As couples find themselves quarantined together, nightly dinners may start to feel a bit formulaic. Well, its time to turn off the TV (you can binge Netflix shows later) and set the table for a romantic — and well-deserved — meal for two.
Aside from the (hopefully) delicious meal, hosting a date night is always important, especially during lockdown, for maintaining a healthy relationship, as too much “together time” sometimes leads to couples skimping on intimacy, according to Ruth Cooper-Dickson, a positive psychology practitioner who spoke with Fox News. So put on your fancy date shoes and get to cooking.
Need a few good recipe ideas? Fox News reached out to renowned chefs Lisa Dahl, Michael Schulson and Amanda Frederickson for four of their best ideas for appetizers and entrees.
Crostini with Herb-Baked Garlic and Chevre
This “tantalizing toast” appetizer is the “ultimate” finger food, chef and restaurateur Lisa Dahl said of this recipe from her “The Elixir of Life” cookbook. “And is so insanely easy to make that you could call these little bites not crostini but crostin-ease.”
- Ciabatta or baguette
- Whole heads of garlic
- Olive oil
- Kosher salt and pepper
- Italian herbs
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Slice off top of garlic head (use as many as desired) and place upside down in baking sheet coated with olive oil, a sprinkle of salt, pepper and Italian herbs, to taste.
- Bake 45 minutes until garlic heads are soft.
- Slice ciabatta or baguette diagonally.
- Toast bread in oven until crispy.
- Layer on chevre and cloves of the roasted garlic topping.
For a fresher, but equally simple appetizer, Michael Schulson’s recipe for tuna tartare uses just a mixing bowl and a knife. This recipe also makes four servings, but can be halved to accommodate just the two of you. (Are you sure you don’t want seconds?)
- 1 pound sushi-grade tuna
- 1 avocado
- 1 teaspoon rice pearls (or sesame seed)
- ½ teaspoon finely sliced scallion/chives
- Radish sprouts, for garnish
- 2 teaspoons soy sauce
- 2 teaspoons sesame oil
- Splash of oyster sauce and tobanjan (Japanese spicy bean paste)
- Sugar to taste
- 1 small clove garlic (grated)
- Start by mixing all the sauce ingredients in a mixing bowl until sugar is dissolved.
- Using a sharp knife, dice tuna and avocado into ½-inch cubes.
- Place diced tuna (about 4 ounces per serving size) into serving bowl tap with diced avocado
- Gently pour 1 to 2 Tbs. of the sauce over Tuna and Avocado
- Sprinkle Rice pearls (or sesame seeds) over and garnish with finely sliced scallion/chives and Radish Sprout to serve
NY Strip Steak with Smashed Potatoes and Pink Peppercorn Compound Butter
This hearty main dish easily serves a hungry couple. There may even be enough for next-day leftovers, too.
- ½ cup butter
- 1 teaspoon pink peppercorns
- 2 tablespoons fresh thyme, plus more to top
- Olive oil
- Neutral oil
- 1 pound new potatoes
- New York strip steak, between 12-16 ounces
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
- In a bowl, mash together room-temperature butter, chopped fresh thyme leaves, and coarsely chopped pink peppercorns. Set aside.
- In a large pot of boiling water, boil new potatoes until tender, 10 to 12 minutes. Drain, place on a sheet pan, smash each potato with a fork, and top with a drizzle of olive oil, a pinch of salt, a pinch of black pepper, and a sprinkle of chopped fresh thyme leaves. Roast for 18 to 20 minutes, or until crispy.
- Heat 1 tablespoon of neutral oil in a cast-iron skillet over high heat. Add 1⁄2 teaspoon of salt followed by 1 boneless New York strip steak, about 1 inch thick. Sear for 3 minutes, flip, then place in the oven with the potatoes for 3 minutes for medium-rare. Remove from the oven, place on a plate, and cover with aluminum foil to rest. Serve alongside the potatoes with dollops of compound butter. (Leftover butter can be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container.)
Roast Chicken with Fried Capers and Lemon
This salty and bright chicken dish is a show-stopper in presentation alone.
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 whole chicken
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 2 tablespoons capers
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- Juice of 1 lemon. plus zest
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
- Melt butter over medium-high heat in a large cast-iron skillet. Carefully pour the butter into a bowl. Place the whole chicken breast-side, up in the same hot pan and brush the outside with the melted butter. Sprinkle with a large pinch of salt and a pinch of black pepper.
- Roast the chicken for 45 to 50 minutes, until a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh reads 165 degrees. Tent chicken with foil if it becomes too browned. When done, carefully remove from the pan and let rest.
- In the same pan with the pan drippings, add 2 tablespoons of capers and 2 minced cloves of garlic and fry over medium heat for about 1 minute. Add the finely grated zest and juice of 1 lemon and bring to a boil. Reduce slightly, then pour over the chicken.
- Serve immediately.
And since no date night is complete without dessert, save your energy with this simple 3-ingredient Oreo fudge that Instagram can’t stop raving about.