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nayeight's avatar

What are some delicious dishes that I can cook for someone to impress them?

Asked by nayeight (3347points) July 10th, 2009 from iPhone

I want to cook something for a guy I like but I’m not sure what to choose. I’m an okay cook, as long as I have some sort of recipe or directions for what I’m making. I usually don’t get in the mood to cook unless I hear of or see something that sounds ridiculously good that motivates me to cook. I just want to impress him with something tasty and different . Is there anything that you’ve ever cooked for your SO that really impressed them?

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31 Answers

EmpressPixie's avatar

My boyfriend regularly makes roasted chicken, mashed potatoes with root vegetables, and some sort of green veggie. This is the most amazing meal ever. It’s pretty simply sounding, but it tastes out of this world. I will direct him to this question—I know he uses Cook’s Illustrated recipes for the chicken and potatoes.

I also make some delicious and easy brownies with this recipe:

CMaz's avatar

Spice up some ground beef, or ground chicked. Scoop out the inside of a tomato.
Stuff with meat. Bake and top with cheese. Plate on a fancy disk.

There you go.

marinelife's avatar

One favorite of men is Lasagna. While it is a lot of ingredients and some time, it is not too hard to make. Here is a pretty traditional recipe.

Serve it with a salad and a loaf of artisan bread with olive oil and rosemary.

Qingu's avatar

Boil whole chicken for 2 hours.

Microwave 1.5 pounds potatoes with .5 pounds parsnips, mash.

Dump balsamic vinegar over asparagus.

Serve, garnished with lemon wedges.

calvinette's avatar

As a starter, you could do something beautiful, delicious, requires no cooking and in season: caprese salad

Slice up a ripe tomato
Slice up fresh mozzarella
Tear up some fresh basil

Stack pieces together in that order, or arrange neatly around a pretty plate. Drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil, salt and pepper. AWESOME.

Saturated_Brain's avatar

Did somebody mention lasagna? I’m starting to drool…

brettvdb's avatar

My fave is a delicious butternut squash risotto. The flavor is to die for and it looks stunning on a plate.

Dice up a few cloves of garlic and some shallots and fry in large deep frying pan for one minute. Add 1 cup of arborio rice and fry until translucent (about one minute). Add one or two glasses of white wine and cook off the alcohol (will start to smell amazing). Meanwhile cut up some squash into small cubes, and cover with pancetta and sage – bake in the oven until golden brown. Back to the frying pan – add ladles of warm chicken broth and allow to absorb into the rice each time before adding more. Toast some walnuts in a dry pan. Continue adding broth until the rice is plump, smooth, and creamy – it should be slightly al dente in the center. Now, mash up half the squash and mix it into the rice, add the remaining chunks in as well for texture, as well as some fresh thyme. Put a big fat dollop of risotto in the center of the plate, with a piece of pancetta on top. Garnish with walnuts and some fresh thyme.

That’s a winner right there, trust me…

EDIT: I forgot the most crucial ingredient. Right before you serve it, add a huge handful of grated fresh parmegiano. Mix it in a bit and blam!

nayeight's avatar

@SaturatedBrain I know, these ideas are making me hungry!

marinelife's avatar

@brettvdb Food orgasm! I am trying that recipe very soon!

nayeight's avatar

Butternut squash risotto sounds amazing! I also really want to try ChazMaz’s stuffed tomatoes. Yum!

nayeight's avatar

I think his fsvorite types of food are Mexican, Italian, & soul food.

StephK's avatar

There are plenty of good recipes being suggested, but may I remind you: Setting is half the battle. Get out the nice dishes.

marinelife's avatar

@StephK Excellent reminder. Time with the tablecloth, flowers, candles, place settings screams special meal.

whatthefluther's avatar

One of my favorites, that @sccrowell does very well, and presents beautifully, is rack of lamb, mashed potatoes and asparagus. Start with a salad, serve the meal with a nice wine and finish with a freshly baked pie. We had it last week and I hope to see the same again real soon. It is impressive and delicious! But whatever you decide to make, go with fresh produce rather than canned or frozen and bake your guy something for dessert. That will be the finale to your meal, will leave a lasting impression on your guy and, as you probably already know, we are suckers for home baked pies and the like! Good luck…

RareDenver's avatar

I’m always happy when my wife makes me Toad in The Hole although we have it with vegetarian sausages as she is a vegetarian.

ubersiren's avatar

I make a pretty easy yummy pasta thing that I invented which has no name. It’s pretty easy… you can’t really screw it up. And you can personalize it with whatever veggies, protein, spices you like. It makes a HUGE amount, so you can freeze some. And it’s relatively good for you. The hardest part is all the chopping. But it looks pretty.

