Valentine's Day is fast-approaching and maybe you're thinking of staying in. With restaurant reservations becoming getting harder and harder to get, and inflation on the rise, why not create your own perfect date night with Overseasoned gear and recipes! We'll walk you through all the steps to make your night a smashing success.
STEP 1: Get your gear
Grab the Shuck the Patriarchy Shucking Knife for your oysters and an apron for your culinary adventure. Why not go with the Cabernet and Equal Pay apron for a nice splash of red wine and empowerment?
STEP 2: Oysters with Cucumber Mignonette
A typical mignonette sauce is a simple preparation of shallots with vinegar and a little salt and sugar. But when you add the cucumber, the result is an incredibly fresh and sharp condiment, a perfect compliment to platter of briny oysters. It makes for a truly perfect dish, one that will impress your guests, but isn’t complicated at all to make. The complicated part is shucking those oysters, but with a little practice you’ll be a pro!
Give this cucumber mignonette recipe a try next time you’re serving oysters and let me know how it goes.
1/4 cup white wine vinegar or rice vinegar
1 tablespoon warm water
2 tablespoons cucumber, minced (you’ll use about 1/4 of a cucumber)
1 small shallot, minced (you want a little less than the amount of cucumber)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon sugar
cracked black pepper to taste (I use a few pinches)
LET’S DO IT!
- Mince your shallot and cucumber and combine in a small bowl. The quantities don’t have to be exact, you just want almost a 1 to 1 ratio of cucumber and shallot, but leaning towards more cucumber than shallot.
- Add the rest of the ingredients to the bowl and stir. Transfer to the fridge and chill while you shuck your oysters.
- Top each oyster with a generous amount of the mignonette, I think it really makes it. You will probably have some extra mignonette, which you can save in the fridge for your next oyster meal, or toss it onto a salad because it’s basically a dressing already!
STEP 3: Mango Salmon Poke Bowls with Crispy Fried Garlic
My version of a Salmon Poke Bowl is one of my all-time favorite recipes because it features many of my favorite things- fish, fresh fruit, creamy sauces and crunchy toppings. Don’t be intimidated by how many ingredients and steps there are, the abundance of elements in this recipe [and in poke bowls in general] is what makes it so delicious! The mango dressing you could eat straight up and the crispy fried garlic send the whole thing over the top.
For the bowls:
1 cup cooked brown (or white) rice
1 fresh mango, diced
1 avocado, sliced
2 - 3 scallions, chopped
2 - 3 teaspoons sesame seeds (for garnish)
2 large carrots, julienned (for showing off)
Crispy fried garlic - you need a few cloves for this
For the salmon:
About a pound of salmon, peeled (you could also do shrimp and saute them instead of bake)
Juice of 1 lime
1 - 2 tablespoons sesame oil (or use olive)
1 jalapeno pepper, minced
2 teaspoons Curry powder (if you don't have a curry powder, just use 1 teaspoon turmeric, 1 teaspoon coriander or cumin)
1/2 - 1 teaspoon red chili powder (to taste)
1 teaspoon soy sauce
For the mango dressing:
1 ripe mango
juice of 1/2 a lime (then save the other half for squeezing over the finished bowls if you like)
2 - 3 tablespoons sesame oil (or substitute olive oil)
2 teaspoons curry powder (if you don't have a curry powder, just use 1 teaspoon turmeric, 1 teaspoon coriander or cumin)
1 - 2 teaspoons salt (to taste)
Let's do it!
- Start by prepping your rice, especially if you're making brown rice, that's going to take a while. Pro-tip- I always put a tablespoon of butter (or olive oil) in the rice as it cooks I think it adds flavor and prevents sticking
- Next, blend all the ingredients for the mango dressing in a food processor. Feel free to add in a bit more oil or salt to taste. It should be the consistency of a thick, Caesar dressing. Transfer it to the fridge and chill until ready to serve.
- For the salmon, combine all of the ingredients from the above salmon list except the salmon in a large bowl. Then toss in the salmon to evenly coat in the marinade. Set aside. You can't let this marinade for more than 20/25 minutes because the acidity will break down the fish really quickly and turn it to mush. so be mindful that you can't do this step earlier in the day and toss it in the fridge. this is al fresco AF.
- Bake the salmon on a parchment lined sheet or 9x13 pan at 425 for 20 - 25 min. Test for doneness by prodding it with a fork. You know it is ready when this causes it to flake.
- Next prep the elements for the bowls: slice the mango, avocado and scallions and julienne carrots. To fry the garlic, heat 2 - 3 tablespoons sesame (or olive) oil in a skillet over medium heat for a minute or 2 to bring it up to temp. Slice garlic and add to the skillet, it should sizzle pretty quickly. Keep an eye on it and cook for a few minutes, move it around the pan if it starts to stick. You want it to be brown but not burnt. Skim off the garlic bits and transfer to a paper towel to dry. You can save the extra garlicky oil and add it to the rice for serving- yummmmm
- To assemble the bowls, serve the salmon on a bed of rice, topped with the avocado, mango, scallions, mango dressing, sesame seeds and toasted garlic.
- I think you can serve this either warm or cold. For the warm method, just serve it all as soon as it's prepared. For the cold method, refrigerate the rice and the salmon (or shrimp) and serve it cool like a salad.
If you are using shrimp, heat a large skillet over medium heat, then pour your entire bowl with the shrimp and all the marinade into the skillet. Cook shrimp for about 3 minutes per side, you know they're cooked when they turn bright white. Remove shrimp from pan and loosely chop into small bite sized pieces. Transfer to a bowl and pour the marinade from the skillet over the shrimp again. Let cool in the fridge if you want to serve your bowls cold.
STEP 4: Clean Up
Sure, it may not sound exciting, but you can kick it up a notch with the Cabernet and Equal Pay Tea Towel. Doing a quick clean up now will help you relax fully with your delicious dessert.
STEP 5: Get Cozy
Now that your kitchen is tidy you can relax and cozy up with the Mulled Wine Beanie.
STEP 6: Dutch Baby with Honey Butter and Raspberries
If you’ve never had a dutch baby, it’s essentially a giant pancake that’s custardy like a crepe and crispy like fridge dough so it’s perfect for a cozy date night dessert at home. I love it because it feels like magic how a few ingredients become this beautiful puffy dish. Finishing it with raspberries adds the perfect touch of pink to your date night finale.
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup milk
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon sugar
pinch of cinnamon
pinch of cardamom
pinch of nutmeg
For the honey butter:
1/2 cup unsalted butter (softened)
2 - 3 tablespoons honey
1/2 teaspoon salt
Let’s do it!
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Combine flour, eggs, milk, sugar and spices in a blender or by hand until smooth.
Place 4 tablespoons butter in a 10” cast iron skillet or baking dish and place in oven for a few minutes, just until butter is melted. Keep a close eye on it so it doesn’t burn.
As soon as it is melted, remove from the oven, pour in the dutch baby batter from the blender and return it to the oven to bake for 20 minutes. Avoid opening the oven door to allow it to puff up as much as possible.
After 20 minutes, reduce temperature to 300 and bake for another 10 - 15 minutes or until puffed and golden brown.
While the baby is baking, use a stand mixer or a hand mixer to beat the butter, honey and salt until well combined and paler in color.
Sprinkle with confectioner sugar, dollops of honey butter and fresh raspberries.