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I love a simple dinner that tastes rich and luxurious. Ever since I bookmarked the kitchn‘s list of great date night meals, it’s been one of my favorite go-to lists for those nights when I want to feel like I’m spoiling us a bit, without going overboard. I love this open faced ravioli recipe. The egg makes a rich sauce for the greens and the lemon really brightens the dish and balances the flavor. Also, this is the recipe that taught me how to poach eggs without ruining them, or turning them into egg soup. I feel like patting myself on the back every time I poach one successfully.

Open-Faced Ravioli with Poached Egg, Wilted Greens and Brown Butter-Lemon Sauce
via the kitchn

2 lasagna noodles
2-4 eggs, depending on how hungry you feel and what else is being served
1 bunch (about 10 ounces) swiss chard, washed, stems removed, and sliced into ribbons
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 pinch red pepper flakes
1/4 cup unsalted butter
2 tablespoons lemon juice
salt and pepper

Fill a mixing bowl with hot tap water and set it next to the stove.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add a tablespoon or two of salt and the lasagna noodles. Cook about 8 minutes, until the noodles are al dente. Remove the noodles with a strainer or slotted spoon and transfer them to the bowl of water.
Drain half the water from the pot, leaving about four inches in the bottom. Let it come back to a simmer. Crack the eggs into individual measuring cups and slip them into the simmering water. Poach the eggs for 4 minutes for runny yolks or 5 minutes for yolks that are barely set. Transfer them to the bowl of warm water with the lasagna noodles until ready to plate your dishes.
While the noodles and eggs are cooking, you can begin wilting the greens. Warm a teaspoon of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the greens and a three-fingered pinch of salt, and saute until the chard wilts, turns bright green, and becomes tender to taste, about three minutes. Stir in the garlic and red pepper flakes and stir until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Transfer the chard to a separate plate.
With the skillet back over medium-high heat, melt the butter. Continue to cook it, swirling the butter occasionally in the pan, until the butter darkens and begins to smell nutty. Remove from heat and whisk in the lemon juice and 1/4 teaspoon of salt. The lemon juice will make the butter sizzle up and sputter before cooling down.
To Plate the Ravioli: Remove the lasagna noodles from the water and pat them dry. Slice them into squares and layer half of them in the bottom of two pasta bowls. Remove the poached eggs from the water with a slotted spoon and lay them on the noodles. Top with the remaining ravioli squares. Arrange the wilted chard around and over the plates, and drizzle everything with butter-lemon sauce. Serve immediately.

This was our second weekend in a row in Portland, last weekend for a birthday and this one for a wedding. I always think of Seattle as such an amazing city for food, but Portland has really blown my mind these past few days. Peruvian tapas, the best biscuits & gravy in the country, maple bars with bacon and the most fantastic selection of food carts I’ve ever seen. And stellar service at every single place. I don’t know what they put in the water in Portland, but every person we encountered seemed to love their craft and love sharing it. Even at the hotel and shops. We’re putting it on our list of possible retirement locations – so much happy.


top: broccoli rabe scramble with fresh chevre at irving st kitchen
and a killer selection from voodoo doughnuts
bottom: breakfast nachos and the famous biscuits & gravy from mother’s bistro


top: our friends’ fabulous wedding at the Portland World Trade Center
bottom: Andina aftermath and the hilarious confetti on my reception plate


top: the library and bubbly at the urban farmer, drinks at the the top of the nines: departure
bottom: the best hangover cures at the original, more rooftop fun at departure

Two perfect weekends. We’ll be back, soon.

Success! A few weeks back I posted a list of great date night meals and yesterday I finally made an attempt at the first one that drew me in. And it was delicious. And incredibly simple! My only recommendation would be to follow the directions for the polenta from the package (if there are some). My first batch turned out a bit runny because the kind in my cupboard called for less water. But overall the dish was creamy, rich and the perfect date night meal. I’d spoon the mushroom sherry sauce over just about anything!

Scallops with Wild Mushrooms, Sherry & Polenta
adapted from bon appetit

9 tablespoons unsalted butter
16 ounces fresh mushrooms (such as oyster, chanterelle, stemmed shiitake, or crimini)
2 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
1 cup chopped green onions
1/2 cup amontillado Sherry
1/4 cup low-salt chicken broth
1/4 cup whipping cream
Salt and freshly cracked pepper
1 cup polenta
1 pound scallops

Melt 4 tablespoons butter in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms and thyme. Sauté until mushrooms are tender, stirring occasionally, about 7 minutes. Add green onions; sauté 1 minute. Add sherry; boil until slightly reduced, about 2 minutes. Add broth. Boil until reduced by half, about 3 minutes. Add cream; simmer until thickened, about 3 minutes.
Bring 3 1/2 cups water and 1 teaspoon salt to boil in heavy medium saucepan. Gradually whisk in polenta. Reduce heat to medium-low. Cook polenta until tender, adding more water as needed if too thick, and whisking frequently, about 20 minutes. Stir in 3 tablespoons butter. Season with salt and pepper. Cover to keep warm.
Reheat mushroom mixture. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in another large skillet over high heat. Add scallops and sauté until just translucent in center, about 1 minute. Stir scallops and juices into mushrooms. Season with salt and pepper.
Spoon scallop mixture over polenta and serve.

My darling husband and I did a little bar hopping last night for our date night. A glass of wine for me and a beer for him, plus an appetizer to share at each stop. So fun! If you’re in Seattle, check out Capitol Club for a lovely, long happy hour (until 8!) and fantastic falafel; Kiki for their Pork Belly Fried Rice; and 611 Supreme for the best crepes in town and a delicious drink menu.


The shot of the fried rice is a little sad, but we had scarfed most of it down before I thought to snap a picture off! We’re so fortunate having so many great eateries around us. Makes for a quick trip home once we’ve stuffed ourselves.