Anyone can make a dinner reservation, but cooking your date dinner will really show that you care. You don’t have to be an experienced cook to pull off a romantic home-cooked dinner for date night. All you need are a handful of dishes you feel confident with that have simple techniques, high quality ingredients, and bold flavors. To make your meal similar to a restaurant meal, consider multiple courses. AppetizerStart date night off with an appetizer. (Bonus points for something you can eat with your hands!) Prosciutto-wrapped figs are just the thing to start your special meal. Depending on the season, use either fresh or dried figs. Wrap each individually with a thin slice of prosciutto. Throw under a hot broiler until the prosciutto sizzles and starts to shrink around the figs. For an extra layer of flavor, tuck a little piece of goat cheese between the fig and the prosciutto.
EntréeFor your entrée, keep it simple with a really good steak; you can’t go wrong with beef tenderloin. Season both sides of the steaks well with salt and pepper. Sear on both sides in a hot skillet until a nice crust is formed, keeping the middle a perfect medium rare. Top with a little crumbled blue cheese.
Side DishesThe following three sides will round out your plate:· Steamed asparagus sprinkled with salt and drizzled with truffle oil. · Wild mushrooms sautéed in butter - a steak’s best friend. · Oven roasted potatoes with rosemary. (Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. Cut potatoes into wedges. Toss with olive oil and season with salt, black pepper, and fresh rosemary. Spread on a sheet tray in a single layer. Roast for 30 minutes, or until golden brown and tender. Give the potatoes a stir half-way through cooking to ensure even doneness.)
WineTo complement the food, serve the meal with a nice bottle of red wine poured into beautiful wine glasses.
DessertFor something sweet and decadent at the end of the meal, it is perfectly acceptable to purchase a nice dessert. Buy a 2-serving chocolate cake or two chocolate pot de crèmes – or just one to share. Serve the dessert on a nice plate and dress it up with some fresh whipped cream and berries or a dusting of powdered sugar or cocoa powder. Switch to port for a rich, sweet accompaniment.
Quick TipsTo avoid feeling over stuffed, keep the portions small. A 4 or 5-ounce filet is the perfect size considering all of the other flavorful components of the meal. If you set the mood with some candles, make sure they are non-scented so the scent doesn’t interfere with the aromas from the kitchen.