July 17, 2014

Stay Home: Three-Course Anniversary Dinner

This weekend is mine and Dan's FIVE year anniversary - woah, it has been a long time! While every meal we cook together seems special (that is so mushy), there's something significant about cooking for a celebration. Dan plans the restaurant reservation for the actual day (July 19th). I have no idea where we're going - I never do. We just hop on the T and he tells us where to get off. It provides a little mystery in an otherwise completely un-mysterious relationship. I plan the meal at home for the day after so we both contribute :)

This is a three-course menu that you can easily make at home and it still feels upscale and fancy, despite being eaten on your old, warped IKEA kitchen table. Don't like cod? You can substitute another white fish so long as it will soak up the flavor of the saffron broth. All these recipes are pretty Weight Watchers friendly! See? You can still eat fabulously while on a 'diet.'

Escarole Salad with Horseradish and Capers
Recipe modified from Bon Appétit
Serves 2
Ingredients:
  • 1/4 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 tbsp sour cream
  • 1 tbsp prepared horseradish
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 3 cups torn escarole (about 1 small head of escarole)
  • 1 tbsp rinsed capers
Directions:
  • Thinly slice the red onion and soak in a bowl of ice water for at least 30 minutes. Drain and pat dry
  • Whisk sour cream, horseradish, olive oil, lemon juice, and vinegar together in a large bowl. Season with salt and pepper then add the escarole, capers, and red onion. Toss to coat.
  • Top with more freshly cracked black pepper
Escarole Salad with Horseradish and Capers | hardparade.blogspot.com

Poached Cod with Tomatoes and Saffron
Recipe modified from Bon Appétit
Serves 2
Ingredients:
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 14.5-oz can whole peeled tomatoes, crushed by hand
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine (drink the rest!)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • pinch of saffron threads
  • 4 3-oz. skinless cod fillets
Directions:
  • Heat oil in a medium skillet (that has a lid) over medium heat. Add garlic and red pepper flakes, cooking until fragrant - about 3 minutes
  • Add tomatoes, wine, bay leaves, saffron and 1/2 cup water. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer about 5-7 minutes. 
  • Meanwhile, season the cod with salt and pepper and after the 5-7 minutes, place into the skillet
  • Cover and cook at a very low simmer until cod is cooked throughout, about 5 minutes
  • Transfer cod to shallow bowls and gently spoon poaching liquid over
Poached Cod with Tomatoes and Saffron | hardparade.blogspot.com


Chocolate Custards
Recipe modified from Weight Watchers
Serves 6
Ingredients:
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 1/2 cup sugar, divided
  • 3 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 oz unsweetened baking chocolate
  • 2 cups fat free Half-and-Half
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
Directions:
  • Preheat oven to 300f. Fill the bottom of a roasting pan with 1 inch of water and place in the oven
  • Whisk together eggs, yolk, and 1/2 cup of sugar in a medium bowl
  • Combine cocoa, chocolate, and Half-and-Half in a small pot
  • Heat the chocolate mixture over medium heat, stirring until chocolate is melted and it begins to steam, about 5 minutes
  • Turn off heat and pour in the egg mixture, whisking constantly, the mix in vanilla
  • Divide the mixture evenly among 6 small ramekins, place ramekins in the roasting pan and bake about an hour and 10 minutes
  • Chill for 30 minutes before serving
Chocolate Custards | hardparade.blogspot.com
Do you have any anniversary traditions? Let me know in the comments!
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