Jump to content


Photo

Romantic Dinner For Two


  • Please log in to reply
40 replies to this topic

#1 Marlene

Marlene

    Administrator

  • Root Admin
  • 8,955 posts

Posted 15 October 2006 - 09:59 PM

So life has been somewhat hectic lately. Between my family's deaths and illnesses, and my husband's travels, we've been lucky if we've been in the same city/country never mind the same house at the same time for the past three months. We're finally going to catch a one night break on Wednesday evening before I head to New York and he heads to Dallas, so a romantic dinner is called for here. Yeah, we could go out, but I think we both just need a stay in kind of night. :)



So far, I've only come up with Steak au Povire as the main. I'm searching for starch/veggie and dessert ideas. With any luck, he'll find some marachino liqueur while he's in Chicago, so we can start with Aviations to drink and something to nibble on.

Help me plan the dinner of all dinners for two!
Administrator, CooksKorner
cookskorner@gmail.com

Practice. Do it over. Get it right.
Mostly, I want people to be as happy eating my food as I am cooking it.

#2 Guest_pixelchef_*

Guest_pixelchef_*
  • Guests

Posted 16 October 2006 - 12:22 AM

I'm all over this. I shall reply in the AM. :)

#3 Marlene

Marlene

    Administrator

  • Root Admin
  • 8,955 posts

Posted 16 October 2006 - 12:29 AM

I should note that no seafood/oysters/snails need apply. My guy is a simple guy when it comes to food. :D
Administrator, CooksKorner
cookskorner@gmail.com

Practice. Do it over. Get it right.
Mostly, I want people to be as happy eating my food as I am cooking it.

#4 Guest_pixelchef_*

Guest_pixelchef_*
  • Guests

Posted 16 October 2006 - 07:43 AM

These potatoes would be perfect. And especially perfect knowing how you guys like to eat (I recall his simple culinary outlook well! :D) and what the occasion is. It serves sooooo elegantly, but it is soooooooo NOT a fussy dish at all. It is my go-to starch when I need something I can be fancy with, OR if I need something upscale -- it just depends on how you present it. I did it for Thanksgiving but switched up the middle "money shot" layer with Grana Padano cheese and lavender honey. Anyway:

Potato Pie

Posted Image

4 x Russet potatoes, sliced thin approx 1/16 inch
1/2 cup whip cream
salt and pepper to taste
3 x cloves garlic, chopped fine
1 tbsp olive oil
2 cups button mushrooms, sliced
1/4 cup red wine
1/2 cup fresh basil, roughly chopped
1/2 cup fresh oregano, roughly chopped
1 cup oka cheese, grated (feel free to substitute anything here -- I love it with Blue cheese)
Parmesan for grating over the top before serving.

Directions:

Preheat over to 350º F.

Take sliced potatoes and place in a bowl with whipping cream. Season with salt and pepper and mix until all potatoes are lightly coated with cream.

In a large sauté pan set over medium high heat, add the oil. Allow oil to heat for 1 minute. Add the garlic and sauté for 30 seconds. Add mushrooms and sauté until 3/4 of liquid dispels. Add red wine and reduce until a 1/3 of the liquid remains, remove from heat. Add a little salt and pepper and toss in fresh basil and oregano. Reserve. In a medium bowl mix together cheese and fresh herbs until combined.

Take a cake pan approximately 8 by 9 inches and line with parchment paper. Layer the bottom of the pan with potatoes. Place 1/4 of cheese mixture on top of potatoes and then layer on top 1/2 of the mushroom mixture. Continue this process finishing with a layer of potatoes and a sprinkle of cheese on top.

Bake for about 1 hour or until potatoes are cooked through (test by inserting a knife into the center, should go through smoothly). Remove from oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes before slicing.

If you go with a red wine sauce for your pepper steak, that would also be lovely used as a sparse saucing over these potatoes.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

You've now got a pretty rich meal going, so I'd definitely suggest something fresh / light as your veg. Both to lighten the meal and to avoid palate fatigue. My girlfriend, who has a passion for all things green, cites this as her favourite "green food" I make. :wub:

Sauteed Rapini w/ Chile-Orange Oil

Posted Image

Rapini, or broccoli rabe, are greens that have a pungent, bitter flavour and can be purchased at Italian grocery stores and many regular supermarkets. Regular green broccoli would be delicious in this recipe too. Yield is 4 servings.

