1. Two decent cuts of fairly lean steak: Ask the butchers at the grocery store for help. Explain that you’re cooking for a date and ask what they recommend. You should buy two filets – not one big cut. The butchers may look like they are hardly pushing 20 at some stores, but they know their stuff.
2. Crumbled blue cheese: Don’t worry about the price or fat content; it’s for a good cause.
3. About ten baby, red potatoes: If they are on the larger side of baby potatoes, pick up only five or six.
4. Fresh rosemary: Not to discredit any foodies out there, but some readers may be wondering, Rosemary is a very fragrant, very good (trust me), woodsy herb. Ask for it if you’re unsure of where to find the fresh herbage in the market.
5. Broccolini: The kid sibling of broccoli. With a slightly longer stem and smaller flowers, broccolini is a great vegetable for a date dinner. It’s elegant and very simple. If you can’t find the broccolini, opt for broccoli and cook it the same way.
6. One lemon
7. Your typical cooking compliments: Be sure you also have garlic salt, pepper, regular salt, butter and olive oil in your cabinets or on your list.
8. Dessert: If you are planning to follow with dessert, pick up some chocolate chips, strawberries, possibly cheesecake and/or brownies (go ahead and buy the bakery’s pre-made munchies).
Cut red potatoes into fourths (once in half; half each again). In a roasting pan, dump potatoes and top with a little garlic salt, pepper, olive oil and chopped rosemary. Mix together so all potato pieces are coated and cook for about 45 minutes at 350°.
Salt and pepper the steak and cook for about 6 minutes on Medium-High in a pan with a little olive oil and butter. Slip the steaks in the oven set to the lowest temperature if they cook up before the rest of the dinner. Top with blue cheese while warm, just before serving.
Wash and trim ends of broccolini – leave stems long; only cut off about half an inch – and submerge in boiling water for about 2-3 minutes. Ideally, keep broccolini crisp; only cook through. Toss with fresh squeezed lemon juice (mind the seeds), garlic salt and a very small amount of butter to barely coat the veggies.
An amazing and impressive dessert is as easy as heating milk chocolate chips. To melt the chocolate correctly (trust me, there is a very incorrect way to melt chocolate), either double boil chocolate chips or find a chocolate fondue dish. I have one that is simply a porcelain bowl set atop a small metal candle holder. These can be found at most kitchen stores and I wouldn’t be surprised if they’re also at Target or a similar store. Light the candle and in about a minute, you’ll have melted chocolate.
Otherwise, place a porcelain bowl over a small pan of boiling water. Make sure the bowl is bigger than the pan, obviously, and let the steam from the water do the melting. Be sure to stir chocolate often. Wash and leave strawberries whole. Cut any baked goods into bite size pieces and dessert is done that quickly. I would suggest only getting the dippers ready prior to dinner and set up the dipper, i.e. chocolate, just before serving. Voila!
To Be Continued…