Here are some of our favourite easy-to-make meal ideas, that are sure to wow your special someone with a gourmet dinner. You’ll look like you spent the whole day in the kitchen, when it was actually pretty quick and easy!
Easy Gourmet Appetizers
These can be prepared ahead of time so they’re ready to go when you are. And they’re sure to impress without taking much time to make.
Smoked salmon bites: In a food processor, add a cup of soft goat cheese or cream cheese, zest of one lemon, a small handful of fresh dill, a tablespoon of capers, and some fresh ground pepper. Pulse until just combined, spread it on a small serving plate, and cover it with ribbons of smoked salmon. You can then cover it in plastic wrap and set it aside in the fridge. To serve, garnish with more capers, fresh dill, and micro lemon slices, and serve with your favourite crackers or bread.
Tasty cheese skewers: Cut a firm cheese (such as Pecorino Romano) into bite-size cubes, or cut bocconcini (mini mozzarella balls) into halves. Onto toothpicks or small skewers, add a whole olive, a pear tomato, a folded fresh basil leaf, and a piece of cheese. Stand the skewers up with the cheese-end down, and line them up on a special plate for a high-end presentation.
Depending on taste, here are a couple of ideas for your main course:
Steak, crispy potatoes, and asparagus with hollandaise sauce: If you want the best steak you can find anywhere, you can’t do better than Whispering Meadows beef tenderloin. Our other top recommendations would be the Rib Eye steak, or a juicy T-Bone. Nothing goes better with steak than crispy potatoes, and here’s our favourite recipe ever for them. Add a side of grilled buttered asparagus, and you have a seriously gourmet meal that’s quick and easy. Serve with hollandaise sauce (which you can prepare in advance) to make it extra special.
Vermouth spaghetti bolognese: If you haven’t made a pasta dish yet with Whispering Meadows ground beef, you are missing out on a world of flavour – you won’t believe the difference it makes. We start by caramelizing a finely diced onion with a couple of cloves of chopped garlic, then add in our ground beef and brown it lightly. Add crushed tomatoes and some tomato paste, a mix of vegetables (we like mushrooms and grated carrots) and herbs (we use fresh basil, rosemary, and oregano). Add ½ cup of vermouth (or substitute ½ cup of red wine). Add salt and fresh ground pepper to taste, and simmer while cooking the pasta. An old Italian secret is to boil the pasta until it’s nearly ready, then drain it and finish cooking it by adding it into the sauce so it absorbs more flavour. Serve with a chunk of parmigiano reggiano which you can grate onto each plate of pasta at the table.
Here are a couple of melt-in-your-mouth dessert ideas that are easy to make, can be prepared ahead of time, and will be sure to warm the heart of the ones you love!
Sticky Toffee Pudding: This is a classic British dessert, and is the perfect decadent blend of texture, sweetness and creaminess. Where better to go for the best recipe than straight to the source: the BBC Good Food blog.
Chocolate Mousse: A true classic that is surprisingly easy to make, yet gives a luxuriously gourmet impression. Here’s our favourite recipe.
Enjoy, and let us know how it works out!
– your friends at Whispering Meadows