Simple, Easy to Follow Tips from a Chef to make a memorable meal
I am always looking for ways to make my girl feel special, and Valentine’s day is no exception. As a chef, I believe that food is an intimate part of our lives. Anyone can order flowers or buy a box of chocolate. But taking the time to plan and prepare an elegant meal for your special someone is a gift she will never forget. Even if you are a klutz in the kitchen, I have put together a sure-fire plan to impress her this Valentine’s Day.
We all know that dinner is just the start to a great evening. However, in order for a meal to be successful, it requires a bit of planning and preparation. First, select an appetizer and an entrée. Here are some suggestions:
Entrées: Angel Hair Pasta with 15 Minute Tomato Sauce or Cashew Chicken Stirfry
Appetizers/Sides: Asparagus with Balsamic Reduction or Bacon Wrapped Green Beans or Maple Roasted Brussel Sprouts with Pomegranate or Blood Orange Arugula Salad
If you are feeling adventurous, select a simple dessert: Strawberry Tart For Two or Stuffed Chocolate Strawberries
Study your menu: its ingredients, prep-time, cook time, and finished look. Make a grocery list including all of the ingredients for each dish. I recommend adding cheeses, meats and grapes to your list, in order to prepare a small cheese board for her to nibble on while you are putting the finishing touches on your meal.
Plan the evening with the idea that you are preparing her a gourmet meal. Be confident that you can do it. Purchase flowers. They can be as simple as carnations, since the way you present them to her is key. I recommend presenting one to her the moment the evening starts and another as you serve each course of dinner. Another idea is have cards with little hand-written notes placed strategically under napkins or plates for her to discover throughout the meal. I believe that cooking is intimate, and bringing your loved one into the kitchen with you and letting her “assist” in the meal can be a romantic experience. When you take her to the kitchen, make sure to have the table set with candles burning and another flower at her place setting. Open and pour her a glass of wine. Present the cheese plate with crackers to nibble on while the meal is being prepared. It’s at this time you can let her know the menu for the evening.
My belief is that most women appreciate the effort you put forth. The execution is important, but it is not as important as the thought behind it. Jackie is amazing when it comes to holidays, because always appreciates my efforts. Whatever the outcome, any meal made with love is guaranteed to please.