2 bunch rapini, cut into 3-inch lengths, stems removed
3 tbsp grape seed oil
1/4 orange, peel, pith removed, julienned
2 large cloves garlic, thinly, sliced
1 finger chile, cut in half, lengthwise, thinly, sliced, crosswise
coarse salt, and freshly cracked black pepper
1 orange, peeled, segmented

Directions:

In a saucepan, bring 2 quarts salted water to a boil.

Add the rapini and cook until just tender, about 3 minutes.

Drain.

Put the rapini in a large bowl ice water. This will stop the rapini from cooking and keep the bright green colour. Drain rapini well and set aside.

Wipe out the saucepan.

Heat the grape seed oil and orange peel on medium heat for 2 minutes.

Add the garlic and chile and cook until the garlic is golden, about 3 minutes.

Add the rapini, season with salt and pepper and cook over moderately high heat until heated through, about 2 to 3 minutes.

Add the orange segments.

*Transfer the rapini to a warm bowl and serve.

*I would serve this in a seperate bowl that sits on the big plate along with the starch and protein. You don't want the rich flavours of the other two components seaping into the rapini and ruining that freshness we want from it.

Edited by pixelchef, 16 October 2006 - 07:45 AM.


#5 Guest_pixelchef_*

Guest_pixelchef_*
  • Guests

Posted 16 October 2006 - 07:56 AM

This is THE perfect dessert for two. Little stress, big payoff: very romantic. And built just for two! The image shows cherries, but I'd garnish with thinly sliced, fanned out pear slices. Consider serving it on a big square plate with a shot glass of whatever you used in the dish on the plate along with it.

Pair Of Baked Pears w/ Butterscotch

Posted Image

2 x pears, peeled, halved and cored.
1 tbsp butter
2 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp brown sugar
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 tsp vanilla
A shot of any booze you'd like (suggest: Bailey's or a brandy)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400°F.

In a sauté pan over medium heat, add butter, sugar and brown sugar. Once sugar begins to melt, add pears, cut side down. Transfer to the oven and bake for 15 minutes.

Remove pears from pan and reserve on a plate. Return pan to stovetop over medium heat and cook until liquid sugar begins to bubble. Very slowly stir in cream, then add vanilla and a shot of any alcohol you might like to use. Keep stirring until butterscotch begins to thicken.

To serve, set 2 pear halves upon each other on each plate and drizzle with butterscotch.

#6 Marlene

Marlene

    Administrator

  • Root Admin
  • 8,955 posts

Posted 16 October 2006 - 08:28 AM

Ok, the potatoes sound lovely, except I can't do mushrooms. What would you suggest to substitute for them?

The veg dish sounds interesting. I think I'd probably use regular broccoli, given my recent experience with harricots verts. :( Although I've got a broccoli garlic breadcrumb thing that might work too!

Pix, we love pears, but I'm kinda looking for a make ahead dessert so I don't have to fuzz around in the kitchen once we sit down to eat.

Oh, and I'm possibly going to start with a blue cheese, tomato and onion plate as well!

Keep the ideas coming! I've got to do the shopping for this tomorrow, so chime in lots today!
Administrator, CooksKorner
cookskorner@gmail.com

Practice. Do it over. Get it right.
Mostly, I want people to be as happy eating my food as I am cooking it.

#7 Guest_pixelchef_*

Guest_pixelchef_*
  • Guests

Posted 16 October 2006 - 09:02 AM

For the potatoes: BACON (or pancetta). Switch up the cheese to an aged cheddar, or a hard Italian (like Parmesan) :)

As to the veg: try something different! I promise you that trying new stuff will enrichen your foodie life. And this is very tame. Brocoli with breadcrumbs? Come on babe, this ain't 1973! Regular brocoli is great, but don't ignore the rest :(

Dessert: gotcha. What about a variation on creme brulee?

