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Old 07-31-2005, 06:41 PM   #1
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Romantic Dinner Suggestions?

Hello everyone. I have a double date lined up for tomorrow, and I will be the one cooking dinner. I know I would like to do a Italian Chicken dish of some sort. I was thinking Chicken Parmesana, but that is pretty "common" I guess you could say. I have never tried a Baked Ziti, but I just saw one on TV and it looked awesome. But all the recipies I have found call for Ground Beef. Could I just substitute some Chicken breast instead? Or ANY other meal suggestions are more then welcome, thank you.

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Old 07-31-2005, 06:54 PM   #2
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Welcome to the site Tusin. We are so glad you found us. Here are a couple of recipe suggestions that never fail. The first one sounds more like something you are looking for since it has chicken. It is one of those recipes that people ask me for over and over again. The second recipe does not have any chicken in it, but I see no reason you could not cook up some chicken breasts and searve that with it as well. Please come back and let us know how the date and meal went

CBZ (Chicken Broccoli Ziti)

1 pound dry ziti pasta
2 tablespoons butter
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 pint heavy cream
1 (10.75 ounce) can chicken broth
1 cube chicken bouillon
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
salt and pepper to taste
3 tablespoons cornstarch
2 large heads broccoli, steamed
6 skinless, boneless chicken breasts - breaded and fried


1 In a large pot of salted boiling water, place pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes, until pasta is al dente. Drain.

2 In a large skillet, saute garlic in butter over medium heat. Stir in the heavy cream, chicken broth and bouillon. Add parmesan cheese, salt and pepper. Add cornstarch (adjust amount to thicken sauce to your liking). Simmer all together for about 20 minutes.

3 Once sauce is cooked and thickens, add broccoli, stir all together and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes. Once sauce is done, put cooked ziti pasta in a large bowl, pour sauce over pasta and toss to coat and mix. Then add the chicken pieces and mix all together.



PENNE ALA VODKA
(This one is even better the next day so if you want you can make the sauce tonight and then the pasta tomorrow for the date)

One 35-ounce can Italian plum tomatoes (preferably San Marzano) with their liquid
1 pound penne
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
10 cloves garlic, peeled
Crushed hot red pepper
1/4 cup vodka
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons unsalted butter or olive oil for finishing the sauce, if you like
2 to 3 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley
3/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, plus more for passing if you like

Bring 6 quarts of salted water to a boil in an 8-quart pot over high heat.

Pour the tomatoes and their liquid into the work bowl of a food processor. Using quick on/off pulses, process the tomatoes just until they are finely chopped. (Longer processing will aerate the tomatoes, turning them pink.)

Stir the penne into the boiling water. Bring the water back to a boil, stirring frequently. Cook the pasta, semi-covered, stirring occasionally, until done, 8 to 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Whack the garlic cloves with the side of a knife and add them to the hot oil. Cook, shaking the skillet, until the garlic is lightly browned, about 3 minutes. Lower the work bowl with the tomatoes close to the skillet and carefully - they will splatter - slide the tomatoes into the pan. Bring to a boil, season lightly with salt and generously with crushed red pepper, and boil 2 minutes. Pour in the vodka, lower the heat so the sauce is at a lively simmer, and simmer until the pasta is ready.

Just before the pasta is done, fish the garlic cloves out of the sauce and pour in the cream. Add the 2 tablespoons butter or oil, if using, and swirl the skillet to incorporate into the sauce. If the skillet is large enough to accommodate the sauce and pasta, fish the pasta out of the boiling water with a large wire skimmer and drop it directly into the sauce in the skillet. If not, drain the pasta, return it to the pot, and pour in the sauce. Bring the sauce and pasta to a boil, stirring to coat the pasta with sauce. Check the seasoning, adding salt and red pepper if necessary. Sprinkle the parsley over the pasta and boil until the sauce is reduced enough to cling to the pasta.

Remove the pot from the heat, sprinkle 3/4 cup of the cheese over the pasta, and toss to mix. Serve immediately, passing additional cheese if you like.


Makes 6 servings.
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Old 07-31-2005, 07:25 PM   #3
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Somehow, I posted to this question and lost it. I must have hit the wrong button. But anyway, I recomend that you check this post several more times as we have a host of great and talented people around here.

Here's my suggestion. It's both adventurous, while at the same time it's casual/tastefull.

Main Dish - Herbed and Stuffed Pork Roast
Sides - Steamed Zuchinni with Dill
Bruschetta
Fontina or Gruyere Cheese slices
Fresh Strawberries
Desert - Italian Ice

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Heat 2 tbs. cooking oil in a heavy skillet. Slit a pork tenderloin or semi-bonless blade roast from end-to-end, leaving 1 inch of meat unslit on either end. Make the slit depth 1/2 way through the roast.

Salt and brown the meat on all sides. Remove and place in a foil-lined covered roasting pan. Fill the slit with tomato slices and a mixture of rosemarry sprigs, thyme leaves, and fresh basil. Cover and rosat for thirty minutes. Check every fifteen minutes after that until the meat reaches 150 degrees. Remove from the oven and let rest ten minutes.

While the roast is cooking, wash, slice and steam 4 zuchinni. Place in a steamer for seven minutes and test a slice. It should be cooked, but slighty crunchy to the bite. REmove from the heat and into a bowl. Melt 3 tbs. butter and add 1/4 tsp. dill weed. Drizzle over the zuchinni.

For the cheese, just slice, arrange artistically on a platter around the pile of hulled strawberries and serve at room temperature.

Bruschetta - Slice 1 baguette or Italian loaf lengthwise. Using a pastry brush, spread the bread liberally with extra-virgin olive oil (I like Carapelli brand, but use what you like). Toast over flame, or under the broiler until the edges just start to turn dark brown. Rub with freshly peeled garlic.

Purchase your favorite flavor of Italian Ice, or if unavailable, substitute a good fruit sorbet.

I like milk with all of my meals and really can't suggest an alcoholic beverage as I don't and won't use them.

Use any of the above, or the recipe from GB. He's a talented guy in the kitchen. And I'm sure there will be a host of others who offer suggestions as well.

Seeeeeya; Goodweed of the North
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Old 07-31-2005, 07:25 PM   #4
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Thank you so much!!!! The second one looks very intersting to me.I will deffinitly let you know how it goes.
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Old 07-31-2005, 09:57 PM   #5
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Do a Chicken Marsala or Saltimbocca if you and your date are leaning towards chicken, or if you're not quite sure of what kinds of foods she likes. Most people will eat chicken but the Marsala will appeal to more universal tastes.

If you both like seafood, then look for a quick and easy Cioppino or Caciucco served with garlic rubbed crostini.
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Old 08-01-2005, 10:01 AM   #6
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GB! I'm hungry after reading your recipes!
(copy/paste/print...)
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Old 08-03-2005, 12:34 PM   #7
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Ok, Tussin. You said you'd let us know how the dinner turned out. We want a full report, including what your guests thought of it, but most importantly, what you made, how you made it, and what you thought of it.

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Old 08-05-2005, 04:23 PM   #8
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MMMM GB, we'll be trying out your penne ala vodka this week. . . sounds sooooo good!!!!
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Old 08-08-2005, 05:27 PM   #9
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Thats quite a lot of garlic for a date...you don't want her wishing she had a toothbrush when the date is over!
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Old 08-08-2005, 05:28 PM   #10
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yeah but if she eats the garlic as well it shouldn't bother her much lol
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