General Question

dans85's avatar

What is a great recipe to make for a date?

Asked by dans85 (109points) January 1st, 2008

I would like a nice dish that’s comforting in cold weather and tasty. I’d love to have it be somewhat easy to make, but a classic that is proven to be good.

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

10 Answers

MrKnowItAll's avatar

Honeymoon Salad

jrpowell's avatar

I would go with Manicotti or Lasagna and Garlic Bread. Plus those go really well with a Wine. And some sort of salad.

And they are good without meat. You never know, the date might be a vegetarian. But they would probably disclose that to you upon acceptance of a homemade dinner date.

gcross's avatar

I would say a lot depends on how much time you have to prepare it, what your level of skill is, and what your intentions are with this date. Which meal counts, too, like is it breakfast, lunch or dinner? I know, dinner should be obvious, but is it?

If you don’t have a lot of skill in the kitchen, try meals you can throw together quick that don’t require much cooking. A green salad topped with pre-cooked shrimp would be cool and delicious. Present it with a choice of dressings, we use Italian and Thousand Island. I would include butter or romaine lettuce (one head per two people), and your choice of other raw veggies – cucumber, zucchini, carrots, radishes, tomatoes, mushrooms. You might also include or offer sunflower seeds, macadamia nuts, sprouts, green onions, olives, whatever. My husband loves it with avocado. Best if you can arrange all the ingredients on the countertop and let each person assemble the ingredients they prefer. Use some large bowls, larger than you use for cereal, because lettuce is bulky, and serve with a tangy juice drink. Be generous with the shrimp, not stingy. Allow at least eight ounces per person. Alternatively, you can offer the shrimp with a cocktail sauce, lemon and lime (I prefer lime to lemon on my fish), and a side salad, again green and veggie loaded.

In this cold weather, hot soup and sandwiches are equally easy and delicious. Tomato is a favorite, especially seasoned with basil. Don’t forget to crush the basil between your palms before adding to the soup as it is heating up – this helps release the flavor and oils better and makes sure you don’t have overly large green chunkys in the soup. Combine ham, turkey or beef, or all three, with a good quality cheese on nice, dense bread, maybe a 7— or 12-grain bread, or sourdough, then toast the whole sandwich in a little butter in a frying pan. For a cool element, you can include cottage cheese with fruit or just fruit. Serve with hot cider or hot cocoa or cool milk.

If you have a crockpot, hit for a nice crockpot recipe for chicken or beef stew. Prepare it in the morning, set it on low, and then when you and your date arrive at your place in the evening, all you have to do is serve it. It will be falling off the bone tender. If you use potatoes, yukon golds or red potatoes have more flavor than idaho whites, at least IMHO. Or you can opt to serve it over egg noodles. Get a recipe, though, because the proof will be in the seasoning and the amount of water you use – for a first timer wanting to make a good impression you don’t want to make a mistake there.

If the meal is breakfast, or even brunch, do eggs with a meat, maybe omelets, and muffins, not corn meal. Or pancakes or waffles with a side of sausage or cottage cheese and fruit again. Serve with milk and juice, maybe grapefruit blend or apple instead of OJ.

gcross's avatar

My favorite thick and hearty, and easy to make meal, is a casserole I’ve enjoyed for over 30 years. Just meat, gravy and rice, with a side of tomatoes, but it is simple, tasty and filling.

Brown ground beef, sausage or ground turkey in a pan, seasoning with onion powder, garlic powder, paprika, a little chili powder, and freshly ground black pepper. Remember to brown almost completely, then drain, then continue browning before you season. Add a dash of worcestershire sauce and some red cooking wine, if you have it. Then set it aside either in the oven or an electric skillet on simmer, combined with cream of mushroom soup. I use 3–4 cans of soup to 1— or 1–1/2 pounds of meat. Do NOT add water nor milk – you are not making soup, you are making a gravy. You can add a little milk, no more than 1/4 cup, to the mix to thin the soup just a tad and help it mix up more easily. You can enhance it further with quartered or sliced fresh mushrooms, 1/2 to 1 pound, cooked in butter and olive oil, seasoned with garlic powder, onion powder, wine, and a little chili powder. Now prepare a serving of either egg noodles, macaroni noodles, or rice. We prefer rice. Serve with sliced tomatoes and a glass of cool milk.

