Date Night … IN

Dinner3a

DATE NIGHT … IN.

{Romance doesn’t need a fancy server or a crowd. Sometimes staying in is precisely what inspires a little extra spark …}

This piece is really a mild suggestion for keeping things playful at home. Sometimes we need a little “staying in” to really remind us just what it is we love and adore about each other. I’ve found that when things get a little rough, we need to take a step back, pause and sometimes press a reset button. You can always meet each other again for the “first” time. All it takes is patience, imagination and a desire to excite.

So, in order to rekindle that kinda romance, I looked to the one home cook that does everything with “2” in mind: Dessert For Two. I’ve created a 3 course meal using Christina Lane’s fabulous recipes. They aren’t rocket science and you don’t have to have a huge arsenal of ingredients to pull these gorgeous dishes off but you will impress your +1 … and have a reason to revel in the simplicity of finding each other again.

{MOVIES} | While you’re getting yourself fed, sipping on some delectable wine (I suggest starting with bubbles and working your way, ever so methodically, on to a bold, rich, sexy red), enjoy dessert to the fullest extent and then settle in for some movies. I figured, in the spirit of things, why not incorporate I some food-centric movie ideas to really being it home. (You know what I mean …)

MOVIES: Like Water For Chocolate | Big Night | Eat, Drink, Man, Woman | Chocolat

1. START OFF SLOW …

BUTTER-BRAISED NECTARINE AND AGED CHEDDAR SALAD

Prep:  10 minutes | Cook:  15 minutes | Serves:  2 salads
Kerrygold_Butter_Braised_Nectarine_and_Aged_Cheddar_Salad

INGREDIENTS:

  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 large fresh nectarine
  • 2 tablespoons Kerrygold unsalted butter
  • 5 ounces fresh arugula
  • 1/3 cup slivered almonds
  • 3 ounces Kerrygold Aged Cheddar, cut into chunks

 

DIRECTIONS:

In a large serving bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, honey, cinnamon and salt. Slowly stream in the olive oil while whisking. Set aside.

Slice the nectarine into 14-15 thin slices.

Heat a large 10” nonstick pan over medium heat. Add the butter.

When the butter melts, add the nectarine slices in one layer.

Let the nectarines cook on one side for 2 minutes, then flip.

After flipping the nectarines, gently tilt the pan, and using a spoon, spoon the butter over the nectarines to baste them. Cook for another 2 minutes and then remove the nectarines from the pan and let cool. Do not scrape out the pan.

Add the almonds to the pan and toast in the butter and nectarine juices.

Add the arugula to the bowl, followed by the peaches, almonds and cheddar chunks. Toss and serve.

2. FEED THAT SWELLING HUNGER …

COWBOY STEAKS ‘N SPROUTS

Prep:  5 minutes | Cook:  15 minutes   | Serves: 2 Servings

cowboy steaks final

Ingredients

  • 2 10 oz London Broil Steaks
  • 2 tsp coffee grounds
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil

Instructions

  1. First, preheat a 10” cast iron skillet over high heat.
  2. Once the pan is hot enough that you can only hold your hand a few inches from the surface for a few seconds, turn the heat down to the medium.
  3. Meanwhile, combine the coffee grounds, salt, pepper, garlic and onion powders.
  4. Rub this mixture very generously on the steaks, including the sides.
  5. Once the pan is hot and the heat has been turned down to medium, add the vegetable oil to the pan.
  6. Carefully tilt the pan to coat it evenly.
  7. Add the steaks and do not move them for at least 5 minutes.
  8. Have a meat thermometer handy.
  9. After 5 minutes, flip the steaks. Depending on how you like your steaks, cook them another 4-9 minutes. I used a meat thermometer to ensure 140-degrees for medium.
  10. When the steaks are 5-degrees below your ideal range, remove them from the pan and wrap in foil. Let rest for 10 minutes before serving.
 

Oven Roasted Brussels Sprouts 

Prep time: Cook time: 16 mins | Total time: 

Ingredients

  • 1 pound Brussels sprouts, cleaned, trimmed and sliced in half
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons steak seasoning

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400-degrees.
  2. On a half-sheet pan, add the Brussels sprouts, steak seasoning and olive oil. Toss everything with your hands to coat.
  3. Roast the sprouts for 13-16 minutes, checking towards the end of the cooking time.
  4. Serve immediately.

3. MAKE IT SOFT AND SEXY …

Slow-Cooker Creme Brûlée

Prep time: Cook time: 

slow cooker creme brulee 2

Ingredients

  • 3 large egg yolks
  • ½ cup heavy whipping cream
  • ¼ cup sugar, plus 2 teaspoons
  • ¼ of a vanilla bean (or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract)

Instructions

  1. Combine the egg yolks, whipping cream and ¼ cup of the sugar in a bowl. Whisk to combine.
  2. Using a dull knife, scrape the seeds out of the vanilla bean and add it to the cream mixture. It should be about ⅛ teaspoon of vanilla bean seeds. You can substitute extra, if you prefer.
  3. Whisk the mixture together very well.
  4. Meanwhile, take 2 12″ long pieces of foil and roll them up into a snake shape. Curl it into a circle, pinching the ends together. Place in the bottom of your slow cooker. Repeat with the other piece of foil.
  5. Place each ramekin on top of each foil ring.
  6. Pour boiling water in the slow cooker (carefully! Don’t splash water on the custards) until the water reaches up about ⅓ of the way on the ramekins.
  7. Turn the slow cooker to LOW and cook for 2 to 2½ hours. When done, the custard should be set–poke it with a knife to be sure.
  8. Cover and chill the custards at least 6 hours.
  9. Before serving, sprinkle the remaining 2 teaspoons sugar evenly over both custards and torch with a culinary torch until brown.

And now that you’re feeling sultry, you can start planning that cocktail party with all of your friends and celebrate an “Homage to Old Hollywood” …

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