I wanted to make a romantic type dinner for a girl that I am dating, and I am having a hard time trying to decide what to make. I would appreicate if you could give me a few ideas, or recipes and even if you wouldn't mind a story or two. Also, I wanted to know about how to fit the wine to the food. I know you are supposed to put the color of the wine and the sweetness by the color of the meat, but how do you decide on specific wines for certain foods? The only things that I can't use are mustard, mayo, chocolate for the dinner. Thanks in advance.
Hall: "Hey maybe we could have a few beers with the boys..." Nash: "I don't think thats such a good idea..."
This one's easy. Get yourself some lamb loin chops. Rub each side with a little mint and rosemary. You don't have to be real precise with the herbs, but try not to overload the meat with them. Broil the chops for about 6 minutes on each side. They should still be pink in the middle. Set yourself up with a salad on the side and maybe a baked potato, and you've got yourself a very nice little meal with very little hassle.
As for what food to serve, go with something fairly light would be my advice, as you don't want to be dragging after you eat. A pasta based dish is often a good call here, as you can throw damn near any meat/seafood in there and it will work out all right. Some pasta with an alfredo sauce and grilled chicken has done me well on a couple of occassions. The real key is bread. Don't go and buy a loaf of Wonder bread, but rather find a good bakery and get a loaf of a good hearty bread, the kind you can break off with your hands if so inclined. Chicks dig good bread ;)
Originally posted by CRZGet a bucket of popcorn, then cut a hole in the bottom...
What, and risk spilling some of the popcorn? That stuff is EXPENSIVE!
Here's a dish that I got from my dad that impressed the heck out of my wife (and it goes with what spf suggested):
You'll need: -1 pound of fresh shrimp (Ask for peeled and de-veined...less work that way) -One package of Angel Hair pasta (or you can use white rice if you'd like) -3 cans of diced tomatoes with Italian Spices -A little minced garlic -Olive oil -Cajun seasoning (Optional...only if you'd like it to have a little kick)
Prepare the pasta or rice as directed. In a pan big enough to hold the sauce, saute the garlic in the olive oil for a minute or two over medium heat, then add the tomatoes. When they start to bubble and turn saucy, add the shrimp and cook until pink. (You can add the cajun seasoning at any time after you add the tomatoes.) Serve over the pasta or rice. (If you want to be extra sneaky, you can ditch the cans before she comes over and claim you made the sauce from scratch.)
As for wine, I think it's white with seafood and red with pasta, so in this case you can just go with what you like or offer her a choice. Don't worry about appropriateness.
Schippe's post just reminded me of a less than funny experience of mine. I share this because I wanted to stress the importance of his comment on being picky about shrimp de-veining and peeling.
Long story short, me lady and I went out to the local Chinese restaurant that we're both rather fond of. I had already eaten 5 or so shrimp before I took a good look at one... it turns out these hadn't even been de-legged. I know it doesn't seem like a big deal, but I was creeped out for the rest of the night after that and will be very suspicious about eating shrimp for a good long while.
So, the answer to the romantic dinner, is of course, nachos and Slurpees from 7-11.
Originally posted by Ubermonkeysme lady and I went out to the local Chinese restaurant
And that was the first mistake....
Originally posted by spf2119A pasta based dish is often a good call here, as you can throw damn near any meat/seafood in there and it will work out all right.
Pasta is a good call, but depending on how long you have been with the girl, watch out for the red sauce. Red sauce is an absolute no-no on a first date, and if you have not been together long it could create and embarassing set of problems as well.
"I'm going to fill a dark awful basement with radioactive cockroaches. Yep. Big nasty ones like skateboards on legs, that go click-click-click when they walk. And maybe poisonous. I'm going to starve them for a week.
Then I'm going to catch all the coercive priss-spigots in the world, the ones that want to ban second-hand smoke and dwarf-tossing and beer. I'll smear the rascals with bacon fat, so the roaches won't know what they're eating, as otherwise they might not.
Then I'm going to toss all those greased busybodies into the basement. And whoop. And dance. Ha." - Fred Reed
I made Ginger Scallops for my wife on our last anniversary and she loved them. You can serve it over cappellini or yellow rice.
2 tablespoons thinly sliced green onion 2 tablespoons butter 1 large carrot, julienned 2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger root 1/2 cup white wine 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream salt and pepper to taste 1 1/4 pounds scallops 2 tablespoons butter
Directions In a medium skillet saute the green onions in 2 tablespoons of the butter. Stir in the carrots and cook for 30 to 60 seconds. Stir in the ginger and the wine. Once hot add the cream, salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, over high heat until the sauce is reduced by half. Then stir in the scallops and cook for 1 minute. Add the rest of the butter and stir until melted. Serve over pasta or yellow rice.
