Romantic meal?

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Zathorious

Assistant Cook
Joined
Mar 28, 2011
Messages
13
Hi all,

I'm 18, which means i'm relatively new to the kitchen (I know some of you, by this time have been in the kitchen for years).

I have hosted two dinner parties, both of which I am happy to say were successes.

So why am I posting?

It's rather simple.

I'm having a girl to stay and I don't know what to cook. I could have looked up "romantic meals" on google. However google's results wouldn't have taken the key factors into account.

She gets off at eight, so i'm going to need something ready for when we walk in the door.

I'm not a rich man i'm afraid so I need something relatively easy on the wallet.

I'm new to the kitchen, I need something that I can't screw up easily!

Suggestions?

I'll have free time on my hands so if anyone can also recommend an easy dessert, that'd be just peachy!

Thanks,
Z:chef:
 

Andy M.

Certified Pretend Chef
Joined
Sep 1, 2004
Messages
49,793
Location
Massachusetts
What you cook is less important than the ambiance, as roadfix said. Candles, mood lighting, appropriate music a nicely dressed person (that would be you) greeting her at the door with a flower.

That said, we're all strangers here and don't have clue what this woman likes to eat that you can cook. So don't ask us, ask her.
 

roadfix

Chef Extraordinaire
Joined
Jul 14, 2008
Messages
13,710
Location
Park Drive Bar/Grill Los Angeles
Also, since you're preparing the meal it's best to find out if she's allergic to anything. Also assume she's lactose intolerant and prepare your meals accordingly. You don't want any surprises and ruin a romantic evening from her food discomfort....:D
 

Selkie

Executive Chef
Joined
Aug 20, 2009
Messages
3,794
Location
Arkansas
As some of the others have said, presentation is everything. Anything you fix can appear to be "special" if you present it properly, even something as mundane as macaroni & cheese. Making HER feel special, she'll hardly notice what it is you're serving.

Some things to avoid:

No scented candles or strong cologne. The odor will not help the food and/or wine taste good! Eating is a function of smell as much as it is taste.

Put a doily or small decoratively cut waxed paper or parchment under any lit candles on the table. They will save your finish when the wax drips low. Regular paper will soak through.

Be attentive, but don't let her help. Not even clearing the dishes! Make it known that she is your special guest and is to be served, at least for that evening.

Leave cleanup for the next morning. Don't spoil the mood with messing around in the kitchen.

Good Luck! ;)
 

Zathorious

Assistant Cook
Joined
Mar 28, 2011
Messages
13
Sound advice indeed, however i'm one step ahead of you ;)

I already have the music picked out, it's an odd and complicated situation, I really just need to make something which is subtly romantic.

I'm excited for it big time.

Mac and cheese and pizza is too easy.

Here's the first turkey I cooked for thanksgiving.

img_984289_0_005af1bc35b2bf09cbd625f10e86dda5.jpg


I can't set up a nice table and what not, the whole thing is casual and laid back. She doesn't want me to 'go to any trouble' (yes women say one thing and mean the other I know) and I know that if I do it'll make her uncomfortable, so that is why I need to be subtle.

For dessert i'm thinking something with figs. Perhaps some high quality figs by themselves?

Romantic and easy, and something I can leave because I have to pick her up.

Idea's?
 

buckytom

Chef Extraordinaire
Joined
Aug 19, 2004
Messages
21,933
Location
My mountain
welcome zathorious.

ok, i'll start with the dessert since you'vge tipped your hand with the figs.

if you can get fresh figs (they're really a summer thing) stuff them with moscarpone cheese, top with crushed pistacios (or nut of your choice), and combine honey balsamic vinegar, and orange zest - bring to a boil and reduce until thickened, then drizzle over the stuffed figs.

if you can only get dried figs, combine dry red wine, sugar, and balsamic vinegar, then simmer the figs in the mixture until they absorb some of it - plumping up a bit, and the remaining liquid is reduced into a sauce. plate the figs, top with a dollop of vanilla ice cream and drizzle with the sauce.

:chef:

oh wait, i just noticed you're 18. i'm not sure where you're from but you might not be able to do the red wine one.

now, as far as dinner goes, do you want to be able to have something ready when you walk in the door, or can you make a quick meal in say - less than 30 minutes?

if it's the latter, how do you guys like italian seafood?
 

spork

Head Chef
Joined
May 27, 2009
Messages
1,135
Location
Landlocked in Southwest U.S.
ditto above.

If you care, your cooking will show it and I wouldn't worry.

"peachy." That's a good idea. Oven broil halves with brown sugar and a pad of butter. Chill in frig. Serve tableside spooned with cream.
 
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Zathorious

Assistant Cook
Joined
Mar 28, 2011
Messages
13
Now we're talking haha.

Italian seafood sounds good, what do you have in mind?

Our relationship isn't exactly conventional, we're not talking to each other till the day of hahaha, madness I know.

I want her to remember this night for a long time and it's going to start with the meal.

I'm all ears to this Italian seafood, but I don't want anything too too heavy on the breath or gut ;)

I may have found my dessert
BBC - Food - Recipes : Raymond Blanc's basic chocolate mousse

Thanks guys.
 
