Menu Help - cooking for "the Man" for the 1st time
HELP! He asked me to make him dinner. I make a really good asian influenced marinade that I LOVE over Ahi tuna. Simple easy. HERES THE PROBLEM - the sides...I want to keep it simple...dinner may be on the late side, so nothing complicated. I was thinking roasted baby carrots, baby zucinni and baby bok choy and then couscous and a salad.
I need your help. I have 6 days to pull this together. And Yes, I will obsess needlessly until the first bite is taken.
Thanks in advance for all your help and suggestions.
Have you thought about plating the ahi on a bed of fresh spinach. I like to rinse the leaves and then place them on the plate flat. I take a damp piece of towel paper and microw wave it for a minute or so. The spinach retains is structural integrity and looks great.
You can also plate the tuna over mashed taters with wasabi.
I do something similar with zucchini "matchsticks" and sliced or slivered almonds.
Heat some o oil in a pan, heat the almonds until starting to brown. (Watch closely -- they can burn in a flash.) Then stir in zucchini and cook just a few minutes. Salt and pepper.
I don't know why but done this way with the almonds it almost doesn't quite seem like zucchini.
I made a zucchini cake recently- grated zucchini sauteed with garlic, red pepper flae, then mixed with flour and milk to form pattie and sauteed. These got rave reviews from men at the table and looked really nice on the plate ( I made them silver dollar size). I would plan for a simple dessert too since it is the first time you are making dinner for someone special. Good luck, I am sure it will be great!
Baby carrots...baby zuke...baby bok? Baby, baby, baby... (I do love baby bok choy, however...) That's kinda cute.
Ok- my manly man does love Ahi but not couscous. I do a dry sauteed string bean (garlic, splash of soy) that we love. It's way too hot in FL to roast anything in the oven so I can't even think about. Sometimes I do orzo as a side, along with a simple cucumber salad that's just sliced cukes topped with rice wine vinegar.
Try this carrot and zuchini saute with fresh dill, it's really good. Grate some zuchini, salt, drain and squeeze out liquid. Grate carrots. Saute the carrots until just about done, add the grated zuchini and saute with some fresh dill. It's just a delicious vegatable dish and very pretty with the slivers of green and orange. I've served it with many different things and everyone has always loved it. I found this recipe years ago in Gourmet Magazine.
Sometimes simple, seasonal and fresh is the way to go. I feel for stuff like this, aka feedin' ur man for the first time, shouldn't be to complicated because there is greater risk of botching it up.
I think the wasabi potatoes is a great idea and with be hearty with the tuna. You could even cook the potatoes in advance and mash them the night of.
I also think carrots don't go with tuna although I love them.
Why not check out Union Sq farmers market on Wed (since I am assuming this dinner is late next week) and get some great seasonal produce. I had some AWESOME plump sugar snap peas this week from there for only 2.50. I also got some baby bok choy.
Snap peas, bok choy and maybe a different color veggie in there to make it more visually appealing. Since these veggies at the f. market are really fresh all you'll have to do is quickly stir fry them.
Also for couscous if you want a carb that's a good easy idea- hard to mess up. Do though flavor the water before hand, possibly with some seasoning to correlate with the rest of the meal or just some good sea salt and cracked pepper.
On a side note in Chelsea Market all the way in the back on the left hand side there is store that makes gift baskets but also sells chocolates, seasons, all little cute basket items. They have these GREAT seasoning there (I forgot the name of the brand) but they carry this one that you can either use as seasoning or as a crust for Tuna. It's got wasabi, panko, little bits of seaweed among other things.
PS- Is he a drinker? Rather then wine what about a nice chilled sake to change it up?
I just made this dessert for my hubby tonight. It was super easy to make, and pretty impressive. Nice and cool for summer, and you can make it ahead.
Here is the link for the candied strawberry chips that they use as a garnish. I thought they looked really cool, and were tasty too.
Candied Strawberry Chips
Perhaps food is the way to a man's heart. I know it sure gets my attention. I would keep it all asian and rather than the couscous go with COLD SESAME NOODLES
1/2 lb Noodles, Chinese (thin)
1/4 c Sesame oil
2 t Sesame Paste
1/2 c Peanut butter
1 1/2 tb Vinegar
2 t Hunan Pepper Sauce
1 Med Chili Pepper - fresh
2 tb Sugar
1 c Chicken broth
1/2 t White pepper
2 Med Cucumber, 1 medium
2 Pieces Scallions
1/4 c Cilantro
Boil the noodles in a large pot of well-salted water until tender. Drain,
cool thoroughly in cold water, and drain again. Toss the noodles with the
sesame oil. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.
Mince the fresh chile pepper, the scallions and the cilantro. Peel and
seed the cucumber and cut into fine julienne.
In a large bowl, combine the sesame seed paste, peanut butter, vinegar,
Hunan pepper sauce, chile, sugar, chicken broth and white pepper. Add the
cold noodles and toss well. Add the cucumbers, scallions and cilantro,
toss again, and serve.
As this is served cold you can make it in advance and should pair very well with the tuna, zucchini and bok choy. I would skip the carrots and go with butter sautéed shiitake mushrooms.