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Old 06-03-2005, 01:57 AM   #1
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Need some ideas

The g/f and I have an anniversary rapidly approaching, but i don't yet have any meal ideas... I'm trying come up with something that would really wow her, but due to my lack of cookbooks and limited repertoire, I'm not coming up with much.
I'll have that whole day to cook if I need, so it can be something involved.

Any ideas? Feel free to throw out your dream meal ideas, and I can always alter as needed to our tastes.. I'm just lacking the inspiration for something spectacular.

Thanks

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Old 06-03-2005, 03:08 AM   #2
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IMO, you can't go wrong with steaks!
but first, as an appetizer, you could serve one of the following: oysters on the half shell, raw, with lemon; crabmeat-stuffed cremini mushroom caps with mozzarella, swiss,or provolone melted over them, in a white wine/minced garlic/butter sauce; or several crab legs each.
then you could sear and either broil or grill two beautifully marbled ribeyes to medium rare. you could try to get some kobe/waygu beef.
i would also suggest fresh green beans or asparagus cooked just till bright green, and served with a classis hollandaise. you could try mixing both green and white asparagus.
are purple potatoes available to you? if so, you can make a gorgeous dish by boiling the potatoes with the skins on, then slicing them, dalloping on some sour cream, and laying chives or sliced scallions over them in a criss-cross pattern.
for dessert, how about NY-style cheesecake with a strawberry or blueberry topping?
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Old 06-03-2005, 06:37 AM   #3
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This on e is very tasty (it can be done with just 2 hens too ):

GRILLED CORNISH GAME HENS (FLORENTINE)

4 whole Cornish game hens
1/4 c. olive oil
3 c. florentine marinade

With a sharp knife or utility shears, cut along each side of backbone and remove and discard (or reserve with giblets to make a stock). Split bones through cartilage at neck end of breast and press flat. Remove breastbone and cartilage (rib bones can be removed after cooking if desired) and place hens in a glass dish large enough to cover them with marinade. Prepare marinade per recipe instructions and pour over hens to cover. Marinate for 2 hours or overnight.

Preheat grill to high and preheat oven to 350 F. Remove hens from marinade and set aside to reduce for sauce. Pat poultry dry, then brush lightly with oil. Grill hens for approximately 1-1/2 to 2 minutes at 10 o'clock and 2 o'clock with skin side down to grill mark with carmelized marinade, then turn over and grill for 2 minutes more. Remove from grill and transfer to oven for 20 minutes or until done.

FLORENTINE MARINADE FOR GRILLED POULTRY

2 t. Salt
2 t. garlic; finely chopped
4 t. anise
2 t. black pepper
2 c. balsamic vinegar
3/4 c. honey
2 t. rosemary
4 t. mint
1/4 c. olive oil
Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Cover fowl with marinade and and marinate for 2 hours or overnight. After removing meat, strain marinade into a small saucepan and simmer until reduced to a thin syrup, skimming foam as necessary. Drizzle over meat and serve in well beside meat.
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Old 06-03-2005, 09:23 AM   #4
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Some good suggestions. My mouth is watering.

If you want to WOW her, find out what her special meal is and make that. If you need recipes, use your computer and go to the food network or Epicurious websites or just google for ideas.
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Old 06-03-2005, 10:08 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy M.
CC:

Some good suggestions. My mouth is watering.

If you want to WOW her, find out what her special meal is and make that. If you need recipes, use your computer and go to the food network or Epicurious websites or just google for ideas.
Cooking.com has some good recipes too...
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Old 06-03-2005, 10:38 AM   #6
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Make some grilled cheese sammiches with tomato soup... Make sure you PRESENT it on beautiful plates/bowls with chopped parsley sprinkled over it all....

::sorry... not much help... I've been in a rut lately ::
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Old 06-03-2005, 01:32 PM   #7
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Great ideas... i didn't think of steaks... and the cheescake idea is great.

Andy- I would do some of her favorites, but they consist of things like cheese melted on a tortilla, or a cheeseburger. Nothing very fancy or special.

Thanks guys, this helps
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Old 06-03-2005, 01:50 PM   #8
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CC anything that you make for her will be special. Just make it will love and the joy will shine through.
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Old 06-03-2005, 02:12 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by college_cook
Great ideas... i didn't think of steaks... and the cheescake idea is great.

Andy- I would do some of her favorites, but they consist of things like cheese melted on a tortilla, or a cheeseburger. Nothing very fancy or special.

Thanks guys, this helps
Focus on her favorite meats. Does she prefer beef, chicken, pork, fish? Pick a special recipe from the category of food she likes...
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Old 06-03-2005, 02:20 PM   #10
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I always enjoy pork or beef tenderloin for special meals. Here are some recipes that I have and they are perfect for an intimate dinner.


Beef Tenderloin with Bordelaise Sauce

Tenderloin Stuffed with Spinach, dried Tomatoes, Goat Cheese

Beef tenderloin with red zinfandel sauce

beef
2 T. olive oil
1 (3lb.) beef tenderloin
3/4 t. salt
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 bay leaf, chopped
1 1/2 t. chopped fresh thyme
1/2 t. black pepper

Red Zinfandel Sauce
1 1/2 cups red zinfandel wine
1 (14.5 oz.) can beef broth
1 1/2 t. tomato paste
3 T. water
2 t. arrowroot
1/4 t. salt
1/4 t. pepper
Put oil in roasting pan and place over two burners. Add tenderloin and brown on all sides. Remove from heat and place meat on cutting board. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Discard oil in pan. Crush salt, garlic, bay leaf, thyme and pepper into paste. Rub over the tenderloin. Return the roast to the roasting pan and roast 30-45 minutes at 450 or until thermometer registers 145 degrees for medium rare or 140 degrees for rare. Once removed from oven it will continue to cook. Remove from roasting pan and put on platter. Tent with foil to keep warm. For sauce, heat wine to boiling. Add any bits from bottom of roasting pan. Boil until reduced to 1/2 cup. Pour into small saucepan. Add broth and tomato paste; boil 10 minutes or until reduced to 1 1/2 cups. In a cup, mix the water and arrowroot; stir into wine mixture. Heat to boiling strain through fine mesh sieve into a measuring cup and add salt and pepper. Add any drippings from meat. To serve cut meat into 1/2 inch slices. Drizzle sauce over slices.


