Recipes

Romantic Dinner for Two

Wellingtons with puree and asparagus

It’s an anniversary and you want to spend your time with your beloved one. You want to have a private romantic dinner. You want to surprise your lover with your cooking skills and enjoy good dishes that can elevate your mood and make wonderful memories. The dinner must then go a little bit fancy and gourmet. Therefore, we would like to suggest this wonderful menu for your romantic dinner.

Appetizer: Ottolenghi Perfect Lettuce Salad

Ottolenghi Perfect Lettuce salad

Ingredients (prep will take about 10 minutes)

  • 1 small head of Butter Lettuce (torn, washed and drained)
  • ½ head of Green (or Red) Leaf Lettuce (torn, washed and drained)
  • 1 small head of Radicchio (removed core and sliced)
  • 3 Green Onions (thinly sliced)
  • 1 bunch of Radishes (cleaned and sliced into half-moon pattern)
  • 1 cup of Cherry Tomatoes (cut in half)
  • 2-3 tablespoons of Capers
  • 1 clove of Garlic (crushed)
  • 1 ½ tablespoon of Fresh-squeezed Lemon Juice
  • 1 ½ teaspoon of Caper Brine
  • 1 ½ tablespoon of Olive Oil
  • 1 ½ tablespoon of Grape seed Oil
  • Salt and Ground Black Pepper

Cooking (cooking will take about 8 minutes)

Step 1 – make salad dressing: In a small bowl, add crushed garlic, 1 ½ tablespoon of lemon juice, 1 ½ teaspoon of cape brine and whisk the mixture with 1 ½ tablespoon of olive oil and 1 ½ tablespoon of grape seed oil until the dressing is well combined. Then add salt and ground black pepper for seasoning.

Step 2 – make salad: In a large bowl, add sliced lettuce, ½ head of green leaf lettuce, 1 head of sliced radicchio, 3 sliced green onions, 1 bunch of sliced radishes, cherry tomatoes and capers. Stir all the ingredients, and then toss the salad with the salad dressing.

The salad is served fresh so make sure you make the salad before the dinner so the ingredients stay fresh and crunchy.

Main dish: Beef Wellington

Baked wellingtons

Ingredients (prep will take about 30 minutes)

  • 8 ounces of Fresh Mushroom (sliced)
  • 1 glove of Garlic
  • ½ teaspoon of Salt
  • ½ teaspoon of Black Pepper
  • Thyme
  • 2 portions of 6-ounce Beef Tenderloins
  • 2 tablespoons of Oil (for searing)
  • English Mustard
  • ¼ pound of Ham (sliced)
  • 1 sheet of Puff Pastry (thawed and rolled-out, cut into 2 pieces size 7×7-in squares)
  • 1 Egg Wash (1 beaten egg mixed with 1 tablespoon of water)
  • Olive Oil

Cooking (cooking will take about 30 minutes)

Step 1 – make the mushroom paste: Add 8 ounces of sliced fresh mushroom with 1 glove of garlic, ½ teaspoon of salt, ½ teaspoon of black pepper and thyme in a food processor or blender. Blend all the ingredients until they are combined as a fine paste which will take about 30 to 60 seconds.

Put a saucepan or medium skillet over medium-low heat; spread the mushroom paste evenly over the pan bottom. Let the paste sit for 15 seconds and start to stir it frequently. After about 7 to 10, the mushroom paste will turn brown and reduce to about half of the original amount. When the paste reaches this level, remove the pan from the heat and set it aside for cooling down. The purpose of cooking mushroom is to drain the juice from mushroom so the puff pastry won’t get mushy as the result.

Step 2 – preheat the oven: Meanwhile, you should preheat the oven to 400 degrees F or 200 degrees C.

Step 3 – assemble the Wellingtons: Coat 2 portions of beef tenderloins with salt and black pepper. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a medium size fry pan. When the oil is heated and begins to produce smoke, gently place 2 beef tenderloins in the pan in order to create beautiful sear outside the beef. The aim of searing the beef is keep the meat juicy and prevent overcooked or dried beef later. When you have all the sear on your beef, remove the meat from pan to a plate or cutting board.

Use a cooking brush and generously paint the English mustard over the beef so that the mustard completely coat the meat.

