Forman and Field’s Valentine’s Cook Off

Valentine’s Day will soon be upon us and with love in the air, it’s time to start thinking what you will cook for your loved one this year. I had to think about a bit earlier this time, as last week on Twitter, I saw that Forman and Field (@FormanandField) were after bloggers to take part in a Valentine’s Cook Off (#Formanslovecookoff) using a mystery box of food items that they would provide. This sounded like my kind of challenge so I signed up, along with Dan, The Grubworm, Carla, Meemalee, Food Urchin and Pavel.

The mystery box soon arrived and it contained:

A bit of a strange mix, I am sure you will agree. It took a few days of thinking but I managed to come up with a Valentine’s menu that I thought was simple to do and showed the amazing produce off at its best. To be completely and utterly truthful, I dislike anchovies with a passion, however I was determined to use everything that came in the box, so I thought that as the anchovies had garlic in them, I would make a foccacia as it is easy and a bit more upmarket then a pizza, where you usually find anchovies.  For my main, I simply griddled the salmon as it was too good to do anything else with, and served it with dauphinoise potatoes, with a generous grating of Kirkham’s Lancashire cheese on top and green beans, with both the tarragon jelly and horseradish on the side. For pudding, I made a chocolate pot with brandied cherries and honey biscuits. The pictures of my dishes and full recipes are below.

Stuart and I really enjoyed the meal. The Royal Fillet was the best salmon I have ever tasted and the honey was delicious. I am now addicted to brandied cherries as well. My big jar will not last very long! One minor downside is that the foccacia did not really work. It was simply too fishy and overpowering. I have included the recipe here so that someone who likes anchovies can have a go and see if they can make it better than I did.

Competition Time!

To be in a a chance of receiving a box of goodies from Forman and Field (worth £60)  like I did, all you need to do is a leave a comment on this post, with your ideal Valentine’s recipe or menu and a box could be on its way to you and your loved one, in time for the big day itself. Please leave an email or twitter name so that you can be contacted if you win. The winner will be chosen using and you have until the 10th February to enter.  My recipes are below. Please check out my competitors and see what they did with the mystery ingredients and check back soon to see if I won the Cook Off. Don’t forget, all the other competitors also have a hamper to give-away so why don’t you leave a comment on their blogs too! :-)

Happy Cooking! :-)

All Serves Two

Anchovy and Garlic Foccacia


  • 200g strong white bread flour, and more for dusting
  • 1 packet of dried yeast
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 125ml warmish water
  • 6 anchovy fillets, chopped up into small bits and some oil out the container they were in


  1. Put all the dry ingredients in a bowl, add the olive oil and water and mix with your hand until its forms a sticky ball of dough.
  2. Put some flour on your work surface, and knead the dough for 10 minutes until smooth and springy. Put in a oiled bowl, covered with a tea towel, cling film or even in a bin bag and leave in a warm place for an hour.
  3. After an hour has passed, knock back the dough and place in an oiled tin or tray and spread the dough out until it covers the bottom. leave it covered for another half an hour in a warm place.
  4. After half an hour, uncover it and spread out the chopped up anchovies and oil all over the top of the foccacia. Put in a preheated oven (180 degrees C) and let it cook for 20 minutes or until lightly golden. Serve with olive oil and balsamic vinegar and enjoy.

Griddled Salmon with Dauphinoise Potatoes and Green Beans


  • 1 Royal Fillet, chopped up into two portions
  • 3 large or 6 small Maris Piper Potatoes, peeled and finely sliced
  • 100ml double cream
  • 300ml whole milk
  • 1/2 onion, peeled
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
  • Salt and white pepper
  • Generous handful of Kirkham’s Lancashire Cheese, grated
  • 1 packet of green beans, cooked according to the packet instructions
  • Horseradish sauce and tarragon jelly, to serve


  1. In a saucepan, put the potatoes, cream, milk, 1/2 an onion, salt and pepper and allow simmer gently until the potatoes are nearly cooked through.
  2. Remove the onion from the potatoes and place everything else in a lasagne type dish and put the grated cheese on top. Put in an preheated oven (180 degrees C) and allow to cook until slightly golden and bubbling.
  3. Meanwhile, preheat up a griddle pan and cook the salmon on both sides, until slightly charred and warmed through.
  4. Serve the salmon with the Dauphinoise Potatoes and green beans, with a spoonful each of horseradish and tarragon jelly on the side. Enjoy

