cooking for your boyfriend

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Farewell Menu

Mitch was leaving for a long trip to Israel the next day.  I wanted to make him something light enough for the plane ride, but also something so delicious that he'd hurry back home to me.  


Caesar Salad

Herb Crusted Salmon and Onion Rings

Hot Chocolate Cakes

serves 2


Make croutons
Make caesar dressing
Make salmon and onion ring breading
Make Caramel Sauce


Caesar Salad

  • 1/4 cup olive oil, plus more for croutons
  • juice from 1/2 lemon 
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon anchovy paste
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 ciabatta roll, cut in 1/2 inch cubes
  • 4-6 cups chopped romaine
  • freshly grated parmesan cheese

1.  Make croutons:  In a large skillet, heat 1/4 cup olive oil over medium heat.  Add cubed ciabatta and toast for about 10 minutes, tossing occasionally.  Transfer to paper towel to drain off excess oil. 

2.  Make dressing:  Whisk together all dressing ingredients.  Pour over chopped romaine and toss.  Add croutons and parmesan cheese.  

Salmon and Onion Rings


  • 1 garlic clove, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup parsely
  • 1 ciabatta roll, torn in pieces
  • juice from 1/2 lemon 
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 salmon fillets
  • 2 teaspoons dijon mustard, divided
Onion Rings
  • 3 cups cornflakes
  • 1 cup panko (find in the Asian food section at the market)
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 sweet onion, sliced in rings

1.  Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.  Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.  

2.  Make Salmon and Onion Ring breading:  In and food processor fitted with steel blade, pulse garlic until finely chopped.  Add parsely, ciabatta, lemon juice, and olive oil.  Pulse until parsely and ciabatta are finely chopped.  Season with salt and pepper.  Transfer to container and set aside.  Clean food processor bowl and blade and set up for onion ring breading.  Pulse cornflakes, panko, paprika, salt and pepper until fine crumbs form.

3.  Place salmon on baking sheet.  Spread mustard on fillets.  Scatter salmon bread crumb mixture, gently pressing salmon to make stick.  Set aside

4.  In a shallow dish or bowl, whisk together egg, buttermilk, and flour.  Working one onion slice at a time, dip onion into egg mixture, then coat with cornflake mixture and transfer baking sheet.  

5.  Bake salmon and onion rings in the oven for 15-20 minutes.  Season onion rings with salt.

Hot Chocolate Cakes

  • 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 

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.

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