To form the Wellingtons, first lay out a plastic wrap onto a flat surface or cutting board, use a clean cloth to clean the wrap. Then place ¼ pound of sliced ham onto the plastic wrap as a layer in the center of the plastic wrap. Next, spread the mushroom paste onto the ham layer. Quick trick is to use the back of a spoon to create an even nice mushroom layer. Then place the beef in the middle of the wrap and start to fold the beef so ham and mushroom paste completely cover the beef and have a sausage shape. Tighten the knots at 2 sides of the wellington and put in the fridge to firm for about 20 minutes.

Sprinkle some flour on the cooking surface, place puff pastry onto the surface and roll the pastry into a thin layer. Take out chill beef, remove the plastic wrap and place the beef in the center of the pastry. Use a brush to paint the egg wash over the pastry. Then fold the pastry over the meat. Carefully seal the edges of the pastry. On baking sheet, place baking parchment and put the wellingtons onto the baking sheet so that the sealed edge faces the bottom of baking sheet. Coat the wellingtons with egg wash one more time and use the back of the knife to score the tops of the pastry with pattern. Just move the knife slightly to you won’t cut the pastry.

Step 4 – bake the wellingtons: Bake 2 portions of wellingtons in the preheated oven for about 20 minutes until the pastry is cooked and turned golden brown. Keep the eyes on the dish so you won’t overcook the wellingtons. Take the wellingtons out and let them chill for about 10 minutes before serving.

The perfect beef wellingtons will have a crispy pastry outside and juicy shining medium rare beef inside. The dish should be served warm to maintain the flavor. The dish is full of flavor that can create a harmony in your month.

Side Dish Goes With Beef Wellington – Easy Celery Root and Potato Puree

Wellingtons with puree and asparagus

Ingredients (prep will take about 10 minutes)

  • 1 pounds of Celery Root (peeled and cut into cubes)
  • 1/8 pound of Potatoes (peeled and cut into cubes)
  • 1/4 cup of Half-and-half
  • 1 tablespoons of Butter
  • Coarse Salt

Cooking (cooking will take about 35 minutes)

Step 1 – steam celery root and potatoes: Place a steamer basket in a large pot. Pour water into the pot so that water level is below the basket. Bring the water to a boil, then put celery root and potatoes into the basket, cover the pot with a lid and simmer the ingredients until they turn tender. This step will take about 15 to 20 minutes.

Step 2 – make the puree: When the celery root and potatoes are cooked, remove them from the pot to a food processor or blender. Add ¼ cup of half-and-half, 1 tablespoon of butter. Puree until all the ingredients are combined and have smooth texture.  You can sieve the mixture in order to prevent any clot in the puree. Season with coarse salt and the dish is done.

The puree is served with beef wellingtons. You can make some pan fried asparagus to go with the dish. You should make puree while waiting for the wellingtons cooked. Try to make the dish look nice and neat with some decoration.

Dessert: Chocolate Mousse

Chocolate Mousse

Ingredients (prep will take about 30 minutes)

  • 4 large Egg Yolks
  • 4 tablespoons of Sugar
  • 2 cups of Heavy Cream
  • 8 ounces of Bittersweet Chocolate (melted)
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

Cooking (cooking will take about 20 minutes)

Step 1: Take out a medium saucepan, add 4 large egg yolks, 2 tablespoons of sugar, ¾ cup of heavy cream and whisk everything together. Cook the mixture over medium-low heat, constantly stir until the mixture gets thick enough to coat the back of the spoon which will take about 3 to 4 minutes. Remove the mixture from the heat and add melted chocolate and 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract. Combine the mixture and let it chill.

Step 2: Use a hand mixer to beat 1 ¼ cup of heavy cream and 2 tablespoon of sugar. Whisk until the cream forms a peak. Then add 1/3 portion of the whisked cream into the chocolate mixture and gently fold the remaining cream into the bowl until the mixture is combined.

Step 3: Add the mousse into glasses, cover with plastic wrap and set them into fridge at least 30 minutes before serving. The dessert can be kept up to 3 days. You can slice some strawberry or raspberry, sprinkle cacao powder or top with whipping cream for garnish. The recipe can serve up to 8 portions so you can keep the remaining in the fridge.

The dinner will be rich in flavor and full of enjoyment with those gourmet recipes. Décor the table with candles. Open a wine and put it in ice bucket. Hope you have a beautiful romantic dinner with your loved one.