It's date night at your place tonight — so what's cooking for dinner?
Before you ransack your kitchen pantry in desperation ... or worse: resort to your go-to (read: boring) chicken alfredo pasta, there are plenty of easy-to-whip-up dishes perfect for a relaxing, romantic at-home dinner for two. There's no need to make dinner reservations at an expensive restaurant.
We think staying in is the new sexy. That's why we've kicked off our Dinner For Two series! This week, we're serving up a mouthwatering menu that's sure to impress your date — sneakily flavored with aphrodisiac ingredients, like this sexy twist on a classic comfort food combo: grilled cheese and soup.
Baby, it's still cold outside! And as we get snowed in with winter storms, we cooked up some recipe ideas to warm you both up on date night. This grilled cheese is oozing with chocolate and cherries — perfect for a cold, blustery winter evening. As for the other romance-inducing additions on the menu? A toasty warm French-style cocktail, a light cherry soup (served hot off the stove or chilled from the fridge) and a batch of Cabernet Sauvignon brownies. What could be a more perfect menu for a cozy date night at home?
The Drink: La Vie en Rose
By GRAY'S on Main
- 5 oz Dark Horse Cabernet
- 1 oz PX sherry
- 1 oz Landy cognac
- 1 oz Bouchant orange
- 6 dashes Angostura bitters
- 6 dashes orange bitters
- 1 bar spoon clove
- 1 bar spoon grated nutmeg
- 1 cinnamon stick, broken into pieces
1. Combine spirits and spices into French-press, top with boiled and hot wine.
2. Let it steep for five minutes, then strain and serve.
The Side: Hungarian Sour Cherry Soup
By Galavanting Gourmet
- 1 cup of fresh cherries, pitted
- a generous pinch of salt
- 2 tbsp sweetener
- 15.3 oz water
- 8.5 oz fat free fromage frais
1. Place the cherries, water, salt and sweetener in a saucepan and simmer for about 10 minutes. Leave to cool.
2. Reserve a couple of tablespoons of cooking liquid, then stir the fromage frais into the soup, mixing well.
3. Serve with the reserved cooking liquid swirled in.
The Main Dish: Balsamic Roasted Cherry, Dark Chocolate and Brie Grilled Cheese Sandwich
By Kevin Lynch of Closet Cooking
- 1/2 cup cherries, pitted and halved
- 1 tsp balsamic vinegar (or brandy or port)
- 1 tbsp butter
- 2 slices bread
- 1 1/2 oz brie, room temperature
- 1 oz dark chocolate, chopped, room temperature
1. Toss the cherries in the balsamic vinegar, place them on a baking sheet in a single layer, roast in a preheated 450°F oven for 15-20 minutes.
2. Heat a pan over medium heat.
3. Butter one side of each slice of bread, place one slice in the pan with buttered side down, top with half of the cheese, the chocolate, cherries, the remaining cheese and finally the other slice of bread with buttered side up.
4. Grill until golden brown and the cheese and chocolate has melted, about 2-4 minutes per side.
The Dessert: Cherry Cabernet Brownies
By Harvey Morris of Baked Chicago
- 3/4 cup cold butter
- 3 eggs
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 4 oz dark chocolate, chopped
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup Cabernet Sauvignon wine
- 1 cup dried cherries, chopped
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease bottom of a 13×9-inch baking pan with butter or shortening. Set aside.
2. In small saucepan, combine dried cherries and 1/2 cup Cabernet Sauvignon. Bring to a boil and remove from heat. Set aside.
3. In medium saucepan, stir 3/4 cup butter and baking chocolate over low heat until melted and smooth. Whisk in sugar. Then add eggs one at a time, whisking well after each addition. Stir in vanilla.
4. In small bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Stir dry mixture into chocolate mixture until combined. Fold in cherries and wine mixture.
5. Spread batter in the prepared baking pan. Bake for 35 minutes, or until sides pull away from the pan. Cool completely, about 1 hour. Cut into 24 bars.
Brownie Points: Chocolate scorches easily, so don't be tempted to increase the heat in order to speed the melting process.
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