Edited by pixelchef, 16 October 2006 - 09:04 AM.


#8 Marlene

Marlene

    Administrator

  • Root Admin
  • 8,955 posts

Posted 16 October 2006 - 09:09 AM

Oh all right. If I can find rapini or broccoli rabe, I'll give it a whirl. So I should saute the bacon in the red wine or skip that and just layer it with cooked bacon and cheese?

Creme brulee is good, except I make that all the time for him because he loves it. What sort of variation were you thinking? And hey, I AM a product of the 70's thank you very much! :P
Administrator, CooksKorner
cookskorner@gmail.com

Practice. Do it over. Get it right.
Mostly, I want people to be as happy eating my food as I am cooking it.

#9 Guest_pixelchef_*

Guest_pixelchef_*
  • Guests

Posted 16 October 2006 - 10:10 AM

Oh all right. If I can find rapini or broccoli rabe, I'll give it a whirl. So I should saute the bacon in the red wine or skip that and just layer it with cooked bacon and cheese?

Creme brulee is good, except I make that all the time for him because he loves it. What sort of variation were you thinking? And hey, I AM a product of the 70's thank you very much! :P


I hope I didn't come off as offensive with that comment, because I certainly didn't mean to! I just wanna see you push yourself more, because you clearly have an obscene amount of kitchen talent. My mom is the same way -- and I push her too, and she thanks me. :) I just think that adding diversity to your eating can bring such a positive change to one's life that it's worth pushing your boundaries. Just cook your bacon (little lardon squares would be lovely) and layer with cheese. And yes, I know you were born in 1979. ;)

For dessert, how about sticking with the custard theme (because of it's make-ahead benefits) and mirroring the flavours from the vegetable dish and making an orange-ginger panna cotta?

Orange-Ginger Panna Cotta

Posted Image

190 ml fresh squeezed orange juice
250 ml 30-35% m.f. cream
125 ml milk
vanilla pod (or excellent quality extract)
1/3 cup sugar
3 x 1 square inch pieces of orange zest, all traces of pith removed
3 Tbsp grated fresh ginger
½ tsp dry ginger
10 ml powdered plain gelatin

Directions:

Soak gelatin in 125 ml milk, which has been warmed slightly.

Meanwhile, simmer orange juice, vanilla pod, grated ginger and zest in pan over medium heat for 10 minutes, or until the juice reduces to approximately ½ cup.

Stir in dry ginger, 250ml cream, sugar and gelatin/milk mixture to orange juice. Turn heat to low and stir until all gelatin and sugar is dissolved. Remove pan from heat, and, if using vanilla extract, add now. Otherwise scrape pod seeds into mixture as set pod aside. Strain mixture through a fine colander lined with cheesecloth to remove grated ginger fibre and zest.

Pour into 4 125 ml glasses and refrigerate for at least 5 hours, preferably overnight. If you are going to serve them more than 5 hour later, cover glasses with cling film after 5 hours. Do not press cling film to surface of panacotta. Serve with a little mound of fresh orange zest strips on top.

You could serve it like the photo, or make it in ramekins and unmold as a plated presentation with a Grand Marnier sauce. (Spray ramekins first!) The sauce is a la minute, but SUPER quick and easy. Just have everything plated, add your sauce, and serve right away. Luscious stuff.

Grand Marnier Sauce

3/4 cup butter, room temperature
1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice, strained
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon finely grated orange rind
1/4 cup Grand Marnier

Directions:

Slice butter into 1/4-inch slices. In a small saucepan, heat orange juice, sugar and orange rind, on low temperature stirring often for 5 minutes. Increase heat and bring to boil. The mixture will thicken and become syrupy. Whisk the mixture and add the butter, piece by piece. When thoroughly blended, remove from heat and stir in Grand Marnier. Serve immediately.

Edited by pixelchef, 16 October 2006 - 10:47 PM.


#10 Marlene

Marlene

    Administrator

  • Root Admin
  • 8,955 posts

Posted 16 October 2006 - 11:21 AM

Believe me, I'll let you know when you offend me! :D I was just thinking of my hubby who isn't a fan of bitter veggies! I love the panna cotta idea and the grand marnier sauce. I think I'll try that!