oil of choice (butter, olive, canola, etc. )
1 tsp. flour
1 med onion (Vidalia is yummy and sweet, red are pretty, yellow are strong)
2–4 garlic cloves, crushed or coarsely chopped
1 pkg sliced mushrooms
1 pkg fresh spinach
1 bunch of asparagus, cut into bite size pieces
1 zucchini, cut into bite size pieces
1 yellow squash, cut into bite size pieces
1 lbs shrimp or chicken, cut into bit size pieces
1 pkg penne pasta
1 can crushed tomatoes (Big can- I want to say 20 oz or so?)
1 can coconut milk
¼ c. grated parmesan cheese (more or less)

1. Saute in some oil, the onion, garlic, squash, zucchini, mushrooms, asparagus and chicken, if that’s what you pick. If you pick shrimp, we’ll add that later.

2. Add the 1 tsp flour to the veggies and oil. It should dissolve fairly easily, but if its not being absorbed, throw in another dash of oil.

3. While it’s sauteing, boil your penne pasta.

4. When your veggies are done, this is when you want to add the spinach and shrimp. This is also a good time to add your spices. S&P basil and oregano I’d say are the important ones, but you can add something else you like.

5. When the spinach and shrimp are finished cooking (shrimp should be pink and spinach should be done, but still holding its fresh green color), add as much of the crushed tomatoes as you like, depending on how much sauce you want your pasta to swim in. Then add anywhere from ½ to a whole can of the coconut milk depending on how creamy you want the sauce. I use coconut milk because it thickens nicely and is really quite tasty! You can use regular milk or even heavy cream, but you may need to use more flour to thicken the sauce, then.

6. Mix in the parmesan cheese, make sure it’s all well heated, and serve over the penne.

EveryonesMom's avatar

Remember, your hospitality is as important as your menu. Good hosts think first of how to make their guests feel comfortable and not self-conscious. Choices depend on how well you know this guy you’re trying to impress. If its a relatively new relationship, I’d avoid chicken with bones or shellfish with shells – too much wrestling with the food to eat comfortably and much potential for embarassment. On the other hand, if you know each other well, then crablegs can be fun and even quite sensual. I’d also encourage you to choose something that doesn’t keep you in the kitchen too much once he’s there, taking your attention away from him. Have fun!

sakura's avatar

This is a dessert recipie my mates did for us when we went round for a meal it is delicious xx
Serves 8

800ml whipping cream
125g caster sugar
5 oranges; zest of 3, juice of 5

100g caster sugar
3tbsp water

1. Place the orange juice in a pan and boil to reduce by half
2. Add the zest, cream and caster sugar and gently heat until the sugar has dissolved.
3. Bring to the boil and boil for 3 minutes.
4. Leave to cool slightly then pour in to 8 glasses or ramekins and refrigerate for 2 hours
5. Very lightly grease a baking sheet.
6. To make the caramel, place the sugar and water in a pan. Gently heat until the sugar has dissolved.
7. Bring to the boil and heat until the mixture starts to turn brown. Carefully tilt the pan to ensure even cooking, but do not stir.
8. Continue cooking until a mid brown colour is achieved (too light and the caramel will be too sweet, too dark and it will be too bitter).
9. Pour immediately onto the baking sheet and tilt to move the caramel. Do not use a knife to spread it.
10. Allow it to cool completely before lightly tapping with a round ended knife to shatter into large jagged pieces.
11. Stick attractively into the top of the orange creams before serving

Enjoy!! Yummy yummy!

marinelife's avatar

@whatthefluther I’ll eat with you guys on rack of lamb night. That is a favorite entertaining meal for me.

brettvdb's avatar

Rack of lamb is ALWAYS welcomed by me. Personally I prefer a nice braised lamb shank to a rack of lamb though.

First I take the lamb shanks and coat them in flour, then quick fry them on all sides just to seal them. The I dice up carrots, celery, onion, tomatoes, and mushrooms, and put them into a crock pot. Put the lamb shanks on top and add red wine, beef stock, bay leaves, rosemary, thyme, and a bit of freshly ground black pepper. Cook those babies for 8 hours while im at work, and come home to the best smelling, most insanely delicious meal on this planet. Good luck getting those shanks out of the pot without the meat falling off the bone.

marinelife's avatar

@brettvdb Yum, lamb shanks. Falling apart tender. I always save the juice (skimming off the fat). It makes the best addition to soups. I have to make them on nights when I am alone since my husband is at best indifferent to them. I would eat at your house too.

All: one caveat on lamb. If you decide to serve that for entertaining, check with your guests first. Lamb is a love it or hate it thing. People who hate it don’t even like the smell.

brettvdb's avatar

Haha yeah usually I reduce the braising liquid into a syrup and drizzle it all over the lamb and potatoes.

