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dinner for two, chez vous surviving the first dinner date at your place by Patricia Virella | 1 2 3 4 5
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Think about the mood you’re aiming for when deciding upon menu: you’ll want to cook up flavors that will spark the body’s senses. I use ginger and cilantro to create an aromatically sexy, exotic ambience to go along with my music and the free-flowing wine. Your dish should be welcoming, not cold and calculated. I once had a girlfriend who cooked a 4-course meal in which all four courses where like those in a French restaurant: fancy and petite. A few dinners into the relationship, her date disclosed his dislike for the coldness of that first dinner, and confessed that he’d much preferred date two, where she’d served up heaping beds of pasta with hearty red sauce.

There’s another reason I love my ginger-citrus salmon – it can be served family-style. I think this is the best way for you to cozy up to your honey. Help ease tensions and beginning-of-the-date jitters by passing around the pasta, rice, or whatever goodies you’ve cooked up for the evening. On our first date, my boyfriend and I bonded while sharing Singapore Rice Noodles family style; because I wasn’t busy in the kitchen trying to decorate his plate perfectly to serve him, it was so much easier to connect. So skip the painstakingly-artful, perfectly arranged individual plates. Sit down and enjoy the meal with your date instead.

keep on wandering this- a-way please

Ginger, Citrus & Cilantro Salmon or Chicken
1 lb. salmon fillets or chicken breasts
1 cup cilantro, plus about ½ cup for garnish
4 tbs. Ginger (freshly cut or ground)
4 cloves of garlic
2 shallots
2 teaspoons ground oregano
4 tbsp. Olive oil (virgin is best)
juice of one lemon
2/3 cup white wine
salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350° F. Place salmon fillets or chicken breasts into a baking dish. Give them enough space to where they’re about ½" apart from each other. In a separate bowl, mix chopped shallots, chopped garlic, oregano, ginger, wine, lemon and olive oil. Add salt and pepper to taste. Once mixed completely, pour mixture onto salmon/chicken. Let marinate for at least 30 min, but not more than 2 hours.

After meat is marinated, top  with 1 cup cilantro. Place in oven for about 20 min. Check every 5 min thereafter, should you wish it to be more on the done side. Do not leave in for more than 30 min. Salmon and chicken cook relatively quickly. Once done, garnish salmon/chicken with a little more cilantro and serve family style.


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