Best 3-5 Course Romantic Meal Ideas?
I've been lurking on the chowhound forums for about 2 years now and its been incredible. I finally managed to make an account because I desperately need you guys' help.
My girlfriend is coming back home and its been about two months since I've last seen her. I want to wow her and make an unbelievable meal for her start to finish.
I'd like to have an amuse-bouche, appetizer, main, dessert (light), and perhaps something to follow. A wine paring would be nice. My goal would be for this to be a romantic, sexy, even impressive meal and I know you guys can help out.
In terms of what she likes, shes not particular in any way at all. I would like to try to make this higher end food instead of the old run of the mill if you know what I mean. Any help or suggestions that you guys would have would be of extreme value to me in any way. I'm talking just a random idea thats thrown out could help me tremendously.
Thanks in advance and I'll keep this thread updated on what I decided and how it goes!
Definitely, keep it all light. You guys don't want to be so full as to be sapped of your energy. Keeping that in mind, you'll want to do something with very small portions. These dishes were all served at a restaurant with a famous, haute cuisine chef that I worked for.
Appetizer: Lobster, daikon with shery vinegar-honey emulsion. You can find something similar in Gordon Ramsay's Maze cookbook if you need an image. The recipe for the emulsion is here, you only need a little, so you can cut everything by one-third; any neutral oil is fine, no need for both peanut and grapeseed.
one 1 - 1 1/2 lb lobster, cooked, chilled, with claws and tail meat separated from the shell. Slice claw and tail meat into silver dollar sized portions, either one or two pieces for the claws, and 4 for the tail. Discard the fatty tips of the claws. Top with a very thin slice of daikon (use a mandoline if you have one). Top with a small amount of sherry-honey emulsion, about 3/4-1 teaspoon. Microplane some lemon zest on top. Plating is everything, so you can do those little teardrops with extra emulsion if you have some.
Main: duck breasts: depending on the size of the breast, you'll either want one or two. The trick to duck breast, of course, is to get a nice crispy skin, and a pink, medium center. What strikes your fancy for a sauce? A port sauce is of course very simple, dump in half a bottle of decent ruby port, and reduce until slightly thickened. Serve with a leek salad (boiled, chilled leeks, cut root end off, cut off greens, then slice lengthwise in half) with a Dijon-sherry vinaigrette (about 1.5 T Dijon mustard, 1 T sherry vinegar, 3 T grapeseed oil) with 1.5 teaspoons of capers, and a teaspoon of brunoised ginger. (Or, grate some ginger and blitz it in the blender with your Dijon vinaigrette.) Shave a truffle on if you like. Measurements for the dressing are estimates, but you can't mess it up.
For dessert, a caramel sauce, with panna cotta topped with caviar is truly luxurious. A delicious play on salted caramel. Make a rich caramel sauce, with cream and brandy. Make a puddle of caramel on a small plate. Tilt plate to coat surface with caramel. Unmold a panna cotta and place on top of caramel. Use demitasse spoons to make a quenelle of caviar, and place on top of panna cotta. When finished, grab more caramel sauce, panna cotta, and caviar and eat out of their containers.
I would get The French Laundry cookbook and see if there is something you would like to serve.
This is coming from a bay are person so fresh produce might be different but here's what I would do:
Amuse bouche/Appetizer ideas
- tuna tartare in cucumber cup
- dungeness crab salad in endive leaf
- pork dumpling in a Chinese soup spoon
- pureed gazpacho soup shooter with creme fraiche
- seared lamb chops with a port sauce and parmesan polenta
- seared halibut with beurre blanc and sauteed sugar snap peas
- parmesan chicken on a bed of arugula with shaved parmesan and lemon vinaigrette
- Seasonal fruit with zabaglione
- white chocolate mousse
- individual tiramisu in a martini glass
Difficult topic. I can't give you a good menu, but I'll try to set some suggested parameters for the meal.
Garlic - love the stuff, but it kind of cuts down on any post-meal romantic activities.
Spicy - keep a box of kleenex on the table...see what I mean about some kinds of foods cutting down on post-meal romance?
Beef, cheese, milk - heavy proteins will send you both off to sleep too soon.
All this suggests you look for something light, and then play with flavors and textures on tops of that.
Amuse-bouche - there's a video here on another use for your soda charger http://www.chow.com/videos?tag=main_m... do up some berries that way and team them with a super good dry champagne (It'll cost you, but it is worth it.)
Main course: fish - it's light and you can work with some sort of steam/ en papillote thing. You could fool around with some crispy light vegetables with that. Say a thinly shaved, blanched and shocked fennel, and maybe some sort of chopped, spiced olives on the side for an umami touch that isn't too heavy.
Dessert - creme brulee, but add in something different. Maybe a fresh vanilla bean thing or a bit of spice with some jalapeno jelly.
To follow: Vin Santo with biscotti
If you start with champagne and finish with a dessert wine, then do something light, non-alcoholic, and rehydrating in-between. For example, if your fish en papillote is lightly dusted with lime rind, match it with a sparkling water with a bit of lime juice.
Another thought - attend to your guest. So don't choose a menu that requires your full attention in the kitchen.
On the other hand...if this all this light stuff sounds too light, then what's her favorite comfort food? Build your meal around that, but kick it up a notch. Example: macaroni cheese with chopped lobster mixed in.