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Spring 2009

Date Night Food

by Kris Hughes

Ok, It’s official, you have found somebody that you actually like well enough to invite to your house and cook them a meal and your first thought is “ WHAT WAS I THINKING!” followed by “I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT TO COOK!” Calm down, couple of deep breaths….

Okay, all better now? Good. Now date night food can be particularly problematic for a whole list of reasons such as:

It needs to look impressive and complicated

You don’t have time for impressive and complicated

You want to spent time with your date, NOT your stove

It needs to be easy, you’re going to have your mind on other things

You don’t want to spend two hours cleaning up afterwards

You do not want your kitchen to look like a war zone

This recipe is going to make things a lot easier for you. First of all you can do it in twenty minutes start to finish, and it only makes a few dirty dishes. It’s EASY, all done in six steps, that helps with the whole “distracted by my date” aspect. And guess what? It looks impressive and complicated!

Still a little worried? Okay, go to the store and pick out some of that fancy garlic bread that you just pop in the oven to warm and while your there cruise through the salad bar and pick up enough salad for two. (just don’t put any dressing on, it will make it wilt)

On your way home pick a nice bottle of wine, either a nice buttery Chardonnay or my personal favorite, an Argentinean Malbec from the Mendoza region.

What? Your date has a shellfish allergy and you hate spinach? Switch the shrimp out for precooked, sliced chicken and the spinach out for green onions.

Now quit worrying, light the candles,dust off your Alicia Keyes CD and get to cooking.

Penne Alfredo with Shrimp
2 Cups Penne Pasta
1 Medium Tomato
1 Clove Garlic, minced
1 Tbs Olive Oil
1 Tbs Flour
1 Cup milk (whole milk preferably)
¼ tsp Salt
3-4 Black Pepper
1/3 Cup Grated Parmesan
1/3 Cup Spinach
1 Cup Drained Quartered Artichokes
2 Cups Precooked Shrimp, Thawed

Step One - Put the water on; follow the package directions these differ from brand to brand.

Step Two - Chop up the tomato, mince the garlic and cut the spinach into strips

Step Three - Put the pasta on, over medium heat add the olive oil, flour and garlic in a sauce pan and cook for one minute

Step Four - Add the milk, salt and pepper and bring to a simmer or until it thickens

Step Five - Add the tomato, artichokes, spinach, grated parmesan and the precooked shrimp in and stir until incorporated, pull off the heat and set aside

Step Six - Check the pasta for doneness, drain and return to the pot, add the sauce, stir to incorporate. Serve immediately with a nice salad and garlic bread.




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