Anniversary Dinner Tonight...Help me avoid a catastrophe!
Hello. I am having a major brain freeze. I want to make a nice romantic meal to celebrate our anniversary and so far all I can decide on is a mozzarella, tomato and basil salad to start.
Grateful for any suggestions- nothing too complex or time consuming.
Thanks in advance.
LOL!!! Whenever this topic comes up on my girly board, someone always suggests a steak and a b.....
Anyway, in that theme, I recently made these Blackened Steaks (We used Prime Sirloins, cooked until about 135 inside and they came out perfect!) and they were absolutely WONDERFUL!! You can just serve the steaks as is and serve the salad on the side! :)
Provide deets, please.
Are you thinking Italian as your caprese salad suggests?
Are there foods you and your partner are particularly fond of?
Are there things you rule out entirely (shellfish, veal, foie gras, red meat, beets, turning on the oven, etc.)?
What kind of food stores can you hit? Farmers' market, upscale butcher/fishmonger? Or just the neighbourhood grocery?
Will you be serving wine with the meal and, if so, do you have a particular bottle or two in mind?
Here's a link to a simple and fast Italian recipe for chicken breasts. Goes well with Italian reds like Chianti. I often serve roasted sliced fennel and potatoes as a side, though few green vegetable dishes would clash. www.chowhound.com/topics/show/311935#...
Beef filet steaks would be a luxurious choice.
- Dredge the steaks lightly in flour.
- Brown in some butter along with a crushed garlic clove or two.
- Pour in 1/4 to 1/3 cup red wine and cook until nearly evaporated.
- Turn the steaks and repeat with another 1/4 to 1/3 cup wine.
- Remove the steaks to warm plates. Season with salt and pepper.
- Add a little more wine to the skillet, up the heat, scrape the bottom of the pan and reduce until syrupy. Pour over the steaks.
This is great with braised leeks or fennel finished with Parmesan. Or push the boat right out and sauté some summer chanterelles in butter until almost done; toss in some minced garlic and chopped parsley; add the kernels from a couple of ears of corn with a splash of water; cook until the corn is tender.
I have a few easy ideas...
Appy: Sliced zucchini with pecorino cheese/olive oil/salt/pepper (slice zucchini; grind fresh chunks of cheese in food processor into small pebble size; mix moon shaped zucchini, cheese, olive oil, s/p to taste) - EASY and GREAT TASTING. Can also be done with Shredded Brussel Sprouts (not in season) or Asparagus.
Main course: Special Vodka Sauce (not with Vodka - but with Jack Daniels) - ingredients: a small can (I think they are 12 - 14 oz cans) of san marzano tomatoes or chopped tomatoes, 1 garlic clove, 1 tsp. balsamic vinegar, 2 tbsp. Jack Daniels, 1 1/2 tbsp. cream, olive oil, chili flakes, s/p. Saute garlic in olive oil for a minute or two until lightly toasted; add tomatoes and saute for a few minutes; add vinegar and JD; cook for a few more minutes until alcohol is cooked-out; add chili flakes, s/p to taste; keep cooking until slightly thickens; add cream at the last few minutes before plating (add a little pasta cooking water to thin out if needed); add pasta to sauce and cook in sauce for a minute; pull off heat and add freshly greated reggiano or pecorino cheese; serve.
Side dish: Creamless creamed-corn (for 2 people): take 3-4 fresh corn husks and grate on the big holes of a box grater. This will instantly turn the corn into a creamed-corn consistency. Finish all husks and add proceeds to a pan and heat up; add tbsp. of butter and s/p. Serve. Nothing better.
Good luck! All of these recipes require little skill; taste great; and can be cooked in less than 30 minutes.
if you wanna stick with mostly italian ingredients, you could always do filet mignon (broiled or pan-seared to medium rare if i were invited), with a gorgonzola sauce. just get some gorgonzola and some mascarpone. dice the gorgonzola while the mascarpone's melting on low heat, stir in the gorgonzola and let it melt. drizzle sauce on the cooked filet. serve with some rapini or spinach, and some rice or couscous. on another front, you could always do lobster -- classy and easy.
Presuming you have access to good ingredients...
I always think great ingredients, simple prep is best for special occasions (and easier on the cook). If the guest of honor likes it, feature shellfish: lobster or king crab legs (even sweeter than lobster) with drawn butter.
You could start with the caprese salad, then serve shellfish (steams in oven in 20 min. or plunge in boiling water for a few minutes, split open and grill for a few minutes with a little high quality butter), whatever freshest vegtables are available, and a good crunchy baguette.
Finish with a cheese course and choc-dipped strawberries or whatever fruit is freshest with creme fraiche or whipped cream. Champagne, of course, makes it all the more special.
All of this is low-cook time, fresh and delic.
thanks to everyone for their suggestions, dinner went very well (caprese salad, chicken breasts stuffed with parsley, provolone, and prosciutto and hazelnut bacio ice cream from Ciao Bella).