Create a Romantic Date Night at Home with These Recipe Ideas
While there are countless great restaurants to try and new spots opening up every week, sometimes the perfect date night means just staying in and enjoying a delicious meal -one you make together.
Stop at the farmers’ market, local cheese shop and grocery store for all of the best ingredients, pick up a bottle of wine or a local craft brew or cider to pair, then set the stage at home for a romantic evening. Don’t forget the music, soft lighting and a lovely table setting.
And we have some ideas for perfect at home date-night recipes.
Start in the living room with some fine cheeses...
The evening begins with a relaxing glass of wine or sparkling cider in the living room, along with a cheese board filled with a good mix of textures and flavors. Have the board all ready and placed on the coffee table for optimal effect. Include a sharp cheddar from Wisconsin or New York; a soft, earthy goat cheese from Vermont or Dripping Springs; and something rich, like a triple creme, from upstate New York.
Be sure to have artisan crackers on hand, as well as tangy Castelvetrano olives, salty Marcona almonds and dried apricots placed in little dishes on your side or occasional tables, within easy reach, as you sink into the sofa or loveseat side by side.
Then, the appetizer...
Set the table with fresh flowers, candles and a beautiful dining set, creating a perfect surprise for your partner and the ideal ambience in your dining room to enjoy drinks and appetizers. An elegant or modern chandelier can bring in a dramatic effect, and your dining table should be just as impressive, but also great for everyday dining, too.
Serve up a classic Oysters Rockefeller. Choose local oysters or some shipped in from Maine or Prince Edward Island.
To reduce the amount of work you’ll need to complete right before dinner, you can make this appetizer up to eight hours ahead and store in the refrigerator. Serve with a sparkling wine, like a Prosecco, or a seltzer with fresh peach puree.
½ clove garlic
1 cup fresh spinach, loosely packed
1 small bunch watercress, stems removed
¼ cup chopped scallions
1 stick unsalted butter
¼ cup dried Panko crumbs
1 tablespoon Pernod or absinthe
1 teaspoon ground fennel seeds
1 teaspoon hot sauce of choice
½ pound rock salt
12 fresh oysters, shucked but keep the shells
¼ cup grated parmesan
Place a rack in the top part of the oven and preheat to 450°F. Finely chop garlic in a processor or blender, then add spinach, watercress and scallions and process until finely chopped. Place in a bowl.
Combine butter, Panko, Pernod or absinthe, fennel and hot sauce in processor. Process until blended, then return spinach mixture to processor. Process by pulsing until blended together.
Sprinkle rock salt over large baking sheet ½ inch deep. Arrange oysters in half shells on the rock salt. Top each oyster with 1 tablespoon spinach mixture. Sprinkle with cheese.
Bake until spinach mixture browns on top, about eight minutes. Serve hot.
On to the main course...
Continue to keep it simple, but luxurious, with cacio e pepe, a classic pasta dish from modern Roman cuisine that you can keep just as it is, with its mere three ingredients, or add some more pizzazz with fresh herbs, like basil from the garden, sun-dried tomatoes or artichokes and crisp bits of the Italian cured meat, guanciale. If you’re feeling particularly rich, shave some black or white truffles on top.
One idea is to have a few garnishes and add-ons available on your sideboard, along with a wine bucket holding a crisp, dry white, such as Sauvignon blanc or one of our local Belgian-style brews in your at-home bar.
Cacio e pepe
Makes two servings
6 ounces pasta, usually spaghetti or tagliolini
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed
1 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
¾ cup finely grated Parmesan
⅓ cup finely grated Pecorino
Kosher salt for the pot and to taste
Boil three quarts of water in a large pot. Season with salt, then add pasta and cook, stirring occasionally until tender, about three minutes. Drain, but keep one cup of the pasta-cooking water.
Meanwhile, melt two tablespoons of the butter in a heavy skillet over medium heat. Add freshly cracked pepper and swirl the pan to toast and cook, about one minute.
Add ½ cup of the reserved pasta water to skillet and bring to a simmer. Add the pasta and remaining one tablespoon butter. Reduce heat to low and add Parmesan while tossing with tongs until it’s melted.
Remove pan from heat, then add the Pecorino, again tossing with tongs until cheese melts and the sauce coats the pasta. Test the pasta to make sure it’s al dente and cook more if it is not. Add more pasta water if you’d like it more moist and creamy.
Divide pasta into two warm bowls and serve as is or quickly add-in fresh herbs, warm sun-dried tomatoes or already crisped guanciale. Shave truffles on top, if desired.
And now for dessert...
We think chocolate is in order for your last course. Enjoy it at the dining room table or move back into the living room to relax with a glass of Cabernet, while you enjoy this decadent three-ingredient truffle cake.
Another idea is to just move dessert into the bedroom and enjoy your truffle cake while leaning against the cushy upholstered headboard of a cozy queen-size bed, or turn off all the lights — except for the LED glow surrounding this Bella Bianca style queen-size bed. When you’re done with your cake, just set the plates down on the side table. You can save the dishwashing until morning.
Chocolate truffle cake
Feel free to top with melted fudge sauce, fresh fruit and/or whipped cream when serving.
3 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup unsalted butter
6 large eggs, room temperature
Preheat oven to 425°F. Coat an 8x3-inch cake pan with nonstick spray and line the bottom with wax paper or parchment paper. Spray the paper as well.
Melt chips and butter together and stir until blended. Beat eggs in a large bowl with mixer on high for eight minutes, until soft peaks form.
Fold in chocolate mixture until blended. Pour into cake pan.
Place a large roasting pan in the oven and place the cake pan inside. Pour hot water into the roasting pan until it is halfway up the sides of the cake pan.
Cover cake pan loosely with foil and bake for 40 minutes. Cool cake in the pan on a wire rack, then cover and refrigerate until firm, about three hours. Flip over onto a serving platter, shaking to release the cake. Peel off the paper, and serve.
At Copenhagen Furniture, we are passionate about modern, functional and well-designed furniture — for now, and for years to come. To shop our selection or find a location near you, visit us in store or online.