Concerned about going out to public places to eat? Well you should! As many countries started to reopen restaurants, bars and public spaces, there has been noticeable increase in the pandemic cases. So instead of exposing yourself and those you love, why not make a dinner date at home, where you have full control of who comes in and out and specially who handles your food. Here are couple of my favorite delicious and easy to make elevated dish recipes, that you can cook for a romantic dinner for two or just for a stay at home hangout with close friends or family.
Who said you had to leave your house to enjoy mouthwatering food?!
Steak Frites with Black Garlic Butter
- 1 head black garlic
- ¼ cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1 teaspoon brandy
- 2 ¼ teaspoons kosher salt, dived, plus more for sprinkling
- 2 pounds of russet potatoes, spiralized into 1/4 – inch- thick stands
- 1 tablespoon peanut or grapeseed oil, plus more for frying
- 1 ½ pounds of trimmed hanger steak (2-3 steaks)
- 1 teaspoon cracked pepper
- Finely chopped fresh parsley
How to make:
Place black garlic in a small bowl, and mash with a fork to a smooth paste. Add butter, brandy, and 1/4 teaspoon salt; mash until thoroughly combined. Spoon garlic mixture onto a sheet of parchment paper or plastic wrap, and roll into a 3-inch-long log. Refrigerate until ready to use.
Mound spiralized potatoes on a large microwavable plate or in a glass pie plate; cover with wet paper towels. Microwave on high until tender, 4 to 6 minutes. Spread in an even layer on a rimmed baking sheet, and let cool 10 minutes.
Pour peanut oil to a depth of 1 1/2 inches in a large, deep Dutch oven; heat over medium to 375°F. (The hot oil will rise when potatoes are added.)
Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon peanut oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high. Pat steaks dry with paper towels; sprinkle with pepper and remaining 2 teaspoons salt. Add steaks to skillet, and cook, turning every 3 minutes to evenly brown all sides, to desired degree of doneness, about 12 minutes for medium-rare. Transfer steaks to a carving board, and let rest 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, fry potatoes in hot oil in 2 to 3 batches, stirring often with a spider or slotted spoon, until frites are golden and crisp, 4 to 6 minutes. (Adjust heat between batches as needed to maintain oil temperature of 375°F.) Transfer frites to a butcher paper–lined plate. Sprinkle with salt.
Cut steaks against the grain into slices; divide among 4 plates. Cut black garlic butter into 1/2-inch-thick rounds. Top steak with black garlic butter, and, if desired, parsley. Serve immediately with frites.
- Suggested pairing- A light complex, structured red Burgundy wine.
Three-Pepper Cacio e Pepe
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon crushed pink peppercorns
- ½ teaspoon coarsely ground Tellicherry pepper
- ½ teaspoon ground Szechuan pepper
- 12 ounces uncooked bronze- cut fusilli col busco pasta (such as Giusto Sapore) or bucatini pasta
- 1 ½ ounces of Parmigiano- Reggiano cheese, grated
How to make:
Heat oil, pink peppercorns, Tellicherry pepper, and Szechuan pepper in a large skillet over medium. Cook, stirring occasionally, until peppercorns begin to sizzle and darken, 4 to 5 minutes. Remove from the heat.
Prepare pasta in a pot according to package directions for al dente. Using tongs or a spider, transfer pasta to a colander to drain, reserving cooking liquid in pot. Let pasta stand 2 minutes.
Working off of heat, add cheeses and 1/4 cup reserved cooking liquid to peppercorn mixture in skillet, whisking until water is absorbed and mixture resembles consistency of a chunky paste. Add an additional 1/4 cup cooking liquid, whisking until mixture is thick and mostly smooth. Add drained pasta to mixture; working quickly, vigorously stir until cheese mixture coats pasta, about 30 seconds. Gradually stir in 1/2 cup cooking liquid, 1/4 cup at a time, until a creamy sauce forms and coats the pasta, 20 to 40 seconds for each addition. Divide pasta mixture among 4 bowls; garnish with additional pecorino Romano. Serve immediately.
- Suggested pairing- Light bodied, lemony Frascati wine.
Shirmp al Ajillo
- 1 ½ pounds of shelled and deveined large shrimp, tails intact
- Kosher salt
- ¼ cup thingly sliced garlic
- 1 ¼ cups extra virgin oil
- 1 small dried hot red chile, seeded and crumbled
- ½ minced parsley
- Crusty bread, for serving
How to make:
In a large bowl, toss the shrimp with 1 teaspoon of kosher salt and let stand for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a 9- to 10-inch enameled cast-iron skillet, combine the garlic and olive oil and cook over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until the garlic is very fragrant and just starts to brown, 8 to 10 minutes. Add the chile and cook, stirring, until fragrant, 15 to 30 seconds.
Add the shrimp to the skillet and cook over moderately low heat, stirring and turning the shrimp occasionally, until barely pink, about 5 minutes. Stir in the parsley, sherry, lemon zest and a generous pinch of salt. Remove from the heat and let stand until the shrimp are cooked through, 3 to 5 minutes. Serve in the skillet, passing crusty bread at the table.
- Suggested pairing- A sauvignon blanc, citrussy like Rueda or unoaked white Rioja.
Remember that you can always make these recipes your own. Mix it up and try something new that will leave your loved ones coming back for more! Have fun and enjoy!