Marinated Pork Tenderloin with Molasses Barbecue Sauce

Marinated Pork
4 cups water
1 1/2 T. sea salt
1 cup brown sugar
1 small onion, thinly sliced
5 cloves garlic, minced
2 t. dried crushed red pepper flakes
6 large fresh thyme sprigs or 2 t. dried thyme
2 pork tenderloins (1 1/2 pounds total)
2 T. olive oil (to brush pork)

Molasses barbecue sauce
3 cups chicken broth
1 cup dry white wine
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup molasses
1/4 cup chopped tomato
3 T. minced shallots
2 T. chopped, pitted dates
1 T. chopped garlic
1 t. dried red pepper flakes
1 T. cornstarch mixed with 1 T. cold water
salt and pepper to taste

Dissolve sea salt in bowl with water. Add seasonings. Marinate pork in the bowl of salt water with seasoning for 24 hours in rifrigerator. Next day, prepare grill. Drain pork and pat dry. Discard brine. Brush pork with oil. Make Molasses barbecue sauce. Grill meat approximately 15-25 minutes or until inside temperature reaches 160 with meat thermometer. Check desired doneness after grilling 9 minutes on each side. Serve with Molasses barbecue sauce.

For sauce: combine all ingredients excluding cornstarch/water mixture in heavy saucepan. Boil until reduced to 1 1/2 cups, stirring occasionally for 20 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Use 1 T. carnstarch with 1 T. cold water to thicken. Serve warm. Sauce may be made 2 days ahead. Cover and chill until ready to serve and reheat.
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Old 06-03-2005, 02:39 PM   #11
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that beef in zinfandel sauce sounds pretty amazing... but I doubt I could get ahold of some zinfandel in the next few days... you see i'm not exactly 21 yet, so that makes cooking with wines a tad more difficult. I think i'll end up doing rib-eyes or filet mignon, she loves those, and I haven't been able to make steaks since last summer. I think i'll be doing a cheesecake for dessert, possibly with some fresh fruit, and I'm thinking some sort of shrimp appetizer... not sure what though.
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Old 06-03-2005, 03:25 PM   #12
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Besides the steaks, what exactly does she like to eat? That will help us help you narrow it down.

Does she like seafood? If so, what kind? Shellfish? Fish?

What types of meats does she like best? Any particular cuts?
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Old 06-03-2005, 03:33 PM   #13
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I love steak that's been stuffed with bleu cheese, myself.

Here's something else to think about: presentation. I'd say go to a closeout type store and purchase 2 pretty matching plates, a tablecloth with 2 coordinating napkins and 2 really pretty glasses. That's not too expensive, as it's only for 2, not service for 8. Put fresh flowers on the table too. If you choose to use candles, make sure they aren't scented, as they'll no doubt clash with your food's aroma.
Also, make sure you have some pretty background music. Conversation is always better when the music is instrumental only.

Also, a bowl of fresh berries is always a winner, especially if you "dress it up" with fresh edible flowers such as pansies or nasturtiums. (Just make sure they've never been sprayed with pesticide). Also, get a pesticide-free pink rose, carefully wash it and remove it's petals. Put 1 or 2 petals in each section of your ice cube trays and fill with water. These look beautiful when floating in sparkling water.
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Old 06-03-2005, 09:22 PM   #14
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thanks for the presentation tips jkath!

Here's my plan so far:

I picked up some gorgeous rib-eyes today, and that will be our entree, along with some mixed veggies. For dessert, I'm going to go with a slightly modified version of Sunburst Cheesecake, posted by middie some time ago. Basically the only thing im changing is the glaze topping, for which I want to make my own strawberry pr raspberry topping. I'd prefer if it was more of a light syrup however... how would I go about making a strawberry/raspberry topping? As for the appetizer, I'm still no sure about that... I'm thinking something light though. We stopped at the grocery today, and I asked her to pick up some shrimp for me, but she picked up frozen fried popcorn shrimp..LOL. So a shrimp appetizer is out. I have some salmon here, but I dunno what I could do with salmon. I also have some pork I was planning to do terriyaki with... she loves my terriyaki pork, and ideas wth that perhaps? My easy out is a recipe that i saw here a bit ago... pepperoni squares. I kow it's really not fancy or special, but they're small, and she would LOVE them.
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Old 06-03-2005, 11:29 PM   #15
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to make a strawberry or raspberry topping, college cook, just throw the fruit, water and sugar to taste into a pot. bring to a boil and whisk in some cornstarch mixed with water, allow to simmer, and viola! fruit topping!
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Old 06-04-2005, 12:39 AM   #16
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Regarding the pepperoni squares:
if she would love them, make them!
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Old 06-04-2005, 05:40 AM   #17
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I agree with jkath re the pepperoni squares. I hope she appreciates the effort you're putting into this. She is one lucky gal.
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