What Can We Cook Together? [moved from Boston]
Fifth date, cooking together at my place and watching the fireworks from my balcony. Recommendation for a fun meal to cook together?
Preferables: takes a few hours (we would like to walk the beach while something is cooking), something interesting (ethnic? July 4 themed?), doesn't require fancy utensils or fancy foods (I'm not made of moneybags!), ingredients easily sourced at Whole Foods.
Move this to the Home Cooking board....
My suggestion is to stick with something you know how to cook well. That way - the pressure will be off and it will be a FUN experience (vs. too much pressure to get it right).
If I were in your shoes (and you drink) I would craft the meal around a couple bottles of wine. Perhaps start with a white and pair it with cheese/crackers/fruit/salami... or strawberries/champagne... take your stroll... and then move to a red for dinner (perhaps salad/main)... you could then finish with dessert and port w/ the fireworks!
I personally loved it when my dates invited me over and cooked FOR me.... just a thought.
Try a casserole like Texas Hash. Recipes abound on the 'net. Some cook it for about an hour. All other courses that do not require cooking can be made before the hash goes into the oven. If you wish to have a salad, try 'insalata caprese.'
Oh, insalata caprese is a new one to you. It's just fresh mozzarella sliced into rounds, round tomato slices, fresh basil rolled and sliced into ribbons, and extra virgin olive oil. Alternate the slices of mozzarella and tomato around a dish, distribute the ribbons of fresh basil on top of cheese and tomato slices and then drizzle the oil over the plated ingredients.
How about pot roast? I know that seems more like a fall/winter dish, but delicious (when done right) and certainly takes a good amount of time so you have plenty of time for a walk.
I'm thinking simple and July-4th-type foods. A smallish pulled pork in the crockpot (may need to be started before the date but you can shred it together).
You can chop and mix a salad and a slaw as a team. Salad can be fresh greens, tomatoes, cucumber, olives with vinaigrette; slaw can be creamy or vinegary depending on your taste. Both dishes have lots of rinsing, chopping and assembling that allow for conversation.
Mix up a BBQ sauce for the pork (vinegary or thick/sweet).
You can bake your own buns for the pork if you're feeling particularly ambitious. Otherwise, just toast/warm and slice boughten buns.
Veg: roasted asparagus is lovely. (Corn on the cob never struck me as date food, but also nice.)
Berries and whipped cream (whip it together) over slices of a light store-bought cake or shortcake.
I wonder if I can tweak this to be a 4th-of-July version of David Chang's Bo Ssam (slow roasted pork shoulder: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/15/mag...)?
The trouble is that most of the side dishes for Bo Ssam require pickling - something that cannot be done together. But think: Asian Influenced 4th of July.
Been wanting to make that one myself. You can quick pickle lots of stuff..
I just made Kimchee for the first time last week - very good. This version was ready the next day (though you could also buy it).
If you want to go that route (and I think it's a good one). Maybe you could have a date just to cook and prep - more time for hanging out?
Hmm - what do you like? What does s/he like? Being that it's 4th of July I would stick with traditional stuff.
You might think about going shopping together (farmers market) picking out what that looks good and that you can prepare together.
My first date meal was always Salmon with a caper, dill, sauce - seared and then baked. It always served me well - but it's easy enough for one to do. (if you want the recipe let me know). With mashers, Asparagus and salad (usually Cesar).
That likely doesn't help?.
Do you have a grill or could you barrow one? Last year when my brother came to town I went down by the GG bridge, make a great bbq and had very fun time using my little Smokey Joe bbq.
It's fun and elegant if you pack everything up, get a blankie and make a day out of having a small bbq.
Anyway, give us some more info I'm sure we can help you come up with something.
How about making tamales together? My partner and I have a great time assembling them, and for some reason they seem very 4th of July-ish to me. You could have the masa, filling, and corn husks ready to go, and you and your date could have a few drinks while you stuff some tamales. Then they could steam for an hour or so while you all had a walk.
The day and date are over but I'll add a general rec of not fixing anything without running it by him/her. There's current thread about salad toppings and I'm amazed at how many things are loathed, to the point that not even removing the offending item in some cases is enough.