Show your loved ones you care with hearty Valentine's Day meals

TOMORROW is Valentine’s Day and, sadly, this year we won’t be heading out for a delicious restaurant meal – but these two easy recipes are sure to go down a treat.

It will look like you’ve spent loads of time making a delicious feast, but it won’t take much time at all. Double win!

Treat your loved ones to a heart-shaped pie or pizza for a delicious date night, guaranteed.

And maybe they’ll treat you by doing the washing-up . . . 

Hearty chicken pie

Serves: 2

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 25 minutes

You need:

  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 55g frozen diced onions
  • 60g frozen carrots
  • 4 cubes frozen leeks
  • 100ml chicken stock
  • 60ml double cream
  • 1tsp dried tarragon
  • 1/2tbsp butter
  • 1tbsp flour
  • 1 sheet pre-rolled filo (or puff) pastry
  • 1 egg, beaten

Method:

  1. For this you will need two single-portion heart-shaped ovenproof dishes.
  2. Chop up your chicken breasts, add them to a pan over a medium heat with a small amount of olive oil. Add the frozen onions and cook through.
  3. While the chicken is cooking, take the frozen carrots and leeks and defrost in the microwave for 2 minutes. Once the leeks and carrots are just soft, add them to the saucepan with the chicken.
  4. Next, add the chicken stock, double cream, dried tarragon, butter, flour and salt and pepper, and stir on the hob until everything is combined and the sauce has begun to thicken.
  5. Bubble away for around 2 minutes and then take off the heat.

Ready to freeze: Put the cooled pie filling in a large labelled freezer bag, then flatten and seal so that it is airtight. Freeze your puff pastry beside the bag so you are ready to grab both when needed. I buy already frozen pastry so it is always in the freezer, ready for a pie top to be created.

Ready to eat: Defrost the pie filling and pastry. Preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan/gas mark 4. Add the pie filling to a saucepan and heat for about 10 minutes on a medium heat until piping hot.

Once hot, pour the pie filling into your heart-shaped ovenproof dishes. Take 1-2 sheets of filo pastry per pie. Using a pastry brush, brush each sheet with a little melted butter or olive oil, then scrunch it up and place on top of the filling. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes until golden and piping hot.

Valentine's pizza

Serves: 2

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 15-20 minutes

You need:

  • 2 x ready-to-roll pizza dough
  • 1 small jar pizza sauce

Toppings:

  • Pepperoni slices
  • 1 red pepper, sliced
  • 140g grated mozzarella
  • Any other pizza toppings you like.

Ready to freeze: Add all pizza toppings above to two freezer bags, seal and place in the freezer.

Make sure you freeze the pizza dough next to the pizza topping and have the pizza sauce in the cupboard ready for when you want to cook the pizzas.

Ready to eat: Remove the pizza topping bags and pizza dough and leave to defrost.

Once defrosted, roll out the pizza dough and use a knife to cut out two hearts. Preheat the oven to 200C/180C fan/gas mark 6.

Spread each with pizza sauce, then scatter over your pizza toppings. Place in the oven for 15-20 minutes or until golden and bubbling.

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