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Dinner for a Gentleman Caller?

TracyK's picture

OK... I have offered to make dinner for a gentleman caller (hee!) tomorrow night and would love to get some suggestions. I don't want to go overboard on the preparation, as it is a weeknight and I have to work tomorrow, but would like to make something that will be delicious and somewhat impressive, as it's always good to knock someone's socks off the first time you cook for them!


Also, my cooking ability has been talked up by friends, so expectations are a bit high.


He has said that the only things he doesn't like are beets and steamed cabbage (no worries there, I don't care for beets either and have never made steamed cabbage). He is particularly fond of mushrooms, and seafood.


Rather than attempt something totally new (usually a bad idea) I am thinking of going with either a chicken marsala-type main dish (brings in the mushrooms) or the shrimp/scallop gratins (they turn out well for me, if not anyone else, LOL).


Sides could include roasted mushrooms, green beans with almonds, or some sort of salad... and of course good bread with olive oil for dipping. Any other brilliant suggestions? And what should I do about dessert? I could conceivably make something cake-ish tonight so as to avoid kitchen overcrowding...


All suggestions are welcome! TIA!



"Noncooks think it's silly to invest two hours' work in two minutes' enjoyment; but if cooking is evanescent, so is the ballet."


Julia Child

shoechick's picture

(post #57239, reply #1 of 211)

Well, first off.... Congratulations!


Secondly, why not aim for a dessert you can make ahead and finish at the last minute, such as a creme brulee, or a chocolate pate.... hmmmm chocolate, isn't that the food of love.... KIDDING!!!!  whatever you do have fun.


Born Free....Now I'm Expensive

The World is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.  ~St. Augustine

Li's picture

(post #57239, reply #2 of 211)

You devil.

I have a recipe for Warm Soft Chocolate Cake (like a molten chocolate cake) that can be whipped up ahead and baked (6 to 7 minutes) while you're making the post-dinner coffee or cocktail. I think I got the recipe from this board very early on, but I don't have any idea who posted it.

Central Scrutinizer; Cooks Talk moderator

Only connect.

TracyK's picture

(post #57239, reply #3 of 211)

Warm Soft Chocolate Cake? Bring it on.


I personally ADORE creme brulee but am not sure if it's his style... he's a big, tall, beer-drinking, soccer-playing, professional violist, so he is just a mass of contradictions.


Awfully darn cute though. :-)



"Noncooks think it's silly to invest two hours' work in two minutes' enjoyment; but if cooking is evanescent, so is the ballet."


Julia Child

shoechick's picture

(post #57239, reply #4 of 211)

Yep, I'd go with the warm chocolate cake too.  I thought about the Creme Brulee not being very manly after I'd posted it.

Born Free....Now I'm Expensive

The World is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.  ~St. Augustine

nancyj's picture

(post #57239, reply #39 of 211)

Hi Tracy, loved your discription of the gentleman caller!  Sounds like a very interesting man.  Stay relaxed and most of all, enjoy your evening because if you do, so will he. 

transona5's picture

(post #57239, reply #64 of 211)

Ah, now I see your amusement at my mentioning the viola. Congrats!

 President Bush: "What I would like to see is a government where church and state are separated."


 

 

Fledge's picture

(post #57239, reply #65 of 211)

Just tell us what happens to said socks.

 

You don't scare me

I have an African Grey

Fledge's picture

(post #57239, reply #5 of 211)

Oh boy, a dinner date inhouse.  Do you plan on knocking more than socks off?


Do your scallops cha, I am sure he will love them and you are confident there.  Some pasta maybe? Fettincini? That cake sound luscious. Stuffed mushrooms?


Tuned in,


Fledge


 

You don't scare me

I have an African Grey

Fledge's picture

(post #57239, reply #6 of 211)

And why is under equipment? Your right Li, devil....

 

You don't scare me

I have an African Grey

TracyK's picture

(post #57239, reply #7 of 211)

Hah! Ooops, really meant to post in Cooking Discussion!! Li, can you move it?? Thanks!!