Chocolate Pots with Honey Biscuits and Brandied Cherries

Ingredients for Chocolate Pots

  • 100g 70% dark chocolate, chopped up
  • 140ml double cream
  • 35g caster sugar
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 6 pitted brandied cherries and 4 whole, for the top

Ingredients for Honey Biscuits (Makes 12-14)

  • 2 heaped table spoons Regents Park Honey
  • 2 table spoons whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon of Bicarbonate of Soda
  • 175g plain flour
  • 75g caster sugar
  • 100g unsalted butter


  1. (For the Chocolate Pots) Gently warm the cream and sugar in a saucepan until the sugar the melted.
  2. In a bowl, put the chocolate, 1 egg yolk and vanilla extract. Pour over the cream and sugar mixture and stir until the chocolate has melted and the mixture is smooth.
  3. Pop 3 pitted cherries into the bottom of each ramekin and pour the chocolate mixture on top. Allow to set in the fridge for at least 2 hours.
  4. (For the Honey Biscuits) Put the honey and milk in a saucepan and allow to warm through. Add in the Bicarbonate of Soda and stir until frothy. Set aside and allow to cool.
  5. Cream the butter and sugar together. Add in the flour and frothy mixture and mix until combined.
  6. Roll and shape a knob of the biscuit mixture and flatten onto a baking tray lined with parchment. Do not make them too big as they will spread during cooking.
  7. Bake in a preheated 2o0 degrees C oven for 10-15 minutes until golden brown. Allow to cool slightly before serving with the chocolate pots and brandied cherries.

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32 Responses to Forman and Field’s Valentine’s Cook Off

  1. Oh this looks tasty – i especially like the look of those honey biscuits – i have a little honey left so might give them a go. Yum.

  2. Pingback: A feast for your Valentine: the #formanslovecookoff challenge and a chance to win some goodies « The grub worm

  3. Great work with a bloody hard set of ingredients to work with. I’m also really liking the look of the chocolate pots and honey biscuits.

  4. Pingback: Tweets that mention Forman and Field’s Valentine’s Cook Off | Jo's Kitchen --

  5. Wauww… i’m not a fan of valentine but you make it hard to don’t suprise my GF with this… ! thnx for posting

  6. Well done on the Foccacia from scratch, great idea and I bet it was delicious as well. I love chocolate pots as well :^)

  7. Here here on the honey biscuits, nice work Jo.

  8. Well done Jo, it certainly was a random mix of ingredients but like the way you used them all.

  9. It all looks delicious!

  10. Oh
    Baked Camembert & Chanpange with home made sourdough
    Fillet steak with an intense red wine sauce and creamy mash
    a fruity Pavlova. with whipped cream and blueberries.
    Sweet wine
    Dark intense coffee
    and a kiss.. or two ..

  11. Can i be predictable and say Chocolate is my favourite food of love?? It’s just without chocolate these 9 months of abstinence from rare steak, soft cheeses and red wine would have been hell without chocolate. All in the name of love though so it’s worth it, especially when the little one arrives.

  12. The Regent’s Park honey is gorgeous isn’t it?
    I like the idea of the anchovy foccacia – and I LOVE anchovies, so might give it a go.

    Good luck!

  13. Lovely, you did well!

    Valentines menu….hmmm to start it would have to be something that included hot, melty, oozy cheese so a baked camembert with some toasted garlic ciabatta or some breaded brie with a good dollop of cranberry. Main course would be pasta – spaghetti – I’m thinking chilli, red pesto, salmon, and dessert would be something decadent and chocolately – perhaps a double chocolate cherry cheesecake and of course there would be lots of red wine!

    I’m hungry now!

  14. I love Valentine’s day. My favourite menu has a pink theme (of course!)

    Scallops wrapped in palma ham with a cream and tarragon sauce
    Rack of lamb (pink inside) with a crust of fresh herbs, toasted pine nuts
    Lyonnaise Potatoes
    Wilted spinach
    Baby carrots roasted in orange butter
    Reduced gravy of lamb jus, rosemary, red current jelly
    White chocolate mousse cups with rose water and sugar-dusted rose petals

    Have a lovely Valentine’s Day/eve!!

