cooking for your boyfriend

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Your First Meal

If you're nervous to cook for your boyfriend for the first time, do a "practice meal." Try making chicken. Cook it during the day while he's away at work, school, etc.  You'll be surprised how easy it is! Just make sure he doesn't know about the "practice meal." When it's time to make the real meal, you'll have more confidence and more importantly your boyfriend will be very impressed


Monday, August 30, 2010

Chicken Marsala

Serves 2 hungry boyfriends in 20 minutes


  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts pounded thin
  • 8 ounces wild mushrooms, sliced and stems removed
  • 1 cup basil, chopped
  • 1/2 cup Marsala wine
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 1/4 cup of flour
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
1.  In a shallow dish mix together flour, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper.  Dredge the chicken in the seasoned flour mixture, shaking off the excess flour.

2.  Heat oil and 1 tablespoon of butter in a large skillet over medium high heat.  Add the chicken and cook until golden brown, about 3 minutes per side.  Transfer to a plate and set aside.  Add the mushrooms and basil to the pan.  Saute until the mushrooms start to release their juices, about 3 minutes. Add the Marsala and bring to a boil scraping up the brown bits from the bottom of the pan.  When the wine is reduced by half add the chicken stock and allow to boil for about 3 minutes.  Lower heat to medium and add the cream and butter, 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper.  Allow to cook for 2 minutes or until the sauce thickens.  Add the chicken to the pan and toss in the sauce.  

3.  Serve your boyfriend.  Serve the chicken with a green salad lightly dressed.  Place chicken on the plate and spoon over the sauce with some savory mushrooms.  Dinner is served!

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ShiksaChef Starter Kit

Here are the essential tools for getting started

1 sharp chef's knife (good quality)
1 paring knife
1 serrated knife
1 knife sharpener

1 large crock pot
1 medium sauce pan
1 small sauce pan
1 large (12 in) skillet
1 large (12 in) nonstick skillet (for fish and stir fry)
1 cast iron skillet (cheap and you'll have it forever)

Wooden Spoons
Meat Thermometer

Cheese Grater
Graduated Bowls
Measuring cups for dry and wet measuring
Measuring spoons
1 Strainer

1 Sheet pan
1 9 by 12 in baking dish

1 hand mixer
1 KitchenAid standing mixer (if you're budget won't allow for this, 1 hand mixer will be fine)
1 food processor

If you're budget is tight, buy as you go along in your cooking journey.


Saturday, August 28, 2010

Hot Chocolate Cake with Caramel Sauce and Freshly Whipped Cream

This is good on top of good on top of good.
Serves 4 hungry boyfriends
  • 6 tbsp (3/4 stick) cold unsalted butter, plus more at room temperature for ramekins
  • 1/3 cup sugar, plus more for ramekins
  • 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 2 large eggs plus 2 large egg yolks
  • 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp Kosher salt
  • Caramel Sauce (see directions for ingredients)
  • Whipped Cream (see directions for ingredients)


1.  Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  Butter four 6-ounce ramekins.  Coat lightly with sugar, swirling around the sugar .  Turn upside down and tap out the excess sugar.  

2.  Combine butter and chocolate into a heat proof bowl set over, not in, a pan of simmering water.  Stir until melted and almost smooth.  Using a potholder, take off the heat a stir until completely melted.

3.  In a large bowl, whisk together sugar, eggs, yolks, flour, and salt.  Add the chocolate mixture and whisk to combine.  Fill each ramekin 3/4 full with batter.  Place on a rimmed baking sheet and refrigerate for 15 minutes.

4.  Bake until the center of a cake is soft, but not wet when pressed, 27 to 30 minutes.  Let cool for 5 minutes.

Caramel Sauce (make this while the cakes are baking in the oven)
1.  In a medium saucepan, heat 1 cup of sugar over medium-high heat until melted and brown at the edges, about 3 minutes.  With a heat proof spatula, pull melted sugar toward the center until all sugar is melted and caramel is a deep amber color, 3 minutes more.

2.  Immediately whisk in 6 tbsp cold unsalted butter, cubed, 1/2 tsp Kosher salt, and 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract (be careful, it is extremely hot and the mixture will bubble).

3.  Whisk in 1/2 cup heavy cream.

4.  Pour into a heatproof container and let cool.

Whipped Cream
1.  In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whisk together on medium 1 cup of cold heavy cream with 2 tbsp of sugar for 30 seconds.  Whisk on high speed for a bout 5 minutes until stiff peaks form (whipped cream!).  Add sugar to taste.

Serve your boyfriend
1.  Place a ramekin on a dessert plate (be careful, ramekin may still be hot).  Add a dollop of Whipped Cream on top of the cake.  Pour over Caramel Sauce and allow it to drip down the sides of your ramekin.  Eat with a spoon.  Bon Appetite!


Shrimp Scampi and Pesto Couscous

This only took 20 minutes to make and it tastes great.  Serves 2 hungry boyfriends.

  • 1 1/2 cups of couscous
  • 2 cups of water
  • 1 lb of shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 tbsp of fresh parsley, chopped (for sprinkling)
  • 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • Juice of 1 lemon, plus 1 tsp of zest
  • 1/2 cup of chicken stock
  • a pinch of red pepper flakes

For the Pesto:
  • 2 cups of fresh basil leaves
  • 1/3 cup of chopped walnuts
  • 1/3 cup of grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 cup of olive oil
  • salt and pepper


1. Make the pesto.  In a food processor pulse together the basil, walnuts, parmesan cheese, and garlic.  With the motor running, slowly pour in the olive oil through the feeding tube.  Salt and pepper to taste.

2. Make the couscous.  In a medium sauce pan, pour in 2 cups of water.  Add a pinch of salt and a splash of olive oil.  Bring to a boil.  Add the couscous, stir once with a wooden spoon, cover, and remove from heat.  Let it sit for 5 minutes.

3.  Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add the garlic, lemon zest, and red pepper flakes and cook for 30 seconds.  Add the chicken stock and lemon juice.  Once the liquid starts to bubble, add the shrimp.  Season with salt and pepper and stir a few times.  Cook for about 2-3 minutes, or until the shrimp are opaque and cooked through.

4.  Present to your boyfriend.  Mix the pesto into the couscous.  If the pesto starts to lump, add a few drops of olive oil.  Pour the couscous onto a dinner plate.  Add the shrimp and pour over about 2 tbsp of the cooking liquid.  Sprinkle on some parsley for a finishing touch.  Dinner is served!