Sometimes, even though I want to freeze my kids ages right now and eat them up with a spoon, you still need a little break from the likes of this:
And definitely this (note the million+ pieces we are going to have to keep from baby soon, though I love that face!!):
We are big fans of going out, but often it is nice to just do a date night at home (especially when you are super preggo and tired).
And in my quest to do something nice for my husband, I got him his FAVORITE: Lump Crab.
I serve it with the easiest Remoulade Sauce that I’ve come up with. If you are looking for a delicious, decadent appetizer for Easter or dinner parties, try this out:
1 c. light mayo
2 T. grainy Dijion mustard (or one T. of each if you can’t find it combined)
2 T. lemon juice, about 1/2 a lemon
1 rib of celery, finely chopped
2 green onions, finely chopped
1/4 t. salt, to taste
dash of hot sauce like Tabasco, optional
Stir all ingredients to combine. Chill for 30 min. if possible, but we ate it right after making it and it was still great.
For the Lump Crab, go to the nicest store in your area and ask the Fish Counter for their highest quality crab. Sometimes the best kind comes in an envelope-like package, such as the kind high quality Tuna Fish comes in, other times you have to settle for what is canned fresh. You don’t want any that has been frozen. The sweetness of the crab mixed with the tangy remoulade is heaven. If you can find Endive Leaves to serve with it that is even better, or crackers will do. My husband just likes to get a little fork, a ramekin full of crab, and some sauce and go nuts. I love some leafy greens with it.
As for the Date Night Dinner, we served: Filet with a side of Mashed Cauliflower and Creamy Spinach (aka The Steak House Special).
These are my husbands favorite decadent/healthy dishes. They are also not a ton of work or clean up. I often do an Au Poive Sauce, Roasted Veggetables, or good old Mashed Potatoes, but we were doing healthy & simple. If you are reading this and feel intimidated cooking great cuts of meat in the kitchen, I am here to say it is super easy and quicker than the grill most of the time. It is usually the same formula: Sear on both sides then cook in oven at a high temperature. Try this technique with Flank or Strip steaks if you would like to get more comfortable.
Preheat oven to 500.
Rest the meat out so it gets to room temperature (20 min). Sprinkle with S & P and Olive Oil. Heat Cast Iron Skillet on High Heat. Place steaks in hot pan (hoping to hear it sizzle), and cook on each side for 3-4 min. Then place in 425 degree oven for 6-8 min. Watch closely. Check for doneness by pressing on the filet. The firmer it is, the more done it is. A trick for testing this is to press your first finger and thumb together, then feel the inside flesh of your hand under your thumb (call it the muscle under the thumb) between your thumb and finger. How it feels when your thumb is touching your first finger = Medium Rare. How that muscle feels with your thumb touching your middle finger = Medium. Ring finger = Medium Well. Pinky = Well Done.
When you pull the Filet out of the oven, use this comparison to help you cook it to your preferred doneness. You may need to put it back for a minute or two.
Mashed Cauliflower: I improvise each time, but here is a great recipe that is pretty close to how I make it (you can leave the garlic out if you don’t love it).
Creamy Spinach: This dish is funny because is so easy but SO good. I am mildly embarrassed to tell you how I make it but you need to know! My kids scarf it down, especially after they saw Popeye.
Box of frozen chopped spinach
1/4 c. cream cheese (I use light cream cheese)
1 t. garlic salt
I just microwave the spinach and drain it, then I stir in the cream cheese and garlic salt. Feel free to add more of either to taste. If you are feeding more than 2 people, just be sure to double this (I use a bag of spinach since it is easier and bigger and double the cream cheese).
Date Night at home should be easy since you want to talk to your date. It is not the night I try new recipes, I just stick with easy favorites that let us relax. Here is to happy date nights where you get to kiss the chef!!! (And to husbands who are great with clean up).