  15. I would have been stuck with the anchovies to hate them .

  16. My ideal menu would be oysters with pink champagne, venison with dauphinois potatoes and a chocolatey dessert.

    You had a challenging selection of ingredients but I think you used them all in same menu very effectively.

    I’d love to win some F&F goodies!

  17. This was quite a challenge but you pulled it off beautifully!!!!

  18. Ideal menu – something tasty and simple…

    Probably my chicken liver and port pate, which needs to be made a day or two in advance, then a really good rib eye steak with a delicious sauce, and, given my current obsession, probably lemon posset for pudd. And a seriously fantastic cheeseboard!

  19. Mmmn, well done for trying something with the anchovies, not the easiest ingredient to find a use for. I like a bit of luxury for valentines day (the salmon you got with the potatoes dounds very luxurious), but I don’t mind what I eat if someone has made the effort to cook it for me.

  20. It must be:
    celeriac and truffle oil soup with some sourdough grilled bread – celeriac is famous for being an aphrodisiac. ;)

    Slow roasted lamb (classic way – lots of thyme, rosemary, good quality olive oil, garlic, red wine and some seasoning), butterbean puree, muscovado glazed mini carrots

    Chocololate and gorgonzola fondant as we both love chocolate and cheese and there is no time to loose after dinner, so rather eat chocolate pudding and then selection of cheese we prefer to have it in one go and focus on more interesting things. ;)

    Does it sound good? :)))

  21. I love anchovies, so your foccaccia would have made me very happy. Salty, savoury deliciousness. The chocolate pots look fab too – really shiny and silky.

    For my valentine’s meal, to start I would want either salt and pepper squid, a goats cheese tartlet or a salad with chicken livers and crumbled up bacon. Main would be a seriously slow roasted lamb shoulder or a big fat roasted duck with something fruity poured over. Pudding…I could happily indulge in one of your chocolate pots!

  22. I would go for…
    Aparagus wrapped in parma ham or covered with melted brie
    A fantastic steak with creamy dauphinoise potatoes
    Something rich and chocolatey to finish – either a big portion of chocolate cheesecake or a rich chocolate mousse.
    I’m hungry now!

  23. Jo, this is a great dinner, but not Valentinesish as everything is oblong,

    If the foccacia and the honey biscuits had been heart shaped that would have made them special. Foccacia is perhaps too filling for valentines day, the anchovies would have been better incorporated in with egg yolks and mayo for stuffed eggs on a bed of grated carrot and grated cheese with heart shaped slices of cuecumber served in a heart shaped dish. The green beans look disappointing so I’m thinking heart shaped slices of carrot might make the mains more special. The salmon looks superb, so that cannot be trimmed to heart shaped but I’m wondering whether a foil cut out of a reverse heart would have a heart shaped grilled part or whether a foil shaped heart would leave an ungrilled heart outline.

    The honey biscuit shape could be rectified with a chocolate heart outline on the biscuit.

    Presentation is everything on Valentines Day. Not everyone wants to eat a lot, the salmon and the pudding are tempting

  24. Golly, I’d never have been able to come up with all that…

    For a Valentine’s Menu:

    prawn and avocado cocktail
    steak frites
    fondant au chocolat

    retro and unoriginal but guaranteed to tick all of DH’s boxes. And Champagne to tick my boxes.

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  26. One large hot chocolate fondant, a tub of quality vanilla icecream, two spoons. All you need really…..

    (oh, and a special someone to share it with!)

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  28. Hey Jo,

    This Valentines Day (Kinda … we’re celebrating on Sunday the 13th as we’re both off work and it’s the anniversary of the day we moved in together …) we’re having the following.

    Three Cheese Souffle with Asparagus wrapped in Parma Ham

    T-Bone Steak with Homemade Chips (Double Fried), Watercress and Beurre Maison (There’s nothing more Carnal than steak … right ??? )

    Followed by Chocolate Fondant and Homemade Strawberry Clotted Cream Icecream

    and washed down with a bottle of our favourite wine:

  29. Pingback: Winner of Forman and Field Valentine’s Hamper | Jo's Kitchen

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  31. A little late, but this is what I need for my GF. Not for valentine but for her birthday

  32. Pingback: Forman and Field’s Jubilee Bake Off | Jo's Kitchen

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