Making rice is a trial, especially for first timers, but it can also be a trial for people who have practiced for years (like me:). After years of inadequately cooked rice, I finally threw in the towel and went hunting for a “perfect” rice recipe. And, believe it or not, I found one online, written by a cooking school. As follows:

You need a flavorful rice (basmati or jasmine), olive oil, salt (preferably kosher), two measuring spoons (1 teaspoon and 1 tablespoon), a 1/3 cup measuring cup, two large bowls (plastic Ziploc or Glad bowls are great), a glass measuring cup (plastic will fracture over time and eventual shatter when used for hot liquids), purified water heated to boiling, and a large frying pan with a snug lid. Also need a heat resistant spatula and a wooden spoon or spatula, and a baking towel, either cotton or flour. Cheesecloth is not dense enough.

Measure 2/3 cup of uncooked rice per person into the frying pan. This is usually sufficient for two meals, so there is no need to overdo it. Your standard 12–14 inch frying pan can easily cook 1–1/3 cup of dry rice and feed 3–4 people at one serving, depending on appetite.

Spoon two tablespoons plus a dollop of olive oil into one plastic bowl, two teaspoons of salt into the other. Heat the water to boiling (we use a whistling tea kettle). While the water is heating, heat the rice on high or medium high to brown, stir constantly with the wooden spoon/spatula to prevent burning. When the water boils, take it off the heat until the rice is ready. The rice is ready when you can see heat waves curling up from the pan and it smells nutty but not burned. You can take if off sooner, yes, if you are uncertain. Practice will teach you how to determine doneness.

Turn off all burners and pour the rice into the plastic bowl containing the olive oil. Be very careful, as the rice kernels WILL burn you and cause you to shriek and drop the hot and heavy contents all over your kitchen, especially your body. Now measure 1–1/3 cup of the boiled water (per each 2/3 cup of rice you browned) into the plastic bowl containing the salt. Stir the rice in the oil until everything is well coated, then pour back into the frying pan. Pour the salt water into the emptied rice bowl to rinse out all the remaining kernels, then pour CAREFULLY into the frying pan. Pour from the edge and don’t lean over it. You will kick up a huge billow of steam, and steam can burn you. Once the steam has dissipated, you may give the mixture ONE stir to equalize – more stirring will break the starches too much and leave it sticky. Cover tightly and cook it at your lowest setting (not warm) for 15 minutes (you can use the oven timer). When the timer goes off, set the frying pan on the counter, remove the lid, and lay a baking towel over the top to absorb the steam. Let it rest for another 15 minutes. This is important! It is during this resting period that the kernels absorb the liquid and cook fully, so there is no undone crunch. Serve by mounding the rice on a plate, top with the meat & gravy mixture, and let each person pile the tomato slices either on top or on the side, as they prefer.

Total preparation time (for the rice alone) is approximately 35–40 minutes. Serves 3–4. Total prep time for the entire dish is about an hour or so.

suejester's avatar

Oh, it is important to find out if your date has any food allergies

robhaya's avatar

I would recommend Rachel Ray’s Vodka Sauce Pasta Recipe

It’s easy to make and has great flavor, and makes enough for leftovers. Serve it with some Garlic Bread and some wine and your all set.

Good Luck!

suejester's avatar

I absolutly agree with Robhaya’s response. I have cooked this for a date and it was a huge hit.

zina's avatar

i, too, found that recipe delicious!

b's avatar

A great, simple, hearty, yet impressive recipe is potato leek soup.
Ingredients for 2: 1 medium potato, 1 medium leek, 1/2 onion, 1 or 2 cloves garlic, oil, and broth of some sort.
1) chop potatoes, onion, and leek: saute in pot.
2) Add garlic and saute a bit longer.
3) add broth (or bullion and water)
4) simmer until potatoes are soft, blend to get creamy.

Of course, this is not a main dish, but goes with many tasty entrees.

dans85's avatar

i think i’ve decided on the following: white wine to drink, the union square cafe nut mix (roasted cashews with rosemary, butter, cayenne pepper, brown sugar) for initial noshing, then chicken veronique with wheat pilaf and grilled asparagus for the entree. homemade choc chip cookies for dessert! thoughts?

Answer this question




to answer.

This question is in the General Section. Responses must be helpful and on-topic.

Your answer will be saved while you login or join.

Have a question? Ask Fluther!

What do you know more about?
Knowledge Networking @ Fluther