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cooking for him for the first time..

I have no idea what to make..Any ideas? Preferably no Italian, I fear comparison :)

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  1. A few questions:
    What can you cook?
    What does he like?
    Budget?
    You know, just some facts.

    2 Replies
    1. re: mnosyne

      well.. I can cook pretty much anything. He likes anything but something more hearty and homey (whatever that means)..Probably more meat than fish..I don't really have a budget.. We have known eachother forever..so it's not like I need to tone it down,,I just have never cooked for him ;)

      1. re: laur76

        still there will be some needless stress. avoidable. I had a meltdown doing something as simple as pasta primavera in cream sauce once.

        so easily avoided.

    2. take a xanax and keep it friggin' simple, no fussy sauce that doesn't set right at the last minute. play to your strengths while keeping time for interaction. an old-school caesar and a roast chicken?

      grilled things are easy and casual and extend to relaxed conversation. in that vein I once thought a mixed grill was cool, make (somewhat mild) aioli a day in advance so it has a chance to mellow and grill a couple of simple sausages, a nice small cut or two of beef, frog legs or chicken wings maybe some shrimp (not in that order - timing is still critical) some asparagus or brussels sprouts (marinated in olive oil before the heat) and potatoes. the nice thing is grilled meat can be served cool, so if the timing is off, you can pull it to the side and have another glass of wine while the rest cooks.

      if you want to get dramatic serve it on an individual hibachi like I had it in Barcelona once. but that violates the simple rule.

      1 Reply
      1. re: hill food

        I think the first thing I cooked for my fiancee was the meatloaf recipe out of a Naomi Judd cookbook-the type with a lot of catsup on top. I know there was mashed potatoes and a salad involved-actually I think the meatloaf was technically leftovers that I pulled out of the freezer. He loved it(granted before he met me he pretty much existed on PBand J-so I don't know what that says...)

      2. something comfort food-y? as well as easy...
        salmon croquettes
        mashed potatoes w/ gouda, skins and lumps, and black pepper
        roasted asparagus w/ a little parm and garlic
        strawberry shortcake

        3 Replies
        1. re: Emme

          w/o sounding too ambitious (wink, nod), aparagus does make certain bodily funcions like sweating or others... distinctive?

          wrap it in prosciutto or serrano after the poach, roast or grill and maybe some vinegarette if you do.

          1. re: hill food

            haha good point... green beans instead? altho, i'd never noticed a distinctiveness to sweat, just to ... pee?

            1. re: Emme

              given my metabolism,my skin often smells a little of my last meal despite scrubbing. but yeah that was the other and larger consideration.

              sp no Popeye's on a work night or aioli or caesar salad or...up this late in general.

        2. Upscaled casual? Baked macaroni and cheese, burgers with interesting toppings, maybe?

          1 Reply
          1. re: spellweaver16

            i like this idea. i know my guy friends would love something like that.

          2. Good ol' roasted chicken and some roasted root veggies...the best thing about this is that if you have some nice wine and meaty-cheesey bits when he gets there, most likely, the smooching will distract you from the cooking...the trick, right when he gets there, turn theoven down and forget about it...I've "forgotten" the chicken for about 3 hours and then when our hunger reminded us that we were supposed to be having "dinner" we attacked the chicken and it was great!!!
            Just cook things that don't really require attention and taste great when left out, re-heated, or cold the next day...pizzas are always fun too as long as you have all the fixin's prepped before he arrives...no one wants to "work" when there are better things to be "done"...eh?

            1. Go the guy route. A great steak, baked potato w/ sour cream and a Greek salad. Maybe a little prosaic, but very simple guy food and foolproof. Spend time w/ him, not the oven and don't forget the candles!
              Ciao bella,
              A Guy

              4 Replies
              1. re: Passadumkeg

                Dang, I was going to say the same thing and then I realized it was YOU and you beat me to it!

                Don't forget a good bottle of red wine and bread!
                Another guy.
                I am going to roast a chicken tonight....so simple! Baby red potatoes, green beans, salad.

                1. re: Scargod

                  Hey, I just finished my own advise. Steak (And I'm not a big steak fan, gimme lamb.) with a Hatch dried red chile pod sauce and melted Swiss w/ baked spud and fresh asparagus, with a bottle Chilean red. The Wednesday night special. My wife is back in love with me (She really never left.)! Two more days of exams and this frickin' cold is back. Gimme more chile! Just got in a batch of Hatch, red and green variations on pork the rest of the week. The fresh red pods are sooo good and the color is sooo beautiful.
                  New Mexico chile and beer are proof that God exists and loves us.
                  Che Guevarra

                  1. re: Passadumkeg

                    Am getting my first order Friday from Native Seeds/Search in AZ. I am getting hatch and chimayo chile powders, blue corn posole and Hopi blue corn cornmeal and Pasilla chile powder! Will let you know.....

                    I could send you some to snort. That would fix you up.

              2. I never cook something I'm not already good at making when cooking for someone new.
                So, if you have any dishes that you know you're great at, go that route.

                Otherwise, I'd do a simple and delicious roast (beef, chicken, or pork... you pick)
                Mashed potatoes made with real butter and whipping cream
                Any kind of steamed or sauteed vegetables with just a hint of garlic.
                And, of course, something yummy for dessert. Can be as simple as cupcakes or make your own sundaes.
                Do what you're comfortable with. I hate worrying about messing something up or having people think I'm a lousy cook when I know, in fact, I'm not. Above all, keep it simple.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Azizeh Barjesteh

                  A nice cut of beef (Sirlion) seasoned, pan seared and and finished off in the oven. This will allow you to pay attention to the accompinaments. My wife likes a double baked potato, a simple and fast recipe that can be made ahead of time. I grill veggies, usually asparagus marinated in olive oil and citrus (orange or lemon) while the meat is roasting. I then remove the meat and deglaze the pan with a red wine and butter to make a pan sauce. the whole procedure takes about half an hour.

                2. I'm stickin' my foot in the fire on this one. Look at the difference in postings between female and male. Go steak, young lady, go steak!
                  Half in jest,
                  Meathead

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: Passadumkeg

                    Ok, if you're putting your foot down and the other guys seem to be too..steak it is.. Thanks to all..

                    1. re: laur76

                      Mr GG still talks about the first meal I made him which was, guess what, steak! It was a River Cafe recipe - entrecote bashed until really thin, flash-fried and served on a bed of rocket dressed with olive oil and lemon juice. He also still loves the second meal I made him - spaghetti with olive oil, chilli and garlic. Needless to say, he never gets them now as I'm too busy experimenting!

                  2. simple.

                    surf and turf of some variety(steak and lobster/steak and crab)

                    1. echoing some other suggestions: whole roasted chicken (I like Ina Garten's recipe.) homestyleTruffle mac and cheese -gruyere- (mmmm comfort food plus). Asparagus! it is an aphrodiasic.

                      1. I say a nice juicy steak or roast chicken. The only thing I would be aware of the steak, though, is if you live in an apartment and do not have a real vent, it may get smoky.

                        If you do steak -- accompany with potatotes of any kind and a salad.

                        With chicken - as others have mentioned, accompany with roast vegetables and starch of choice (again, potatoes are good, but my husband LOVES plain old spaghetti mixed in with all the roasted vegetables).

                        Have fun!

                        1. I also vote roast chicken. So easy, so damn good, and you can make anything with it. I like creamy polenta with gorgonzola stirred in.