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 red wine poached filet mignon.
Red wine is great for the heart. And since next month is American Heart Month, it seems only fitting to cook up this red wine poached filet mignon recipe! Red wine is rich in antioxidants that keeps your heart healthy. As for the other ingredients in these dishes? Asparagus (as the side), cinammon (in the drink), and chocolate (in the drool-inducing truffles) are all aphrodisiacs known to spark romance! What could be a more perfect menu for a cozy date night at home? Pair this meat lover's meal with a rich spiced mulled wine (perfect for cozying up to each other by the fire) and you've got yourselves one sexy meal!
The Drink: Glögg (Swedish Mulled Wine)
By Donal Skehan
- 1 liter of red wine
- 3 cinnamon sticks
- 8 cloves
- 10 cardamom pods
- 3 tablespoons of caster sugar
- Place all the ingredients for the mulled wine into a large pot and place over a medium high heat.
- Bring to a steady simmer stirring until the sugar has completely dissolved.
- Strain the liquid through a sieve a serve the wine warm in glasses with almonds and raisins.
The Main Dish: Red Wine Poached Filet Mignon
By Pamela Braun of My Man's Belly
- 2 4 oz filet mignons (bring the steaks to room temperature)
- 2 cups dry red wine (I used Cabernet Sauvignon)
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 3 cloves garlic (slightly crushed)
- 12 whole black peppercorns
- 4 sprigs fresh thyme
- 2 tbsp. butter
- In a medium sized saucepan heat wine, chicken stock, garlic, peppercorns and thyme to a simmer.
- Add the steaks to the wine mixture. The steaks should just barely be covered by the liquid.
- Poach steak, while keeping the liquid at barely bubbling (if the temperature is too high, you will end up with shoe leather).
- Cook for 3 minutes, then turn meat over and cook for another 3 minutes. This should give you a medium rare steak (if your meat was room temperature and the steaks were 1" thick).
- Remove steaks to a plate and tent loosely with foil.
- Turn the heat up on the wine mixture and reduce by half. If you would like the sauce to be even thicker, you could reduce it further.
- Remove from heat and remove the garlic, peppercorns and thyme.
- Stir in the butter. This will make the sauce a bit thicker and very shiny.
- Plate the steaks and top with the sauce.
Quick notes: You could use this method on other cuts of beef too. Keep in mind, that if there is a bone in the meat, it will take longer to cook.
Variations: Other red wines that would work for this dish are zinfandel, rioja and barolo.
The Side: His And Hers Asparagus
By Shannah of Just Us Four
- 2 bunches of asparagus
- 1 package of bacon
- 1 zested lemon
- fresh dill
- olive oil
- salt and pepper
- I love asparagus. [My husband] ... not so much. I always pick some up at the farmer's market and he always pushes it around his plate with disdain. So, I set out to find a way to make it something we both want to eat.
- For someone (like me) who enjoys the taste of asparagus, it doesn't take much to make it delicious.
- For mine, I just roast it in the oven with a little olive oil, salt and pepper.
- Once it is done (only 5-7 minutes at 400ºF), I grate a little lemon zest over it and add some fresh dill.
- [My husband] needs a little more to disguise the flavors so, of course, I went with the every man's favorite "disguise."
- Since bacon supposedly makes everything better, I did the same salt and pepper seasoning as mine and then wrapped it in bacon.
- Bake it in the oven at 400 degrees for 10-15 minutes (until the bacon is done) and then serve!
The Dessert: Bourbon Truffles
By Carrie Fields of Fields of Cake
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 2 zested oranges (big strips, not the tiny zest)
- 1 lb dark chocolate (finely chopped)
- 4 tbsp. unsalted butter (softened)
- 1/3 cup Four Roses Small Batch Bourbon
- In small sauce pan, heat cream and orange zest to a high simmer. Keep an eye on it ... cream likes to boil over. That's not fun.
- Immediately add cream and butter to chocolate and remove zest. Shake the bowl a little to settle the chocolate and allow to set for a minute or two. Now stir, stir, stir, until smooth and silky.
- Add the bourbon and stir until completely incorporated. Bring the truffle batter to room temperature then cover and refrigerate until firm.
- Scoop out a big grape sized portion of truffle and roll into a ball. (It's gonna be messy, but you'll never be happier to lick your hands)
- I rolled mine in cocoa powder to deepen the flavor even more, but feel free to go wild, roll in sprinkles, powdered sugar, finely chopped nuts ... let your imagination go!
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