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Cookout for 2 - help

a new bf (dating for about a month though friends for around 9 months prior) but I am going to do steaks on the BBQ tomorrow evening and I want it romantic.

What sides can I do? What dessert? I have time to shop and cook. Nothing that I have to prepare or cook once he is at my house though I don't mind getting something out of the oven.

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  1. Why don't you do it all .. or mostly all on the grill?

    for one side.. why not gather all the different kinds of tomatoes you can find chop them into chunks and make a tomato salad with a simple dressing...then

    Grilled Corn
    Prep: Cook: Ready In Serves 4
    provided by Steven Raichlen

    Ingredients
    4 ears Sweet Corn in their husks
    6 tablespoons Butter (3/4 stick), at room temperature
    2 tablespoons Fresh Flat-Leaf Parsley, minced
    1 clove Garlic, minced
    Coarse Salt and Black Pepper
    Cooking Instructions
    You will also need: Butcher’s string

    Set up the grill for direct grilling and preheat to high.

    Fashion the husk of each ear of corn into a handle, tying back the husks with butchers string, and remove the corn silk.

    Place the butter, parsley, and garlic in a mixing bowl and whisk or beat until smooth and creamy.

    When ready to cook, lightly brush each ear of corn with a little of the garlic-parsley butter and arrange on the hot grate, positioning the ears in such a way that the husks are away from the fire. Grill the corn until the kernels are handsomely browned all over, 8 to 12 minutes in all, turning as needed, brushing with the remaining butter, and seasoning generously with salt and pepper. Remove the corn from the grill and serve at once.

    Variations: Dill, basil, or tarragon all make tasty alternatives to the parsley in the butter. Grilled corn kernels make a delectable addition to salsas and salads. Lay the ears on their side and cut the kernels off the cob with broad lengthwise strokes of a knife.
    and for dessert...
    Grilled Sugar-Dipped Pineapple
    Prep: Cook: Ready In Serves 6

    provided by Steven Raichlen

    Ingredients
    1 ripe Pineapple
    8 tablespoons Unsalted Butter (1 Stick)
    3/4 cup Sugar
    1 teaspoon grated Lime zest
    1 teaspoon ground Cinnamon
    1/8 teaspoon ground Cloves
    1/2 cup dark Rum, for flambeing (optional)
    Cooking Instructions
    Preheat the grill to high.

    Cut the leafy top off the pineapple, then cut off the rind. Slice the fruit into 8 or 10 even rounds. Using a pineapple corer or paring knife, remove the core from each round.

    When ready to cook, place the melted butter in a shallow bowl; combine the sugar, lime zest, and cinnamon in a separate bowl. Bring both bowls to grillside. Oil the grill grate. Dip each slice of pineapple first in melted butter, then in the sugar mixture, shaking off excess. Arrange the pineapple slices on the hot grate and grill, turning with tongs, until browned and sizzling, 5 to 8 minutes per side. Transfer the pineapple slices to plates or a platter, arranging the slices in an overlapping fashion.

    If using rum, warm it in a small flameproof saucepan on one side of the grill; do not let it boil or even become hot. Remove from the heat and then, making sure your sleeves are rolled up and hair is tied back, light a long match and use it to ignite the rum, averting your face as you do so. Very carefully pour the flaming rum over the pineapple and serve immediately.

    1. i love corn but it isn't very romantic to watch someone eat it - keep it simple - some roasted asparagus, baked potatoes with a compound butter. Maybe a delicate green salad - not too much chewing. toasted pound cake with creme fraiche and fresh strawberries. prosecco or frizzante. light and fun. good luck.

      1 Reply
      1. re: howchow

        i agree with your suggestions but i think that with a new bf, asparagus. . . stuff might possibly be embarrassing later in a romantic evening? i don't want to make an outright assumption about any relationship a month into it-- so i'll just shut up now. . . :-o

      2. For a romantic evening and I would want to keep the sides light. You already
        have a heavy entree with a steak without messing with it. I would keep it as close to classic and save the experimentation for another date later.
        If you wanted to make a baked potato side, you can always do a creamy twice baked potatoe halved and stuffed so you don't get too full.
        Put them into the oven for a few minutes to heat through once he's there and enjoying a cocktail. Yellow patty pans steamed are really good and easy and also make great color against the steaks. Takes about 8 minutes Another side that we love and is easy as well as tasty, are steamed carrots with dill. - Gorgeous!
        A small ceasar salad. make the dressing ahead. chill the plates, toss the salad with the dressing coating add the croutons. Get out the pepper grinder too.
        For a classic dessert - Creme Brulee with Berries - cook some berries (strawberries with some sugar and or Grand Marnier) until they are jam like, layer the bottom of the creme brulee dish, and top with the custard and then brulee. Nice. All of this can be done ahead of time.
        Have fun!

