Making dinner for a girlfriend and I need your help!
August 17, 2009 11:28 AM   Subscribe

Making dinner tonight for a lady friend - Need suggestions!

We'll be drinking lots of wine and I was thinking maybe something we could both do together.

She doesn't eat red meat, it's pretty hot outside and we may be grilling although it's not necessary.

I was thinking of something along the lines of chicken kabobs w/ veggies and a good summer salad. I'm pretty decent in the kitchen but don't want something I can screw up.

Thanks mefi!
posted by OuttaHere to Food & Drink (12 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
What kind of wine are you drinking?

White wine: chicken kabobs w/ veggies would be good. Try some summer squash/zucchini, with onion, mushrooms, possibly some grape/plum tomatoes. I also like grilled okra. YMMV.

Another possibility that would be good for the kitchen is making crepes, or socca. You could fill these with pretty much any non-red meat, and cheese. I want to try mushrooms and gruyere filling for the socca.

Also try grilling some fish. Make a citrus marinade/rub for white fish, and even salmon.

Grilled scallops also possible, but there might be a possibility of screwing it up.

Red wine Not sure about much you can grill that's not red meat that would be good w/ red wine.

Maybe grill some chicken, and make a red sauce/marsala for it. Most tomato-ey dishes will go well with reds.
posted by baxter_ilion at 11:43 AM on August 17, 2009

It's really easy to make at home and you can have fun with it.
And, of course, it goes with any type of wine!

*It will make your house hot from running the oven. If you can grill it, that's even better.
posted by FergieBelle at 11:45 AM on August 17, 2009

If you do decide to grill, why not try grilling some boneless, skinless chicken breasts? A chef friend of mine once told me to marinate chicken breasts in a bowl in a mixture of 1/2 mayonnaise, 1/2 italian dressing (just enough to cover the breasts), covered with saran wrap in the refrigerator for an hour before throwing them on the grill, and they're always delicious.

A side could be steamed green beans in a bowl mixed with a tiny drizzle of olive oil and squeezed fresh lemon juice, salt, and pepper. A fresh garden salad would be nice, too. Sometimes, for a starch, I just buy some nice, thick potato chips. They're a summery treat!

I love cut up apples (look for Pink Ladies, because they're so sweet) and super-sharp cheddar cheese as a desert when drinking wine in the summer.

This sounds like a really nice dinner!
posted by elmer benson at 11:46 AM on August 17, 2009 [3 favorites]

Quick and simple technique that requires very little planning: If you grill, you could try marinating the chicken in olive oil, fresh lime juice, and salt and pepper. The beauty of this marinade is that it takes hardly any time to impart its flavor -- anywhere from 10 minutes to half an hour. And the chicken doesn't taste limey at all, just savory and delicious. Works with nearly anything.
posted by Ladybug Parade at 11:49 AM on August 17, 2009

Seconding pizza on the grill. It's easy, delicious, and you can customize the toppings for yourselves, and experiment with some combinations to share.
posted by xingcat at 11:55 AM on August 17, 2009

The most important thing you can do to make the meal a success, is to test cook the whole thing at least once before the big night.
posted by StickyCarpet at 11:56 AM on August 17, 2009

For inspiration try Jamie Oliver's site, full of good, easy to make recipes.

Check the sidebar to narrow them down to your needs eg romantic dinner, grilling , salads, in fact here are his chicken kebabs.

posted by theCroft at 12:03 PM on August 17, 2009 [1 favorite]

Butterfly a chicken. Rub with a little lemon juice and rosemary, stuff some garlic, rosemary, and lemon zest between the skin and meat on both breasts and at the thighs, salt and pepper. Grill, first skin side down, then up, then down again for a final crisping.

Grill some whole romas or cherry tomatoes while you are at it, and some inch-thick slices of a crusty hearth bread brushed with olive oil. Get some char on both. Rub the bread with a cut garlic clove when it comes off. Toss the cut tomatoes, cubed bread, a little parm, scallions, a fistful of chopped parsley, and some pine nuts in olive oil while the chicken finishes cooking. Add a teaspoonful of red wine vinegar to balance it, and plenty of salt and pepper.

Grill some asparagus or whatever other summer vegetable you like, too - lenthwise slices of crookneck or pattypan squash are fun, or long slices of skinny Japanese eggplants. Make a little herb oil - thyme is nice with both squash and eggplant - and brush them as soon as they come off the grill. Or wilt some chard with red pepper flakes.

Have a salad with a little arugula, shaved parm (use your vegetable peeler), lemon juice, olive oil, and plenty of cracked black pepper.

Add a handful of basil cut into chiffonade to the bread salad at the last minute. Plate with the chicken and the vegetable(s). Have lemon quarters ready.

Eat a very ripe melon for dessert, with a little cheese if you're feeling decadent.

This is impressive, light, and super-easy. Nothing is last-minute. And it tastes really, really good. Have fun!
posted by peachfuzz at 12:15 PM on August 17, 2009

Here's a simple but great meal that doesn't heat up the house and you can enjoy it with any wine, anywhere you have a table. It's basically an antipasto setup. Go to a upper tier grocery or wine store, and get:

- Some good bread. I love le brea Rosemary Olive loaf (not sure where you are but it's sold in Costco and many grocery stores)
- A few different cheeses. I like drunken goat, jalepeno havarti, and Cabot cheddar.
- Some nice olive oil, and a pepper mill if you have one.
- Some good pitted olives
- Random veggies, maybe some cocktail pickles.
- Hummus
- Optional: boneless chicken breasts, season cook them ahead of time and chill. Or chicken salami or cold chicken sausage.

Preparation consists of you and her in the kitchen chopping stuff up and putting it on nice platters. As opposed to you being tied to the grill or oven.

It's more romantic, IMO, if you have the table already set up with small individual plates, and you both serve yourselves "family style" from the platters once you're at the table. With a tablecloth, wine bottle and candle it makes quite a spread.
posted by txvtchick at 12:24 PM on August 17, 2009

check out --Wonderful recipes--
posted by chaoscutie at 12:46 PM on August 17, 2009 [1 favorite]

My boyfriend made this orzo salad last night, and it was pretty much the most delicious thing I've ever eaten. Very light and summery.
posted by coppermoss at 1:32 PM on August 17, 2009 [1 favorite]

I've done some Thai Salmon skewers on the grill that were great. Take a look at a few recipes (mine was from a book) and see if anything catches your fancy.
posted by backwards guitar at 2:05 PM on August 17, 2009

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