5 Time 5 Time 5 Time 5 Time 5 Time Wiener of the Day Runner-up
Oh I do love it when guys are kitchen-competent! All very good suggestions -- except the popcorn. (Might have worked for Kim, but I wouldn't recommend it as a general approach. Besides, you end up with corn kernel husks & other detritus stuck in your teeth all night. Ahem.)
Another nice resource is at Mondavi's site (robertmondavi.com). The recipes are good & not too advanced, & they have a wine pairing with each recipe.
Tenken347: Love the lamb idea. Although I'd do either boiled baby red potatoes (very easy -- minced mint or rosemary & parsley over the top) or garlic mashed (if you have the technique to do non-gluey mashed).
spf2119: It's true. We do dig good bread! (And good mashed potatoes!) :-)
SchippeWreck & dunkndollaz: Yummy.
LCH, part 1: Food & wine pairing is an art. (Chef's menus & tasting meals where they've really tailored the food & wine to complement each other are sooooo gooood. I digress.) There are some classical guidelines that generally work out fine. But its got so much to do with your preferences, the recipe, & the specific wine. Sort out what food you want to fix, & get back to us for the wine. :-)
LCH, part 2: You'll definitely want a dessert, but you said chocolate is out. Hmmm. Since it's summer, fresh berries are a nice choice. How about something like this...
Get a pint of really pretty fresh strawberries, & some of at least 2 of: blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, kiwi fruit (you'll have to peel these, but they're pretty & tasty), any other berries you may have locally. Hull & quarter most of the strawberries (keep several of the prettiest ones whole for garnish). Splash a little Grand Marnier (or other orange or berry liquer) & a little sugar over the strawberries, & marinate in the fridge for 1-2 hours. Combine with the rest of the berries just before serving.
Serving options: 1) scoop of vanilla ice cream (good quality -- no skimping!) with the berries over & around;
2) the berries in a pretty bowl with some freshly whipped cream (lightly sweetened & a bit of the Grand Marnier) dolloped over;
3) get a good frozen puff pastry (Pepperidge Farm is OK, or anything with actual "butter" in the ingredients list.); follow the package directions to make 2-3 appx-3" shapes per serving (circles, squares, hearts!); on the serving plates, loosely layer the cooked pastry & berries, finishing with pastry on top; optionally accompany with whipped cream or ice cream.
You should (if you have cable) watch some of the Food Network, then. You can watch guys like Emeril and Jamie Oliver (the Naked Chef) make stuff and sometimes it's pretty darn easy. All of the recipes they show are on the Food Network website (or "that ww-dot-foodtv-dot-com-thing" if you're watching Emeril) and they have difficulty ratings and all. I've made a couple of Jamie Oliver recipes and they turned out quite well.
Another *supereasy* thing is a garlic-herb baked chicken, which goes something like this:
(1) Get a chicken, clean it and pat dry (leave skin on). (2) Melt a stick of butter and brush entire chicken with butter. (3) Plop some minced garlic and oregano, thyme, parsley, or whatever herbs she (or you) likes and rub into the chicken. (4) Bake until done. A meat thermometer is a must.
I make this all the time with rice and a nice steamed vegetable. The meat falls off the bone every time.
Washington Huskies, 2003 Pac-10 football champs. Coming soon.
LCH: If she is picky and not a big fan of pasta, chicken is usually a good bet then as others have mentioned. Generally avoid beef or pork as those don't go over quite as well. Lamb is sort of middle ground I've noticed. Of course you could go a little into left field and hook up some grilled Portobello mushrooms as well
Of course, just to be the official jerk of the group, I'll throw in a warning to be careful about women who are very picky eaters. They tend to be problematic in other areas over time...but that's just personal experience talking.
This is easy... and I know my way around a kitchen, I'll tell you what...
*EASY DINNER* Sirloin Strips in Wine Sauce
1/2 cup uncooked brown rice 2 tsp. Olive Oil (I infus all mine with garlic and rosemary, but that's just showing off) 1 tsp garlic 1/2 lb sirloin strips, I take mine extra lean, but it's personal preference) 1/2 cup sliced onion 1/2 cup dry red wine (I'm a merlot guy) 2 tsp. soy sauce 1/2 tsp salt
Cook the rice according to the package directions. Haet the oil and saute the garlic. Add the meat onions and peppers, cook for 10 minutes. Add wine soy sauce and salt, simmer for 5 minutes. Serve over rice.