This is the type of meal where your guests are literally scraping their bare plates with their forks after they’re finished, just in case there’s any flavor left.

jamielynn2328's avatar

I cooked stuffed chicken for my mom and stepdad once. It was a running joke that I couldn’t cook, they came over and Loved it. It was so easy, you just pound out the chicken, stuff it with whatever you want. I used zucchini, spinach and a mild cheese. But you could put anything in it. Ham and provolone would be great. Or sauteed mushrooms with greens. I personally love anything that tastes like buffalo sauce, so I would suggest cutting up celery, tossing it in buffalo sauce and adding some blue cheese. Yummy!!

All you have to do is bake it with a bit of water and butter and it is delicious. Sorry I don’t cook with recipes, I tend to just wing it.

brettvdb's avatar

My classic stuffing for chicken is spinach, oyster mushrooms, fresh parsley and asiago. Yummy.

EmpressPixie's avatar

@Qingu: You should be absolutely ashamed of yourself. If you don’t share your totally taken from CI anyway recipes, I will.

EmpressPixie's avatar

Okay, for the asparagus, but some butter in a pan (sticky is best, nonstick won’t get it browned nicely) and melt over medium to high heat. Add asparagus (after washing and snapping the end of the stalks off to ensure freshness) and cook on medium-high heat until browning on bottom. Then flip and do again. It will only take about 5 min on each side at most. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar and shake to ensure coating. Let the vinegar cook down for about a minute then serve.

brettvdb's avatar

You can also do the exact same thing as above but wrap the asparagus in prosciutto instead and fry it in the butter. No need for the balsamic if you do it this way though.

Qingu's avatar

Fine. Mix salt, pepper, and a bit of baking powder. Cut holes in back of chicken, use holes to maneuver a wooden spoon handle underneath skin to loosen from meat of chicken. Similarly loosen skin on breast side. Poke 15–20 holes in the fat deposits along side of chicken. Sprinkle all over with salt-pepper-baking-powder mixture, press into skin. Refrigerate on wire rack overnight. Heat oven to 450 degrees, bottom rack. Put chicken on wire rack set in a foil-lined roasting pan or large ovenproof skillet and bake about an hour until done, increasing heat to 500 to crisp skin even more. Remove chicken, let rest, drain fat from skillet, reserving drippings and fat separetely. Add drippings back to the skillet with some shallet and saute until softened. Add vermouth and chicken broth to deglaze, reduce, add mustard, chopped herbs, and two tablespoons cold butter; whisk in off heat. Alternatively you can make a bit of roux with the chicken fat and some flour after sauteing shallet. Meanwhile cut up chicken, removing breasts from the bone and slicing crosswise on the bias, preserving the crispy skin.

Quarter 1.5 lbs peeled yukon gold potatoes lengthwise and cut crosswise into thin pieces. Cut .5 lbs parsnips into small pieces, removing woody stem if present. Melt 4 tablespoons butter in saucepan and add parsnips, saute over medium heat until parsnips are carmelized, 10–12 minutes. Meanwhile, rinse potatoes in strainer well until exterior starch is removed, dry. Add potatoes to browned parsnips, along with ⅓ cup chicken stock and salt. Cover, reduce heat, stirring occasionally, until potatoes break apart when poked, about 25 minutes or more. Mash gently with potato masher until combined, then fold in ⅔ cup warm half and half and 3 tablespoons minced chives.

Microwave asparagus until pliant. Tie each asparagus in a bow and season with truffle oil and parmegiano reggiano. Using torch, brown exterior of each asparagus on one side only, careful not to overcook or burn the cheese. Meanwhile, combine 2 cups veal stock and 1½ cups burgundy wine. Reduce with 11 parsley sprigs, 4 tarragon sprigs, and 1 cup dried morel mushrooms, until thick and syrupy, about ½ cup. Strain, pressing on solids, and pour over asparagus bows. Drizzle with additional truffle oil and serve, arranging over parsnip-mashed potatoes shaped to look like shoes.

christine215's avatar

@Qingu, I’m curious… why the baking powder in the salt, pepper mixture?

RachelZ's avatar

I have a beautiful healthy side dish :)
Cut up strawberries, bananas, and put in grapes!
Then mix in Lemon YOGURT, with fresh lime juice squeezed in!
Take the lime and slice it and place it as a garnish!
Its light creamy and summery :)

nayeight's avatar

So I took ChazMaz’s idea of stuffed tomatoes and made stuffed bell peppers, DELICIOUS! I browned ground turkey, seasoned it, added onions, corn, cooked rice and then tomato sauce. Then I filled up different colored bell peppers with the mixture. I topped them with pepperjack cheese and popped them in the oven. They came out super spicey and soooo good! I’m going to try a few more recipes but I’m glad that I tried that one, it was amazing!

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