Ok, so far we have:

Tomato, onion and blue cheese salad plate to start

Steak au Povire with Chris's potatoes using bacon and cheddar

Veg is undecided. We may not need one if we're having all the above.

Panna cotta with grand marnier sauce!

I'm thinking champagne for dinner, although I know steak is usually a red wine kind of thing. But Don prefers whites, and I prefer reds. We both like champagne though!
Administrator, CooksKorner
cookskorner@gmail.com

Practice. Do it over. Get it right.
Mostly, I want people to be as happy eating my food as I am cooking it.

#11 Guest_pixelchef_*

Guest_pixelchef_*
  • Guests

Posted 16 October 2006 - 11:27 AM

Or possibly a blush Zin! If this doesn't work for Don, I'll marry you! ;)

Bubbly too, of course. :) Mmm.

If white, go with Chardonnay. If red, I'd go Pinot or Syrah. But... this is all so subjective. Ideally, drink whatever you're cooking with. You knew all of this, though.

Edited by pixelchef, 16 October 2006 - 11:38 AM.


#12 Madge

Madge
  • Members
  • 1,604 posts

Posted 16 October 2006 - 12:57 PM

Sheesh Marlene, with all those fabulous dinners that you make I would think every night is "romantic dinner night" at your house. However, I guess the champagne and all those other little touches will push it over the top. Looks like a wonderful evening.
Pix, those potatoes look wonderful. I will be trying them

#13 James

James
  • Members
  • 1,912 posts

Posted 16 October 2006 - 04:07 PM

Pinot Noir, from Oregon or Sonoma, would be fine. It's hard to pair steak with white or champers. You had a great aged Chateauneuf de Pape in a previous post, and that would be great, bigger but less dense than Au. syrah. Did Don like the Ch. de Pape?
"A stew boiled is a stew spoiled!"
-Mrs. Bridges, in Upstairs Downstairs

#14 Marlene

Marlene

    Administrator

  • Root Admin
  • 8,955 posts

Posted 16 October 2006 - 06:03 PM

Or possibly a blush Zin! If this doesn't work for Don, I'll marry you! ;)

Bubbly too, of course. :) Mmm.

If white, go with Chardonnay. If red, I'd go Pinot or Syrah. But... this is all so subjective. Ideally, drink whatever you're cooking with. You knew all of this, though.



Don likes blush zinfandel, I don't. He also likes the Reislings, while I prefer the dry reds. Well, maybe we'll start with champagne and move on to our preferences.

Sheesh Marlene, with all those fabulous dinners that you make I would think every night is "romantic dinner night" at your house. However, I guess the champagne and all those other little touches will push it over the top. Looks like a wonderful evening.
Pix, those potatoes look wonderful. I will be trying them


Yeah it's the little touches. Often, when I'm making those dinners, there are other people here, my son, my sister in law, friends etc. This one will be for just us two. :wub:

Pinot Noir, from Oregon or Sonoma, would be fine. It's hard to pair steak with white or champers. You had a great aged Chateauneuf de Pape in a previous post, and that would be great, bigger but less dense than Au. syrah. Did Don like the Ch. de Pape?


I probably have another Chateauneuf downstairs, along with several Brunellos, Barolos, Amarones, and Shiraz'. Don never got any of the Ch. de Pape. My sister and I drank it all. :D He's really not a red wine fan, but will drink it with me when we go out somewhere.
Administrator, CooksKorner
cookskorner@gmail.com

Practice. Do it over. Get it right.
Mostly, I want people to be as happy eating my food as I am cooking it.

#15 James

James
  • Members
  • 1,912 posts

Posted 16 October 2006 - 06:45 PM

Here's a riesling with a good pedigree, still available (I chose it for my sweetbreads, tomorrow.)

Pewsey Vale Eden Vale Founders, 1999, $25, at Sherwood, Winston Churchill, Ancaster, and Appleby.

