As clichee as it is, women love a man that can cook for them. Yet and still, many a dude resign themselves to simply be diners at a restaurant, letting the chef knock her socks off. While dining out is the safe and easy bet, it can come with steep expense. Sure, footing the bill is a nice gesture but she will be really impressed if you can cook her a knock out three course meal. Cooking for someone can be really time consuming as well. While she will love watching you cook for her, you don’t want to spend all of your time in the kitchen. Here’s how to do it without spending too much time or money.
Course One: Fruit Salad martini
Estimated cost of ingredients used: $5-7
Fruits of choice
Special Needs: Martini glasses
You can really go any direction in terms of fruit choice. This dish is all about presentation and some gentle nudges that put it over the top. I like to use berries, tangerine slices, plums, pears, apples, grapes and\or pineapple. Cut your fruit, serve it in a martini glass and add a few splashes of sparkling lemonade. Top it with a dash of poppy seeds and you’re done. It’s light, delicious and sets the tone nicely.
N.B. Fruit should be cut shortly before she arrives
Course Two: Wasabi Peanut Butter Pork Tenderloin with Peanut Satay Veggies
Estimated Cost of Ingredients Used: $13-16
For The Pork:
1 pound pork tenderloin
Crunchy Peanut Butter
Sounds complicated right? Not at all. It just takes a bit of timing. Pork tenderloin is one of most overlooked cuts of meat but has seen an increase in popularity (and cost) over the last 10 years. It remains an affordable protein and a worthy star to the show when done properly. While some can’t resist overcooking the pork, if you’re eating it and it’s dry, you’re missing the point.
N.B. This dish requires preparation 24 hours in advance. Have veggies prepared before she arrives
Remove the larger pieces of fat from the outside of the pork.
Mix 1/3 wasabi paste with 2/3 crunchy peanut butter. Rub it onto the tenderloin, wrap it with plastic wrap and refrigerate it for 24 hours.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
On a lined baking sheet, bake tenderloin for 20 minutes or until the centre has reached a light pink.
Remove and rest, tented in tinfoil for 5-10 minutes. If you cut into the tenderloin and it’s juices run out over the plate, you didn’t let it rest long enough.
Cut the Tenderloin into inch and a half thick medallions.
For the Peanut Satay Veggies:
4 Carrots peeled and cut diagonally, half an inch thick
Half a head of broccoli, cut into bite size pieces
¼ of a vidallia or sweet onion, cut into thin strips
Peanut satay or stir fry sauce
This is a simple, delicious and relatively healthy side dish that goes nicely with the peanut flavours in the protein. While the pork has a spicy kick, peanut satay sauces tend to be sweet and spicy. This balances the dish out without straying too far from the feel of the cuisine.
Veggies are to be cut as specified.
Stir fry veggies on medium heat with satay sauce until they are tender crisp (about 8-10 minutes)
N.B. This should be prepared about 5-10 minutes after you put the pork in the oven.
Course Three: Coffee Crème Brulee
Serves 4 (you’ll want leftovers)
Estimated Cost of Ingredients Used: $7-9
2 ¼ cups of 35% cream
5 egg yolks
½ cup of white sugar
Three packets of single serve instant coffee
Crème Brulee is a sweet, sexy and decadent way to end your meal. Adding the coffee component adds a nice surprise because hey, normal is boring. If there’s one thing that will turn a woman off, it’s boring normalcy. This dish packs a wow factor, especially if you can brulee the sugar tableside. Serve this dish alongside a cup of coffee so you can perk up after these three dishes.
N.B. This dish requires preparation 24 hours in advance. You might want to watch a Youtube video of how to brulee the sugar to get your technique down.