"Noncooks think it's silly to invest two hours' work in two minutes' enjoyment; but if cooking is evanescent, so is the ballet."


Julia Child

Li's picture

(post #57239, reply #12 of 211)

Ridiculously easy, but maybe not quite sophisticated enough for your palate? I bet you could add a little something-something to up the wow factor--a touch of some yummy spice? Cinnamon, cardamom? I haven't made these in a long time, but I seem to recall that better chocolate makes a difference (as you would expect).

Warm Soft Chocolate Cake

1/2 cup unsalted butter

4 oz. bittersweet chocolate

2 eggs

2 egg yolks

1/4 cup sugar

2 tsp. flour

In a double boiler set over simmering water, heat the butter and chocolate together until the chocolate is almost completely melted. While that's heating, beat together the eggs, yolks, and sugar with a whisk or electric beater until light and thick. Beat together the melted chocolate and butter; it should be quite warm. Pour in the egg mixture, then quickly beat in the flour until just combined. Butter and lightly flour four 4-ounce ramekins. Tap out the excess flour, then butter and flour them again. Divide the batter among the ramekins. (At this point, you can refrigerate the desserts until you are ready to eat, for up to several hours; bring them back to room temperature before baking.) Heat the oven to 450°F. Bake the ramekins on a tray for 6 to 7 minutes; the center will still be quite soft, but the sides will be set. Invert each ramekin onto a plate and let sit for about 10 seconds. Unmold by lifting up one corner of the ramekin; the cake will fall out onto the plate. Serve immediately.

Note: I recall not liking the sight of the flour after unmolding, though guests never minded it. I bet cocoa powder would work for "flouring" the ramekins.

Central Scrutinizer; Cooks Talk moderator

Only connect.

Fledge's picture

(post #57239, reply #68 of 211)

I have a caller coming too. About this chocolate thang...
Do you thing I would have a problem with ramekins that have rounded bottom edges vs. straight sided?  You know, with the inverting plop and all.

I guarantee socks will be off. 

Hubby is home.

 

You don't scare me

I have an African Grey

TracyK's picture

(post #57239, reply #8 of 211)

Do you plan on knocking more than socks off?


And *I* am the devil in this scenario??



"Noncooks think it's silly to invest two hours' work in two minutes' enjoyment; but if cooking is evanescent, so is the ballet."


Julia Child

Fledge's picture

(post #57239, reply #9 of 211)

I am an angel...


lol...


 

You don't scare me

I have an African Grey

SallyBR's picture

(post #57239, reply #10 of 211)

Well, for more than socks off, I think you should go light on the dessert - and alcohol..


:-)


gosh, I don t have specific suggestions, but sure hope your evening will be FANTASTIC, no matter where socks and other garment end up


 

 

syl's picture

(post #57239, reply #11 of 211)

Voyeurism at its best - FOOD and _ _ _!!

Seafood and for dessert, either that chocolate affair OR gorgeous strawberries hand-dipped in chocolate with some marvy liqueor.

Details!

Good luck,

Syl

Syl

Zone 6b Shenandoah Valley

TracyK's picture

(post #57239, reply #13 of 211)

OK, cool your jets here, folks... it's just dinner! :-)


"Noncooks think it's silly to invest two hours' work in two minutes' enjoyment; but if cooking is evanescent, so is the ballet."


Julia Child

syl's picture

(post #57239, reply #17 of 211)

Just because I'm the straw that broke the camel's back doesn't mean you have to pick on the old and jealous.

Syl

Syl

Zone 6b Shenandoah Valley

Wolvie's picture

(post #57239, reply #19 of 211)

since it's so muddy and wet, I already have boots. ;-0


I second (or whatever) going with your scallop gratin. It's fantastic(worked for me too). A lemony pasto - alfredoish on the side with roasted mushrooms sounds like a good pairing.


A salad to clear it all, the the cakes and cheese with that good bread to start or with or whatever ...


Have a great time!


Nothing valuable can be lost by taking time - Abe Lincoln.