It got a 95 from an Australian critic unknown to me. (Jeremy ...) and I hope it is in the same league as the Henschke Eden Vale Julius, $35 and harder to find.
"A stew boiled is a stew spoiled!"
-Mrs. Bridges, in Upstairs Downstairs

#16 Guest_pixelchef_*

Guest_pixelchef_*
  • Guests

Posted 16 October 2006 - 07:23 PM

As many know, Riesling is my obsession. My "cellar" consists of 90% Riesling. I just love it; and happily suggest it for any meal if I knew it'd work! But with Marlene disliking whites, I bit my tongue.

What is it that you don't like about whites, Marlene? The fruit? The sweetness often found? The acidity? Is it that you miss the tannins of reds? Because Riesling spans the board from sweet, to spicy, to bright, and some of the late harvest bottlings approach dessert/ice-wine super-sweet textures.

Why am I here typing? Excuse me while I grab my corkscrew.

#17 Marlene

Marlene

    Administrator

  • Root Admin
  • 8,955 posts

Posted 16 October 2006 - 09:22 PM

Here's a riesling with a good pedigree, still available (I chose it for my sweetbreads, tomorrow.)

Pewsey Vale Eden Vale Founders, 1999, $25, at Sherwood, Winston Churchill, Ancaster, and Appleby.

It got a 95 from an Australian critic unknown to me. (Jeremy ...) and I hope it is in the same league as the Henschke Eden Vale Julius, $35 and harder to find.


Even though Winston Churchill is about 20 minutes from me, it might as well be as far away as the moon right now! It's a matter of no time! I do however, have a great deal of respect for your opinion on wine, so I'd like to find this for my hubby anyway.


As many know, Riesling is my obsession. My "cellar" consists of 90% Riesling. I just love it; and happily suggest it for any meal if I knew it'd work! But with Marlene disliking whites, I bit my tongue.

What is it that you don't like about whites, Marlene? The fruit? The sweetness often found? The acidity? Is it that you miss the tannins of reds? Because Riesling spans the board from sweet, to spicy, to bright, and some of the late harvest bottlings approach dessert/ice-wine super-sweet textures.

Why am I here typing? Excuse me while I grab my corkscrew.


Funny enough, I used to drink white wine exclusively. Somehow, after my pregnancy, I switched over to red and never went back. I dislike chardonnay, although unoaked isn't so bad. Reislings and Gwuertz, I find too sweet/fruity. I really really dislike ice wine because it's just too sweet for me.
Administrator, CooksKorner
cookskorner@gmail.com

Practice. Do it over. Get it right.
Mostly, I want people to be as happy eating my food as I am cooking it.

#18 James

James
  • Members
  • 1,912 posts

Posted 16 October 2006 - 09:39 PM

The best dry riesling I've had was the from Henschke Eden Valley single vineyard bottlings. We can get their Julius vineyard now, at $35. I've also liked Annie's Lane, at half the price, and almost as good. I"ll report on the Pewsey Vale tomorrow, as there is still a little bit to be found. But really, you should buy him the Henschke. A gold standard.
"A stew boiled is a stew spoiled!"
-Mrs. Bridges, in Upstairs Downstairs

#19 Marlene

Marlene

    Administrator

  • Root Admin
  • 8,955 posts

Posted 16 October 2006 - 10:15 PM

Meanwhile, simmer orange juice, vanilla pod, grated ginger and zest in pan over medium heat for 190 minutes, or until the juice reduces to approximately ½ cup.


190 minutes?! :blink:
Administrator, CooksKorner
cookskorner@gmail.com

Practice. Do it over. Get it right.
Mostly, I want people to be as happy eating my food as I am cooking it.

#20 Marlene

Marlene

    Administrator

  • Root Admin
  • 8,955 posts

Posted 16 October 2006 - 10:28 PM

I should be able to make the panna cotta tomorrow and get that out of the way. Anyone got a really divine blue cheese dressing? I've got a couple, but I'd be interested in trying something new!
Administrator, CooksKorner
cookskorner@gmail.com

Practice. Do it over. Get it right.
Mostly, I want people to be as happy eating my food as I am cooking it.




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users