Here’s my rule: When cooking for a man, treat all of his senses. Enchant him with the aromas of home cooking, tantalize his taste buds with full-bodied flavors, and surprise him with different textures. The meal I’ve mapped out accomplishes all of those things. To round out the sensory experience, set the mood with plenty of unscented candles.
Pan-Seared Filet Mignon With Red-Wine Sauce
Guys love a steak, and the simple red-wine sauce really dresses it up!
2 filet mignons (about 1 1/2 inches thick each)
1/2 c. low-sodium beef broth
1/2 c. red wine
1 T shallots, minced
1 t. flour
1/2 t. Dijon mustard
1 T flat-leaf parsley, minced
1 T unsalted butter
Salt and pepper
In a bowl, mix broth, red wine, shallots, flour, and mustard. Heat a heavy-duty skillet over medium-high heat. Season steaks with salt and pepper, then sear for 3 minutes on each side for medium-rare. Transfer to a plate, and tent with foil. Pour wine mixture into hot pan, and bring to a boil for 1 minute. Stir in butter and parsley, and boil 1 to 2 minutes. Pour sauce over steaks and serve.
The green beans and tomatoes add nice color to the plate.
3/4 lb. green beans (skinny French ones, if you can find them), trimmed
1 T unsalted butter
1 shallot, minced
1/2 c. grape tomatoes
1 t. freshly grated lemon zest
1/4 t. salt
1/4 t. freshly ground black pepper
Prepare an ice-water bath (fill a large bowl with cold water and ice). Boil water in a large pot, then add green beans and cook 2 minutes. Drain beans, and plunge into ice water to stop the cooking. In a skillet, heat butter over medium heat. Add shallots, and sauté 3 minutes. Add tomatoes, and cook 2 minutes. Add beans, lemon zest, salt, and pepper. Cook until beans are heated through (about 5 minutes).
Chocolate Pudding and Amaretto Whipped-Cream Parfaits
These individual desserts feel special but are easy to assemble — you can even do it the day before!
1 cup whipped cream (such as Cool Whip)
1 T amaretto liqueur
1 package instant chocolate pudding (follow package instructions)
6 chocolate wafer cookies, crushed
Gently stir amaretto liqueur into whipped cream. Divide half of the pudding into each parfait glass, and top each with half of the whipped cream. Sprinkle with half of the crushed cookies. Repeat layers. Refrigerate until serving time.