 

Glenys's picture

(post #57239, reply #20 of 211)

Don't do cheese before a gratin, especially if you're going to eat the gratin with bread (think that was suggested somewhere).

Wolvie's picture

(post #57239, reply #22 of 211)

Yak!


Thanks, glenys. I was thinking after initially, then got to thinking it might be too much - anyway - glad you were here to rescue me!


Nothing valuable can be lost by taking time - Abe Lincoln.

 

TracyK's picture

(post #57239, reply #21 of 211)

Wolvie, was it you who posted about roasted spinach??


"Noncooks think it's silly to invest two hours' work in two minutes' enjoyment; but if cooking is evanescent, so is the ballet."


Julia Child

Wolvie's picture

(post #57239, reply #23 of 211)

noooooo. That is one veggie I have never roasted. I do a quick saute with a bit of garlic, sometimes adding chick peas or toasted pine nuts. Sometimes a splash of rice vinegar or something.


I roast darn near everything else - anything else - like green beans - that you'd like to try?


Nothing valuable can be lost by taking time - Abe Lincoln.

 

TracyK's picture

(post #57239, reply #24 of 211)

OK, here's what I'm thinking...


Shrimp & scallop gratins w/lemon garlic butter
Lemon risotto topped with roasted mushrooms (may go with a lemon rice pilaf as is easier/quicker)
Something else green... wilted spinach? Asparagus? Roasted asparagus might be nice...


Served with good crusty bread for mopping up gratin juices.


And for dessert (Li, I am saving your cakes for another time, they sound FABULOUS!), freshly baked chocolate chip cookies... with a take-home box for bragging purposes, and to get the leftovers out of my house, hee).


For the mushrooms, I am thinking a mix of whatever looks good at the market, tossed with olive oil, sea salt and black pepper, maybe some chopped parsley and/or thyme, and roasted at 450 till brownish.



"Noncooks think it's silly to invest two hours' work in two minutes' enjoyment; but if cooking is evanescent, so is the ballet."


Julia Child

Wolvie's picture

(post #57239, reply #25 of 211)

sounds fab! Roasted asparagus is great too.

Nothing valuable can be lost by taking time - Abe Lincoln.

 

SallyBR's picture

(post #57239, reply #26 of 211)

Forgive me, but with a dinner like this....  "socks" will fly  :-)


 

 

kai230's picture

(post #57239, reply #27 of 211)

And what will you say if he asks for your hand in marriage after the first bite?


Good grief, your meal will be delightful! Definitely roast some asparagus or anything else that is fresh.


Now, not to rain on your parade, but do keep in mind that it is possible that he might reciprocate by treating you to a hamburger. Happened to me: steak and lobster for him, plus major fixings and extras, homemade; $1 burger for me at a beer joint w/sawdust on the floor) and he didn't want to pay for a second beer for me. Another reason I have a cat; at least I expect him to be rude and selfish.

SallyBR's picture

(post #57239, reply #28 of 211)

Don t worry, kai...


You are using "natural selection" by this method - keep cooking your best, and the gentleman who raises to the challenge will be the one worth it...


(sorry, Phil is a great cook, but already taken.... he, he, he)

 

kai230's picture

(post #57239, reply #29 of 211)

LOL I may naturally select myself into the ground w/the weevils and whatnot--which, BTW, would not have been a bad alternative to my sorrya$$ marriages--except that I wouldn't be here now, which is SO much better than when I was hitched! 

TracyK's picture

(post #57239, reply #30 of 211)

Isn't it hard to be a foodie?


Seriously though, I don't even expect my beaux to have near the appreciation/reverence for good food that I have... just that they be appreciative, open to new things, and above all CONSIDERATE AND GENEROUS with their time and attention, not necessarily their wallets. Which is a good thing given musician status. :-)


I'll cook for him, he can play beautiful things on the viola for me... and I would consider than an even trade. :-)


But he better not grouse about buying me another beer, for pete's sake.


 



"Noncooks think it's silly to invest two hours' work in two minutes' enjoyment; but if cooking is evanescent, so is the ballet."


Julia Child