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buckytom

Chef Extraordinaire
Joined
Aug 19, 2004
Messages
21,933
Location
My mountain
whooooaaaa there, tiger.

you'll "have a night to remember" if you act gracefully, not too eager in any way. trust me. :cool: lol.

the italian seafood dinner i was talking about is seafood marinara with angel hair pasta, aka capellini. yeah, you can make this with a ton o' garlic, or with none, but imo it needs some. and if both of you are eating it, that cancels out the bad breath factor to a degree. just be sure to cook the garlic a bit so it's not stinky.

this dish can mostly be prepped before hand, so when you get home all you have is a few minutes to cook.

before you go to pick her up, make a quick marinara sauce by frying a half of a minced sweet onion and several minced garlic cloves in evoo, add some minced anchovy and stir until it melts in , and dump in a large can of crushed tomatoes into a deep saute pan.

splurge on a good can of san marzano tomatoes as it makes or breaks the dish.. cento brand in my favourite at about $3 per can.

stir in a pinch or two of dried oregano, then simmer the sauce on low for about a half hour or so, stirring frequently until it thickens up. when it's thick, cover and set aside.

also before you go, peel and devein a half pound of jumbo shrimp, and scrub/rinse a dozen little neck clams. cover the shrimp and clams and put them into the fridge with a dozen large (or a half pound of bay) scallops.

for the rest of the stuff you'll need in place to cook later, also known as "mise en place", rinse and tear up a big handful of fresh basil leaves, and chop up a smaller amount of fresh parsley. (parsley acts to help kill bad breath, btw). also, have a small can of tomato paste ready if you should need it later.

when you get home, all you'll need to do is make the pasta and finish cooking the shellfish in the sauce.

after you've gotten her comfortable, start a pot of salted water right away for the capellini, which cooks the fastest of all pastas and doesn't feel "heavy". when the water is boiling, add the capellini and set a timer for 5 minutes. you also don't want to overcook the pasta so it's mushy.

while the water is starting to heat up, get the sauce simmering again, then toss in all of the shellfish and most of the torn basil and chopped parsley, reserving some for the end. stir to incorporate the sauce and shellfish.

cover tightly and let it simmer for about 4 or 5 minutes. peek to see when the clams have opened and the shrimp and scallops are opaque throughout, stirring again. it shouldn't take very long, in fact, the longer you cook it, the tougher and less flavourful it'll get.

the shellfish will add some liquid to the sauce as it cooks so you might need to cook this uncovered depending on how thick you got the sauce to start. if it's way too thin, stir in a heaping tbsp of the tomato paste and leave it uncovered to help it thicken back up.

if you've timed this right, the shellfish and the pasta will be ready at the same time. lots of double entendre there, lol.

drain and plate the pasta, and ladel the shellfish and sauce into the middle. sprinkle with the reserved basil and parsley.

serve with bread and a dipping bowl of evoo, salt, and freshly cracked pepper. it looks more sophisticated than butter. but only use good evoo.

hth, and good luck.
 
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Zathorious

Assistant Cook
Joined
Mar 28, 2011
Messages
13
evoo?

This reminds me of a mediterrean stew I did but that was a summer dish.

I'll think about it, I think it's a good idea but i'm open to hear others.

Whoa whoa whoa! FAMILY!?! I just wanted a good meal! ;)

The music I have covered, don't worry none of that new BS that people my age call music.

Thanks guys!
 

buckytom

Chef Extraordinaire
Joined
Aug 19, 2004
Messages
21,933
Location
My mountain
oh, sorry. evoo = extra virgin olive oil.

buy a small bottle of the best you can find. it won't go to waste.
 

Bolas De Fraile

Executive Chef
Joined
Oct 28, 2010
Messages
3,191
Zathorious, fresh cut flowers on the table, leave a few "sensitive" books on show, within the first 30 mins get someone to call you on the phone and pretend to be your Mum, tell your fake mum how much you miss her and your puppy "Bolas".
Never do a romantic dinner for the first time, she will have her guard up.
The lunch, don't be a cheap skate, fry cubes of pancetta drain and save, fry in the left over oil cubes of cooked lobster (you could use shrimp) lightly, drain and save, fry pieces of chicken liver (I used foie gras) drain and save. Mix the them all into a well dressed salad, don't serve wine your intent would be obvious.
Pudding has to be a dark chocolate mousse with the clincher a glass of Sautern or Tokay.
Pick your romantic background music well, may I suggest Sex Bomb by Tom Jones on a continuous loop.:mrgreen:
 

blissful

Master Chef
Joined
Mar 25, 2008
Messages
5,037
Zathorious, fresh cut flowers on the table, leave a few "sensitive" books on show, within the first 30 mins get someone to call you on the phone and pretend to be your Mum, tell your fake mum how much you miss her and your puppy "Bolas".
Pick your romantic background music well, may I suggest Sex Bomb by Tom Jones on a continuous loop.:mrgreen:

Sensitive books!!!! Really!!! Do you want her to think he is some wimp?

Like what book? "How To Do Her In 40 ways", "She Hurt my Feelings", "How to Understand Women", "From Door To Bed In 20 Minutes".

Fake MUM!!
Miss your puppy!!
Sex Bomb by Tom Jones???!!!
This is by far the WORST BAD advice I've ever seen, BAD and incredibly FUNNY. :LOL::LOL::LOL: thanks for the laughs!
Bolas, we need to keep you around for advice.
 
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