp of honey and the juice of one lemon)
Romantic Valentine's Meal | Honey and Pomegranate Roast Poussin recipe by Pascale Smets

The Method:

Combine all the marinade ingredients and pour over the poussin. Whenever possible I marinate meat, fish etc. in a ziplock bag which can be turned over so the marinade doesn’t get everywhere.

Leave to marinate for several hours or even overnight. Put the  Poussin into a small roasting tin with the marinade, remove any bits of chopped onion stuck to the poussin.

Roast at 180 c, basting occasionally for 45 minutes or until the meat between the leg and breast is no longer pink.

When basting try not to get bits of onion on the poussin as these tend to burn and don’t let the liquid evaporate, add a couple more tablespoons of water if necessary. The pomegranate molasses will darken on the skin giving the poussin a blackened look like cajun chicken.

Sieve the marinade and you will be left with either a deep chocolate ( if you used the Pomegranate molasses) or amber coloured sauce (if you didn’t). If the sauce seems thin boil transfer to a clean pan to reduce to a syrupy consistency.


How to prepare a lot of parsley fast
While keeping the parsley in it’s bunch, wash and shake it dry. Hold the bunch of parsley upside down and with a big, very sharp knife cut the leaves off using downward strokes. You will end up with some stalks in there but only the fine tip ones and these can just be chopped in with the leaves.

Saffron Jewelled Couscous


  • 200ml couscous
  • 200ml boiling water
  • A generous pinch of saffron
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • Large bunch of flat-leaf parsley coarsely chopped
  • Small bunch of finely chopped mint
  • 1/2 a small red onion very finely chopped (No more than 40g)
  • Box of Pomegranate seeds (80-110g)
  • Juice of 1/2 a lemonSalt and pepper to taste
Romantic Valentine's Meal | Honey and Pomegranate Roast Poussin recipe by Pascale Smets


Add the pinch of saffron to the 200ml boiling water and leave for a few moments to infuse.

Meanwhile stir the 2 tablespoons of olive oil through the couscous with a fork.

Pour over the boiling saffron water and allow to absorb. Once absorbed, fluff with a fork.

Season and then stir through all the other ingredients.

Arrange the cooked poussin on top of the Saffron Jewelled Couscous and your main course is ready to serve.

Blood Orange Salad with Greek Yoghurt and Burnt Sugar


  • 6-7 Blood oranges (or regular oranges) with a all pith and membranes removed, in segments
  • 3 tbsp (heaped) full-fat Greek yoghurt
  • 2-3 tbsp caster sugar depending on sweetness of the oranges
  • Mint leaves to garnish
Romantic Valentine's Burnt Orange Dessert Recipe by Pascale Smets


Once you have removed all skin and pith (see photo) cut between the segments’ membranes  with a sharp knife and you’ll be left with much smaller, but membrane free, orange segments. Arrange orange segments on a dish. Spoon the yoghurt in the centre. Sprinkle over the mint leaves.

In a small pan heat the caster sugar, stirring with a wooden spoon until it has melted.

When it is a golden amber colour and bubbling remove from the heat and pour over the dish of oranges and yoghurt. Take care as it will spit and fizz and the sugar will immediately harden.

If not serving immediately refrigerate for up to 4 hours.

Leave a Reply