        1. You can romance-up a steak dinner by making a red-wine reduction sauce for the steaks - best if you have some potatoes on the side to soak it up.

          Ice cream sundaes for dessert - especially with homemade hot fudge - are probably the fastest route to MY boyfriend's heart. Another yummy dessert is grilled pineapple. I see the recipe above, which I'm sure is good, but pineapple is already pretty sweet without being dipped in butter and sugar and so forth. Just skewer some pineapple (so it doesn't fall apart into the coals), grill for a few minutes, and serve with the aforementioned fudge sauce or some warmed-up Nutella. So good! And not too overwhelming if you've just chowed on steak and potatoes. Not sure you want to end the evening so stuffed you can't move . . . :-).

          3 Replies
          1. re: dubedo

            The pineapple would look very impressive too,tasty and easy! Good idea!

            1. re: chef chicklet

              Along that line, grilled stone fruits make for a light dessert.

              1. re: monavano

                I am making the PanAsian pork kabobs again this weekend, I'm thinking that your suggestions for grilled stone fruit would be lovely! Do you serve the fruit by itself or add anything like a tiny scoop of marscapone?

          2. thanks for the suggestions, love the pinneapple ideas, will go to a great market tomorrow and see what else tickles my fancy.

            florida weather is not helping the idea of cooking out,I think storms and rain are forecast so I may rethink the whole dinner.

            2 Replies
            1. re: smartie

              I have a tasty and fairly easy side dish that you can make ahead. I do this dish alot when I have company over, and my boyfriend requests it often. It goes well with all types of meat and is a pretty light dish. The recipe below if for 8 servings, but you could cut it in half and then have some leftovers. It's great heated up the next day too.

              Jasmine Rice with Asparagus and Cashews

              8 servings


              2 Tbsp Butter
              ¼ cup minced onion
              ½ teaspoon minced garlic
              1 ¼ cups uncooked Jasmine rice
              2 ¼ cups chicken or vegetable broth (I use chicken)
              salt and pepper to taste
              ½ lb- 1 lb of fresh asparagus (I use about 2/3 of a bunch, but if I double the recipe, I use a whole bunch)
              ¾ cup cashew halves

              Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Increase heat to medium, stir in onion and garlic, cook about 2 minutes until tender.
              Stir in Jasmine rice, and cook about 5 minutes. Pour in broth. Season mixture with salt and pepper. Bring mixture to a boil, cover, and cook about 20 minutes, until rice is tender and liquid has been absorbed.
              Roast asparagus spears and cashews in the oven (preheated to 300), roast these in the oven for about 15 minutes. Chop the asparagus spears into 2 in (bit size) pieces.
              Mix asparagus and cashew halves into the rice mixture, serve warm

              1. re: smartie

                If it rains, sear the steaks in cast iron and then finish under the broiler. Second best after grilling!

              2. Pasta salad could be prepared in advance, but not just any pasta salad. I really like this recipe with orzo, balsamic, olives, pine nuts, basil... It's always been a hit at a bbq, and it's not very salad-y.

                http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/rec...

                If you want to do another side dish, I would make some grilled veggies, peppers, zucchini, etc.

                A good make-ahead dessert that would be romantic is chocolate mousse. Alternatives include panna cotta, crème caramel, or any kind of mousse or pudding that you could just keep in the refrigerator till serving time. You could even prepare it in single-serving dishes. Top off with a couple of fresh raspberries and voilà!

                1 Reply
                1. re: Full tummy

                  That orzo salad looks perfect. Room temperature or even slightly chilled pasta salads go quite well with steak.

                  I think all of the suggestions for simplicity make sense. Start with a mixed green salad with a light dressing. For another side idea, I'm still on the roasted cauliflower kick - so keep that in mind.

                  Most important - just relax and have fun!