Alternately, you could do a potato dish rather than the rice. I've done homemade steak fries, but again, showing off. I like to do this one with steamed spinach along side, which is almost impossible to botch. But a broccoli/ cauliflower combo works pretty nicely too. One of those bags of frozen veggies will work in a pinch, but try to dress it up. And I serve this with the wine I cooked with to bring the whole thing together. Most important cooking tip (courtesy Ming Tsai) is don't waste your tme with cooking wine. If you wouldn't drink it, you shouldn't cook with it.
And because you were good, **EASY YET IMPRESSIVE DESSERT** Broiled Peaches with Bourbon Cream and Pecans 2 Large firm Ripe Peaches 1/4 cup light brown sugar 1/2 cup heavy cream 2 tsp bourbon (I use Maker's Mark or Jim Beam Black Label) 1 tsp powdered sugar 1/2 cup lightly toasted chopped pecans.
Preheat broiler, line the broiler pan with foil. Cut the peaches in half and arrange them in the pan,cut sides up. Sprinke with brown sugar. Broil until golden brown and the sugar begins carmelizing, watching carefully to be sure it doesn't burn. Should take 3-5 minutes. Beat the cream in a bowl until soft peaks form. Add bourbon and powedered sugar, beat until slightly stiff. Put the peaches on the serving plates and top with cream. Sprinkle the nuts and watch her amazement.
**AMBITIOUS DESSERT** ** THIS TAKES WORK** Pineapple with Passion Fruit Glaze A couple of months after my ex and I took a cruise, I made this. It took us right back to Belize. Still, it takes 2 hours to make it right, so don't use it unless you mean it.
1/4 cup dark rum 1 tbsp minced ginger 2 Thai bird chiles. Any chile with a *little* kick will do the trick if you can't find Thai Birds. I think I used a half an Anaheim. Just err on the side of not enough if you don't know your chiles. Flavor over heat. 1 banana, chopped 2 tbsp passion fruit puree, or 1 tbsp passion fruit syrup
1 large ripe pineapple, Costa Rican is best. 1 tbsp pink peppercorns if available, for garnish
Preheat oven to 350 F. In a small saucepan, mix sugar, water and vanilla bean. Cook until golden brown. Add rum, ginger, chiles, banana, and passion fruit. Mix well. Let it cool completely. This is a good time to prep the pineapple. Using a good sharp knife, what you're trying to do is peel the tough rind and get out the 'eyes' (you'll know em when you see em). The best way I found is a shallow "V" shaped cut. The rind spirals around on a pineapple, so you can do it in strips, and that's probably the easiest way. This is kinda frustrating, but man, the total effect... Oh, hack off the top too, but save it for the presentation. Blend the cooled glaze in a food processor, strain and set aside. Place pineaple in a shallow baking dish and brush on glaze. If you have some way to hold the pineapple upright, you should use it. Bake for an hour and a half, basting every 15 to 20 minutes. Save the leftover sauce for serving. This was a huge hit. It was worth the time, but then, I didn't have anything else to do that day.
Over 1450 posts and still never a Wiener of the Day!
Oliva: You are the weakest link! Goodbye!
Stewie: Ahahaha. Oh God, that's funny. That's really funny. You write your own material? Do you? Because that is so fresh. 'You are the weakest link. Goodbye!' You know I've never heard anyone make that joke before. You're the first. I've never heard anyone reference that outside program before. Because that's what she says on the show, right? Hmmm? 'You are the weakest link. Goodbye!' And ye...ye..yet you've taken it and....and used it out of context to insult me in this everyday situation. What a clever, smart girl you must be. To come up with a joke like that all by yourself. Mmmmm...that's so fresh too. Any Titanic jokes you want to throw at me as long as we're hitting these phenomena at the height of their popularity. Mmmm? Cuz i'm here God you're so funny!
A couple of practical tips, if you're counting on this dinner to lead somewhere:
#1 - skip garlic, or anything else that you aren't going to get off your breath.
#2 - you should know what foods will make for a gassier you. Don't make them. You probably don't know what foods will make for a gassier her, however. A safe bet is to avoid cooked vegetables (salad instead) and, well, beans. Seeing as I have yet to get a chick in bed with a killer tortilla dip, I'd say this one shouldn't be too hard.
"I'm sorry, I didn't think I was going to talk about 'man on dog' with a United States Senator. It's sort of freaking me out."
Associated Press interview with Senator Rick Santorum (R-PA), 04-07-2003.
As a girl, I've found it's not so much the food as the extra touches that count. Put a tablecloth down, get cloth napkins, eat by candle light, play some Frank Sinatra in the background. You could serve Big Macs and that girl would be putty in your hands.