Friday, April 5, 2013

Date Night--April 5, 2013

Ooh La La.  I do love Paris in the Springtime.

Yes, tonight we are going "French" for date night.

"How?", you ask. I'll tell you.

We shall begin with Cocktails (that does always seem to be a good place to begin, doesn't it?).  I will be making a little drink called Chanticleer (french for rooster).  It's a combination of Gin, dry (french) vermouth, and an orange liquer (grand marnier).  It's shaken and served up in a cocktail glass.

Our cocktails will be accompanied by shrimp cocktail.  Not really sure if there is anything "french" about that, but we love it.

Dinner is Chicken Cordon Bleu.  Now I know you are wondering how I could possibly pull this off in a figure flattering way.  Weight Wathcers provided me with the following recipe:

Rolled Chicken Cordon Bleu



  • Preheat oven to 400°F. Coat a baking sheet with olive oil cooking spray.
  • Place chicken breasts between two pieces of plastic wrap and pound to 1/4-inch thickness; remove plastic wrap. Arrange 1 slice of ham and 1 slice of cheese on each chicken breast.
  • Starting from shorter end of chicken, roll up breast into a tight pinwheel. Tuck in ends. Secure with toothpicks.
  • Place flour, honey mustard and bread crumbs in 3 separate shallow bowls. Add chicken to flour; turn to coat. Transfer chicken to honey mustard; turn to coat. Place chicken in bread crumbs; turn to coat.
  • Transfer chicken to prepared baking sheet and coat with cooking spray. Bake until chicken is golden brown and cooked through, about 40 minutes. Remove toothpicks and serve.
 The main dish will be accompanied by Dijon Roasted New Potatoes.  Here's the recipe: Dijon-Roasted New Potatoes.  Here's the recipe:  

Dijon-Roasted New Potatoes

Dijon Roasted New Potatoes



  • Preheat oven to 425°F. Coat a 9- X 13-inch baking dish with cooking spray.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together mustard, oil, paprika, salt, thyme and pepper; add potatoes and stir to coat.
  • Transfer potatoes to prepared baking dish and roast 15 minutes; stir and roast until tender on inside, about 15 to 20 minutes more. Yields about 1 1/4 cups per serving.
I'll also be making Green Beans with Caramelized Shallots and Gremolata.  YUM!

Green Beans with Caramelized Shallots and Gremolata



  • Heat a large pot of water to a simmer. Place green beans in a steamer and steam over simmering water until tender, about 5 minutes. Run steamed green beans under cold running water for 30 seconds to stop cooking; set aside.
  • Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet. Add shallots and cook, stirring often (and adding a little water to prevent sticking if necessary), until golden and tender, about 5 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, to make gremolata, combine parsley, lemon zest and garlic in a small bowl.
  • Add green beans to skillet; toss over medium heat until heated through. Season with salt and pepper; toss to mix and coat.
  • Place green beans in a serving bowl or platter and sprinkle with gremolata. Yields about 3/4 cup of green beans and 1 teaspoon of gremolata per serving.
There is a French Chardonnay chilling as I type.  This will be a lovely addition to the meal.

For dessert, I have strawberries macerating in balsamic vinegar and brown sugar.  There's a scant 1/8 tsp of freshly ground black pepper in the mix too.  Oh, I guess I'll give you that recipe as well.
 balsamic strawberries
balsamic strawberries



  • Combine strawberries, sugar, vinegar and pepper in a bowl. Marinate in refrigerator for at least 1 hour, stirring at least once.
  • Serve in 4 small glasses or bowls and top each with 2 tablespoons vanilla yogurt. Garnish with mint sprigs, if desired. 
I may accompany desset with a pour of Armagnac.  Doesn't that sound french and fancy.  It's really just brandy.  But I have been squirreling away points today so that I can eat and drink to my heart's content this evening.  It has been quite a week.

That's what will be on my table tonight.  How about yours?

happy cooking