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First home-cooked meal for that special someone.

Male cooking for female. Delicious, not pretentious, while still showing a degree of culinary know-how. Any ideas would be much appreciated!!

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  1. Love to suggest something ... but don't know what you cook or like to cook or what your special someone likes to eat.

    5 Replies
    1. re: Sam Fujisaka

      i was just about to say the same thing...what are her preferences? and assuming you'll be eating the meal as well, what are yours?

      1. re: goodhealthgourmet

        Special someone might not be the best phrase to use here - as "some chick I'm dating" didn't sound quite right. This will be our third date. We met in a club so we haven't spent enough time together for me to ascertain what she is into food wise. I do know she is into food, and likes to cook herself. She ordered filet mignon on our first date, and seemed somewhat wine savvy.

        I eat and cook everything I can get my hands on.. Not to say that I am an expert in all said areas. I am familiar with classic French cooking, but with a recipe I can cook just about anything reasonably well. Sorry I dont have much else to offer, thats why I am having trouble making the decision myself..

        1. re: ZeTerroir

          Make a steak, salad, and the richest, most decadent chocolate dessert that you can handle. Make it a French dessert. Third date is where you get lucky, right?

          1. re: 512window

            I have to agree with 512window; impress on the dessert. You know she likes beef as evidenced by the filet order. Stick with it but make something simple and comforting. There are a lot of braise references. If she's a fan of filet, short ribs may come off too fatty. Maybe a braised brisket over mashed potatoes (or polenta) with a nice salad and a beautifully prepared dessert?

            1. re: Dee S

              Chocolate souffle. Very impressive, very chocolaty, and very easy (basically a lot of stirring). I use the recipe from the Payard cookbook; here's a link to a similar one by him: www.foodandwine.com/recipes/chocolate... the NY Times also posted a simple chocolate souffle recipe recently: www.nytimes.com/2009/02/11/dining/111...
              As Bittman points out, you can make the souffle batter (batter?) earlier that afternoon and refrigerate it until you're ready to bake it. I've used it in similar situations and it's served me well.

    2. Something you like and do well. Don't experiment.

      Ask her if there is anything she *doesn't* like.

      But, do what you know. Then no panic.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Cathy

        I'm with Cathy here. I cooked for a lot of dates in my single days (hey, I still do most of the cooking for me & my wife) and she's right, do NOT try something you've never made before. Stick with something that you know you always get right, even if it's fairly simple. The more relaxed you are, the more relaxed she'll be.

        Also, put a little thought into the presentation, make it look nice - most people don't put a lot of effort into plating at home, but it always impresses.

      2. Artichauts a la grecque or salade de chou rouge
        Huitres a la florentine or beignets de cervelle

        Consomme printanier or soupe l'ail

        Anguille en pochouse or al la creme
        or sole meuniere

        Le veau froid or cotelettes de mouton Pompadour
        or canard rouennais or pigeonneaux en salmis

        Points d'asperges vertes or carottes glaces au beurre or haricots mange-tout sautes en beurre

        Pain de Genes or apricots meringues Clairette (for which you also need the Genoa)

        4 Replies
        1. re: Sam Fujisaka

          I like it - I like it alot.. But I fear something like this might start crossing the pretentious line. A meal like this might make an average cook feel uncomfortable about possibly cooking for me at some point. I could see doing something like this together in the future and making it fun, but it might be a little much for the first run.. Any thoughts?

          1. re: ZeTerroir

            Might be right. You just got me thinking French and what I might do! Anyway, how about some J Pepin sorts of dishes? Mussel and tomato soup; fusilli with escarole, eggplant, and olive; skillet duck; apple gallette. Simple, home style, fewer courses.

          2. re: Sam Fujisaka

            Mon dieu, Sam, Anguille en pochuse!?
            Was a tad worried with "or_al la creme".... as its a first date afterall (well, third).

            I would agree with most of the posts, especially the short ribs the day before, as that's what I'm doing RIGHT now (house smells great and its -17* out).
            I'd only suggest to save some prep and try to get her in the kitchen as well - now that's sexy....

            1. re: porker

              Well, at this moment and to keep it simple I'd be inclined towards: artichauts a la grecque and maybe, just maybe the beignets de cervelle (if I were cooking for the you and the hounds who replied earlier), consomme printanier, sole meuniere, canard rouennais, haricots mange-tout sautes en beurre, and apricots meringues Clairette.

          3. Something stewed/braised. Like braised beef short ribs or lamb shanks. Preparing it the day before will give you a chance to make sure the seasoning is correct & tastes perfect. Next day you can skim the fat off the sauce and reheat it and make a vegetable and a salad. The braise will taste better the next day and you won't be freaking out with the prep work before/while she gets there.

            1 Reply
            1. re: laguera

              I was thinking along the same lines. Red wine braised short ribs over polenta. You won't have to slave over the food and can visit w/ her. I just think of short ribs and polenta as so warm and comforting and intimate. Here is a link to my now favorite short ribs recipe as recommended by jfood and chef chicklet a few months ago: http://www.esquire.com/features/recip.... Add a salad and a big red wine and voila.

              If not, what about coq au vin since you are familiar w/ the french classics?

            2. How about seared scallops? Fast, easy and delicious. You can serve it with a ratatouille and either rustic baby potatoes or polenta. You could make a nice plating. I would like to think this is a simplistic gourmet meal that's impressive but not "too much" for a third date.

              2 Replies
              1. re: Jacey

                Just *please* check for a seafood allergy (or nuts, or cillantro, gluten, ect. fot that metter)!

                1. re: enbell

                  I would have thought that someone with an allergy would be bright enough to say... But assumption etc..