Want to cook a romantic dinner. Ideas?

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by Mark Frank, Jan 6, 2004.

  1. Mark Frank

    Mark Frank Stunt Coordinator

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    I'd like to cook a romantic dinner for my wife next Friday evening.

    I've already made plans for the kids to spend the night somewhere. I am planning to use our good china and silver with a tablecloth, linen napkins, fresh flowers, classical music, champagne, and a fire in the fireplace.

    Where I'm stuck is the actual menu. I'm not a seasoned cook by any stretch of the imagination, so simpler is better. My wife isn't a big chicken or beef fan, so I'm leaning toward salmon or pasta, but I have no clue where to start. I'm planning to take the whole afternoon off so I'll have plenty of time to prepare everything (appetizer, salad, entree, dessert)

    Anyone have any good recipes for romancing the wife?
     
  2. Lew Crippen

    Lew Crippen Executive Producer

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    Unless your wife loves pasta, I’d pass on that and have a go with some type of fish—this because I think that pasta tends to lend itself to a bit more of a casual atmosphere and it sounds as though you are heading for the more formal. There are plenty of pasta recipes that can work however, so if you are really interested, I’ll think of something that would fit the occasion.

    My first suggestion is lobster. This goes perfectly with champagne. If you are ambitious, you can purchase two live lobsters, but otherwise you can get some very satisfactory results with frozen lobster tails. Depending on size, accompanists and budget, buy two to four and just follow the directions on the package, which will pretty much just consist of boiling them.

    The classic sauce is simply melted butter to which you might add a squeeze of lemon.

    A baked potato will go well with the lobster. I would also suggest one or two green vegetables. Green beans or green peas will both provide a taste contrast and a visual one as well. Both are quick and easy to prepare.

    Start with something simple: perhaps a purchased paté and some crackers or some salted nuts such as almonds, cashews or a good mix. Avoid cheese, as it will be too filling and rich—and this is what the lobster and butter will be.

    Serve a simple green salad after the lobster—here again keep it simple and just wisk vinegar and olive oil together, along with some salt and pepper (add a bit of dry mustard if you like) and use this as a dressing.

    Now you will be ready for a cheese course if you desire—nothing too rich—perhaps a semi-hard sheep milk cheese from Spain or a good English Cheddar.

    Now desert (if you don’t care for a cheese course just skip to this course). Here you can do something as simple as a good ice cream or a good purchased desert from a local bakery or good old Sara Lee.

    Next a strong coffee.

    My recommendations would be dry Sherry with nuts (or open the champagne then), champagne with the lobster (and perhaps the first course), a good red wine with the cheese—you could have an after dinner drink with your coffee, but considering the expected outcome, I’d stay away from too much alcohol.

    I’ll think about a menu with salmon. But you will be hard pressed to have an easier one than this.
     
  3. Holadem

    Holadem Lead Actor

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    Would you marry me?

    --
    H
     
  4. Mark Frank

    Mark Frank Stunt Coordinator

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    Lew- Thanks for the great ideas! I really appreciate the time you spent to compose the long post.

    Holadem - Thanks for the compliment! I should add that this romantic dinner is part of my New Year's resolution. We've been married for 10 years, have two kids, and we've gotten too much into the "routine". My resolution is to have a unique surprise date each month of the year - not just going out to dinner and a movie. This is obviously the first one.

    I'll post again afterwards to let everyone know how it goes.
     
  5. MattBu

    MattBu Stunt Coordinator

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    Let me throw an idea into the mix:

    Sushi.

    Sushi grade Tuna and Salmon can be purchased at most grocery stores and they are elegant and a fun thing that you two could make together.

    Assuming that that doesn't work out for you, or sounds complex.

    Try this one on for size:

    Grilled Stripe bass with a mango puree sauce accompanied with garlic mashed potatoes and grilled zucchini.

    Elegant, yet the tastes are not so exotic that anyone that likes fish wouldn't want to enjoy it. Bass is a nice white fish because it's not as fishy as the other fish of it's famlily such as trout which can tend to be strong tasting.

    If Stripe Bass isn't available in your area, or at least not readily available, what about grilled pork tenderloin with an orange reduction sauce served with black beans and rice, and accompanied with a field greens salad? Those will be available at any local super market and pork tenderloin blackened on the outside and served slightly pink presents gorgeously and the orange reduction really plays well with the grilled flavor.

    Let us know how it goes!
     
  6. Lew Crippen

    Lew Crippen Executive Producer

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    So Mark how did your wife enjoy the treat? Here's hoping that it all went well.
     
  7. Mark Frank

    Mark Frank Stunt Coordinator

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    The big night has come and gone. I hit a grand slam!

    I took Friday off work (without the wife's knowledge) and spent the day cleaning the house and preparing everything. I called her during the day to inform her that she had a surprise date that evening to heighten her anticipation. Our daughter had her first gymnastics lesson at 6:00 PM and my wife wanted to go watch, so I told her to be home at 5:45 PM, but that she couldn't come into the house. I took our daughter out to her at 5:45 PM and off they went. I knew that they would be returning home right about 6:40 PM.

    My wife arrived home with our daughter at 6:40 PM. All the lights were off in the house. I had candles lit throughout the first floor, a fire in the fireplace, and nice music on. As she walked in the door, I explained that her surprise date was a homemade gourmet romantic dinner. I had a hot bubble bath waiting for her upstairs, with more candles and music. I told her to take a nice relaxing bath while I ran the kids to the sitter's. I got back about 25 minutes later and told her that dinner would be served in about 15 minutes.

    At the dinner table, I used our best china, crystal, and silverware. I had a nice tablecloth over the table with more candles and fresh roses. I had linen napkins folded in a fan pattern that I found on the Internet. Here’s the actual menu I ended up using:

    Almost Instant Fondue
    I used Brie cheese and fancy table crackers served on china

    Splendid Spinach Raspberry Salad
    I was planning to make my own dressing like the recipe shows, but ended up buying T. Marzetti’s Raspberry Vinaigrette instead due to time constraints. I used almond slices as the nuts. I’ll also say that this salad was VERY easy to make and VERY tasty. I’ll definitely make this one again.

    Grilled Marinated Salmon Filets
    (from the Betty Crocker cookbook)

    Asparagus with lemon

    Baked Potato with real butter and sour cream

    Fresh-baked bread (mini loaf) from the bakery on a cutting board

    Chocolate-Covered Strawberries
    This was another one that was incredibly easy and went over big. The last time we had chocolate-covered strawberries was at our wedding

    Beverages were a nice bottle of champagne and white wine. I let her choose and we went with the champagne.

    I also made fresh gourmet coffee with the dessert.

    After dinner, I had a few movies picked out that I knew she wanted to see. I let her choose between Chicago and Bruce Almighty. We ended up watching and enjoying both of them in front of the fire. It was so nice to spend the entire evening at home without worrying about putting the kids to bed, etc. We retired to the bedroom at about 1:00 AM, but that’s where my commentary will conclude! [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]


    Thanks again for the ideas! I decided not to go with the lobster because my wife doesn't care for lobster, crabs, shrimp and the like. I think I'll start another post of unique date ideas since I have 11 more ideas to come up with.
     
  8. Rob Lutter

    Rob Lutter Producer

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    So, I assume you went straight to bed? Aww, how boring! [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  9. Tony Whalen

    Tony Whalen Producer

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    Mark, what the hell are you trying to do to us all? For the love of god man, it's a good thing most of our wives don't read HTF! Don't go giving 'em ideas like this!

    [​IMG]

    Just joshin' with ya. Sounds like a fabulous evening! Bravo! [​IMG]
     

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