These dinner dishes from professional chefs will save you the stress of making a reservation and keep you in the cozy comfort of home.
Tomato-braised shrimp with fennel, capers, and onions
The dish, from The Meatball Shop chef Daniel Holzman’s new app Project Foodie, is loaded with flavor. The added bonus? Fennel boosts the female libido working as a natural aphrodisiac for women.
2 tbs. capers, drained
1 cup whole peeled plum tomatoes
12 Kalamata olives, pitted
1 pinch chili flakes
6 tbs. olive oil
½ bunch fresh flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped
2 tsp. Kosher salt
1 bulb fennel
1 red onion, cut into ½-inch pieces
20 whole shrimp
- Cut the fronds off fennel bulb and aside. Dice the bulb into ½-inch pieces. Add the onions and fennel bulb to a large skillet, along with pinch red pepper flakes, capers, olives, and 4 tbs. olive oil. Heat over medium and cook until the onions are soft and translucent about eight to ten minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Pre-heat the broiler. While the vegetables cook, peel and devein shrimp, leaving the tail on. Arrange the shrimp on a baking sheet and sprinkle lightly with 1 tsp. salt. Broil, about two minutes per side, until cooked.
- When the onions and fennel are tender, add 1 cup canned tomatoes, carefully crushing the tomatoes with your hands to break them up. Cook for two to three minutes. Add salt to taste.
- Sprinkle the parsley over the vegetables. Arrange the shrimp in a circle over the top of the vegetables. Press halfway into the vegetable liquid.
Few know roast chicken better than Antoine Westermann, a three-Michelin Star chef of Le Coq Rico in New York City. His trick to make it perfectly juicy is preparing the bird in its own broth before roasting.
1 chicken, about 4½ lbs.
1 tbs. butter
1½ tbs. olive oil
Freshly ground pepper
- Preheat the oven to 400°F. Put half of the butter, salt, and pepper inside the chicken. Cut the other half of the butter into chunks and rub them onto the skin of the chicken. Then, brush olive oil onto the skin and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Place the chicken on an oven dish, one leg down. Put the dish into the oven and let it cook for 20 minutes. Then, turn the chicken onto its other leg and cook for another 20 minutes. Finally, rest the chicken flat and let it roast for 30 minutes, sprinkling it regularly with its cooking juices.
- Take the chicken out of the oven and wrap it in aluminum foil. Remove half of the grease from the dish and return it for the last time to the oven, at 365°F, and brown the drippings without letting them blacken.
- Add 3.4 oz. (100 mL) of water to the browned drippings, scrape the dish to get the bits off the bottom, and leave that in the oven while cutting the chicken. To finish, mix the cooking juice and the drippings, and put the cut chicken back in the dish.
Spice up any romantic dinner ideas with these natural aphrodisiacs proven to spark romance.
Rosemary aioli sushi roll
Sushi brings adventure and excitement to a date, and it doesn’t have to be that complicated to make at home. Sunny Oh, executive chef at Sushi Garage in Miami, shares this recipe for eel sushi. Don’t worry, it’s cooked; no risk of giving your date food poisoning.
4 pieces Nori (dry seaweed)
⅔ cup sushi rice, cooked
4 oz. prepared unagi (freshwater eel)
1 semi-ripe Hass avocado, sliced lengthwise
Rosemary aioli, to taste (mix fresh rosemary with your favorite mayo)
- Spread rice on the Nori. Turn over so the rice is on the outside.
- Warm unagi according to package instructions. Slice into 1-inch wide pieces.
- Place the unagi and avocado on the Nori. Roll it up, then slice into bite-size sushi roll pieces.
- Top with a drizzle of rosemary aioli. Sprinkle on sesame seeds.
Chilean sea bass
Chilean sea bass is the jewel of the sea. It’s the perfect dish to let your significant other know that you care without splurging too much. This mouthwatering, warm, and delicious recipe comes from Juvia in Miami.
7 oz. sea bass
1 tsp. butter
3½ oz. eggplant
1 tbs. olive oil
2 tsp. maple syrup
Ají (a spicy sauce made with cilantro, ají pepper, and onions)
1 tsp. salt
1½ oz. fresh hearts of palm, charred
1½ oz. cucumber, peeled and julienned
2 tsp. soy sauce
Fresh basil, to garnish
Toasted pine nuts, to garnish
- Clean and portion the fish. Pan sear the fish on one side until crispy, then flip and sear the other side. Coat with butter.
- Peel and cut the eggplant into large dices. Sauté in large pan with olive oil and ají over high heat. Once eggplant is lightly colored, add salt and maple syrup. Wait until it dries, then cool down on a sheet pan.
- Place fish on plate and top with soy sauce and basil. Garnish with pine nuts. Serve with mix of eggplant, cucumbers, and hearts of palm on the side.
If you and your partner enjoy cooking together, you should check out the most romantic cooking classes for couples.
Egg Shop’s Eggs caviar recipe is perfect with a bottle of crisp champagne. “There are only two rules,” says chef Nick Korbee, who created the recipe. “Let the garnish suit the egg-cooking technique and add the garnish at the end, not during the cooking process,”
1 tsp. Cognac (Korbee prefers Pierre Ferrand 1840)
2 tbs. sour cream or labneh
1 tsp. unsalted butter
1 tsp. of your favorite caviar or roe
1 slice sourdough or pumpernickel rye bread, toasted and buttered
- Gently whip the eggs with a fork.
- Heat a saucepan over medium heat, then add the Cognac and butter (they should sizzle/simmer immediately). Add the eggs and whisk constantly—working on and off the heat in order to develop the curds little by little and prevent the eggs from sticking or otherwise overcooking at the base of the pan—until the eggs begin to resemble the classic French soft scramble.
- Add 1 tbs. of sour cream and stir to incorporate, letting the eggs sputter and pop a few times on the heat. Barely fold in the remaining sour cream (some streaks should still be visible).
- Pour the eggs into a small bowl and top with caviar. Use the toast as a spoon, and enjoy.