Yesterday I shared a cozy date night Sunday Night Dinner. Today, I want to share two very easy recipes that can both be made in advance and elevate your date night in to another level. When I think of comfort foods, my taste buds immediately gravitate to a few things: savoury, salty, and rich. That’s why I started the night off with a small selection of cheese and my favourite olives (castelvetrano). I paired this with a Dark and Stormy cocktail (more on that tomorrow). A small cheese plate and cocktail is always a great touch to whet your palate for the meal to come.
In my mind, there’s nothing more wintery and cozy than a beef stew. Take it to the next level by making Beef Bourguignon and pairing it with a fancy-sounding red wine (more on that Wednesday). Read below for the Beef Bourguignon recipe.
Most people like to end their meals with a little something sweet. Me? I prefer savoury. I popped up a big batch of truffle herb popcorn and served it with champagne. Easy and delicious.
Beef Bourguignon (adapted from Barefoot Contessa) with Parsnip Fries
1 tbsp olive oil
8 oz bacon, chopped
2 pounds of stewing beef, dried
salt and pepper
1 pound of carrots, cut into 1 inch rounds
2 white onions, sliced
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 bottle of cheap, dry red wine
2 cups of beef broth
1 tbsp tomato paste
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp dried basil
4 tbsp butter
3 tbsp flour
1/2 lb portobello mushrooms, cut into 1 inch pieces
handful of baby parsnips
salt and pepper
1) Preheat the oven to 400F. Cut the end off of the baby parsnips and toss with olive oil and salt and pepper.
2) Roast parsnips for 30 minutes, or until cooked through. Set aside.
3) Change the oven temperature to 250F.
4) In a dutch oven (I have this exact one), add the olive oil on medium high. When hot, cook the bacon until crisp. Remove from pot.
5) Add the beef, one layer at a time, and brown on each side. Add to the bacon plate.
6) Add the carrots and onions with salt and pepper and cook until softened (10 mins).
7) Add the garlic and cook until fragrant (30 seconds).
8) Add back the meat and bacon. Add the bottle of wine and beef broth along with tomato paste and thyme.
9) Bring to a simmer, add the lid and put in the oven for 1 hour.
10) Meanwhile, sauté the mushrooms in 3 tbsp butter.
11) Mash up flour and 1 tbsp butter and add to the stew once removed from the oven.
12) Add the mushrooms and cook for 10 more minutes on the stove. Salt and pepper to taste.
13) Serve in a bowl with parsnips on the side.
Truffle Herb Popcorn
1) In a small bowl, add a pinch of each dried thyme, basil, oregano and red pepper flakes.
2) In air popper, pop 1/3 cup of popcorn kernels.
3) Add herb mixture and popped popcorn to big bowl with 1 tbsp truffle oil. Toss to combine.
4) Serve in individual bowls and topped with a sprinkling of grated parmesan.
Make sure to stop by tomorrow for an amazing Dark & Stormy cocktail recipe!
Photos: Christie Graham Photography